Version Reviewed: 1.7
App Reviewed on: iPad
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Overlive is a survival-horror game that asks players to choose their own adventure in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. Instead of feeling like the "cheap cash-in" type of zombie game, Overlive actually manages to stand out thanks mostly because of its writing and sense of exploration.
The game begins with players waking up in their apartment building and exploring their surroundings. It is immediately evident that zombies are roaming around eating anyone on sight, so it is up to the player to prepare for survival. Exploring the apartment area of the game serves much like a tutorial; guiding players through the way areas are explored, how player stats work, and (of course) combat. From there, the game begins to offer new areas to explore around the city.
Playing Overlive is very easy, mostly because most of the game is simply menu navigation. Locations are represented as a piece of background art with many different points of interest players can tap to reveal a certain aspect of this environment. This includes events like finding supplies, combat scenarios, and speaking with other survivors among other things. The only real trouble with Overlive's control scheme is that combat feels overly clunky, but this isn't a huge problem since losing in combat doesn't automatically mean game over.
Probably the best thing about Overlive is its ability to actually build a world and add consequences to random exploration. The game doesn't depend completely on the player to discover and create narrative, but also allows for them to make decisions and impact the game world. This transforms the game beyond being a series of minigames with some narrative elements to a game that has players question whether a completionist attitude is really worth having in world ravaged by zombies.
Overlive is definitely a refreshing title that manages to stand out among the endless waves of other zombie games on the App Store. It isn't perfect, but it is certainly interesting and worth checking out.