Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Starfighter Overkill isn't one of those scrolling shoot em up games that demand pixel perfect player control or strict memorization of enemy patterns. This game is all about staying alive as long as possible in order to unleash unimaginable amounts of heavy weapons on the waves of enemies in the player's path. In this way, the moniker "overkill" is unmistakably apt. This game is honestly a fairly run of the mill side scrolling shooter. It does have a surprising amount of variation in player weapons and enemy types that keep the game interesting, but it's mechanics are all derivative of the genre at large. That is, except for Overkill's unique wave-based progression.
Instead of progressing through levels with start and end points, the player progresses through waves that consist of predetermined numbers and types of enemies. The player starts with three lives and they can pick up extra lives randomly throughout the game. The goal is to survive as many waves as they can with the lives they have. Once they use all their lives, their fight is over and they will have to start again from the first wave. During these waves players can find weapon pickups which will either strengthen their ship's default weapons or award the player powerful special weapons which can be used until they are gone.
With the combination of enemy ships, enemy fire, and the insane amount of weapons the player can unleash at once as they upgrade, Starfighter Overkill quickly becomes quite overwhelming. It's clear that there is no way for players to successfully avoid many of the enemy's bullets and missiles. However, this game is more about unleashing massive weapon volleys than it is about dodging enemy fire. The controls work well for how the game plays. Precise control is not really necessary and all players need to do is be able to direct their weapons in the right portion of the screen and move around to grab pick ups.
While Starfighter Overkill is not a particularly inventive or innovative title, its wave-based gameplay is successful when coupled with the tried and true shooter mechanics. There is a good amount of content and new content is unlocked periodically as players play through more and more waves. Some really exceptional enemy designs also make this game easy to enjoy, even if it is derivative of so many other titles.