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Overture Review


Release: January 26, 2015
Publisher: Black Shell Games
Developer: Black Shell Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, Retro, Role-playingStrategy


Worth a Play About Rating
6.5 - Gameplay
5.5 - Video
5.5 - Audio

Overture is the most recent in a line of action-adventure rogue-like games that are making a huge comeback.

Allowing the player to control a 16-bit hero and navigate them through randomly generated dungeons across the world, Overture is fun, fast-paced, and non-stop action.

From Kickstarter to Reality

The Kickstarter campaign for Overture reached $2,000, over its goal well before the cut-off date. With a flashy presentation and great perks for supporters, Overture quickly attracted the attention of the gaming community. Vowing to re-invigorate classic games like River City Ransom and The Legend of Zelda, the team behind Overture truly wants to pay homage to the games of their childhood. Black Shell Games also created the critically-acclaimed hit SanctuaryRPG a turn-based ASCII adventure last year.


The World of Overture

Overture offers players constant randomly generated dungeons to prevent a repetitive playing experience. There are also 24 unique playable character classes to experiment with such as Warrior, Paladin, Shaman, Rogue, Archer, and more. For each class a variety of weapons is available, ensuring that there is a play style suitable for every gamer. One of the mechanisms that Black Shell is most proud of is their monster AI, which offers up ‘intelligent’ monsters who move in unexpected ways from normal enemies and feel like more of a challenge.

In each randomly generated dungeon stage, the player has essentially free-roam of the map until they feel they have mined it for all its worth and head toward the inevitable boss fight. This is a unique approach to a dungeon crawler, which typically feature a more linear map. Giving the player the option to explore more and gain more experience at each stage, Overture stand out amongst other similar games. Each level is filled to the brim with enemies that appear in what can feel like an almost constant barrage of adversaries. Foes are hell spawn: Skeletons, Zombies, Dark Wizards, Spiders, and Minotaurs among them.


At the end of each floor your hero faces off against a formidable boss. Defeating the creature gains the player a mass of experience points, the option to upgrade one’s mana or health bar, and a group of chests that can be purchased (with items hidden inside). As the player’s experience level grows, they get stronger and more apt to defeat the hordes of monsters. Along the way you are able to pick up a variety of items to help shield your hero, or to use in their attacks. Wide possibilities of weapons, armor, and potions randomly dropped by dead enemies offers endless strategies to play with. And if the item drops prove to be unsatisfying, the player can simply gather up their gold to purchase items that they are drawn to.

Overture Review – Conclusion

Drawn in a funky and bright 16-bit style, Overture offers a tactical view and has the player constantly moving and fighting with almost no break. Overture can feel overwhelming due to the constant onslaught of enemies and so much happening on the screen at once (not to mention the screen-shaking). Despite these slightly overpowering style choices that can make the game difficult to play for too long, Overture is still a game that proves hard to put down. With a killer fun soundtrack and so many different ways to play the same maps over and over, Overture is sure to be one of the most addictive games to hit stores in a long time. 


  • Fun and high energy gameplay
  • Offers many different play styles


  • Hectic and somewhat overwhelming screen activity


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