Overgod: great shooter with a stupid name

Slashdot recently ran a review of some of the lesser known holiday season “must have” games. Their conclusion? None of them are that great.
However, buried in the comments, someone gave the name of a nice little freeware game that was too good not to be noticed.

It’s called Overgod. It doesn’t seem to really have an official website, but you can get it here. It is, to quote the Slashdot poster, “hours of blasty fun”.

The Good
It’s fun! Just your little ship vs. three thousand huge war machines.As you might thus infer, OG is amazingly hard. Don’t expect to get past the second level the first time you play it. Did I mention the levels are randomly generated?
Multiplayer mode is also cool. It makes things actually somewhat easier, having someone else around attracting fire.
Much to my surprise, OG ran smoothly at 800×600 on my 300MHz Celeron with a 2 mb graphics card. Bonus points to the author for programming it so efficiently.
Even more bonus points for having Linux and Mac versions in addition to the Windows one.

The Bad
Now, the one part I actually strongly disliked. The name and back story.

For too long has the world been ruled by cruel and disputatious gods! It’s time someone did something about it. You have constructed a vehicle in which to visit the outer layers of the Celestial Oversphere and do battle with those who sit in judgement on the Universe. Failure means oblivion, or worse. Success will strike a blow at the shackles which bind humanity, and let you join or even supplant those you have conquered!

Riiiiight. There’s more, but you get the general gist of it.
While imaginative, this cute little tale has absolutely nothing to do with the game that follows. They could say that the galactic empire was invading and you are the last member of a resistance effort and it would make no difference whatsoever. Why bother with this elaborate story about “the gods”? It could be called “Overthrow”, or “Overmaster” or even “OverG.O.D.” (Overt General Outer Defense) and the player would be none the wiser.

Also, I was rather disappointed in the variety between ships. Each ship has a unique feature that, if it could be combined with with another feature would be pretty cool, but by itself is almost useless. They balance the ships out a bit, so it dosen’t really matter what power you pick. Kinda disappointing, that. You can apply the same stratagy with different ships with about the same sucess rate.

The betterment
The game could be improved some. First, difficulty levels. My younger siblings would love this game, if they could actually stay alive for more then 20 seconds.

I suggest a “build a ship” feature. You’d be able to pick two special abilities for your ship and mess with your starting stats a bit. Not add new stat points, but rearrange your existing ones. For example, I’d love to start with a more maneuverable ship, even if I had to sacrifice some shields to do it.

Overall?
It roxxors. If you are a gamer, you will enjoy this game. Even if you are not a gamer, it’s still fun to play with a friend. Go download it!

FremLog rating: 8.7ish/10

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4 Responses to “Overgod: great shooter with a stupid name”


  1. 1 James January 17, 2006 at 12:06 am

    I emailed a link to this review to the author of Overgod, and he got back to me with this reply:

    James,

    Thanks for reviewing Overgod! It’s nice that people
    seem to like it. But as you noticed, the name and
    backstory are more or less irrelevant. I suppose I
    could have written a more generic ‘kill all aliens’
    type story, but the game doesn’t exactly depend on its
    storyline so I thought I’d write something unusual
    (and pretty stupid). Oh well.

    Also, although the ships are quite similar to each
    other, the differences tend to be magnified by the
    choices of symbol pick-ups that they encourage players
    to make, and by the end of the game they can end up
    very different. Maybe one day someone will write a mod
    for it :) Or I might write an update, if I have
    time…

    Bye,
    Linley

  2. 2 Paul January 31, 2006 at 7:07 am

    Just completed this game, and I have to say its one of the best shooters I’ve played in ages. Its balanced very finely, and as the author says, the choice of pickups very much influences your playstyle in the later levels (10+). Its got a proper tactile feel, like Thrust or Galaga, or any one of the other classic shooters. Fab.

    One tip, if you can survive past the first 5 levels or so, its good policy to have long range fast firing main weapon, with a few shields and decent recharge rate (Yellow Squares and Triangles, Blue Circles and Triangles). Without decent shields, you’re not going to easily survive the later levels. With them, I finished the game with 4 lives left over.. the learning curve was softer for me after level 11 or so, when my ship was powered up. Of course, I was probably just lucky with the random enemies I had to take on.

    One question to anyone who reads this.

    What does Godmode do?

  3. 3 zenmojodaddy May 30, 2006 at 10:18 am

    I am that mystery Slashdot poster. Someone actually listened to me! WOOHOO!

    Since that post, I’ve managed to complete the game on numerous occasions, but since the enemies and power-ups are randomly generated, it’s still fun to play. Plus, it’s just too cool having a weapon called the Eye of Desolation!


  1. 1 fun math review games Trackback on June 26, 2008 at 5:07 am
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