Date: 11-24-2010 06:00
Author: Rohan Mathur

PDC profile: robo

Apache Overkill is a classic arcade-style side scrolling shooter, where the objective is to get to the end of the level and then fight the boss to proceed to the next level. There are a total of 99 levels, each with a different look. Even though the look of each level changes, the game plays remains consistent throughout the game. The action is intensified due to the levels progressively getting harder from the increased quantity of enemies and their increased toughnesses.

The Review

The game starts with the user in control of a classic Apache helicopter (which exists in real life, named the Boeing AH-64 Apache), which must be piloted through the stage while shooting down small enemies that constantly appear and try and shoot at you. There are also large gunships with mortar guns that come down from the top of the screen. Health packs and weapons are sometimes dropped when you kill an enemy. You'll need those health packs to survive as you only have a total of 4 lives. The first few levels are very exciting, but after a while the levels get very repetitive and disinteresting. I found the enemies in the beginning were pretty easy to beat by simply flying around in circles and holding down the firing button. However, as you progress through the levels, it gets tougher and tougher, almost to the point of insanity. The highest level I have ever gotten to in my 5+ hours of playing was level 31, and at that point, I found it near impossible. So I can't really confirm that the game has 99 levels, but that was what I found that on the developers website.

The overall design of the game seems like a game that is right out of those old arcade machines that you may hear about from your father's days in college or find in an antique store. In fact, while I was playing, I realized that it feels and handles almost exactly like a Metal Slug arcade game. It certainly took me on a trip back to old times where you would have one joystick and one firing button. Sadly, the simplicity of this game is might be overly simplified for the current market. Even though the backgrounds and objects on the screen look nice, there isn't enough variety or detail to compete with modern games. Just because the game is a Minis title doesn't give it an excuse. It seems to me that towards the end of making this game, the developers lost interest in the game. However, I can say the backgrounds in the game are extremely well done varying from snowy scenes to desert wastelands, and may just be the best thing about the game. The sense of depth the backgrounds create is astounding. The game's engine provides a very smooth and connected experience.

The audio of the game is nothing impressive, but it also isn't particularly bad. Loud explosions erupt from your speakers, complementing the explosive actions taking place on screen. However, there were also annoying randomly inserted whistle-like sound effects to occur too often for my liking.

The Bottom Line
Although this game does have its flaws, it was definitely a blast for a while. If you are looking for a brief enjoyable game then Apache Overkill is a great choice. This is not the type of game that one could play for hours on end without getting bored. I must say that at such a cheap price and small file size, this game is a must buy for retro gaming fans.

Developed by Playerthree Studios, this game currently available on North American and European PlayStation Stores. Its purchase will set you back $2.99 USD (1.99/2.49) and only take up 5 MB. It is playable on both the PSP and PS3. I spent approximately 5 hours playing the game on my PSP before the writing of this review.

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