Overture: Aim for a good dungeon-delving time

February 6, 2015


Overture is a single-life dual-stick shooter with persistent upgrades across playthroughs. Combat is mechanically simple: move with the WASD keys and aim with the mouse. Melee characters attack close to their person, while mages shoot fireballs toward the aim cursor. Controller support is curiously missing, though. I don’t mind aiming with the mouse, but I much prefer the analog movement afforded by a gamepad. I’m sure it’s possible to use a controller with the use of a third-party program, but it’d be great to have the option available out of the box and integrated into the menu system.

Overture’s aesthetic is simple and reminiscent of the SNES. It gets the job done, but everything looks zoomed-in. Not only does this make it difficult to see where threats are coming from, but zoomed-in sprites have never looked good. The number of enemies interested in taking you out would be better served by a zoomed-out view as well. It feels like there are sometimes hundreds of enemies around simultaneously, and I’d love to see more of them at their native resolution; there’s no downside to getting more tactical knowledge and a more attractive gameplay experience at the same time.


Playfields are random and the combat works well, making the moment-to-moment gameplay satisfying. It’s great to walk through each level, spewing fireballs the whole time and rescuing NPCs to fight alongside you. You’ll also come across new weapons and armor. I love upgrading my character throughout a run, but I’m never immediately certain whether a piece of gear laying on the ground is better than what I currently have equipped.

There are four characters available to start (Warrior, Rogue, Mage and Shaman), expandable to 24. The 18 additional characters are variations on the four base characters initially available, and each plays differently. Every run, you’ll earn gold for killing monsters. You use that gold to upgrade the characters you have and unlock those that you don’t, and gold persists between runs. You’ll earn more the better you are, but every run is useful in getting you enough cash for that next upgrade or class unlock.

I want there to be more to Overture. The character classes are interesting, but once I found the mage, I didn’t want to go back to the warrior. While I could use my accrued gold to upgrade the warrior or unlock new warrior-type classes, I wanted to use that cash to improve the characters that I already liked.


I also experienced occasional crashing while looking at the stats screen, and Overture could certainly stand to be a deeper experience, but it does what it sets out to do and it does it well. Combat is fun and challenging, and even if I never return to the warrior class, I’m having a good time hurling fireballs and saving townsfolk on my way to fighting giant bosses.

Pros: Rescuing NPCs results in temporary allies, lots of characters to unlock and choose from
Cons: No controller support, playfield is too zoomed-in, difficult to assess dropped items

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.