Overruled! Early Access Preview

Do you feel like hitting something today? A nude clown, maybe? A tough-talking action hero? An adorable werewolf girl? Well, of course not the cute werewolf, but still, if you’ve ever wanted to sock a nude clown in the face, then we have some great news for you!

An early access release of Team 17 and Dlala Studios’ new brawler titled Overruled! is available for your eager little mitts on Steam.

The early version of the game includes a campaign mode featuring an ironically named character called Indie, with a ‘fro as fabulous as one could imagine. The campaign is entitled “Indie’s Torment” and in our capable hands, it certainly lived up to its name.

The most interesting quality about Overruled! is that the rules can be constantly changed mid-game. The placement of items in various stages and levels can be altered, you can add extra weapons, change modes, multiply coins and points, and much more besides. If you’re a fan of being a cheeky jerk to your friends in fighting games, then you are absolutely going to adore the perpetual chaos on offer. Even though it can be a bit hard to pin down, this also offers an interesting level of strategy. In a brawler that can so easily turn into absolute madness such as this one, that’s actually an interesting spin for the game to have.

As well as interesting mechanics, the game sports excellent control when moving your character. Jumping is solid and easy to pick up, with Indie able to stand out from the background well enough that there’s little chance for any confusion. Aiming weapons and gathering items also has a natural flow, which is especially nice. Environmental feedback is especially important in fighting games, and the player needs to feel as though every movement is precise; this has really been achieved here. Another thing complements the controls is the fact that controller options have already been implemented. For players who aren’t so great when it comes to fighting games with a keyboard/mouse combo, this is greatly appreciated.

The art design here is worthy of note. The game is very stylized with the fighters being small, “chibi”, doll-like characters, while sporting some contrasting, funny designs. The washed out pastel colors keep the game from becoming too adorable and stays away from that level of cute where you just don’t feel comfortable throwing punches anymore. It blends in with the levels and platforms in a very lovely mesh, somehow making these characters both offbeat and visually pleasing. The art style is slightly reminiscent of Plants vs Zombies. Overruled! has a definitive, stylistic choice going here that, again, doesn’t make it as colorful, but, as a design choice, this works in its favor.

The overall sound quality in this game is tremendous. Overruled! strives to create an epic, adrenaline-pumping sound in its own recognizable style. It succeeds, though whether it is up there with the soundtracks of gaming legend is in doubt. Even still, the music made us excited to play and we commend the title’s cast on the voice acting as well. It’s no small feat to manage to make your game come off as stable and cohesive, but also not taking itself so seriously that it takes away from the environment.

Overruled! contains a lot of in-jokes and pop culture references. Even just listening to Indie talk and make his comments after each successful level had us snickering. Something about that deadpan delivery while looking at something so ridiculously adorable just lends itself well to the general humor. The comedic touches in these choices are there but are also surprisingly subtle and don’t take away from the experience. Too many pop culture references or in-jokes can be a hindrance rather than a clever addition to a game. Anyone who experienced Duke Nukem: Forever can tell you that while rolling their eyes and groaning.

What shines here are the customization options that are available to keep the combat interesting and fresh. No two battles could end up being the same between a set of players and especially not with four people playing at once. We do hope they end up adding more characters to the roster in the future; we’d really love to see what else they can come up with in this phenomenally bizarre style. It’s always nice to have more folks to knock around and shoot missiles at.

Overall, this game looks promising. The moment we turned it on, we were excited to see what lay ahead. Everything is solid, entertaining and ripe with promise here.

If you’ve never wanted to punch a naked clown, you will soon enough.

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