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 It's common in the games industry to hear people complain that there's a noticeable lack of “funny” games out there; games that strive to make the user laugh without taking things too seriously. Whether it’s a lack of good writing, a lack of care, or a lack of profitability, funny games are spread thin amongst the ranks of shooters and sports sims. And that’s what makes Overlord one of the most compelling titles to hit in quite a while.
Like Monkey Island and Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Overlord is a game built from the ground up to amuse the player with a range of comedic themes ranging from dry, snappy wit to flat-out slapstick and bodily humor. Indeed, the charm and sheer whimsicality of the title would merit attention alone, but thankfully there’s a good game to be played here: one that mixes action and strategy elements to engaging effect.

As the newly-crowned Overlord, your job is to venture out into the relatively peaceful lands of the world and take back that which was taken from your master: the reign of evil over the world. With your tower in ruins, you start your modest quest with nothing but the axe on your back. Quickly, though, you’re able to form an army of loyal-to-a-fault minions who will do your bidding as you quest forth to rebuild your evil empire one soul at a time.

The core gameplay, which involves completing various quests by hacking-and-slashing your way through the opposition, is much in line with the typical third-person action-adventure game, complete with armor and weapon upgrades. The twist is that you’re able to manipulate a force of minions, who will attack on command and fight to the death. Though you yourself can attack with your weapon and cast some mighty spells, your minions will be doing the majority of the work, as you send them to fight for you, transport objects, and loot items.

That’s not all, though. Initially, you’ll have access to only one of four possible minion types, each with its own unique abilities and traits. For example, the “Browns” are your main attack force; clumsy physical warriors with a soft spot for alcohol. However, send them near fire and you’ll quickly find yourself without a force. Call in the “Reds”, however, and the fire will pose no threat. Micro-managing the different groups of four minion types in conjunction with various environmental puzzles leads to some inventive (and oftentimes challenging) puzzle-based obstacles that help to break up the otherwise straight-forward action sequences.
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