Review – I Am Overburdened
Indie games can appear in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes developers focus on building an experience never felt before. Sometimes they just play to our nostalgia. For Magic Item Tech’s title, I Am Overburdened (IAO), the game caters more to the latter.
For the game’s price point, it seemed intriguing. It is a fantasy dungeon crawl in which the hero travels through it’s levels, slaying monsters and obtaining loot. Many of the items found were relatively unimpressive, but a few gave respectful nods to other big elements in the sci-fi and fantasy community.
The focal point of I Am Overburdened is that your character receives twenty item slots. These are filled by opening chests and making purchases, all of which happens in the confines of the dungeon itself. Beyond that, the game demands that you push your luck to go as far as you can go, until you reach the final boss waiting for you at the end. Defeating him was no easy task, and the ending gave an unexpected twist, one that was actually a little satisfying.
Part of IAO’s appeal is building combinations you like, and sometimes, you have to make tough choices. I especially liked the fact that all monsters dropped gold, but some chests required a fee to open them. This made things relatively interesting. Where things fell apart, however, is that it never really explains what the stat items actually grow. Over the course of the game, however, you start to figure it out. For your sake, however, you need to do it quickly.
There are no save points or retries in the game. When you’re character dies, he dies and you have to completely start over. You can leave the dungeon at any time, but doing so loses all items you worked so hard for, so it might not be worth it. Ultimately, once you find a rhythm, the game isn’t that challenging. In fact, beyond item combinations and benefits, it’s actually pretty simple. The controls require you to simply move around the dungeon, and moving into a monster attacks it. Chests reveal items or nothing at all. You can also find gold and stat boost items. Elixirs (dark potions) provide random effects.
In areas when you can buy new items, you are taking a chance to spend gold on something you don’t need, too. When shields, orbs and headgear look similar, you are taking a gamble to replace something that doesn’t need it. Furthermore, once you get a few decent items, the game becomes relatively easy. Once I had about five items, I didn’t come close to dying until I found the final boss. For a game that is designed to push your limits, that’s a huge problem.
I’d like to say this was worthwhile, but the game is actually pretty shallow. True, it provides some whimsical easter eggs, but given the games complete randomness, you may never see them at all. Furthermore a player can spend a few levels playing cautious, then just shred everything once they have enough items. This makes it easy to push your luck and pick your fights, and frankly it could have been done better.
I Am Overburdened comes with a reasonable $5 price tag, but outside of a lot of casual grinding, it’s just not worth it. There’s not a lot to see and do, and once you’ve finished it, the desire to do it all over again just isn’t there. Were this a title that could be finished in a few hours, I might think differently, but for a thirty minute game, it’s just not worth the price. There are good things about this game, but it feels more like a demo than a full title. It just needs more to bring players back.