Guilty pleasure: The Typing of the Dead: Overkill

Wikipedia defines a guilty pleasure as ‘something, such as a film, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard, or is seen as unusual or weird.’

That statement doesn’t mention video games but all gamers have one: the title you love to bits but are too scared to admit in public. Maybe it’s that annual EA Sports release you’ve denounced as a blatant marketing ploy but then go home to play and win the World Cup. Or perhaps that new release you’ve joined in with the bashing of on an online forum before quietly collecting every hidden item throughout the remainder of the evening.

The House of the Dead: Overkill is a first-person rail-shooter developed by Headstrong Games and originally published by SEGA in 2009. The story takes place in 1991 when Special Agent G is sent to Louisiana to investigate a series of disappearances and hunt down crime lord Papa Cesar. Just when you think it can’t get any more clichéd, along comes partner Detective Isaac Washington who’s out to seek revenge for the murder of his father – and don’t forget about the infestation of mutants.

What if you kept the B-movie plot and zombies, but replaced the guns with a keyboard and bullets with random (and often crude) words? It sounds pretty bizarre but what you’ll end up with is Modern Dream’s 2013 release The Typing of the Dead: Overkill, and my very own gaming guilty pleasure.

Opinions of the game are somewhat mixed and it currently has a user score of 7.7. Some people praise it for its sense of innovation and comical wisecracks, but others criticise it for its juvenile humour, excessive use of the F-word and lack of gameplay. For example, take a look at some of the negative comments on the Metacritic page:

  • “There is no setting to alleviate the constant barrage of F-bombery. There are single sentences with three or four curses. It’s really just a lack of imagination.” – ebinary
  • “Having made it through the first two levels, I’ve already been exposed to tasteless cripple jokes, completely unnecessary levels of swearing, and a vomit-inducing fight against two zombified strippers. I’m no stranger to adult content in games, but I was quickly overwhelmed by the exploitative tone of this game.” – titlebreaker
  • Animations are poor, environments bland and uninspired and its just a whole bunch of horror clichés being thrown together. Meh.” – DFCZE

  • I really shouldn’t like The Typing of the Dead: Overkill as much as I do. It features Varla Guns and Candi Stryper as two of its protagonists, described as ‘the hottest stripper on the Bayou City club scene’ and portrayed as the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype respectively. Bosses such as mutant strippers Coco and Sindy bring the tone down even further – and I haven’t even mentioned the gratuitous boob shots yet.

    Considering all of this, I should be shouting ‘Sexism!’ from the roottops. But I love it because it’s just so damn camp. The B-movie grindhouse style and vintage soundtrack encourage players not to take the title too seriously and I can’t seem to stop myself from laughing at the parade of scantily-clad mutants and F-bombs. I know that’s possibly a little hypocritical of me considering my thoughts on females in gaming – and yes, I can laugh at some pretty immature stuff – but I just can’t help but get sucked into this game.

    The Typing of the Dead, Overkill, video game, boss, cow, Meat Katie, cleaver, food preparation

    I mean, come on. You’re fighting a boss called Meat Katie, a grotesquely-mutated butcher woman with a cow skull and udder attached to her body who uses a giant meat cleaver in battle. You’re confronted with phrases such as ‘udderly delightful’, ‘sirloin surprise’ and ‘food preparation’ until she’s forced backwards into a meat grinder and dies with a moo. How can you not laugh at that?

    Nintendo Power apparently once called The House of the Dead: Overkill ‘one of the Wii’s greatest guilty pleasures’, so The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is worthy of being mine. There may be a stream coming soon…

    13 thoughts on “Guilty pleasure: The Typing of the Dead: Overkill

      • I played it for a bit last night! Unfortunately we’re not quite over the house renovations yet and our current table is too high to type comfortably – but once we’re sorted, expect a full stream. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • Just prepare yourself for plenty of unnecessary F-bombs, and not being able to play this game while there are any young and impressionable children around. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Does… Does the dog count? 🐕 … He’s pretty impressionable 🤔. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll make sure he’s out the room.

          Tbh it’s more than likely that I’ll get some f-bombs from off-screen as my mechanical keyboard is pretty loud and I love to hit the keys hard even when I’m not typing to blast zombies… This can cause annoyance in the household…


          • Expect the household the learn some even more colourful words then, there’s plenty in the game!

            I wish I could install it on my work laptop… I’m sure I type faster on it than on my home keyboard…

            Liked by 1 person

    1. My guilty pleasure was Dragon Quest Builder. haha. I haven’t played any of the newer Dragon Quests since the original NES version (and maybe the nes versions 2&3). Anyway, I liked it, but its cutsey anime aesthetic isn’t my normal thing. Still, it has about 3 times more content than your average $60 game, and I only paid like $45 bucks for it on release. I played it all the way through and lent it to a friend (partially to alleviate the guilt) and he ended up guiltily playing the whole thing through as well. ha!


      • There seems to be a trend in that people’s guilty pleasures are something completely different to the things they’d usually go for. For example, you with a game with an anime look – and me with a game that features strippers and sexism! Maybe that’s where the ‘guilty’ part comes from…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, or it’s something we know is bad for us, but we want to do it anyway. At 36, and this is going to sound pretty pathetic, but if I drink two beers I’m gonna really feel it the next day, yet I still end up doing it from time to time. 30’s def not the same as bein in my 20’s.

          Sometimes just playing video games in general is a guilty pleasure too, right? It’s sometimes hard to justify when there’s so many other things to take care of and so many other real amazing things to do our there in the world.


          • That’s definitely right: the older we get, the harder it is to find free time when we haven’t got to get anything else done. I read in a newspaper recently that our lives are the busiest at age 36 and then they start to gradually slow down, so we can see if that’s really true next year.

            And it’s good to hear I’m not alone on the two-beers-thing ha ha ha! 😉


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