Freeware Garden: Over My Dead Body

The ghosts, the gunmen and the zombies.

Noel Brody worked for the evil Mortiga Consolidated, but never suspected that protesting the weaponization of her research would lead to her being murdered. What she further failed to imagine was that her death would also transform her into both a zombie and a ghost and get her to star in her very own game: Over My Dead Body.

Noel must now fight her way through Mortiga’s lovely-yet-deadly isometric corporate headquarters and exact horrible, bloody revenge on all the immoral bastards who killed her and are apparently about to kill more people for money. Finding a cure for her doubly-undead affliction, or possibly reclaiming her work for the good of humanity, should be considered an added bonus.

But that’s enough plot for you. The real reason for playing Over My Dead Body is experiencing the pretty fabulous idea of being both the zombie and the ghost, and unlike everything I have played so far, doing so simultaneously. One stick controls the zombie, the other the ghost and you’ll have to be smart and coordinate your movements in order to progress.

Oh, yes, and the scientists too.

Get those undead avatars too far apart from each other and your screen will split in two halves, which adds that extra bit of confusion. Of course, you can always choose to make things even harder by opting to use the WASD and cursor keys on your keyboard instead of the joypad, but that’d just be mad.

Coordination and reflexes are paramount in Over My Dead Body, as is the ability to solve straightforward puzzles. Your zombie and ghost forms come with different abilities, with one being an ethereal manifestation who can somehow operate terminals and the other being a very physical, very murderous moving corpse. Stunning a guard as a ghost and then eating him up as a zombie is only the most rudimentary of the many puzzle possibilities the dev has implemented.

Over My Dead Body is a varied, clever, charming, always-challenging and at times frustrating game. The only drawback is that things can get a tad slow towards the middle of the thing, as you methodically have to survey large levels and overcome too many obstacles. Oh, and herding panicked scientists towards consoles, though a fun little idea, can be frustratingly fiddly.

Then again, innovative games always come with stuff to be ironed out in later iterations and Over My Dead Body is both innovative and great fun. Highly recommended.

13 Comments

  1. caff says:

    Another very nice lil game! You found some good ones this week Konstantinos :o)

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    Oakreef says:

    Heh I was kicking around an idea in my head for a story where someone got their soul taken out of their body but both still worked autonomously and were trying to find each other but then it was awkward when they reunited and discovered they’d both actually changed a bit. Wasn’t supposed to be a zombie though or dead so it’s not really the same but I’m defo going to check this out.

  3. Bishop says:

    I couldn’t tell if this was supposed to be a co-op game. Maneuvering two characters at once isn’t too hard but when you need perfect timing on both it’s a lot more difficult.

  4. Themadcow says:

    The graphics just gave me a flashback to D/Generation on the Amiga.

    Which incidentally is getting a remake, as reported on this slightly dodgy looking hacksite: link to rockpapershotgun.com

  5. Ditocoaf says:

    So… am I not allowed to be a PC gamer without a gamepad anymore? More and more, I’m seeing PC games reviewed with the assumption that you own one. The only question is “should you use your controller or the keyboard”, never even answering “is this worth playing on keyboard, if you don’t HAVE a controller option?”

    Are controllers just as essential a piece of equipment as a monitor or a mouse, at this point? I find that hard to believe, but the way people talk on PC gaming sites, it’s starting to feel that way.

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      Oakreef says:

      Depends entirely on what kind of games you want to play. You like RTSs? A controller is not going to be of much use to you there. You want to play a 3D platformer? Get a gamepad stat.

      • Ditocoaf says:

        I played Psychonauts with a keyboard and enjoyed it immensely.

        Maybe I am just mad. (Still though, I’d appreciate it if there was more info out there for insane keyboardy people like me.)

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          Oakreef says:

          Psychonauts is very playable with a KB+M but I when I switched to a pad for it I thought it was much better.

    • Beefsurgeon says:

      Doesn’t the author’s assertion that it would be mad to play with a keyboard answer your question?

  6. Nixitur says:

    Hmm, I just played a bit of it and got frustrated at level 3, “Science Justifies The Means”, the one where you have to scare scientists from one place to the other.

    First of all, the biggest danger to the scientists isn’t the traps, but the freaking zombie who just jumps on them if they come even just slightly close to her.
    Secondly, having two scientists near a terminal really screws things up. If you move one of them away from it, the terminal turns off, even though the second scientist is still there.
    Thirdly, the doors sometimes don’t work. Even if the terminal is green and the door looks like it’s open, there’s an invisible wall instead.
    Fourthly, there is no way to stop controlling a scientist other than moving him next to a terminal or waiting around.
    Fifthly, the scientist’s idle behavior is really inconsistent. If you move him next to a terminal, he’ll stay there, but if you stop controlling him by just waiting, he’ll move around like an idiot, preferably right into the zombie.
    Sixthly, while the game recommends playing with a gamepad, you have to press ESC to access the menu or restart from a checkpoint.

    Especially point 3 really annoyed me, to the point where I just stopped playing because the game regularly glitched out in that way, stopping me from completing the puzzle and forcing me to restart from the last checkpoint which is often the very beginning of the level.
    So, while I can see that the game is quite clever, some really bizarre design decisions keep me from enjoying it.

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      Harlander says:

      I had a go of it yesterday as well, and came away with much the same conclusions. Clever, but needs a little bit of polish.

      Also: ZOMBIE GOASTS LEAVE THIS PLACE

  7. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    This would really benefit from more frequent saves points (a Gunpoint style system would be great). A lot of the error states are final (restart level/checkpoint due to either character death, or killing a needed scientist), and having to redo a sections you know how to get past is frustrating as while the act of figuring out solutions is fun, the mechanics of doing it aren’t particularly enjoyable. I do quite like the dismembering attack of the zombie though :-)

    I’m giving up for now on the homing-turret level, but I might come back to this after a break on other things.