Preview: Running Man Meets X-COM In Homicidal All-Stars

There have only been a few games based around murderous game shows, which is surprising to me because it feels like a setting that would fit any number of video game genres. Homicidal All-Stars actually takes this idea and turns it into a turn-based strategy game. And it’s surprisingly compelling.

In Homicidal All-Stars, you’re competing in a gameshow where the stakes are your lives. In-universe, Homicidal All-Stars is the most popular reality game show of the 21st century. The world has gone to shit, so its citizens distract themselves by watching people murder each other on television for money. And if that’s not bad enough, the evil Omega Corporation will do anything to keep their high ratings. To survive, contestants will have to avoid traps, take cover, and shoot their way to victory.

The combat in Homicidal All-Stars definitely has some modern X-COM flavoring to it. You'll have to navigate between full and half cover to avoid damage, and when you shoot at an enemy, you'll have to contend with their cover situation and positioning, which is calculated as a chance-to-hit percentage. Melee attacks, however, are guaranteed to hit and can be devastating. I haven’t spent much time sinking my teeth into the tactical gameplay of Homicidal All-Stars, but I like what I’ve seen so far. 

Not all of Homicidal All-Stars is turn based. Between fights there is real-time exploration. That basically means you can control your character (or party) in a third person view, looking for items, and avoiding (or disarming) traps. The game only goes into turn-based mode once you run back into the competition. In this way it’s almost like a dungeon crawler with turn-based action, just with a game show backdrop.

I definitely enjoyed the time I spent with Homicidal All-Stars, and look forward to going back into the arena for fame and fortune. Or you can go for real life fame and fortune with Homicidal All-Stars’ Twitch integration which, according to its Steam store page, gives your viewers the ability act as the in-game audience and send help or hazards your way. I don’t know if I want to throw myself at the mercy of my (tiny) Twitch audience, but I’m definitely keen to watch others’ digital suffering.


If you want a chance to try out the killer game show yourself, there will be a demo launching today on Steam.

A Steam key was provided to us for this preview

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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.