Overcrowd: A Commute ‘Em Up came out of early access on Steam yesterday and is now available with a 30% discount. The reviews are in and they’re pretty positive – the game has been under development in early access for just over a year and many features have been fleshed out for the full release.
Overall, Overcrwowd is a unique management simulation game where you need to design a tube station in a confined space, making use of multiple layers, managing the hordes of people who pour through the doors, while also building around randomized environmental restrictions.
The developer, Square Play Games, is run by just two people. Over the last year, they’ve been very responsive to game feedback from the community and have created what is a very well-polished game with addictive mechanics, easy-to-learn AI management, and a simulation-style that merges puzzle-solving with clever planning.
Overcrowd’s graphics are charming, the sound design is spot on, and the small-scale of all the simulations means that you can complete one map relatively quickly. Don’t let that quick playtime fool you, you’ll be back for more on another randomized map with everything you’ve learned from the first run.
It’s the limited size of each scenario that really sets Overcrowd apart. Because you can’t build directly on top of other layers, of which you can have up to 5, you need to carefully plan out your layout. At first, this might seem a little complicated – it took me a few hours to get my head around effective strategies – but once you understand how it works it’s a lot of fun.
The game isn’t just about building. Managing the commuters and your own staff also become tricky, especially with some of the randomized events that can take place at any time of the day. Think you’ve got a perfectly running station? Try and handle a swarm of football supporters swarming the place, choking up queues, and being sick everywhere.
Thankfully, AI management is a delight in this game, not a chore. The behavior of the AI is pretty smart and are easy to direct around your station with simple commands. It’s fairly realistic in the way that you can’t just fill your station with staff, you need to carefully select your crew to manage your budget.
Overcrowd offers a great sense of progression and a steady pace to the gameplay. Worth checking out on Steam now while there’s a launch discount!