Overcrowd: A Commute 'Em Up is a tactical management sim set on the London Underground that blends base-building, pausable real-time strategy, and spatial puzzling.
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Release Date:
Spring 2019

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The management, sandbox and building elements make Overcrowd perfect for Early Access, where we can hear your ideas, test them out and evolve the game together. Because the campaign and map generator is entirely procedural, replayability is very high.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We expect Overcrowd: A Commute ‘Em Up to be in Early Access for most of 2019.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Currently the game includes a procedural campaign mode, which generates with a series of increasingly difficult stations to build and manage. We have also included a sandbox freeplay mode.

We'll be adding new features that will enable the player the maniplulate their station enviroment with greater precision as well as introduce more commuter types, more objects and more underlying systems.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is playable and stable, with many hours of fun to be had.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The base price may be increased upon release from Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We'll be getting your feedback from all possible channels including direct email, Facebook, Twitter, Discord, Reddit and the Steam forum.”
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Available: Spring 2019


Recent updates View all (10)

February 23

Escalators are in!


The game has been progressing nicely the past few weeks. I thought I'd show you some of the new commuter walk cycles and escalator objects you can build. I'm super happy with them.

Building escalators will allow your commuters some rest as they traverse floors in your station. Take a look:

6 comments Read more

February 2

Lights, cameras, actions! February update

I thought I’d give you a quick update on what’s been going on with Overcrowd in 2019.

First up, I've improved the commuters and staff sprites. As well as looking great with a super smooth walk cycle, we have now animated a bunch of new actions, from sitting, to foot tapping, to using objects and tools.

Combined with a new lighting system, the overall look of the game has taken a big step forward. I can’t wait to update this page and make a new launch trailer to show off the new aesthetic. But for now here's a gif of some staff relaxing in a the staff room (you can see more video on my twitter feed).

Of course, it's not all about the visuals. I’m also working hard to get as many features and items as I can in before hitting early access.

With lots of the core functionality done, I’ve been able to add a slew of new objects. These include new power generators, capacitors, an ornate clock, air purifiers, light fixtures, staff seating, benches, CCTV cameras, a PA system and an arcade machine. And there's more to come.

On the systems side of things, I've been refining a fully customisable sandbox mode. This lets you generate maps, set win/lose conditions, starting money, scenarios and goals, and generally tweak a load of settings to make the game as hard or as easy you like.

Alongside the custom sandbox, there is a procedural campaign. This is really where the heart of the game lies. Your aim is to build a series of underground stations – and a team of staff and procured tech – across a series of increasingly tough randomly generated terrain and scenarios.

Every time you restart you can enter a random seed to generate a new campaign. This should maximise replayability even during early access. I hope to add one or two more game modes on top of this (possibly more challenges or an endless-type play mode), though those will probably be introduced in early access (depending on your feedback).

In the coming months I'll be sorting out a gameplay video showing how it’s all coming together, so remember to check back if you can! If you have any questions, drop by the discord server, start a thread in the steam discussion group, or pop a question below.
5 comments Read more
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“Hugely satisfying ... Overcrowd seems likes a great spin on the Theme template, and I can’t wait to try it again”

“Cool-looking ... quirky-looking ... blends base-building, pausable real-time strategy, and spatial puzzling”
PC Gamer

“A great looking game that has a nice Theme Hospital vibe ... promises plenty of chaos-filled business management”
Alpha Beta Gamer

About This Game

Deep beneath the city, a war is waged. It's called the commute.

Every day, millions crowd the tube in a desperate bid to get to work. Can you build and run the perfect metro station to help them make it on time?

Overcrowd is a tactical management sim set on the London Underground. Blending base building with pausable real-time strategy, Overcrowd offers a unique mix of spatial puzzling, strategic thinking and split-second choices.


  • Unique crowdflow mechanic
    Manage the flow of your commuters via station layout, user-defined directional signage or by ushering them with staff.

  • Detailed simulation
    Everything from bin emptying, generator refueling, power, litter collection, commuter AI and staff activities are simulated down to the individual level. The huge range of interacting systems gives scope for emergent and unpredictable gameplay.

  • Procedural spatial challenge
    Each level has procedurally generated terrain, offering a fresh spatial puzzle about which to design and run your station. With a choice of entrances and tracks, physical obstacles, and limited space and money, you'll have to weigh up your decisions carefully.

  • Novel multi-floor building
    Sculpt your station concourse down to 4 levels underground. Use escalators and lifts to get people around.

  • Tactical staff deployment
    In Overcrowd you have direct control over your staff. You’ll need to assemble a crack team, tool them up and deploy them to run your station in real time. You can also assign them multiple jobs with different priorities. Pausing the action by hitting space gives you time to react and plan.

  • Handmade isometric pixel art
    Overcrowd uses high res, handmade pixel art with no 3D engine shortcuts. View from four angles with high level zoom to see all the detail.

  • Heat signatures
    Anyone who’s ever travelled on the tube in summer knows the heat can get out of control. Overcrowd models temperature and gives you thermoimaging, air con and fans to help keep your station cool.

  • Unlocking, upgrading, expanding
    Unlock better equipment, shops and tools via the procurement (tech) tree.

  • Turning a profit
    Overcrowd features an economy driven by live commuter purchasing. Set shop prices and restock rates in order to make a profit and expand your station further.

  • Commuter AI
    Commuters respond to their surroundings: different environmental insults will affect them in different ways - making them angry, panicked, unhappy or even diseased. Everything that happens affects your station reputation.

  • Criminality
    Early Access will see a range of criminal behaviours introduced to commuters including theft and fare dodging. You will be able to use staff to incarcerate or eject law breakers.

  • Staff behaviour
    Your staff have needs too. Build a comfortable and well stocked staff room to keep them happy, rested and nourished. They also have skills and attributes which can be levelled up or improved through practice.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: TBC
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: TBC
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: TBC
    • Additional Notes: TBC

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