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:
June 2019

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Early Access Game

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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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Planned Release Date: June 2019

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Recent updates View all (12)

May 19

Overcrowd makes Indie Prize final + other updates

This month we had some great news - Overcrowd has been selected as a finalist in the Casual Connect 2019 Indie Prize! This coveted award allows us to showcase the game alongside some of the top indie games around. As part of the award, we've been gifted a stand at the event in London towards the end of the month.

We're super excited to have been picked by the judges, who played an early build of the game before nominating us. If you're attending the event, please drop by and say hi!

Polish and progress

Development-wise, I've stopped adding features to Overcrowd and the past few months have been all about extra polish, bug fixing and balance. I can't wait till launch when, after an initial period for addressing any issues that launch might throw up, I can get back to adding more stuff in the game. We'll be publishing a road map soon to give you an idea of our plans.

Release date is coming

I've had a few people asking both on the steam discussion forum, in the reddit group, on Twitter and in the Discord server about the release date. So to confirm, we're planning to release Overcrowd into Early Access in June!

Right now, we're working on a new trailer, and we'll announce the precise date when that goes live. I'll leave you with a gif of some commerce in the game. You can see more pics and vids of the game on Twitter.

5 comments Read more

April 16

Next stop: Early Access

As ever it’s been a busy few months, and I’m happy to report we’ve made a lot of progress on Overcrowd. We are just about on schedule for a (reasonably) imminent launch. More on that later. First, here are the headline features/fixes we've been working on.

Stabilised and balanced procedural campaign
The campaign is now working nicely with a neat new campaign screen. The campaign is entirely procedural - you can enter a new key and play as many as you want, with different terrains, scenarios and goals created each time.

One of the key iterations for campaign is the ability to return to prior levels if you want. The idea here is that you can unlock tech in a later station, then return and upgrade earlier stations further, ideally aiming to get a full 5 stars on every map. I also recently added a difficulty slider in the campaign.

Stabilised sandbox (custom) mode
Sandbox means different things to different people. The campaign in Overcrowd is quite sandboxxy, but it does have restrictions in that you have to unlock the tech tree as you progress and pay for building. In Sandbox (custom) mode you can set how much money you start with and how much tech you can unlock from the start. Alongside this you have full control over the random seed, the terrain generation parameters, goals, victory conditions and map size, amongst other things.

More commuter types
Having rolled out our new sprite animations, we’ve begun to add more commuter types, with more interesting clothing and accessories, to the game. This will continue through early access.

Updated tech tree
We improved the graphics and balanced the rate of the tech tree unlocks across the campaign. Various new tech items have also been added or tweaked.

Staff improvements
Staff now have new hair styles and appearances as well as new tool animations across the board. New staff are randomly generated and will apply throughout a play session. A new staff scheduler means you can tell staff to take breaks automatically at set times, as well as toggle autorest. This works alongside the existing job prioritising features.

Added new GUI elements to show when trains are ready and how many are on arriving trains. I also updated alert GUI elements to slide in, stack and slide out on the side of the screen. Also polished some other elements.

Spatial FX added and music is finalised - I’m super excited about what we have lined up. More details to come.

Ground and weather
You will now have the option of toggling the surrounding ground on and off to show a greater sense of digging underground when you build your station. I've also added some weather effects (rain so far) for atmosphere, but which may cause more water pooling near the entrance as we develop that side of the simulation in early access.

Commuter AI tweaks
Improved commuter flow in various ways.

Is it Spring yet?
A few people have kindly pointed out to me that it is Spring 2019 (in the UK) – the stated launch window for Overcrowd. Will we still make it? The signs are pretty good I’d say. For your information, Spring ends June 21st here and a launch before then is still possible, maybe even likely.

If you have any questions on the game, or just fancy a chat, please drop by Discord and check out the snazzy new server structure. You can also post any thoughts or questions in the Steam discussion forum or the comments below.

Finally, be on the look out for a new trailer showing off everything I mentioned, Coming Soon. In the meantime, here are some more escalators. Thanks!

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, heat, 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.

  • Manage staff
    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 and schedule breaks if you want to be more hands off. 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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