We step up to the challenge to design and build the most efficient metro stations known to man!
When looking for new games to play you'll always have the option of going big on concepts--sci-fi worlds, extravagant characters, ultra violence and magic for days...but what always seems to draw me in the most are titles based on real life situations with a twist...and what could be more 'real life' than a whole management game built around the 'ole train commute.
Choosing a station to start with, you're presented with some lines - possibly underground - and some entrances, and all you've got to do is put platforms in and link them up. Easy enough? Well, it gets a little trickier right from the get go. To reach those subway lines you're going to have to dig deep, literally, and planning the layout of your station optimally ahead of time is difficult and crucial to a good station. Once you've figured that out, you have to put in staircases or elevators, turnstiles (and fences, to stop miscreants fare dodging), ticket machines (on the right side of the turnstiles), and configure that signage to make sure people can get from A to B without getting too angry!
Of course, commuting is rarely a stress-free experience, and your commuters will appreciate everything you can do to make their lives a little easier. A place to get a coffee or a newspaper, somewhere to sit down -- all important for that crucial customer satisfaction. The more satisfied your customers are, the more rewards you'll get.
The game's levels are quite neatly split into two parts: the first part, is where you need to get the basics together before you can even open your station (with the entrances and platforms mentioned above) and you can do a lot before you open your station for the first time to commuters. If you can afford it, then beautifying the place before you open it will pay dividends. If not, then be careful not to disrupt your already frazzled customers!
But, you can really see in real time what your commuters are thinking, and responding to them quickly will really help to improve those ratings. Hiring staff and resourcing them to help keep things running smoothly, be it to refill generators, empty the trash or perform first aid, is super important, and remember to give them their own amenities too - they need a little rest and recuperation as well. A happy worker is an efficient worker, and an efficient worker means happy commuters, and happy commuters ... you get the idea.
Most of my time spent playing Overcrowd was in sandbox mode, which came out to be slightly easier than the campaign's realness by granting you a good chunk of cash at the start - though perhaps in opposition to some sandbox modes, you still have to work through everything else to unlock different levels of equipment, utilities, platforms and amenities.
Playing the game through does get you subtly tutored - in the earliest stages, you're mostly concerned with a simple station, and manually allowing the trains in to get a feel for how this is important to the game, and how the station dynamic is going to work. As the options grow more complex, it cuts you a break by allowing you (if you have enough money) to automate the train signalling, so you are freed up for the important business of commuter satisfaction.
On the whole, a fantastic game that is bound to draw you in and make you stay. I can fully recommend this if you're a fan of builders, pixel graphics, or management games! It's wonderfully easy to get into, gently teaching you everything you need to know--but has the true addicting staying power to keep you interested for hours on end. I do hope if you're a fan of the genre that you'll check this one out--you'll be very pleased you did so!