Physics-based brawler Overgrowth released on Steam Early Access

Emanuel Maiberg

It seems like Overgrowth has been in development forever. We've been covering it steadily since 2010 , and while an alpha build was available to players for just as long, it might reach a much larger audience now that it's available on Steam Early Access for $25, down for the first time from the usual $30 for a limited time. Players who already pre-ordered the game will be able to add it to their Steam library and use the auto update feature to keep up with the latest alpha build.

At its core, the game—from independent developer Wolfire—is a dynamic, complex fighting system which you can try out in the alpha's battle arena mode. Rather than the lock-in and dial-a-combo method that is the standard for third-person brawlers, Overgrowth uses a contextual system that allows you to attack and defend in different directions.

Since the animation in Overgrowth is physics-driven, landing a hit and toppling and enemy feel really convincing and satisfying. If you sweep an enemy, you'll see his legs pushed out from under him. Kick him really hard in the chest, and you'll see him fly back from the impact appropriately. It looks cool, but also actually affects how you play, since you can do more damage by knocking your opponent into a hard surface. Add weapons and agile platforming to the mix and you start to see the potential.

The alpha also includes a two-player versus mode, an admittedly incomplete collection of challenge levels, and a level editor. The Overgrowth community has been building content for the game for several years now, so there's a lot to explore there. However, Wolfire makes it clear that Overgrowth is still nothing like a complete game experience. Partake only if you don't mind bugs and missing basic features.

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