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Overcrowd turns commuting into a cute management game

Overcrowd: A Commute 'Em Up is a game obsessed with the teeming masses of commuters cramming themselves inside cramped trains and busy stations in the London Underground. It started life as a simple mobile game but has since become a PC management romp that's also due to be collected by the London Transport Museum. It's hitting Steam Early Access next week. 

While the typical management game concerns of construction, purchasing items, hiring staff and keeping morale up are all present, Overcrowd is particularly interested in the people using your station, with an emphasis on managing the flow of the crowd. You'll need to plonk down staff tactically, as well as building your station and placing items to keep the people moving.

Developers Alastair McQueen and Sarah Testori are based in London and the concept came from McQueen's commute on the Piccadilly Line. Just drifting through the Underground is a nightmare, so everyone that has to actually work there and deal with all the stressful travellers is a saint. Despite the cheery aesthetic, managing a station will presumably be a Sisyphean task. 

It's also going to be preserved by the London Transport Museum, and potentially exhibited. 

"Overcrowd is a charming creative interpretation of London's public transport network, and one that we wanted to preserve as a snapshot in time,“ said London Transport Museum's Dr. Ellie Mills. “It shows the affection people have for the system and the significance of London's transport around the world. The game was inspired by journeys across the network, and also by one of the Museum's Hidden London tours. Even without the typeface, roundels and signage, it cleverly captures something of the character and feel of the network."

Overcrowd is due out on Steam Early Access on June 6.

Fraser Brown
Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.