Our Alec was quite taken with post-apocalyptic road trip Overland [official site] when he played the first early access version in April. You might have been out of luck if you fancied a go yourself, though. At the time, developers Finji were only selling keys in limited quantities, a new wave every now and then. Well, now everyone’s welcome. If you want into early access, $20 will see you right.
Overland is a turn-based, squad-based tactical surival doodad of a game. Aliens(?) have come to Earth and you’re on a road trip to escape ’em. Each stop puts you on a teensy scrap of land to scavenge for supplies, maybe pick up a new survivor, and try not to get eaten. The smallness of these encounters and your limited actions make them mighty tense, a game of deciding between losses rather than gains. Heck, you’re often better off trying to avoid killing bugs as the noise will attract more.
Some words from Alec:
“It’s a cruel game, presented as a cuddly game. And what appears simple gradually flowers into something complex, peppered with micro-tactics against specific enemies or to survive specific situations. Found one-shot items can change everything, at least for a turn, while the aforementioned cars open up a new vein of strategy too. You could turn your escape vehicle into a makeshift bomb to buy you a turn, for instance, or drive it over to an endangered comrade and drag her in before making your escape.”
“Everything takes an action, everything involves some small measure of sacrifice, and thus everything is stressful: and it works so well.”
$20 will get you early access versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Itch. I believe that’ll eventually get you a Steam key too. Finji plan to release updates every month but I’ve no idea when the full game will launch.
I first saw Overland back in 2014, when its first public showing was during a Mild Rumpus at GDC. I got to spend four hours slouched on a giant beanbag watching people play and grooving on its cracking twangly western soundtrack. Having seen it way back when, I’m waiting for the final version before returning myself – but even back then it was good stuff. Thought what do I know about its current state? Ignore my ancient impressions and see what Alec thought.