At last week’s Juegos Rancheros event in Austin, Texas, Adam Saltsman—best known for his work on Canabalt ($2.99) and Hundreds ($2.99)—gave a short presentation introducing his new game, a survival tactics game called Overland.
While Saltsman’s presentation doesn’t include any gameplay footage, he does take the opportunity to talk about Overland‘s literary sci-fi influences, which include the Strugatsky brothers’ Roadside Picnic and Frank Herbert’s Dune, as well as games like X-COM, Kentucky Route Zero, and iOS favorite 868-HACK. If you’re into menacing and haunted apocalyptic sci-fi or just want to hear a talented designer riff on random generation and gross coral reefs, take a look.
But, in any case, Overland: your goal is to guide a crew of survivors through a series of 7×7 gridded environments, siphoning gasoline, searching for food, and bludgeoning aliens with sticks. You can see Overland in action at its website, or through Saltsman’s series of livestreams, the latest of which is embedded below.
What strikes me about the game so far is how constrained each screen is while allowing situations to spiral out of control. You could, for example, use a car to run over an alien, but doing so makes noise and attracts more enemies. Each character only has two action points per turn, but bad decisions seem to have exponential consequences. Chaos reigns!
Overland is the first game developed at Finji, the studio and indie publisher Saltsman created with his wife, Rebekah. The team is hoping to release Overland simultaneously on desktop and tablet later this summer.