Developer: Positech Games http://www.positech.co.uk
Full disclosure, games like Production Line would take up 5 or 6 positions in my all-time favourite games. I spend hours playing management games. When I was younger, I could play these games all night after getting home from university or the office. I still, at times, find myself playing games in the genre until 4 in the morning, although this is a rarity nowadays.
Production Line may only be in Alpha, but I found myself hooked almost instantly. I downloaded the game direct from the Positech website after seeing it listed on Facebook. I decided to download it and play for around an hour before heading to bed. However, at 2 in the morning, I was still playing. I had completed my primary objective of creating and selling a mountain of cars but had encountered, through research, new options to add to the production line and the cars that were rolling off of it. Eventually, reluctantly, I did switch off and head to bed.
However, the first thing I did the next morning was post on our Facebook page about the game, sharing the website and the various YouTube dev blogs. I then booted up my laptop and started the game again. This time starting afresh, as I wanted to produce a more efficient production line and to ensure I left space for the extra options I would be looking to unlock through research.
Production Line starts you off with a relatively small factory with an objective to build cars, expand and make a profit. This is a simple concept and is why the game is so easy to pick up but, with all the extras lurking underneath the hood, it can be complicated to master. You strive to include as many extras to your cars as you can while optimising you various lines, stock, and export channels to boost your profits.
The game has intuitive controls, in line with most other games of this genre allowing you to pick up the game relatively easily. The 3d isometric graphics providing a birdseye view of exactly what is going on in your factory, allowing you to see, and react to, backlogs and snarl-ups caused by a slow process or lack of stock items required. In some cases, it may be that you can upgrade the robots in that production area, or add another production area, thus reducing the time cars line up to be painted or have their chassis installed.
The research component of the game allows you to invest in optimising productivity or invest in extras for your car. As you unlock new extras for your car, the complexity increase as you have to add specific areas that, for example, produce and install a set of wheels made in the factory. Rather than just installing a set of pre-made wheels from a supplier.
As the cars roll down the production line, you can see them taking shape in readiness for sale to the consumer.
At present, you can only create one type of car saloon/sedan. However, you can make different versions of this car. It is worth remembering, the game is in early alpha and Cliff Harris the developer is active in asking for feedbacks in his forums. The current leader in the vote for the next car type is SUV, but Cliff doesn’t expect to stop there.
Frequent alpha releases, an active forum and Cliff’s own involvement, directly with the current players, will hopefully ensure that Production Line releases later this year, as expected, with all of the features we are waiting for.
I am going to continue covering Production Line until release, culminating in a full review. However, if you are interested in the game, it can be pre-ordered, along with alpha access for just £8.99 direct from the Positech Games website, linked above.
Written by Neil Dutton
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