Overruled! is a game developed by Dlala Studios and published by Team17 Digital Ltd. The game is focused upon a unique concept that I, admittedly, have not seen anywhere else in my years of gaming. In other games, the rules players must follow are set from the get-go but in Overruled! the rules are constantly in flux. The idea of going into a game and alter its rules and mechanics is a very interesting idea that clearly holds some potential. That last word is key. ‘Potential’. The game is designed to be a multiplayer experience, yet in the several weeks of ownwership I couldn’t connect to a single session. How well does the game function? I couldn’t tell you because there was no one to play with. But fear not! There is single-player, though it is not really the best way to get a handle on the game.
The single-player mode is, sadly, very spartan and lacks legitimate challenge as the player is presented with a series of puzzles involving changing rules (such as bolstering the value of coins) than learning the combat and gameplay. With the lack of multiplayer sessions available, this is the experience I am forced to draw from.
Sadly, I am left feeling unfulfilled. I wish more had been done with the game's unique mechanics. When one has the ability to alter the rules of play, even if some must remain constant, there are many things that can be done that simply aren’t realized here. Obviously, there has to be a limit to what can and cannot be changed. Creating a rule that causes all characters wearing funny hats to explode on the spot might be fun, but unless that rule is actually written into the game code, it can’t happen. I’m not going to hold the developers at fault for that though.
What I will hold them at fault for is how uninspired the game's rules are. Part of any good multiplayer experience is the chance to plan your actions ahead of time, like setting value of points. A rule like this may sound good on the surface, but if it is something in a constant state of flux, positive or negative, it can mess up how a person plays immensely.
The controls are confusing as well with a reliance on the keyboard instead of the mouse or gamepad. Well, ‘confusing’ would be the wrong word. More like ‘needlessly cumbersome’. I found myself struggling more to remember which button did what than actually using them to pull off wondrous moves of rule manipulation.
I wish I could say more, be it good or bad, but… I really can’t. This pre-release build is just so bland. If it gets an active multiplayer community it can develop, but I have no knowledge of when or how it will happen. Maybe it will be better as the developers make new rules. There is potential here and, if they buckle down and put some more effort into ensuring interesting rule-combos, it can be a good game. As-is, it’s not good, not bad, just… there.
I dearly hope that, before it gets released, it improves immensely as I like the concept and wish more could be done with it. Honestly, though, something like this with the ability to change the rules on the fly and alter how the game functions seems like it would be more at home in a turn-based game where one can plan out the moves and rule-changes. I hope that this concept doesn’t end up discarded in the swarm of unremarkable Steam games and wish it good luck.