Production Line : Car factory simulation (or just Production Line for short) has you building your own car production factory in the search of profits by way of starting from the base framework of a car and adding parts and accessories through your production line, then exporting them to be sold at a dealership. The game is developed and published by Positech Games, a one-man outfit from the UK who has held positions at various gaming companies such as Lionhead and Maxis - so the talent here isn’t unknown.
Though there’s a brief outline of the game above, it gets so much deeper than that. Initially, you’ll start out by placing down a slot that builds the base chassis of the car for you. You then pass this chassis into another slot - one that will fit the engine to the car. This process of passing the car along continues until you have a car built and ready to be sold. However, you’ll quickly notice that the process of building the chassis takes much less time than fitting the engine, so now you have a backlog of car chassis sitting and waiting to be dealt with. As with any of these types of resource management games, anything that’s sat waiting is lost productivity. So you add another bay to add engines to the car and things level out again. Almost. Because now something else needs another bay to keep up with the production.
And then, your research team opens up the ability to fit different parts on their own assembly lines, so you go from having one slot that fits a range of things, to many slots fitting each item individually. This allows you to much better organise the flow of your cars, at the expense of needing much more floor space in your factory to do so.
As the game is still in early access, there’s a few bugs and graphical oddities here and there, but the core gameplay loop of Production Line is solid at this point (I played version 1.45). It’s tough though, and will take some learning to work out the best method of car production that gives the best results, but that’s part of the fun with this style of game, in that when it finally clicks and you start raking in the dosh, there’s a deep level of satisfaction that goes along with it.
If you’ve played the likes of Factorio or Big Pharma before, then Production Line will be right up your street. It’s already showing a good level of polish, and the road from here to release should only serve to make the game even better.