Posts Tagged ‘Early Access’

The Lighthouse Customer: Frozen State

By Christopher Livingston on August 18th, 2014.

We're gonna need a bigger everything.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, fighting the cold and popping pills in Frozen State.

There are a lot of ways to die in Frozen State, a top-down survival action RPG that takes place in a snowy abandoned city in Siberia. You can die from hunger or thirst, you can die from the cold, and you can get monstered to death by monsters. You also need to sleep from time to time, and while doing so you can die in all the ways I just listed. What follows is a chronicle of my first nine lives in Frozen State, in which I find those ways to die, and others, and a couple more.

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All The Space You Can Handle: Gal Civ 3 Enters Beta

By Ben Barrett on August 15th, 2014.

You’ve gotta hope space isn’t the final frontier or we’re going to run badly out of places to set games once the current crop are released. Galactic Civilisations III took to Early Access in March in alpha and has now progressed to the beta stage. Along with a star cruiser’s worth of changes and additions, this means it’s come down to a more reasonable price. Space-joy all round. Stardock have put out a surprisingly funny new trailer to celebrate the chunky new patch notes.

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A Log Book: The Forest Diary Part One

By John Walker on August 14th, 2014.

The Forest has been doing really rather well on Steam’s Early Access this year. A survival game with an emphasis on crafting and building, and yet it’s not made out of cubes. In fact, it’s really quite impressively realistic. Apart from, maybe, the mutant horrors. I hope. Oh God, please don’t let those be realistic.

I’ve decided I’m going to master this game. I’m going to be Lord Of The Damned Woods. I’ll document my attempts, in words and video. Here’s the story of my first go.

I got my log cabin. All my life I’ve been waiting for the chance to be stranded in the woods, and have both the resources, and the wherewithal, to build a log cabin. I may have also killed a woman.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Rodina

By Christopher Livingston on August 11th, 2014.

Space: not quite as empty as we've been led to believe.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, seamless solar system exploration in Rodina.

What’s space travel like? Enchanting and serene? Gazing at distant galaxies, skimming past slowly-spinning asteroids, watching beautiful and mysterious alien planets grow ever-larger as you draw closer? Or is space travel scary as hell, requiring you to fight your way through turbulent atmospheres as your ship burns inside and out while swarms of hostile alien ships fill your screen with homing missiles?

How about both? Rodina’s got you covered.

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Hands On: The Long Dark Early Access

By John Walker on August 11th, 2014.

The Long Dark is not a friendly game. I have starved to death. Frozen to death. Died of thirst. And been eaten by two wolves. And I have trudged. A great deal. It’s approaching early access next month, and while already proving impressive, certainly could do with some balancing. My impressions so far are below.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Son of Nor

By Christopher Livingston on August 4th, 2014.

I'm like Magneto, but with sand. There's also a giant butt.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, terraforming sand and terrorizing villagers with Son of Nor.

I lift my hands and the sand at my feet forms into a towering pillar. I point my palms down and the sand retreats, creating a deep sinkhole. I am a Son of Nor, a mystic imbued with telekinetic powers and charged with the protection of my village. And I’ll totally get around to protecting my village at some point. For reals, you guys, I will. Right now, though, I’m trying to raise a sand pillar high enough to cover the buttcrack of the giant nude statue that looms over the town. Why? I have my reasons, and those reasons are: I have sand powers and there’s a giant elevated stone butt.

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No Longer A Mirage: LA Cops Early Access

By Adam Smith on July 31st, 2014.

LA Cops contains more comedy moustaches per screen than the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage video and Anchorman put together. It’s a celebration of facial furniture, with Syndicate-inspired shooting in between bouts of Handsome Cop Admiration. As well as moustaches, the game includes destructible scenery and a buddy system that allows a single player to control a two-cop team, implementing tactics to lure bad guys onto the disco killing floor. The Early Access version, which is available now, contains a single four scene level (taken from the planned eight levels, with a total of twenty scenes). Each of the available cops has a story to tell, a favoured ‘stache shampoo and attributes to upgrade.

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Impressions: Crypt of the Necrodancer

By Alec Meer on July 30th, 2014.

Crypt of the Necrodancer blends roguelikes with rhythm action, neatly makes that wild concept work, and is out on Early Access today. I’ve been dipping my twitching toes in and out of it for the last couple of weeks.

I’ve long been aware of my own challenging relationship with rhythm – although I did take a certain pride in people moving away from my frenzied, unpredictable whirling in clubs – but struggling to cope with even Crypt of the Necrodancer’s sound latency calibration tool was a blow. I stared at the blinking icons and listened to the test tone I couldn’t seem to predict, gripped by professional terror. Somehow I’d decided it was a great idea to write about a game based on rhythm. Now, excuses rushes through my brain. “I damaged both my index fingers while making a sandwich.” “My middle ear blew because my baby screamed too loud.” “It turns out I’m allergic to the word ‘crypt.”

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The Lighthouse Customer: Factorio

By Christopher Livingston on July 28th, 2014.

The factory is a mess, but at least no one works here.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, building efficient machines to make other efficient machines in strategy game Factorio.

I’ve got coal-powered drills digging up resources, mechanical arms collecting the raw materials, and conveyor belts transporting it across the landscape where more arms collect it and deposit it into fabrication machines, after which the resulting product is plucked out by still more arms, dropped on more belts, moved on to more factories. Clouds of pollution fill the air, production lines twist and turn haphazardly, electrical poles and storage units appear to have been placed by a confused and drunken city planner. It’s a mess. A big mess. But it’s a beautiful mess, because it all works.

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The Wicked And The Weird: Darkwood Impressions

By Adam Smith on July 25th, 2014.

I’ve been looking forward to Darkwood for a long time. It’s a top-down survival horror game with crafting elements, but early videos contained a hint of surrealism that helped the game to stand out from the crowd. Now that it has launched in Early Access, I’ve spent an hour exploring the early stages. It’s a slow-paced Teleglitch, a survival horror game by way of Ice-Pick Lodge and Stalker. A few interface issues aside, it lives up to expectations in grand style. There are some spoilers for the prologue section below and I reckon it’s worth going in completely cold, but fear not – I’ll provide a second spoiler warning before going into detail.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Robocraft

By Christopher Livingston on July 21st, 2014.

War never changes. It just rearranges.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, building, driving, and flying robotic cube-tanks in the free-to-play Robocraft.

My robotank, Killdeathinator — named for all the killing and deathinating it’s been dishing out — has just entered its 5th iteration. Killdeathinator Mk 1 had four wheels, a couple guns, and was made of weak plastic cubes. Mk 2 added more wheels — ones I can steer, which I’ve found to be fairly important — and a radar dish to track enemies. Now, lined with gleaming copper armor and bristling with cannons, its become a fairly durable ground assault vehicle. Time to kick it up a notch. Killdeathinator wants to fly.

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Grinding Gears: Clockwork Empires Doing ‘Earliest Access’

By Alice O'Connor on July 18th, 2014.

Just what every growing colony needs: shrines to dark gods.

The whole idea of Steam Early Access is that games on it aren’t finished, but people rightly expect certain (and sometimes unreasonable) levels of completeness, workingness, and polish. If a game is a bit too wonky when it hits Early Access, it may struggle massively to overcome spreading word that it’s a garbage scam. Needing time and more testers to give Clockwork Empires a going-over before it’s ready enough for Early Access, the gang at Dungeons of Dredmor creators Gaslamp Games are today launching it into what they cheekily call Earliest Access.

If you absolutely positively cannot wait to have a crack at the colonial city-building/Lovecraftian nightmare fun that made our John fizz and foam so much, Earliest Access will open tonight.

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Roguey Is A Dancer: Crypt Of The Necrodancer

By Alec Meer on July 17th, 2014.

I’m exploring the disco dungeons of Crypt of the Necrodancer right now, though I’m saving words for a little closer to its Early Access release. I’ll say just this for now: you’re going to see photos of me using a dance mat, and for that you have my eternal pity. Dancemats (official Necrodancer variants of which are now for sale) are not the only way to play this rythym-action rogue like, but they are certainly the most tiring, sweat-inducing and inefficient. And therefore best. Gamepads and keyboards are an equally-supported system of duffing up skeletons and opening chests by moving your character’s feet to the beat though, fear not.

Here’s a new trailer that sells the tone and danceability of Brace Yourself Games’ dance dance dungeonering game rather well. Ooh, the things a well-timed screen-shake can do.
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