Best PC games New PC games 2020 Best graphics card 2020 Best free games 70 Call Of Duty: Warzone tips Borderlands 3 characters & skill trees

Marsh Davies

5 years ago

Feature: Mutton Dressed As Lambda?

Premature Evaluation: Black Mesa

Each week Marsh Davies latches onto Early Access like a brain-eating alien parisitoid and slurps up any stories he can find. This week we’re back in Black Mesa [official site] - the classy fan remake of Half-Life 1 in a hybrid version of the Source engine which was used for its sequels. An incomplete release of the project was made available on Steam for free…

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Feature: Drunken Master

Premature Evaluation: Exanima

Each week Marsh Davies lurches drunkenly through the dank cloisters of Early Access and brings back any stories he can find and/or spasms like a misfiring physics object caught in a doorway. This week he wobbles and flails in the low-fantasy RPG Exanima, a smaller standalone “prelude” to the Kickstarted open world game Sui Generis. Exanima isn’t like other RPGs, the Steam store page tells…

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Feature: Tri-hard With A Vengeance

Premature Evaluation: Trine 3

Each week Marsh Davies swings gamely into the haunted temple of Early Access and brings back any stories he can find and/or tumbles indecorously onto a bed of wooden stakes. This week: third time’s the charm (maybe) for the triply protagonist’d physics-platforming sequel, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power. Frozenbyte have really tripled-down on the rule of three: three games, three protagonists and, now, three…

Tagged with , , , , .

Feature: Chernobyl intentions

Premature Evaluation: Survarium

Each week, Marsh Davies stalks through the reality-warping anomaly of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or gets turned inside out by a pocket of non-euclidean space. This week’s precious artifact is free-to-play online shooter Survarium, in which the remnants of humanity tussle over abandoned radar stations and chemical plants, long reclaimed by nature (and other, less natural phenomena). It’s…

Tagged with , , , , , .

Feature: Vein glorious?

Premature Evaluation: Nosgoth

Each week Marsh Davies sinks his teeth into the hot, pumping artery of Early Access and drains its sweet lifegiving essence, leaving only a ragged skein of flesh when he’s done. This week he’s played (or free-to-played) Nosgoth, a team-based multiplayer game in which heavily-armed non-consenting blood-donors clash with the fanged forces of unlife. The general mood has been less than charitable towards this project.…

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Feature: Girder Your Loins

Premature Evaluation: 3d Bridges

Each week Marsh Davies scuttles nervously over the creaking, makeshift architecture of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or plunges to his doom amid a shower of twisting metal. This week, he dons his hardhat and unfolds the blueprint for 3d Bridges, a physics-based construction puzzler in which you construct - yes! - bridges and then run a truck over…

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Feature: Of Mice and Men

Premature Evaluation: Mordheim: City of the Damned

Each week Marsh Davies bleeds for you in the cold, accursed alleys of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or a repulsive corruption born of arcane mutagenic powers. This week he and his band of rat-men scuttle through the streets of Mordheim: City of the Damned - a turned-based tactics game set in the world of Warhammer. Fellow Skaven-fancier Adam…

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Feature: Better Than Scrap

Premature Evaluation: StarCrawlers

Each week Marsh Davies plunders the ravaged hulk of Early Access and smuggles out any stories he can find and/or succumbs to the terrors of the interdimensional void. This week he murders robotic wait staff and asset-strips sci-fi dungeons in space salvage RPG StarCrawlers. It goes on sale tomorrow. Is it any wonder that some members of the gaming community nurse a persecution complex when,…

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Feature: Lestat buff

Premature Evaluation: BloodLust Shadowhunter

Each week Marsh Davies runs shrieking from the burning sun and into the dark embrace of Early Access, coming back with any stories he can find and/or an inexplicable desire to wear fishnets, a top-hat and tinted pince-nez while hanging around in abandoned Chinese restaurants. This week, let it not be said that BloodLust Shadowhunter’s name is too subtle an evocation of vampire fiction. It…

Tagged with , , , , , .

Feature: Castle Doctorin'

Premature Evaluation: Medieval Engineers

Each week Marsh Davies punches a hole through the vertiginous walls of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or watches with grotesque, wet-lipped arousal as the entire structure disassembles in a shower of hot, hot physics. This week, he makes, then mounts, the battlements in Medieval Engineers, a castle construction sandbox. And then he unmakes them, too. Once you’ve built…

Tagged with , , , , , .

Feature: Hive talkin'

Premature Evaluation: Eden Star

Each week, Marsh Davies crashlands into the hostile alien landscape that is Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or an acute appreciation of how precious are the few fleeting moments of life allotted to us on this Earth and whether it really constitutes a full life, a good life, to spend the ever-diminishing number of hours and minutes clicking on…

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Feature: Dead in the Water

Premature Evaluation: Monstrum

Each week Marsh Davies skittishly edges into the gloomy bowels of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or simply hides in a locker and tries not to cry too loudly. This week he dons his brownest trousers and hopes never to face his fears in Monstrum, a firstperson horror game set on a boat that procedurally reconfigures its layout every…

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Feature: Cannon Fodder

Premature Evaluation: Besiege

Each week Marsh Davies hurls himself at the colossal walls of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or soaks the earth with the blood of his fallen foes. This week he is catapulted into Besiege, a beautiful, physics-based, build-your-own-ballista game. Dr Blam is a killing machine. He does not have a medical licence. What he does have is a trio…

Tagged with , , , , , .

Feature: Highly illogical

Premature Evaluation: Tiny Trek

Each week Marsh Davies boldly goes where only a small cadre of erratic and often unintelligible Steam reviewers have gone before - Early Access - and comes back with any stories he can find. This week he sucks in his beer-gut, stretches on his gold spandex top and prepares to beam down into Tiny Trek, a procedurally generated lo-fi space-faring sim. Back when I lived…

Tagged with , , , , , .

Feature: Wet work

How Did They Do… Satellite Reign’s Rain?

In this irregular column, Marsh Davies stumbles across an impressive effect or neat bit of trickery and asks, “How did they do that?” his eyes brimming with tears of admiration and wonder. Then one of the developers tells him, hopefully using terms that don’t cause the soft mass of his brain to boil out of his ears. Something about cityscapes at night triggers a very…

Tagged with , , .

Feature: Animal Crossing

Premature Evaluation: Armello

Each week Marsh Davies sidles into the shadowy world of intrigue that is Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or a knife in the back. This week, he plugs in his bunny tail and assassinates anthropomorphised animals with an umbrella in Armello, a digital boardgame of machiavellian power plays. It would take an Australian developer, apparently not content with harbouring…

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Feature: Buzz words

Remembering Vangers And The Virtue Of Nonsense

Be a good vanger and take the nymbos to Incubator, would you? Grab a jar of phlegma while you’re there - the Podish bunch are due a good smearing. Maybe snap up a tabutask or two if you think your mechos can take it. What’s that you got? An Oxidise Monk? Pfft. Still, if it’s Plump-Up, you might try and run an Eleerection - though…

Tagged with , , , .

Feature: The aesthetics of puzzle game design

A Good Puzzle Game Is Hard To Build

I love puzzle games. But it’s not beating them that’s the exciting part: it’s understanding them. Whether mulling over a cryptic crossword or somersaulting through Portal’s portals, there’s a moment of epiphany which, for me, pretty much transcends all other moments in gaming. But how do you design a puzzle to best provoke that eureka moment? What gives a puzzle its aesthetic, its pace and…

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Feature: Descent of a Woman

Premature Evaluation: Vagante

Each week Marsh Davies shuffles apprehensively into the dank catacombs of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or a faceful of cycloptic bat guano. This week he quaffs an unidentified cyan potion and throws himself onto a bed of spikes, repeatedly, in procedural permadeath platformer Vagante, a particularly Roguish Spelunkalike. Did you play Spelunky and think, “What this really needs is…

Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Feature: From the Tron side of the track

Premature Evaluation: Distance

Each week Marsh Davies revs his engines and tears off into the nightmarish neon digiscape of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or skid marks. This week he speeds into the distance in, er, Distance - a hallucinatory “Survival Racing” game. “Survival Racing” say the developers. It’s an ominous appellation that suggests players might have to rumble along the verges on…

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Page 3 of 4