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Steve Hogarty

7 months ago

Feature: The Postman Cometh

Premature Evaluation: Willowbrooke Post

Oh, to be a postman. That sultry steward of the mail. That beautiful bastard with the letters. That outrageous freak of parcels. That walking obscenity in Gore-Tex red. That creep who lives inside a van and cannot die, because the postman is both one and many, everywhere and nowhere, always and never. Ding-dong, goes the siren song of the elusive postman. Can you sign for…

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Feature: Twinned with Lazy Town

Premature Evaluation: Factory Town

All of human history is just moving stuff from one place to another. We scoop stuff up out of the ground and stack it into great big pyramids to dispose of unwanted mummies and ankhs. We blast stuff out of rocks and turn it into gardening shears and fidget spinners and lamp shades and clothes hangers, before dumping it all back into the sea –…

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Feature: Would you rather have a robot head or crab claws for hands?

Premature Evaluation: Beacon

David Cronenberg's 1986 horror classic The Fly explored the idea of how much of a fly Jeff Goldblum would have to mutate into before he stopped being extremely hot (the answer, as revealed in the DVD commentary, is as high as 65 percent). It also tapped into a deep seated human fear of being trapped inside an elevator with a fly. But more than either…

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8 months ago

Feature: Grass tastes bad

Premature Evaluation: The Pusher

As a cool person, I know everything there is to know about drugs and drug paraphernalia, such as bongs and what have you. In fact, you’ll often find me hanging out with my fellow dope-fiends in what we in the business call a ‘drugs hole’, where we take weed, cocaine, and the rest of the types of drugs that there are. “Hey, quit hoggin’ all…

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Feature: Dwarfs, building a fortress

Premature Evaluation: King Under The Mountain

Playing early access games is like being flung backwards in time to a proterozoic era of Earth’s formless prehistory, where instead of lush continents and breathable air there are surging oceans of molten rock and noxious clouds of superheated nitrogen gas. And you’re there on this unfinished planet, standing on the precipice of a furious lake of spitting magma, your eyes popping like overboiled eggs…

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Feature: Shadow of the big hairy monster

Premature Evaluation: Praey For The Gods

Praey For The Gods was forced to change its name from Prey For The Gods, after Prey publisher Zenimax opposed the new trademark. Their platoon of lawyers, who I can only imagine swung in through the windows of the tiny three-man studio and started furiously tipping over desks and tearing phones out of the walls, were concerned that consumers would confuse this game, about traipsing…

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Feature: For sale: happiness, never worn

Premature Evaluation: Timeflow

Hello again, it’s me, the premature evaluator. When I’m not prematurely evaluating things, you will often find me sabotaging my own life through chronic mismanagement of my bank balance and available free time. For example, I am writing this article in the very last moments before it’s due to be published, not because I have an especially pressing schedule – I’ve spent the last five…

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9 months ago

Feature:

Premature Evaluation: Meeple Station

Meeple Station is a game about building a space station and keeping its residents alive, a task made all the more challenging by those residents having each been cursed with simulated emotional states, which can become so fraught that they’ll hurl themselves out of an airlock rather than face another second living aboard your creation. So, more accurately, Meeple Station is a game about convincing…

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Feature: What's a pirate's favourite letter?

Premature Evaluation: Atlas

Last week brought news that beleaguered swashbuckling MMO Atlas had been hacked by a bunch of salty ne'er do wells. The keys to an admin account were stolen, allowing hackers to go on what amounted to a trans-dimensional naval joyride. Invincible armadas armed with inexhaustible supplies of cannonballs briefly ruled the waves, which was to be expected. But then planes fell from the sky. The…

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Feature: All dogs are good dogs

Premature Evaluation: Heartbound

My dog has been dead for longer than he was alive, which means I’m long past having any right to fondly remember him as I stare through a rainy window, or to hear his bark on the breeze on warm evening walks along the old railway track. He’s just way too dead to be taking up that kind of emotional bandwidth any more. How weird…

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Feature: Free the nipple

Premature Evaluation: Hades

Large portions of my personality owe a great debt to Greek invention, from ABBA musicals and feta cheese to anal sex and fiscal irresponsibility. But for the past few thousand years the country’s chief cultural export has been its dramatic and complex mythology. A cross between Aesop’s Fables and Hollyoaks, Greek myth forms the basis of every story ever told. Scarface, King Lear, that episode…

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10 months ago

Feature: Card knocks

Premature Evaluation – CardLife: Creative Survival

CardLife is an open world crafting game that, like many examples of the genre, has a hunger mechanic. That means your little cardboard avatar is cursed with the need to eat to survive, or suffer the relatively minor indignity of respawning nearby with none of their stuff. We all know that robots eat nuts and bolts from cereal bowls, that’s basic science. But if we’re…

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Feature: The void pees back

Premature Evaluation: Kynseed

There’s nothing I enjoy more than the interminable march towards the cold embrace of my own grave. When I’m done just throw me in that soily bad hole where skeletons live, I don’t mind. I scream in delight with every fresh wrinkle discovered, each grey fleck found, every stabbing abdominal pain after thirty seconds of light exercise. Let me glide happily towards that eventual death,…

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