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Posts tagged “Premature Evaluation”

Feature: The clunkman cometh

Premature Evaluation: Chernobylite

Chernobylite, right, is what's known as a technogenic compound. We found bits of the "lava-like glassy material" in the ruins of the Chernobyl powerplant after it exploded, slopped into a continually melting, still hot structure called the Elephant's Foot. Wikipedia informs me it is a "crystalline zirconium silicate with a high (up to 10%) content of uranium as a solid solution". What horrors man hath…

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Feature: One man's trash

Premature Evaluation: Flotsam

Depending on who you ask, the apocalypse is not happening, extremely close, or already here. There's already been at least one casualty in the form of usual premature evaluator Steve Hogarty, who has either been raptured or is away for two weeks. No other explanations are possible. I have filled the time this week with post-global flood city builder/Waterworld simulator Flotsam, a special favourite of…

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Feature: A clone in the dark

Premature Evaluation: Conglomerate 451

Conglomerate. Even the word sounds sinister, like it might throw a burlap sack over your head and bungle you into the back of a blacked out minivan, then pop you in the temple with a silenced pistol and throw your corpse out in the street in front of your mother’s house. Whether it’s the militaristic association of the glottal “cong”, or the overcast bleakness of…

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Feature: Everything is on fire

Premature Evaluation: Noita

As you might have already surmised, Noita is a side-scrolling roguelike in which every pixel is meticulously simulated, from the fanciest molecule of glowing gas down to the lowliest granule of common dirt. Each pebble, spark and drop of water interacts dynamically with everything else. Liquids slosh and flow and form pools, steam and smoke billow upwards and gather along the ceiling in suffocating clouds.…

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Feature: Miracle gro

Premature Evaluation: Atomicrops

It speaks to the uneasy balance between humankind’s pessimism and optimism that we’re all fairly certain we’re going to nuke one another into oblivion at some point, but that it will also be loads of fun for those who survive the blast, with mutated trees and cool trucks and glowing green goop flying everywhere. Atomicrops is one such vision of a cartoonish radioactive future, a…

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Feature: Skate or die

Premature Evaluation: Session

Skateboarding was born out of the surfer movement of California in the early 1950s, when a bunch of surfers were dismayed that their surfboards ground to a halt whenever they tried to surf along park benches or ollie over a man lying down in the street with an egg in his mouth. By adding wheels to their boards, and making the boards really tiny, and…

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Feature: Right side of the tracks

Premature Evaluation: Unrailed

I am repeatedly amazed by my ability to be bullied in almost any social situation, no matter how narrow the means of communication. I’m fairly certain I could be dissed by semaphore, or slagged off over morse code. In four-player co-operative track building game Unrailed you can only express yourself using four emojis and a few resource icons, but even that is enough verbal bandwidth…

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Feature: Mist opportunity

Premature Evaluation: Mist Survival

Of all the different forms of precipitation, mist is by far the spookiest. Mist is the last thing you want to see wafting out of a sepulchre, or coiling ominously around an abandoned log cabin on a moonlit night. Fog – very much the Paul Chuckle to mist’s Barry – will do in a tight spot, but to really get your intestines pumping with fear…

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Feature: O look, a stone

Premature Evaluation: Stone Story RPG

Stone Story begins with the birth of a singular “o”, blinking ceaselessly at the centre of a pitch black screen. Shimmering like buried silver, the text on screen informs you that this is all you see; the rest of the universe lays concealed beneath a veil of darkness. You can’t see or hear anything, but you can, at least, feel the rocks that chafe your…

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Feature: MOBAball

Premature Evaluation: Steel Circus

“You said you’d be here three hours ago,” my friend barks down the phone. It’s 5:30pm and I’m wearing a Harry Potter dressing gown, nursing a lukewarm coffee, and entering my 30th consecutive futureball match. “Sorry about that lad,” I say, feigning remorse. “I’ll be there in a bit.” As you’ve probably realised, I’m not Steve Hogarty. I’m just filling in while Steve’s on holiday.…

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Feature: Hell hath fury to spare

Premature Evaluation: Jupiter Hell

Often I think my life would be better if it operated as a roguelike, where I could wait as long as I needed before every step I took, to consider all possible moves before committing to one. In practice, the ability to pause time for a think would be a kind of living hell. At age three I would become wracked with decision paralysis for…

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Feature: Investing in the cloud

Premature Evaluation: Merchant Of The Skies

I love a game with a bank in it. I don’t know exactly when this happened to me, at what point I became horny for economic stability above all else, but that’s just how tedious my adult life has become. I’m now less excited about the cool stuff that happens most often in games – like strangling your dad to death on the precipice of…

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Feature: More orphan than not

Premature Evaluation: Palmyra Orphanage

Science. What a concept. It’s put men on the moon, chopped up an atom good and proper, briefly eradicated measles and edited the very building blocks of the human genome. But one field of science still eludes even our cleverest minds. What, exactly, is a scare? Well, as far as the boffins can ascertain using the best microscopes available, a scare is a kind of…

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Feature: Reap what ye explode

Premature Evaluation: Nightmare Reaper

Hey, it’s me. I was gone for a while, but now I’m back. Back to prematurely evaluate some early access games, like an impatient baker wrenching open the door of an oven and plunging his fist into a molten ball of uncooked dough. Like an open heart surgeon dialling down the anaesthesia to wake his patient up while they’re still on the operating table, just…

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Feature: Drinks all round

Premature Evaluation: Griftlands

You can buy drinks for reprobates in Griftlands. The mingling crimefolk of this sci-fi card game hang out in bars and harbours, lounging on static screens hoping to sell you stuff, or waiting for a fight to break out so they can jump in for either side. There are hairy bouncers, froglike bartenders, and scar-faced bandits. Cultists, bent cops, and bounty hunters of all kinds.…

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Feature: Jump around! (You can't.)

Premature Evaluation – SlipSlop: World’s Hardest Platformer Game

When I was little, I used to eat cubes of jelly. As in, pre-diluted. You know how Hartley’s jelly came in oblong packets, and your mum would open it and out flopped the cubes of jelly, like a chocolate bar gone wrong or a future dystopian food supplement. I would sneak one of the cubes away and gnaw on it behind a sofa cushion, like…

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Feature: Motorbikes and mushrooms at the end of the world

Premature Evaluation: Failed State

I don’t want to become known for always talking about a thing (like how we all gently rib Matt about being a philsophy-toucher in a way that doesn’t amount to workplace bullying whatsoever). This is why I’ve tried to stop yelling at office co-workers about Chernobyl. I don’t want to be Appropriative Post-Soviet girl, who is probably the rubbishest of the X-Men characters. So my…

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Feature: We're going underground

Premature Evaluation – Overcrowd: A Commute ‘Em Up

Commuting is the biggest self-inflicted wound in human history. Whole cities are designed around countless dead-eyed souls expending enormous amounts of physical and mental energy ferrying themselves between their bedrooms and the place where their employment happens, flushing in and out every morning and evening like fleshy clockwork, like turds on the tides. When the great revolution comes and we are freed of the shackles…

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Feature: Does a robot even know what it means to jump?

Premature Evaluation: Levelhead

Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the few bona fide, mega-brain geniuses working in games. Inspired by the time he watched a plumber die of a concussion near a tortoise, the Nintendo luminary invented Mario in his toolshed in Kyoto, using nothing more than a couple of AAA batteries and a soldering iron.

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Feature: Incy wincy

Premature Evaluation: Dungeon Munchies

A friend of mine works for an insect farm, raising crickets and fly larvae as an alternative protein source for livestock feed, as well as for human snacks. His job is to distract each cricket for just long enough so that a colleague can swoop in from behind and humanely murder the cricket with a tiny hammer. Or at least that’s how I understood it.…

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