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Posts tagged “alpha review”

Feature: Throwaway

Premature Evaluation: Garbage Day

Each week Marsh Davies descends like a hungry urban gull upon the reeking heap of Early Access, hoping to yank free a tasty treat without choking on a crinkled Space Raiders packet. This week, he’s been stuck in Garbage Day, a game that is nominally about replaying the same looping time period, again and again, until you piece together the mystery and escape your temporal…

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Feature: MOBA, mo' problems

Premature Evaluation: Dark Nexus Arena

Each week Marsh Davies dons his power armour and plunges into the grimdarkness which is Early Access, coming back with any stories he can find and/or succumbing to the nightmarish seductions of the Warp. This week he’s been conscripted into F2P gladiatorial combat in Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena, an action-oriented pseudo-MOBA moshpit.

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Feature: Afghan wig-outs

Premature Evaluation: Squad

Each week Marsh Davies is Oscar Mike to the FOB that is Early Access and tries to find at least one thing that isn’t FUBAR. This week he’s been taking on tangos in Squad, a large-scale military shooter which claims to be the spiritual successor to the Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality.

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Feature: Naval Hazing

Premature Evaluation: Tempest

Each week, with his beard smouldering and black flag aflutter, Marsh Davies prowls the oceans of Early Access for plunder, slo(o)ping back to port with any stories he can find. This week he’s been further debasing the reputation of pirates on the low-fantasy high-seas of Tempest, a game of naval combat and light ship management.

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Feature: Tyrannosaurus Rekt

Premature Evaluation: Guardians of Orion

Each week Marsh Davies leaps from his dropship into the untamed primordial land of Early Access and unfeelingly obliterates the nascent species he finds. This week he’s turning dinosaurs to chum in Guardians of Orion, a co-op wave-survival shooter. It’s also a top-down game - which you wouldn’t necessarily guess from some of the footage used to advertise the game on its Steam Store page.

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Feature: Well-hung, drawn and slaughtered

Premature Evaluation: Sketch Tales

Each week Marsh Davies turfs through the crude doodles of Early Access and comes back with any masterpieces-in-the-making he can find and/or amends his discoveries with an enthusiastically rendered dick or two. This week there is ample opportunity to append such appendages in Sketch Tales, a firstperson hack-n-slash in which you’re encouraged to re-draw and animate everything on the island you inhabit. I’m guessing the…

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Feature: Celestial Bodycount

Premature Evaluation: Angels Fall First

Each week Marsh Davies screeches out the airlock as part of a frontline assault upon the forces of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or makes no appreciable difference to the war effort whatsoever. This week he’s fodder for the 64-man battles of Angels Fall First, a promising indie alternative to the likes of Battlefront, with space combat to boot.

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Feature: Raft 'n' Craft

Premature Evaluation: The Flame In The Flood

Each week Marsh Davies paddles through the polluted torrent which is Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find, or otherwise tumbles overboard and lets himself sink beneath the surging water. This week he’s been fighting against the tide in The Flame In The Flood [official site], a survival game set in a drowned world, in which a girl and her dog…

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Feature: Walky-Porky

Premature Evaluation: Hardland

Each week Marsh Davies gambols through the lush pastures of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or feeds some ham to a decapitated skeleton while dressed as a chicken. This week he’s been playing Hardland, an unusually gorgeous and imaginative ARPG set in a part-procedural bucolia of rolling hills and haunted forests. Having no head, much less a stomach, it’s…

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Feature: Chop Logic

Premature Evaluation: Ronin

Each week Marsh Davies slices open Early Access like the soft belly of a hapless Yakuza goon and roots around inside for any stories he can find. This week he’s playing Ronin - a game about infiltrating 2D-cutaway buildings and dicing their occupants up via a sharp-as-hell turnbased combat system. “Tip: this is not Gunpoint,” says a little message on the screen. It’s not wrong.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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