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Posts tagged “alpha”

Feature: Questions later

Police Stories has a free alpha and a lot of potential

There's always a risk in putting out a feature-incomplete early alpha. Will it leave potential purchasers coming away with the impression that it doesn't yet meet their hopes, or will it inspire people to imagine where it could go? That's the gamble developers Mighty Morgan are taking with Police Stories [Steam page] - a top-down police tactics shooter that wants you to think, albeit for…

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Feature: Novel in many ways

Premature Evaluation: Kim

Every Monday, and this Tuesday, Rob Zacny settles down with his game library in search of the next great Early Access game. This week, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Kim. An adventure game based on Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim [official site] is almost as strange and difficult to assess as the book itself. Like its source material, it's full of contradiction and complication, a work…

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Feature: The Long Dark meets Gone Home.

Premature Evaluation: Kona

Every Monday, Rob Zacny braces himself for the chilly wastes of Early Access and attempts to find warmth by the side of a worthy in-progress game. From its opening on a park-bench at a roadside rest stop in northern Quebec, Kona tantalized me with a combination of period detail and immersive-sim mechanics. Before my character, private detective Carl Faubert, even finished his cigarette, I'd made…

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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: Is now the time to get on board?

Star Citizen 2.0’s Big Problems & Bigger Improvements

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas a game. Maybe not a lot, actually, but certainly a little. Star Citizen [official site] 2.0, as the latest alpha update calls itself, is out now and tries to expand the scope of the long-in-the-making, $100 million space game in addition to improving its core fight'n'flight aspect. So the big question is: is now the time to…

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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: Cadaver Laugh

Premature Evaluation: Dead Realm

Each week Marsh Davies haunts the halls of Early Access, scaring up any stories he can find and/or enduring the eternal torment of the damned. This week he’s been playing Dead Realm, a spooky multiplayer game of hide-and-seek made under direction from YouTubers. Pretty much every culture on the planet has a form of hide-and-seek and has done for thousands of years - even the…

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Feature:

Impressions: Satirical School Sim No Pineapple Left Behind

No Pineapple Left Behind [official site] is nominally about magical teachers managing a farcical school, but in reality it's a grim indictment of an education system which prioritises funding and grades over personal development. This means that gags about casting spells to transform unruly pupils into obedient but homogeneous pineapples are about as far as the humour goes, at least in the very early alpha…

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Feature: Better Than The Film Interstellar

Premature Evaluation: Interstellar Rift

Each week Marsh Davies battles the overwhelming urge to flee, struggles through an Early Access game, and comes back with any stories he can find inside. But this week he's on holiday, and so in his stead Brendan Caldwell has played Interstellar Rift, a multiplayer starship construction sim. I spawn on an impossibly advanced spacecraft. We are floating among asteroids and surrounded by a flotilla…

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Feature: Stars in its eyes

Premature Evaluation: Space Rogue

Each week Marsh Davies beams aboard the hostile vessel of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find or otherwise lasers the life support system and surrenders himself to the cold grip of the vacuum. This week, he succumbs to randomised interplanetary peril in Space Rogue, a rogue-like game set in space and strong contender for RPS’s Most Literal Title Award 2015.…

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Feature: H-e-hockey-sticks

Premature Evaluation: Eastside Hockey Manager

As a citizen of Canada, it's safe to say Paul Newman's Slap Shot is the single greatest hockey movie of all time. This is a film so mired in obscurity it's not even possible to illegally torrent like its thematic cousin The Mighty Ducks, so allow me lay the scene for you instead. Slap Shot is perhaps Newman's finest work: a comedy from the '70s about…

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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: 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…

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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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Get Lost: Curious Expedition Free Weekend

Curious Expedition [official site] is a wonderful thing. Taking on the role of a famous explorer/thinker, you'll lead a team of adventurers across randomised plots of land, packed with wonders to discover, dangers to overcome and volcanoes to tinker with. You will watch in horror as your allies resort to cannibalism and you'll celebrate as you discover salvation when supplies and sanity are running low.…

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Feature: Angry squirrels on the final frontier

Early Impressions: Rimworld

The last few times we looked at top-down sci-fi survival-strategy (is that a thing? Genres are becoming so tricky lately) Rimworld it was merely flirting with the idea of being genuinely playable, but recent buzz had it that the Rimworld was now inhabitable at last. It doesn't take much to convince me to starve to death on an alien world, so I thought I'd check…

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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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