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Posts tagged “alpha”

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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Feature: Whet your appetite

Premature Evaluation: Subnautica

Each week Marsh Davies dips a toe into the unknown waters of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or decompression sickness. This week he slaps on a snorkel and dives into alien aquatic survival game Subnautica. Snorkel is a great word. Snork snork! 2014 was the year of the indie survival game. 2015 looks very much like it might be the…

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Feature: Save your bucks

Premature Evaluation: The Deer God

Each week Marsh Davies launches himself into the bestial bloodbath that is Early Access and comes out with whatever stories and/or handfuls of porcupine innards he can find. This week he gets his game on in the weird woodland-themed survival-platformer hybrid that is The Deer God. And today in Least Fulfillable Game Development Promises: The Deer God “will challenge your religion and your platforming skills”.…

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Feature: Safe bet

Premature Evaluation: The Masterplan

Each week Marsh Davies saunters nonchalantly into the forbidden vault that is Early Access and then, after a few muffled shrieks and thuds, saunters back out again with any stories and/or incautiously guarded diamond tiaras he can find. This week he steeples his fingers and prepares to execute The Masterplan - a top-down realtime heist-em-up. Remember Subversion? It was the project that almost brought down…

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Feature: Snow Joke

Premature Evaluation: Eternal Winter

Each week Marsh Davies staggers off into the barren, frigid wilderness of Early Access and comes back with whatever stories and/or slabs of dog meat he can find. This week he sticks on his mitts and braces for subzero survival sim Eternal Winter. There’s good and bad failure in games. Good failure teaches you something, whether about your own resolve and ingenuity or the world…

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Feature: Darwin's Monsters

Hands On: The Curious Expedition

The Curious Expedition is a breezy, bright and endearing game about small groups of explorers who head into the unknown to seek golden pyramids and other wonders, natural and man-made. There have been comparisons to FTL, which are understandable but not entirely appropriate. While many of the same elements are included - a journey, a 'crew', permadeath, limited resources, randomisation, emergent narrative from minimalist components…

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Feature: A Mug's Game?

Premature Evaluation: Massive Chalice

Each Monday, Marsh Davies splashes around in the shallow end of the Early Access gene pool and brings back whatever novel splices and/or horrific abominations he can find. This week he crunches chromosomes in fantasy lineage sim and turn-based battler Massive Chalice. Score one for diversity in games: the realm has just been saved by a nearsighted, asthmatic, drunk lady. Marginalised wheezing pissheads rejoice! (Though…

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Feature: Barely Created?

Premature Evaluation: Miscreated

Each Monday, Marsh Davies scours the apocalyptic desolation of Early Access for precious artifacts and/or tins of beans. This week he staggers through the irradiated online survival sandbox of Miscreated. In this particular post-cataclysm nightmare, I play a bald man of grim countenance, maniacal staring eyes and no pants. In fact, when I first toggle into thirdperson, it appears I don’t even have legs. So…

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Feature: DOA?

The Lighthouse Customer: RIP

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. But Chris isn’t here this week, so Marsh Davies has hurriedly stepped in to tug on the kevlar-flavoured war-teat that is RIP, a military multiplayer FPS which lays somewhat dubious claims to MOBA mechanics. In the week that a new Call of Duty launches, you might…

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Feature: Assassins Bleed

The Lighthouse Customer: Metrocide

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, inept murder-for-hire with top-down assassination game Metrocide. In a game where some people are victims and others are killers-for-hire, it's a little odd to complain about being the one with the gun. But this assassin is having one hell of a rotten day. Pesky…

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Feature: Cannonball Fun

The Lighthouse Customer: Windward

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, sailing the shimmering, procedurally generated seas of action RPG Windward. Glimmering seas and snapping sails. Pirate ships and plundered booty. Factions fighting for control of ports and lighthouses. Cannonfire, ship-to-ship combat, pitched battles and daring escapes. Really, the only thing missing from Windward is…

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Diplomatic Opportunity: Gal Civ 3 Beta 2 Adds Lots

Update: Stardock have now released a video showing the diplomacy feature in action. When Brendan looked at Galactic Civilization 3's beta back in August, he deemed it not ready for consumption. It's a 4X series that's beloved for the anecdotes it creates for players through its personality-driven AI and the ability to conquer galaxies not just with superior numbers but by, say, destroying all the…

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Feature: Ieee! Robot!

The Lighthouse Customer: Interstellar Marines

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, screaming in space can definitely be heard in Interstellar Marines. As an interstellar marine, it goes without saying that I'm the best of the best. I'm tough as nails. I've seen it all and I'm ready for anything. I scream like a preschooler and…

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Feature: Breaking Ground

Life is Feudal Alpha: Is It Worth Playing Yet?

Life is Feudal wants to be a “realistic-fictional Medieval hardcore sandbox MMORPG”, give or take an adjective. A warning before we fish for the meaning in that sea of descriptors: Life is Feudal is Early Access, a point the devs take pains to communicate, but this isn’t ARMA III Early Access. It’s not even DayZ Early Access, which was held together by duct tape and…

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Feature: World War Me

The Lighthouse Customer: I Shall Remain

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, being a terrible apocalypse pal with top-down zombie ARPG I Shall Remain. I like to think of myself as a selfless person. I donate to charity, I pick up litter in parks, and help my elderly neighbor with her chores. If I come across…

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Feature: Vinecraft

The Lighthouse Customer: TUG

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, a little digging, a little building, and a lot of failing in survival crafting sandbox TUG. I've survived the survival modes of many survival games, and I went into TUG figuring it wouldn't be any different: I'd whip up a house, dig a mine,…

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Prison Architect Alpha 25 Adds New Ways To Fail

All strategy games strive to reach a certain balance; the point at which the player feels responsible for their successes and failures, but where the simulation is so complex and alive that a perfect, static system can never be built. That's apparently what motivates Prison Architect's 25th alpha, "one of the biggest updates" Introversion say they've ever done. The main new addition is prisoner reputations,…

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