Posts Tagged ‘early access’

Modding tools will inject new life into Dead Cells

dead cells

Roguey romp Dead Cells – one of the best games of 2017 – is getting mod support, possibly as soon as this month. It’s been requested frequently, so the announcement still comes as a pleasant surprise, mentioned at the end of a brief update post yesterday. The early access game is also now available on Linux and Mac – just pick those versions in the beta branch. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Witch Hunt

Witch Hunt

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s off to the 18th century to hunt a forest full of nasty monsters in horror FPS Witch Hunt. He’s a very brave boy.

Find a bunch of trees and you’ll probably discover a folktale or ghost story set under their boughs. Years ago, I lived right on the boundary of some woodland that was meant to be home to a red-eyed creature that ate children. Walking back from school in winter, when it was already dark, was a nasty business. I’d grimly keep my gaze fixed forwards, always trying to avoid glancing to my left. To the trees, and the red eyes that might be hiding between them.

Witch Hunt has more than one monster living within its gloomy, dead forest. It’s full of them. For a slayer of supernatural beasties, it should be the perfect hunting ground. Not for me, however, a man with no sense of direction and an acute fear of spooky trees. I am very sweaty and very lost.

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Raft’s early access is a solid and splendid survival sim

When the waves build, when the wind gathers, and the briny water sloshes over the deck of your precarious floating home, there is absolutely nothing like Raft. While the former Itch.io star shares inevitable comparisons with a few other aquatic survival sims – Stranded Deep, Subnautica, Salt – this dramatic overhaul that has recently arrived into Steam’s early access is very much its own thing. And a joyful and splendid thing it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Raft paddles into Steam Early Access, adds multiplayer

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but earlier this year Subnautica managed to stir up my appetite for survival games. Which is why I’m both interested in checking out oceanic surive ’em up Raft now that it’s out on Steam Early Access, and sorry that the game’s doomed to have Subnautica mentioned before it in news posts.

This one’s been around for yonks as a free prototype on Itch (though it hasn’t been updated for a while), which John and Brendy were both big fans of. You can still play it if you like, or read on to sea what’s new with the Steam version. Or both.

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RTS-inspired deckbuilder Prismata goes free-to-play(ish) for the weekend

Prismata

Prismata is a bit of a hard sell because I can’t think of any other strategy game quite like it. It looks and controls like a Magic: The Gathering inspired card game, but flows like an RTS, and while you do gradually expand your construction options between matches, there’s no randomly drawn booster packs or loot boxes.

While previously the only way into the game’s early access release was to buy the $25 Founders Edition, this weekend you can jump in and play multiplayer and the start of the solo campaign free, from now until Monday, 10am Pacific, with those who get in on the free weekend seemingly able to keep this cut-down edition of the game.

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Sky-sailing MMO Worlds Adrift sets course for Steam

Worlds Adrift

It’s hard not to have a game like Worlds Adrift set the imagination alight. Bossa Studios’ foray into the world of massively multiplayer gaming stands out from the crowd with its user-built world of floating islands, delightfully swooshy grappling-hook physics and its entirely player-crafted sky-ships. Previously in closed beta, the game has moved to Steam’s early access section and opened its doors to everyone with twenty quid, give or take. Just be warned that unless you Bring Your Own Buddies, you might be facing rougher conditions than just storms and fog.

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Premature Evaluation: Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator

Medieval Shopkeeper Sim

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s moonlighting as a grouchy stall owner in Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator, a first-person fantasy retail romp.

With the chaos of E3 fast approaching, I’m looking for a more sedate racket. No more of this videogame malarky, I’m going to sell rocks and sticks to the impoverished serfs of Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator. It will be the greatest rock and stick emporium in all the land, or at least this postcode. I used to work in retail, so I’m sure I’ll have a handle on it in no time.

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Hunt: Showdown fights camping in first major update

While the PvPvE monster-hunting FPS Hunt Showdown continues its journey through early access, developers Crytek today launched what they’re calling its “first major content update”. It adds new scoped guns and new character traits to improve your monstermashing, and also takes a crack at solving the problem of camping. It’s no fun to slug it out with the big bad and walk away with its guts in your trophy bag, only to be picked off by the real monsters: campers. The solution is two-pronged, providing extra incentive to banish the beastie and reworking the map to add cover and weaken campgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Maelstrom

Maelstrom

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s running away from sea monsters and hunting down galleons in nautical battle royale, Maelstrom.

I wasn’t a happy pirate. I wasn’t any kind of pirate, really; not with only a series of failed fights and a major lack of booty to my name. It was all a little embarrassing. So when I saw the Dwarven ship on the horizon, there was a storm brewing inside me, and I pointed my shark-drawn Orc ship at the stumpy corsairs and increased speed. Wood and metal and, of course, shark collided, followed by a barrage of cannonfire.

This would be it. I knew it. My first victory in Maelstrom.

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They Are Billions adds The Six Wonders

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Set amidst a 22nd century rabies-like outbreak of Zed-ism, They Are Billions is a game about keeping your steampunk settlement alive while raiding zombie towns… and dealing with the repercussions. You manage everything from gold to oil as you handle a Left 4 Starcraft situation wherein zombies keep trying to pick off the citizens — first in smaller numbers and then in screen-collapsing hordes. The game, which is still in Early Access, has just unveiled The Six Wonders: a set of end-game level structures that, if you can acquire the resources necessary to create, will greatly tip the odds in your favor.

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Star Traders: Frontiers is the best space game I’ve played in ages

This picture originally had a lot of alt text, like the ones below. But it was replaced because it was the wrong size and, whoops, now the alt text is lost forever. You'll have to make do with the tales of piracy below.

Pirates! Can we outrun them? Damn! Well, would they accept a bribe? What? They won’t even consider it? Okay, well, drop the cargo. No? Give them the ship and they’ll let us live? Oh, they’re not actually pirates, they’re just mindless omnicidal monsters pretending to be pirates? Well… I guess I’ll just reload an old save, then.

That’s how some games treat pirates. It’s stupid, boring and rubbish.

Star Traders: Frontiers is better than that. It’s better than just about everything.

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Premature Evaluation: It Lurks Below

lurk

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s looking into what lurks below in It Lurks Below. What is It? What does It want? Is It responsible for all my missing underwear?

I’m pretty fond of Terraria, and even more so of Starbound, so It Lurks Below piqued my interest with only a couple of screenshots. It’s unashamedly a miniature Terraria, where heroes dig deep into the ground in search of treasure, fight monsters and nurture a fantasy village. It’s also David “Diablo Dad” Brevik’s first solo project, who’s used his action RPG expertise to occasionally nudge it in a different direction. It could do with a few more nudges.

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DNA-mutating roguelikelike shooter Beacon looks swish

The daddifcation of video games continues with aplomb, but what a terrible waste parenthood is, collecting genetic material to make a mewling idiot who can’t even drive. It’s time for this to end. It’s time to be your own dad. Or your own mum in the case of Beacon, a roguelikelike top-down shooter where a crashlanded spacewarrior collects DNA from defeated enemies to feed into her ship’s clone bay so her next clone spawns with strange new mutations after she dies. That, I’m into. Beacon today launched a “first access” version, earlier than early access, for those truly behind the cause. Read the rest of this entry »

Project Zomboid is still in Early Access and that’s amazing

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There is only one game I ever purchased on Desura and it was Project Zomboid, way back in 2011. This cool little indie isometric game strove to bring a Romero-esque slow zombie apocalypse to life by mixing survival skills, community management, close quarters combat, exploration, mental health, and a lot of good moaning sounds. It was a project I was backing but also getting in on the ground floor for, as I watched the developers list off exciting features they hoped to introduce, and work alongside the gaming community. Project Zomboid finally hit Steam Early Access in 2013… and it has been stuck there ever since.

But stuck isn’t the right word for it. Or at least I’m hoping it isn’t.

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The Forest gets a final final final pre-launch update

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The Early Access folks are getting one last chance to help uncover secrets (and technical bugs) of The Forest, as the last final penultimate pre-launch update for the game hits. The Forest is just about almost out, with less than 24 hours remaining til v1.0, and there’s still mysteries and twists being added. Like… uh… there’s a new locked door on a ship. I adore that this is the kind of information given out in a mostly bug and errors based update, but The Forest does love to bury its surprises.

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Tactical RPG Fort Triumph enters early access today

fort-triumph

Do you wish that XCOM has a bit more Merlin influence? Perhaps that Mario vs. Rabbids took a Tolkienish slant? Well, wish no more, fair game-wisher! Fort Triumph has arrived on Steam Early Access to provide the resolution to all your needs. The tactical RPG from Cookie Byte Entertainment raised $78k in a Kickstarter campaign last May, and the Early Access version is currently discounted 10% to encourage gamers to give this Fantasy XCOM a spin.

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Premature Evaluation: SpyParty

SpyParty

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s pretending to be an NPC, badly, in the asymmetric game of spies and snipers, SpyParty. How do you get blood out of a tux?

Nerves already shot, I extract myself from the conversation I’m using as cover and head towards the golden statue, my prize. This plush apartment houses more than a few pieces of art I can pinch, but this one is out of the way, somewhere I’m pretty sure nobody will be looking. I empty my brain and follow the path I’ve settled on in my head. I’m following a script with the single-mindedness of a machine. Or, more accurately, a SpyParty NPC.

I’m almost at my destination when a spanner is flung into the works in the form of a booze-swigging ambassador, sauntering over to the shiny eagle I intend to make away with. For a split second my brain fires up again. I’m not a machine; I’m a startled person who has to briefly recalculate, and that’s all it takes for the laser sight to swing over to me. Pop! My spy career is over.

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Streaming murder-gameshow Darwin Project goes free-to-play

Darwin Project

In this strange age of Battle Royale shooters drawing crowds of millions, it’s hard for other multiplayer action games to find their footing, even if they do have an interesting hook like last-man-standing survival sandbox Darwin Project, which spices up its 10-player battles with Twitch audience integration, and a human ‘director’, able to skew the match for the audience’s amusement. In order to draw more people into its world of tactical public spectacle, Scavengers Studio have made their game free-to-play.

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Premature Evaluation: Make Sail

Make Sail

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s setting off in a rickety boat in Make Sail. It looks a bit like Wind Waker, but you get to build your own vessel. Sadly, it doesn’t talk.

Once a year, usually around the time of Gamescom, I slink off. I stop writing, disconnect from Twitter and flee to the coast of a sun-soaked country that I can comfortably sail around while sipping the cheapest gin and rum I can find. It’s what I look forward to most, every year, and when I return I’m always a more upbeat, raring-to-go kind of guy. It’s safe to say that I love sailing.

Make Sail has tested that love.

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Double Kick Heroes headbangs its way into early access

Double Kick Heroes

In Double Kick Heroes, when the apocalypse is snapping at your heels the only thing you can trust is the power of heavy metal drumming. This unusual take on a familiar old arcade rhythm genre comes to us from French outfit Headbang Club and brings a lot to the table, including a full level editor, and is out in early access today.

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