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Posts tagged “early access”

Feature: Burner cards

Premature Evaluation: Trials Of Fire

Trials Of Fire, besides having such a generic sounding title that you forget it every time you’re not looking directly at the words, is a turn-based, single-player, deck-building, choice-driven, procedurally-generated, top-down, role-playing strategy game, set in a post-cataclysmic, dark fantasy world. It’s part The Road, part Tolkien offcuts, as you guide a miserable band of fighters through a blasted wasteland in search of a series…

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Feature: WW2 with cards

Premature Evaluation: Kards

My nice grandad fought in World War Two, along with all of the other nice grandads, against the fascist grandads who were causing quite the stir around Europe at the time. As far as I can tell my grandad had a relatively pleasant time, romping around in the desert with his fellow grandads, firing some really big guns into the sky until he was captured…

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Oxygen Not Included leaves early access on May 28

After two years in early access, Oxygen Not Included will launch in full on May 28th, developers Klei Entertainment announced today. Oxygen is a cheerygrim space colony management sim from the mob being Don't Starve, sending teams of workers into the depths of an asteroid to mine, build, repair, fall ill, starve, go mad, and suffocate to death. I mean, ideally those last few things…

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Feature: Visceral gameplay

Premature Evaluation: Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Back at PC Zone magazine, where I was born out of an egg, it was my job to take the raw copy submitted by our freelance writers, strip out most of the sexism and veiled threats against politicians, and produce a polished and well structured review that was legally fit for publication. One of the most commonly deleted and cliched introductions to any game about…

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Feature: The Postman Cometh

Premature Evaluation: Willowbrooke Post

Oh, to be a postman. That sultry steward of the mail. That beautiful bastard with the letters. That outrageous freak of parcels. That walking obscenity in Gore-Tex red. That creep who lives inside a van and cannot die, because the postman is both one and many, everywhere and nowhere, always and never. Ding-dong, goes the siren song of the elusive postman. Can you sign for…

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Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is now in early access, totally

After yonks giggling at goofy GIFs of snake-firing archers and googly-eyed mammoths in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, we can ourselves pit weird armies against each other in physics-driven foolish fisticuffs. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator entered early access today and yes, I know today is April Fools' Day but the launch is real. The contents of the game, perhaps less so. Did Vikings really carry longboats…

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Satisfactory takes down the scaffolding for early access launch

The Factorio-esque delights of building machines to build machines until a pretty alien planet is converted into a vast machine building one really big machine today enters a first-person perspective with the early access of launch of Satisfactory. Made by Coffee Stain Studios, the mob behind Goat Simulator and--more relevantly--Sanctum, it is unashamedly Factorio in 3D but that intimate perspective does make a difference when…

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Factory Town is a cute little production line game

"The twenty-tensies truly were a golden age for games about optimising production lines," future generations will say under their infrared-heated geodesic domes. "The way was paved by games like Infinifactory and Factorio, smoothing the way for a flood of followers," one elder recalls. "Why, one month saw the launch of not only Satisfactory and Production Line but Factory Town too." "What's Factory Town?" asks one…

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Feature: Would you rather have a robot head or crab claws for hands?

Premature Evaluation: Beacon

David Cronenberg's 1986 horror classic The Fly explored the idea of how much of a fly Jeff Goldblum would have to mutate into before he stopped being extremely hot (the answer, as revealed in the DVD commentary, is as high as 65 percent). It also tapped into a deep seated human fear of being trapped inside an elevator with a fly. But more than either…

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Factorio-but-first-person building game Satisfactory launches this month

Coffee Stain Studios are probably tired of everyone saying that their Goat Simulator and Sanctum follow-up Satisfactory looks like a first-person Factorio, but I'd say that's a comparison to embrace. A very good thing given a new perspective, plus dune buggies and jetpacks? Yeah, g'wan. It's been a bit quiet on the Satisfactory front for a while now, other than news that the factory-builder would…

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Feature: Grass tastes bad

Premature Evaluation: The Pusher

As a cool person, I know everything there is to know about drugs and drug paraphernalia, such as bongs and what have you. In fact, you’ll often find me hanging out with my fellow dope-fiends in what we in the business call a ‘drugs hole’, where we take weed, cocaine, and the rest of the types of drugs that there are. “Hey, quit hoggin’ all…

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Feature: In before one of you references Kate Nash in the comments

RPS-o-chat: we’re in love with medieval city builder Foundation

Alec: Foundation is like a ba… no, I already did that. Foundation is - and I’m projecting onto it a bit here - a reaction against city-builders and management sims increasingly inclining towards survival and punishment, in this, the age of streaming and gitting gud. It’s a cod-Medieval town management game, in which the pressure is largely off, and really the focus is more about…

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Feature: Dwarfs, building a fortress

Premature Evaluation: King Under The Mountain

Playing early access games is like being flung backwards in time to a proterozoic era of Earth’s formless prehistory, where instead of lush continents and breathable air there are surging oceans of molten rock and noxious clouds of superheated nitrogen gas. And you’re there on this unfinished planet, standing on the precipice of a furious lake of spitting magma, your eyes popping like overboiled eggs…

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Feature: Smoke without fire

Premature Evaluation: Volcanoids

Volcanoids sounds like a rude illness you need to buy cream for, but you’re too embarrassed to ask the lady in the pharmacy because she knows your mum and even though your mum has seen you in every state of undress and infirmity you still can’t let her know you’ve got Volcanoids because you’re a grown-up for heaven’s sake, you’re a grown-up, why is everything…

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Feature: Shadow of the big hairy monster

Premature Evaluation: Praey For The Gods

Praey For The Gods was forced to change its name from Prey For The Gods, after Prey publisher Zenimax opposed the new trademark. Their platoon of lawyers, who I can only imagine swung in through the windows of the tiny three-man studio and started furiously tipping over desks and tearing phones out of the walls, were concerned that consumers would confuse this game, about traipsing…

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Feature: Like a warm bath, but with windmills

Foundation is a delightfully indulgent new city-builder

Free-form town-builder Foundation, which popped up on Steam & GOG early access last week, falls squarely into the category of "games I wholeheartedly recommend but struggle to say many useful things about." It's like a bath. Baths are good. I like baths. You should take more baths. But I'm reasonably sure you don't want to hear about what I listened to on the radio, what…

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Feature: For sale: happiness, never worn

Premature Evaluation: Timeflow

Hello again, it’s me, the premature evaluator. When I’m not prematurely evaluating things, you will often find me sabotaging my own life through chronic mismanagement of my bank balance and available free time. For example, I am writing this article in the very last moments before it’s due to be published, not because I have an especially pressing schedule – I’ve spent the last five…

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Mosh Pit Simulator wobbles into early access for VR

Virtual reality, some might tell you, is the future of emotional interactive storytelling. Whether that's true or not, we should remember that VR has also great potential for fannying about like a big idiot. Lo, the clouds do part and Mosh Pit Simulator doth descend into early access. It's a goofed-out physics sandbox from Sos Sosowski, maker of the manic McPixel, and a game where…

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Feature: ICE TO MEET YOU

Subnautica: Below Zero thrills with its chills, even at this early stage

Subnautica is one of the great early access success stories. Not just because of its financial achievements - still dwarfed by some of the bigger names - but because of how it used the process to build and refine an exquisitely good game. Co-created with its players, but confident enough to maintain its creative direction, the result is one of the best games of the…

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Premature Evaluation: Meeple Station

Meeple Station is a game about building a space station and keeping its residents alive, a task made all the more challenging by those residents having each been cursed with simulated emotional states, which can become so fraught that they’ll hurl themselves out of an airlock rather than face another second living aboard your creation. So, more accurately, Meeple Station is a game about convincing…

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