Posts Tagged ‘Early Access’

Impressions: Flying Tigers – Shadows Over China

One of my favourite games ever is 2007’s Attack On Pearl Harbor. It was an arcade WW2 dogfighting game, that managed to cunningly strip away all the technical complexity of flying a plane, and just have it be pure shooty fun. I’d love to recommend you play it too, but it has entirely vanished from existence. Once on Steam but there no longer (due to “various legal and business reasons” I was once told), I’ve deliberately kept it installed on my PC so it cannot disappear from my account. I am one of very few people who can play this game, and that’s a crying shame.

So it was with buoyant heart that I noticed developer Björn Larsson, then of Legendo Entertainment, now of Ace Maddox, has returned to the genre with the Early Access release of Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China [official site]. It was last year, but I just noticed. Well, he only just told me. It’s his fault.

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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 at once in conflict with its goals and yet more enticing because of it. It shouldn’t work, and in some ways it very much doesn’t… but then you get caught up in it and those objections are forgotten. At least for a time.

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Impressions: DayZ Blokey Dean Hall’s Out Of Ammo

I suspect the ‘I’d love to see X in VR’ conversations have dried up already. No, we’re not getting Dishonored: CorVRo’s Birthday Surprise or Total WaVR: VRHammer, because the headsets’ screens aren’t really up to it, and few of us have PCs which can power it anyway. As that message sets in, thoughts turn from what VR gaming would ideally do and towards what can it actually do right now? Out Of Ammo, a loosely tower defence strategy game for from RocketWerkz – that being DayZ creator Dean Hall’s new studio – attempts to provide a more elaborate answer to that question.
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Premature Evaluation: Last Days Of Old Earth

Every Monday, Rob Zacny … Early Access … a worthy in-progress game.

Last Days of Old Earth [official site] has tons of potential to be a great strategy game, in much the way a story outline has the potential to be a literary masterpiece.

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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 sure to stash his extra smokes, Instamatic camera, and map in my inventory. Then it was time to hop into a carefully recreated ’65 Chevy pickup and drive up a narrow ribbon of backcountry highway, while a gentle snowfall turned into a blizzard outside my windows.

Kona is a wonderfully atmospheric game, though atmosphere isn’t hard to come by when you’ve turned the blizzard effects up to 11 and marooned the player in the wastes of northern Canada. With nothing but howling winter winds and a mysteriously deserted village for company, it’s easy to get caught up in the setting and its feeling of menacing isolation.

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The Culling Impressions: Battle Royale For The Masses

Coming in 2017: The Culling Of Battle Royale Games. 16 last man standing survival games fight to the death to be the only one allowed to briefly top the Steam charts. Yessir, as the glut of DayZ-inspired games perhaps come to the end of their time in the sun, the Zeitgeist has moved onto their more frantic and openly murderous offspring, the battle royale game. The film-inspired concept was popularised by another Arma mod (much as DayZ was), which did well enough that Daybreak scooped up the creator to build something similar into the DayZ rival H1Z1. There are going to be bloody dozens of these things doing the rounds before the year’s out, you mark my words.

For now though, The Culling (from Lichdom: Battlemage devs Xaviant Games) gets the cachet – and the rocket-powered ride up the Steam charts – that results from being the first brand new game built around the Battle Royale/Hunger Games/Running Man concept. It’s got the gleeful showman sadism of a Verhoeven movie, it’s got a whole lot of sights lifted directly from those Jennifer Lawrence films, it’s got silly haircuts and it’s got a whole lot of crafting. This latter is a big part of why it’s doing so well, and also what sets it somewhat apart from its big-studio antecedents.

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Early Access Preview: Kelvin And The Infamous Machine

After somewhat less pleasant adventure experiences of late, it’s rather lovely to encounter a simple but sweet point-and-click that is neither focused on stupidity nor cruelty. But rather time travelling silliness, saving the world from a mad scientist hell-bent on claiming the credit for the great works of geniuses past. After a successful modest Kickstarter, developers Blyts’ Kelvin And The Infamous Machine [official site] is out on Early Access today, complete but for voice acting and final bug testing. I’ve played it through.

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