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Posts tagged “early access”

Feature: Totally rad

Encased is an Early Access RPG that’s worth starting right now

I have a healthy hesitation when it comes to Early Access RPGs. It almost never seems like the right method to deliver the genre. And then along comes Fallout tribute, Encased, and I’m pretty well converted. While this first playable release of the game certainly has bugs and issues, it offers a hefty chunk of a completely absorbing and intriguing RPG world, that is quite…

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Feature: Drop it like it's pod

Our first impressions of PlanetSide Arena’s chaotic team battle royale

Raise the purple flag, comrades. PlanetSide Arena came out yesterday, bringing some royale to PlanetSide 2’s vast battles in a spin-off game of jeeps and jetpacks. Its big thing is that everyone has a quad in their back pocket, but another major draw are the big 12-person team battles. That’s in keeping with the scale of the bottomless futurewar, but is it as shooty and…

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Feature: O look, a stone

Premature Evaluation: Stone Story RPG

Stone Story begins with the birth of a singular “o”, blinking ceaselessly at the centre of a pitch black screen. Shimmering like buried silver, the text on screen informs you that this is all you see; the rest of the universe lays concealed beneath a veil of darkness. You can’t see or hear anything, but you can, at least, feel the rocks that chafe your…

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Feature: Visit scenic Aliceburg

Lovely medieval city builder Foundation has been updated, so let’s have a tour

Nate's review of Oxygen Not Included made me interested to try it, and I got about ten minutes in before deciding it wasn't for me, very politely, as if I were refusing a slice of immensely complicated fruitcake from a granny. "Look at all nice bits in it!" she is saying. "I know, I respect your talent, but I do not like those bits all…

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No-frills fighter Fantasy Strike leaves Early Access today

I love fighting game characters nonsense. I guess you have to have a Ryu knock-off by law, but look at this Fantasy Strike lass. Can you imagine how much of a nightmare those colours must be to maintain? Gosh, this bloke just turned into a dragon. That four-armed goop frog (my new son) just kicked the sense out of a panda. Absolutely smashing stuff. Well…

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Feature: Hakuna cantata

Cantata is Advance Wars with logistics and an Ann Leckie glow-up

I’ve tried for about twenty minutes to find an opening sentence that doesn’t sound contrivedly promotional, but sod it: Cantata is one of the most interesting upcoming tactics games around. Taken individually, none of its elements are revolutionary. It’s a case of “Advance Wars, but…”, where the wheel of modifiers has been spun and landed on “bright colours”, “supply lines” and “high brow science fiction”.…

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Feature: Reap what ye explode

Premature Evaluation: Nightmare Reaper

Hey, it’s me. I was gone for a while, but now I’m back. Back to prematurely evaluate some early access games, like an impatient baker wrenching open the door of an oven and plunging his fist into a molten ball of uncooked dough. Like an open heart surgeon dialling down the anaesthesia to wake his patient up while they’re still on the operating table, just…

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Feature: Drinks all round

Premature Evaluation: Griftlands

You can buy drinks for reprobates in Griftlands. The mingling crimefolk of this sci-fi card game hang out in bars and harbours, lounging on static screens hoping to sell you stuff, or waiting for a fight to break out so they can jump in for either side. There are hairy bouncers, froglike bartenders, and scar-faced bandits. Cultists, bent cops, and bounty hunters of all kinds.…

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Feature: Jump around! (You can't.)

Premature Evaluation – SlipSlop: World’s Hardest Platformer Game

When I was little, I used to eat cubes of jelly. As in, pre-diluted. You know how Hartley’s jelly came in oblong packets, and your mum would open it and out flopped the cubes of jelly, like a chocolate bar gone wrong or a future dystopian food supplement. I would sneak one of the cubes away and gnaw on it behind a sofa cushion, like…

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Feature: Motorbikes and mushrooms at the end of the world

Premature Evaluation: Failed State

I don’t want to become known for always talking about a thing (like how we all gently rib Matt about being a philsophy-toucher in a way that doesn’t amount to workplace bullying whatsoever). This is why I’ve tried to stop yelling at office co-workers about Chernobyl. I don’t want to be Appropriative Post-Soviet girl, who is probably the rubbishest of the X-Men characters. So my…

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Feature: We're going underground

Premature Evaluation – Overcrowd: A Commute ‘Em Up

Commuting is the biggest self-inflicted wound in human history. Whole cities are designed around countless dead-eyed souls expending enormous amounts of physical and mental energy ferrying themselves between their bedrooms and the place where their employment happens, flushing in and out every morning and evening like fleshy clockwork, like turds on the tides. When the great revolution comes and we are freed of the shackles…

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Feature: Does a robot even know what it means to jump?

Premature Evaluation: Levelhead

Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the few bona fide, mega-brain geniuses working in games. Inspired by the time he watched a plumber die of a concussion near a tortoise, the Nintendo luminary invented Mario in his toolshed in Kyoto, using nothing more than a couple of AAA batteries and a soldering iron.

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Feature: Das early access

Premature Evaluation: UBOAT

You know you’re in for some serious submarine business when there’s an option to toggle the curvature of the earth on and off. I’m still not entirely sure what a flat earth would mean for a submarine, in any practical sense. Perhaps if the submarine wandered too close to the edge of the world it would spill over the precipice of a cosmic waterfall and…

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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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