Posts Tagged ‘early access’

Worlds Adrift swings to Steam Early Access in May

After a year of swinging around in paid beta, Worlds Adrift will enter its next phase of development and officially launch on Steam Early Access on May 17th, developers Bossa Studios announced today. Our boy Brendy ventured into the sandbox explore-o-crafting MMO’s world of floating islands last year, swinging around with his grappling hook, building an airship, and getting into a fight over a parking space. You can’t take him anywhere. Officially going to Early Access will usher Worlds Adrift into the next phase of development as it seeks a wider audience. Read the rest of this entry »

The Forest v1.0 launching at end of the month

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Add this one to my list of games that I thought was released released more than a year ago, The Forest is finally unlocking v1.0 at the end of April. I… I really have to keep better track of these things. My time in The Forest was super enjoyable (that’s not the word for mutant cannibal island) but knowing that so much content was locked off until now, I’m ready to dive back in.

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PC Building Simulator is a good intro to PC building

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PC Building Simulator should really be called IT Support Simulator. You spend a fair amount of time doing the former, but your main role in the game’s career mode is to deal with varying degrees of customer complaints as soon as they plop into your company inbox – which I’m surprised still exists considering you start your new enterprise with -$15 in the bank thanks to your conniving uncle having scrounged it all before he handed it over to you , presumably so he could make his quick getaway before the authorities did him in for fraud.

As a result, it’s up to you to get your shop back in order, making enough money from client orders, virus removals and repair jobs to keep the lights on, pay your bills and gradually upgrade your workshop into the PC building dream palace you’ve envisioned since you first got a whiff of some that sweet, sweet CPU thermal paste.

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Sunless Skies visits some strange place named London

In their early access mission to fill Sunless Skies with strange new worlds, new life, and new civilisations, Failbetter Games today added their creepiest creation yet: a city named London. Located in the new region of Albion, this London place is ruled by an emperor from a sacred bloodline and loomed over by a vast clock tower reminding its downtrodden denizens that their time is running out. Outrageous stuff, how do Failbetter come up with it? The new region brings with it nine new ports including the hub city of London, new Spectacles, enemies, Discoveries with such exciting names as Squirmings and Well of the Wolf, equipment, and so on. Have a look: Read the rest of this entry »

SpyParty sneaks into Steam Early Access next week

The fascinating 1v1 sniper vs. spy game SpyParty will enter Steam Early Access on April 12th, creator Chris Hecker has announced, bringing it to a a wider audience after years of coveted betas and its own early access scheme. SpyParty players have developed devious tricks of deception and detection over these years, so I’ll be fascinated to see what happens as fumbling newbies arrive, myself included. I’m Maxwell Smart and everyone else is Agent 99. You’re Vasily Zaytsev and I’m one of those goons who can’t even hit the A Team van driving straight towards them. Read the rest of this entry »

Robocraft Royale rolls, flies, and clucks into early access

In new battle royaler Robocraft Royale, players are scavening for whole new vehicles: tanks, planes, mechs, cars, and hovercraft, through stranger creatures like mechanical chickens, sharks, and dinosaurs, and even the odd massive Mario on his kart – bristling with different weapons and abilities. That’s what happens when the foundation for 100-player rumbling is the silly bot-building battler Robocraft rather than a serious shooter. Today, after a stretch in public testing, Robocraft Royale has entered paid early access, aiming to launch properly in a few months. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Darwin Project

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser is trying to put on a good show in chilly Canadian battle royale romp, Darwin Project. Are you not entertained?

I want every game to be good, but I confess that I was ready to hate Darwin Project. See, it’s unashamedly a game for streamers and their hungry audiences. Even the main menu, where the ability to link your Twitch or Mixer account is the most prominent option, makes this abundantly clear. Audience participation is built into the very fabric of the game, to the point where players become entertainers. Colour me surprised, then, that not only do I like it, I like it in part because of its pandering to video boys and girls.

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Premature Evaluation: Stormworks – Build and Rescue

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s trying to run a successful ocean rescue service in Stormworks: Build and Rescue by building the greatest helicopter ever invented.

I don’t get seasick. I get sea hungover, but that’s really my own fault. The wave of nausea that slammed into me as I piloted my tiny bouncing boat towards a nearby island came as something of a surprise. Between the exaggerated physics and frequently foul weather, Stormworks’ ocean is a vomit-inducing nightmare.

It’s my job to fight it.

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Robocraft Royale stomps into early access this month

While some battle royale games send players scouring levels for such thrilling treats as backpacks and off-brand energy drinks, Robocraft Royale will have us scavenging for mechs, hovertanks, fightbikes, planes, spiderbots, warwhales, and other big smashy vehicles. Robocraft Royale will enter early access as a paid standalone game later this month, developers Freejam have announced, following a short stretch of public alpha testing. Freejam initially described this spin-off from their bot-building battler Robocraft as an “experiment”, and evidently the results pleased them. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation – Hunt: Showdown

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s living out his dream of being one of the handsome boys from Supernatural by hunting down demonic beasties in Crytek’s multiplayer shooter, Hunt: Showdown.

Hunt: Showdown never has any silence to break. It’s always noisy. Every groan, gurgle and scream, even the rustling of leaves — they all echo across the swamp, exploding out of invisible amps. After awhile, it becomes a low, menacing drone; an ever-present threat that you just get used to. The trick – I can only assume, as I’m quite terrible at this bounty hunting malarky – is to cut through the background din and pick out the real dangers. The closest roars. The loudest footsteps. The bullet whizzing right past your head.

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Premature Evaluation: Rise of Industry

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s hawking his wares to the ravenous consumers of Rise of Industry, a tycoon game about growing berries and other less important things.

You’ve got to give the people what they want. Booze, sex, tasty little berries harvested from a local plantation and driven straight to the farmers market – these people have needs, and for the last week I’ve been spending my evenings with Rise of Industry trying to fulfill them. Well, the need for berries anyway. People go nuts for them – but they don’t care for nuts – and I am the Berry King.

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Hunt: Showdown sloshes into early access bayou

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Spider! Ah! Oh thank heavens it’s just an early access videogame. Easy mistake. The way they both scuttle out into the open, it’s very similar. But see, look closely and you’ll find that this is actually a lesser-spotted Hunt: Showdown – a multiplayer horror shooter set in the swamps and farmland of rural Louisiana, in which pairs of bounty hunters track monsters and shoot at each other. Not at all a slavering, monstrous eight-legged terror from the deepest chasms of the primordial human psyche. In fact, look at it from the side and you can see a launch trailer. That means it’s a male. The males are harmless. Read the rest of this entry »

FTL-like Abandon Ship hasn’t found its sea legs yet

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FTL but on a…’ is a formula that sounds like it can just keep on giving, but it’s entirely telling that the creators of FTL have moved onto whip-smart micro-turn-based strategy instead of more ship management-based roguelitery. People keep making these things – on a train! on a post-apocalyptic battlebus! also on a spaceship! also on a post-apocalyptic battlebus! – but I can count the real successes on one hand.

Sadly, it seems I won’t be grafting an extra finger with ‘Abandon Ship‘ carved into it onto that hand – not unless this Cthulhu vs pirates take on the vehicular surviv-o-RPG format can perform some serious course-correction during its voyage through early access.

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Premature Evaluation: Eco

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s joining a civilisation and facing down a meteor in environmentally-conscious sandbox Eco. But mostly he’s building a terrible house.

The worlds of crafting and survival games are big balls of resources waiting to be exploited. Normally. Not so in Eco, where the world is a vulnerable, reactive globe that requires respect and nurturing. And only a wee bit of exploitation. It looks like a pretty Minecraft, but while it shares most of its fundamentals, Eco is as much simulation as a crafting sandbox, complete with an ecosystem that can be irreparably destroyed by human interference.

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New tycoon game Rise Of Industry hits early access

Industry! Productivity! Commerce! Construction! Development! Innovation! Bustle and business in the world of yesteryear! That’s Rise Of Industry, a new tycoon ’em up about building factories, making products, running transportation networks for supply and delivery, and generally exploiting labour for fun and profit. After selling alpha access on Itch for almost a year, developers Dapper Penguin Studios are ready to bring it a wider audience, and today launched Rise Of Industry into early access on Steam and GOG. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: My Time at Portia

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the (well-tended agricultural) wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s taking a break in My Time at Portia, a crafting sim with shades of Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley.

Tirelessly exploring early access games takes its toll, so this week I’m off somewhere relaxing: a post-apocalyptic town. Portia is more Ghibli than Fallout, thankfully. It’s a brightly-coloured, charming place, surrounded by vast green fields and gargantuan ruins from the time before the cataclysm. A perfect spot for a holiday, then.

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Premature Evaluation: Forged Battalion

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s making his very own RTS faction in Petroglyph’s Forged Battalion.

The drones swoop in first, dropping gas bombs on top of unsuspecting mech pilots. The rest of the horde soon follow, announcing their arrival by launching toxic grenades that slowly corrode their victims, accompanied by the traditional wall of missiles. Anti-tank mechs tear into the defending artillery while buggies with rocket launchers strapped to them round up the stragglers. The base is torn down. These are my babies.

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Staxel brings more farm-o-craft antics to early access

It’s typical, eh: you wait ages for a Stardew-o-Harvest-a-Crossing crafty farming daily life sim, then two come along to early access at once. My Time At Portia today delivers a cheery vision of the post-apocalypse, while Staxel here has more of a fairytale vibe and Minecraft-y style, not to mention online multiplayer. Yes, it is weird that neither crafty farmy miner has flinched in this game of chicken. But hey, they’re here now. Let’s peek at Staxel. Read the rest of this entry »

Crafty farming life sim RPG My Time At Portia enters early access

Post-apocalyptic life usually seems stressful but it actually looks quite cheery in My Time At Portia, a new Stardew Valley-ish craft-o-explore-a-life sim RPG which hit early access today. Sure, the skyline is dotted with overgrown skyscrapers and the dungeons beneath the town house biomechanical monsters, but aside from that it looks pleasant enough as we farm, craft, make friends, and all that. The full version is due later this year–and I’d rather wait for that myself, as I tend to with singleplayer games–but if you want to visit Portia now you can. It does also have an old-ish demo to try first. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Mashinky

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Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s filling the British countryside with railroads and smoke in train tycoon sim, Mashinky.

Disaster! I’d barely begun my first foray into Mashinky’s magical world of locomotives when my very first attempt to manage a whopping two whole trains — carriages and all — ended in calamity and death. And also fire. My brand new steam engine had just left the depot near Leicester and was beginning its journey to Kirkcaldy when it rather unexpectedly collided with the only other train in the world. All that was left was a smoking, smouldering wreck. That’s what signals are for, I realised too late.

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