Posts Tagged ‘Early Access’

Premature Evaluation: Northgard

Every Monday we send Brendan to scout the early access ruins for hidden treasures. This week, the careful Viking tactics of Northgard [official site]

This is Blainn, below. He’s just killed a Wyvern. He’s my best mate because I gave him and his giant pals, the Jötunn, enough food to last a lifetime. They reckon we in the Goat clan are excellent humans and now Chief Blainn is fighting alongside us in our hoofed conquest of the whole land. This is one endgame that comes in Northgard, a rock-solid RTS about allocating and reallocating your Viking workforce in just the right way. Technically this match ended over an hour ago, when my opponent reached a “wisdom victory”. But it’s a testament to Northgard’s foundations that, when given the option to leave or continue following my defeat, I happily clicked “keep playing”.
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Crew a ship with your pirate pals in Blackwake

Yar har and fiddle-di-dee, multiplayer ship combat game Blackwake [official site] has sailed into early access. It pits teams against each other with up to 16 players crewing a ship, running around controlling cannons, patching up holes, pumping water, and boarding other ships. That sounds great, that. I do always enjoy that sort of teamwork and inter-reliance, especially when playing with friends. Heck, even disasters are a lark with friends. Check out this trailer, which features broadsiding, boarding, cheeky piratical banter, and more than a few disasters: Read the rest of this entry »

Boardvideogame Sumer is hopping into Early Access

Sumer

Mesopotamian worker-placement platformer Sumer [official site] is going into Early Access from Wednesday, 15 February. I wrote about it on this site after spotting it at GDC last year because it takes a strand of boardgame which usually arrives with a massive rulebook and a need to spend twenty minutes at the end totting up victory points and converts all that into a platformer where you can leap all over a ziggurat completing tasks to earn favour with a goddess and then getting into your little bed to mark the end of a turn. There is also an economy involving goats. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Quarantine

Every week we send Brendan into the no-go zones of early access to take pus-filled samples of half-made games. This time, the infectious disease management of Quarantine [official site].

Beijing, Chengdu, and Dehli are all quarantined. Michael Clayborn, my crack medical operative who has served me faithfully, has died in the industrial Siberian wastes of Irkutsk. The entirety of South America has been sealed off from the rest of the world, and Manaus is now considered a “lost city” so infused with disease that it can’t be treated or approached in any way. People are stating to suffer “pustulent buboes” in Santiago, a highly contagious development that I need to deal with. A pop-up box aide comes to me with a decision to make. Do I want to distribute medicine and help the suffering masses of Latin America? Or should I send in some white coats to analyze these curious buboes? Of course, I send in the scientists.
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Premature Evaluation: Avorion

Every week we give Brendan a heap of scrap metal and warp him to the early access quadrants. This time, the single- and multiplayer create-your-own-space-junk of Avorion [official site].

My beautiful butterfly of a ship is floating sideways through space, with only one of its thrusters still intact. In the distance, tracer rounds dance around an innocent convoy of traders. The pirates didn’t waste much time on my ship, the Strictly Murder. A few surprise shots, a clumsy collision and off I drifted, desperately checking a game menu in an effort to rebuild and plot a course back to the safe zone. I clicked the rebuild button, certain that enough time had passed since the last shot struck my craft’s blue, delicate wings. A red message buzzed in the corner of my display.

“You need 910 iron and 588 titanium.”

Oh good, I thought. Back to mining. Read the rest of this entry »

Island paradise? Stranded Deep reaches its not-so-terrible twos

What a difference a year and a half makes. And what little difference it makes too. That’s how long it’s been since I last wrote about Stranded Deep [official site] – a game I’ve returned to during its lengthy Early Access development despite its many problems. And now it’s two years old, it’s finally shaping up into something solid and compelling. And yet at the same time, while it’s fixed so many of its issues, still doesn’t feel like it knows where it wants to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Dontnod Eleven’s Battlecrew Space Pirates blasts into early access

Even though they started with kicking faces and are moving onto sucking necks, I’ll always associate the name Dontnod with the time-travelling teen drama of Life Is Strange. So yup, I’m still double-taking seeing the name Dontnod as Battlecrew Space Pirates [official site] enters early access. This multiplayer side-on shooter is made by Dontnod Eleven, mind, the studio known as Hesaw before it buddied up with Dontnod Entertainment. You don’t take time out from shooting folks with your spacepirate pals to sit on a spaceswing and quietly enjoy some spacemusic, or shout at Spacewarren to go away. I don’t think so, at least. Read the rest of this entry »