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Posts tagged “Premature Evaluation”

Feature: All dogs are good dogs

Premature Evaluation: Heartbound

My dog has been dead for longer than he was alive, which means I’m long past having any right to fondly remember him as I stare through a rainy window, or to hear his bark on the breeze on warm evening walks along the old railway track. He’s just way too dead to be taking up that kind of emotional bandwidth any more. How weird…

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Feature: Free the nipple

Premature Evaluation: Hades

Large portions of my personality owe a great debt to Greek invention, from ABBA musicals and feta cheese to anal sex and fiscal irresponsibility. But for the past few thousand years the country’s chief cultural export has been its dramatic and complex mythology. A cross between Aesop’s Fables and Hollyoaks, Greek myth forms the basis of every story ever told. Scarface, King Lear, that episode…

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Feature: Card knocks

Premature Evaluation – CardLife: Creative Survival

CardLife is an open world crafting game that, like many examples of the genre, has a hunger mechanic. That means your little cardboard avatar is cursed with the need to eat to survive, or suffer the relatively minor indignity of respawning nearby with none of their stuff. We all know that robots eat nuts and bolts from cereal bowls, that’s basic science. But if we’re…

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Feature: The void pees back

Premature Evaluation: Kynseed

There’s nothing I enjoy more than the interminable march towards the cold embrace of my own grave. When I’m done just throw me in that soily bad hole where skeletons live, I don’t mind. I scream in delight with every fresh wrinkle discovered, each grey fleck found, every stabbing abdominal pain after thirty seconds of light exercise. Let me glide happily towards that eventual death,…

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Feature: Who you gonna call? Gruff Darkpast!

Premature Evaluation: HellSign

HellSign was sold to me as being like a “monster of the week episode of Supernatural or Buffy”, which is right up my proverbial alley. And if you squint you can sort of see how that description applies. I suppose it’s a useful description because it’s otherwise difficult to fit HellSign in a neat genre box; it’s isometric, it’s sort of an RPG and it’s…

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Feature: Target practice

Premature Evaluation: World War 3

My first hour fighting in the grey European battlefields of World War 3 was not the most pleasant introduction I’ve ever had to an online shooter. The first obstacle was the loading screen, which was quite adamant about not letting me play. It took almost 20 minutes to connect to the game on the second attempt. Finally over the first hurdle, I was immediately directed…

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Feature: Trip Advisor

Premature Evaluation: Shortest Trip to Earth

Rats cut my first stellar trip short. On nautical voyages, they used to spread disease and eat supplies that were needed for the long, long journey. Up here, in space, they are a pain in the arse for very different, but even more troublesome, reasons. The rats have forged an empire, you see; an empire built on strict hierarchies, xenophobia and robbing travellers. They also…

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Feature: Get Lit

Premature Evaluation: The Light Keeps Us Safe

The Light Keeps Us Safe works terrible magic with its cacophony of disquieting machine noises. Each new killer robot emits yet another nails-on-chalkboard screech that will bounce around in your head long after you’ve fled from their clutches. They’re the sounds of factories and dial-up internet and error messages warped and twisted and remixed inside metal demons. Normally they’re just grating, but here, in moonlit…

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Feature: Droning on

Premature Evaluation: Nimbatus

I've been doing a lot of tinkering recently. Endless iterations of death-dealing drones, flying factories, huge robotic worms and automated weapon platforms - I've lost count of all my experiments in destruction. Nimbatus’ drone editor is a complex, liberating tool where patient engineers can craft a bewildering array of exotic, inventive machines. Then a giant snake blows them up. When my massive artillery drone -…

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Feature: Hats off

Premature Evaluation: Parkasaurus

Premature Evaluation is the column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s been given the keys to Parkasaurus, the goofy dinosaur theme park sim. The real tragedy at the centre of the Jurassic Park movies is that, no matter how many times they escape the park and kill their captors, the dinosaurs are never free of humans for very long.…

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Feature: Thicker than water

Premature Evaluation – Dying Light: Bad Blood

The sound of an explosion and a huge burst of flame sends me sprinting for cover. The attack wasn’t directed at me, it turns out. One of my fellow survivors had walked into a hive of zombies and he was chargrilling them. I stay hidden behind a van and watch him duke it out. We’re both after the same thing: blood samples that will allow…

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Feature: Nuggets of wisdom

Premature Evaluation: The Universim

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser has donned the mantle of ‘deity’ in The Universim. It’s a god sim with more than a hint of Spore and good old Populous. The big bang starts with a click. From that press of a button a brand new cosmos springs to life - a huge…

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Feature: Health kick

Premature Evaluation: Scum

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s trying to lead a healthier, happier life in Scum, the multiplayer survival sim. Scum’s wall of data is mesmerising. From the moment I arrived on the island, every spare second, and even seconds I couldn’t spare, was dedicated to staring at it. The readings and statistics told…

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Feature: Searching for an RPG

Premature Evaluation – Olorun: Theocracy

Douglas Hammer, or Doug if you want to be informal, was a blacksmith. None of that sword-waving, monster-slaying malarky for ol’ Doug, no thank you. Nominative determinism may have played a role, but it was mostly the money. There isn’t safer, steadier work in a fantasy RPG. As long as everyone keeps being scared of monsters, they’ll be wanting sharp weapons and solid armour. When…

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Feature: Break the chain

Premature Evaluation: Blockchain Tycoon

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s delving into the confusing world of cryptocurrencies in Blockchain Tycoon. What is a blockchain? Why are people mining them? Are there tiny digital pickaxes? A lot of questions need to be answered. Blockchain Tycoon has been designed with an eye towards realism, apparently, and while I’m a…

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Feature: Welcome to the baby factory

Premature Evaluation: Cro Magnon

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s been placed in charge of a tiny prehistoric tribe in deadly Stone Age survival management game, Cro Magnon. Manhome isn’t much of a village, just a ring of knackered tents that provides shelter for a small tribe of hunter-gatherers. The latest fad is fire, and a small…

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Feature: More ore

Premature Evaluation: MoonQuest

MoonQuest was definitely lying to me. It assured me that what I was looking at was a horse, but I’ve seen a few horses before and I’m pretty sure none of them looked like alien llama-giraffe-monsters. The name tag hung there, daring me to question it. OK, I thought, I’ll suspend my disbelief. I jumped on the supposed horse, wondering if I might be able…

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Feature: Aliens like Plunkbat too

Premature Evaluation – Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s getting hunted down by streamers in Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale. It's a sci-fi FPS in a lovely alien theme park that also happens to be a massive murder arena full of angry supersoldiers. Islands of Nyne bills itself as a battle royale for the competitive crowd…

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Feature: Never start with a mage

Premature Evaluation: Wayward Souls

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s back on the roguelikes with Wayward Souls. It looks like Secret of Mana, but it’s meaner. It might have been a mistake to play as the mage. Wayward Souls’ dungeons promise death at the hands, claws and slimey appendages of countless beasties, but my first killer was…

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Feature: Can YOU survive the tedium?

Premature Evaluation: Seeds of Resilience

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s been kicked off the HMS Horace and left stranded on Seeds of Resilience’s deserted island. He’s found a new job though: managing a colony of fellow castaways. Probably more game journalists. The sea’s lousy with them. I’ve been staring at the mostly static screen - an island…

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