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Posts tagged “Premature Evaluation”

Feature: A mammoth task

Premature Evaluation: Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

When I was seven years old, my dad broke our Atari ST. We had been playing about with some primitive CAD software, plotting out simple shapes to render low polygon urns when he fell eerily silent. His face slackened, transfixed. His eyes became locked to the screen. Clicking over and over, the man began adding vertices anywhere they would fit, hundreds of them, tracing the…

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Feature: We'll do it live

Premature Evaluation: Not For Broadcast

Television, that prehistoric broadcast medium of unrequested shapes and noises spilling out of a furious little box that all your furniture points towards. That wretched hutch where tiny Cilla Black made her nest, where Anneka Rice routinely slipped the surly bonds of earth and a seven inch Matthew Kelly taunted families with all expenses paid trips to Costa Brava, if only dad could identify twenty…

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Feature: Yes chef

Premature Evaluation: Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!

The Cook, Serve, Delicious series of restaurant simulators are designed to dissuade anyone from ever considering becoming a professional chef. They are hardcore time-attack food prep games in which the vast breadth of the culinary arts are reduced to a combination of deft keystrokes, recipes become quickfire memory puzzles, your kitchen is a foodie mind palace and orders stack up like tetrominoes.

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Feature: It's not easy being green

Premature Evaluation: Eco

Ask anyone what Minecraft is missing and they’ll all tell you the same thing: an impending sense of climate doom, the pervasive fear of a warming globe that haunts the modern psyche like a crap ghost who keeps showing you scary looking graphs. Eco is an open world co-operative survival game that manages to do just that, incorporating that now-familiar sense of creeping dread which…

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Feature: Hot as hell

Premature Evaluation: Hades

Let’s take another look at Hades, the rogue-ish-action-hack-n-slash-n-chat-em-up by Supergiant Games, developers of Bastion and Transistor, in which you play Zagreus, the immortal son of the lord of the underworld on a quest to repeatedly run away from home. Home, in this case, is a giant-ass castle in helltown where the tortured souls of the deceased languish while they await processing, like an infernal waiting…

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Feature: Mourning wood

Premature Evaluation: Lumberjack Simulator

January. Hell month. My powerful brain – usually a throbbing, high-performance organ capable of doing several sums per minute – has atrophied to a wet walnut, a sodden grey scrap of cauterised flesh that ricochets around inside my skull like a horrible slug. The excesses of the holiday season have left my wretched body brittle and hollow. My eyes are sunken into my cadaverous face,…

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Feature: We have our reservations

Premature Evaluation: This Land Is My Land

Hickory Resource Manager 2019, more popularly known as This Land Is My Land, is an open world stealth game set in the 19th century (cowboy times) in which you play a Native American chief re-establishing his lost tribe by settling new camps, picking flowers and murdering (or just frightening) the invading colonisers. It is Red Dead Redemption turned on its stetson, ass up and spurs…

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Feature: Know your boundaries

Premature Evaluation: Overstep

The year is something beginning with a three or maybe even a four. Brands have become omniscient beings of pure malevolent energy coursing through the planet’s fibre optic nervous system like a bad thought. Free speech is dead. Entertainment is king. Human flesh wars, as we primitive 21st centurions know them, have ended, replaced instead with proxy battles between sexy day-glo robots with narrow waists…

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Feature: Quakey quakey rise and shine

Premature Evaluation – Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin

Who remembers the 90s? Princess Diana alive and well and driving around London in her open-topped Bentley, throwing fistfuls of rare Pogs to her adoring public. Tony Blair flying around the sky in his personalised Concorde, throwing hundreds of rare Pogs down to his adoring public. Bill Clinton, unimpeached and still full of beans, kicking back in the Oval Office, proudly showing off his collection…

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Feature: Dee aye why

Premature Evaluation: The Endless Mission

Few things fill me with dread more than a blank canvas, especially one that’s aching with untold potential, or even worse, infinite possibility. I'm talking about Little Big Planet, Super Mario Maker, and now this, The Endless Mission; games in which you are thrust into the role of the world’s omnipotent architect, an unpaid and underqualified level designer shackled with the burdensome responsibility of creation.…

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Feature: Mountains out of molecules

Premature Evaluation: Molek-Syntez

A chemistry teacher once tried to teach me what a molecule is, but it didn’t stick, thanks to my chronically slippery brain which refuses to retain useful information. Please correct me in the comments below, but as far as I understand the situation, molecules are like atoms but larger and with some fun accessories. If atoms are footballs, let’s say, then molecules are those big…

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Feature: Always wear your meatbelt

Premature Evaluation: 10 Miles To Safety

Just outside of my hometown there’s an air rifle shooting club owned and operated by large men whose disposition barred them from joining their local territorial army. You know the men, they smell like sawdust and are all named Colm and wear tattered promotional t-shirts from a local shotgun pellet and rat poison manufacturer called “MAD DOG FIREARMS AND FARMING SUPPLIES” and whose logo is…

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Feature: The clunkman cometh

Premature Evaluation: Chernobylite

Chernobylite, right, is what's known as a technogenic compound. We found bits of the "lava-like glassy material" in the ruins of the Chernobyl powerplant after it exploded, slopped into a continually melting, still hot structure called the Elephant's Foot. Wikipedia informs me it is a "crystalline zirconium silicate with a high (up to 10%) content of uranium as a solid solution". What horrors man hath…

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Feature: One man's trash

Premature Evaluation: Flotsam

Depending on who you ask, the apocalypse is not happening, extremely close, or already here. There's already been at least one casualty in the form of usual premature evaluator Steve Hogarty, who has either been raptured or is away for two weeks. No other explanations are possible. I have filled the time this week with post-global flood city builder/Waterworld simulator Flotsam, a special favourite of…

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Feature: A clone in the dark

Premature Evaluation: Conglomerate 451

Conglomerate. Even the word sounds sinister, like it might throw a burlap sack over your head and bungle you into the back of a blacked out minivan, then pop you in the temple with a silenced pistol and throw your corpse out in the street in front of your mother’s house. Whether it’s the militaristic association of the glottal “cong”, or the overcast bleakness of…

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Feature: Everything is on fire

Premature Evaluation: Noita

As you might have already surmised, Noita is a side-scrolling roguelike in which every pixel is meticulously simulated, from the fanciest molecule of glowing gas down to the lowliest granule of common dirt. Each pebble, spark and drop of water interacts dynamically with everything else. Liquids slosh and flow and form pools, steam and smoke billow upwards and gather along the ceiling in suffocating clouds.…

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Feature: Miracle gro

Premature Evaluation: Atomicrops

It speaks to the uneasy balance between humankind’s pessimism and optimism that we’re all fairly certain we’re going to nuke one another into oblivion at some point, but that it will also be loads of fun for those who survive the blast, with mutated trees and cool trucks and glowing green goop flying everywhere. Atomicrops is one such vision of a cartoonish radioactive future, a…

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Feature: Skate or die

Premature Evaluation: Session

Skateboarding was born out of the surfer movement of California in the early 1950s, when a bunch of surfers were dismayed that their surfboards ground to a halt whenever they tried to surf along park benches or ollie over a man lying down in the street with an egg in his mouth. By adding wheels to their boards, and making the boards really tiny, and…

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Feature: Right side of the tracks

Premature Evaluation: Unrailed

I am repeatedly amazed by my ability to be bullied in almost any social situation, no matter how narrow the means of communication. I’m fairly certain I could be dissed by semaphore, or slagged off over morse code. In four-player co-operative track building game Unrailed you can only express yourself using four emojis and a few resource icons, but even that is enough verbal bandwidth…

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Feature: Mist opportunity

Premature Evaluation: Mist Survival

Of all the different forms of precipitation, mist is by far the spookiest. Mist is the last thing you want to see wafting out of a sepulchre, or coiling ominously around an abandoned log cabin on a moonlit night. Fog – very much the Paul Chuckle to mist’s Barry – will do in a tight spot, but to really get your intestines pumping with fear…

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