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Posts tagged “Premature Evaluation”

Feature: Outta lurk

Premature Evaluation: It Lurks Below

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s looking into what lurks below in It Lurks Below. What is It? What does It want? Is It responsible for all my missing underwear? I’m pretty fond of Terraria, and even more so of Starbound, so It Lurks Below piqued my interest with only a couple of…

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Feature: Trust no one

Premature Evaluation: SpyParty

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser's pretending to be an NPC, badly, in the asymmetric game of spies and snipers, SpyParty. How do you get blood out of a tux? Nerves already shot, I extract myself from the conversation I’m using as cover and head towards the golden statue, my prize. This plush…

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Feature: Not radical enough

Premature Evaluation: Radical Heights

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s trying to win prizes and also senselessly fight strangers in '80s battle royale game show, Radical Heights. With Lawbreakers being left to fend for itself after failing to seduce enough players, Boss Key Productions has pivoted to something that’s undeniably more popular: battle royales. There’s been quite…

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Feature: Shipwreck

Premature Evaluation: Make Sail

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s setting off in a rickety boat in Make Sail. It looks a bit like Wind Waker, but you get to build your own vessel. Sadly, it doesn't talk. Once a year, usually around the time of Gamescom, I slink off. I stop writing, disconnect from Twitter and…

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Feature: Frankensaurus

Premature Evaluation: PixArk

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser's lost in PixArk, the Minecraft-inspired Ark: Survival Evolved spin-off. It's colourful, whimsical and it's made him extremely grumpy. PixArk feels like the result of an algorithm designed to pick bits from popular games and Frankenstein them into something new. This is nothing new - trying to capture…

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Feature: Crowd pleaser

Premature Evaluation: Darwin Project

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…

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Feature: Flight of the Rescue Gull

Premature Evaluation: Stormworks – Build and Rescue

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…

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Feature: The most dangerous game

Premature Evaluation – Hunt: Showdown

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…

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Feature: The Berry King

Premature Evaluation: Rise of Industry

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…

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Feature: Let our powers combine!

Premature Evaluation: Eco

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…

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Feature: The Tragic Saga of Doderick Soup

Premature Evaluation: Life is Feudal – MMO

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s going serfing in Life is Feudal: MMO, a game that pitches itself as hardcore, realistic and unforgiving. Fun! Easily confused with Life is Feudal: Your Own, Life is Feudal: MMO takes the multiplayer medieval crafting and survival game and makes it larger and, through developer-run servers, more…

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Feature: Bureaucracy Moon

Premature Evaluation: My Time at Portia

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…

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Feature: Stick rocket launchers on it

Premature Evaluation: Forged Battalion

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…

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Feature: How to make a muffin

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s pottering around in RocketWerkz' space station sim, Stationeers, and learning that, just perhaps, it's better to stay on Earth. Why is a giant egg on top of my microwave? I’m trying to play through Stationeers’ dire tutorial, but I actually feel like I’m participating in one of…

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Feature: All aboard

Premature Evaluation: Mashinky

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…

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Feature: Life finds a way

Premature Evaluation: Mesozoica

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s doing his best John Hammond impersonation by caging up dinosaurs and displaying them in exchange for tourist cash in dino theme park sim Mesozoica. This summer, Frontier plans to launch Jurassic World Evolution, a licensed dino-park sim. I can almost understand, then, why I’m already playing Mesozoica,…

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Feature: Steampunks vs. Zombies

Premature Evaluation: They Are Billions

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. For the first foray of 2018, Fraser’s been trying to save humanity from hordes of peckish zombies and other undead beasties in survival RTS They Are Billions. It’s a classic New Year tradition from a simpler time. They Are Billions, at first glance, looks like it might have been the…

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Feature: White noise

Premature Evaluation: Fade to Silence

This week’s Premature Evaluation sees Fraser swap a regular Scottish winter for an eternal, supernatural winter that has destroyed humanity in survival sandbox Fade to Silence. Festive! I really should be playing games about sunshine and whimsy with warm colour palettes and chipper NPCs -- here, in the depths of winter, it’s gloomy enough as it is. Fade to Silence has huskies though! Well, they’re…

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Feature: Darwinian

Premature Evaluation: Empires of the Undergrowth

This week’s Premature Evaluation gives Fraser the highly coveted job of mucking around in the dirt while managing an ant colony in creepy crawly RTS Empires of the Undergrowth. It gets really dark down there. “The ants were weak and confused. We should start again with another colony.” Like so many nature documentaries before it, Empires of the Undergrowth looks like it’s going to be…

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Feature: It's quiet at the end of the world

Premature Evaluation: Dustwind

This week’s Premature Evaluation dumps Fraser in Dustwind’s isometric wasteland, forced to murder other players in grisly real-time tactical brawls. Also it has dogs. I'll admit it -- I decided to take Dustwind for a spin primarily because of one line on the Steam store page: “Play as a dog.” In post-apocalyptic battle arenas that evoke Fallout and Wasteland, no less. And we’re not talking…

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