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Posts tagged “Premature Evaluation”

Feature: More orphan than not

Premature Evaluation: Palmyra Orphanage

Science. What a concept. It’s put men on the moon, chopped up an atom good and proper, briefly eradicated measles and edited the very building blocks of the human genome. But one field of science still eludes even our cleverest minds. What, exactly, is a scare?Well, as far as the boffins can ascertain using the best microscopes available, a scare is a kind of horrible…

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Feature: Reap what ye explode

Premature Evaluation: Nightmare Reaper

Hey, it’s me. I was gone for a while, but now I’m back. Back to prematurely evaluate some early access games, like an impatient baker wrenching open the door of an oven and plunging his fist into a molten ball of uncooked dough. Like an open heart surgeon dialling down the anaesthesia to wake his patient up while they’re still on the operating table, just…

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Feature: Drinks all round

Premature Evaluation: Griftlands

You can buy drinks for reprobates in Griftlands. The mingling crimefolk of this sci-fi card game hang out in bars and harbours, lounging on static screens hoping to sell you stuff, or waiting for a fight to break out so they can jump in for either side. There are hairy bouncers, froglike bartenders, and scar-faced bandits. Cultists, bent cops, and bounty hunters of all kinds.…

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Feature: Jump around! (You can't.)

Premature Evaluation – SlipSlop: World’s Hardest Platformer Game

When I was little, I used to eat cubes of jelly. As in, pre-diluted. You know how Hartley’s jelly came in oblong packets, and your mum would open it and out flopped the cubes of jelly, like a chocolate bar gone wrong or a future dystopian food supplement. I would sneak one of the cubes away and gnaw on it behind a sofa cushion, like…

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Feature: Motorbikes and mushrooms at the end of the world

Premature Evaluation: Failed State

I don’t want to become known for always talking about a thing (like how we all gently rib Matt about being a philsophy-toucher in a way that doesn’t amount to workplace bullying whatsoever). This is why I’ve tried to stop yelling at office co-workers about Chernobyl. I don’t want to be Appropriative Post-Soviet girl, who is probably the rubbishest of the X-Men characters. So my…

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Feature: We're going underground

Premature Evaluation – Overcrowd: A Commute ‘Em Up

Commuting is the biggest self-inflicted wound in human history. Whole cities are designed around countless dead-eyed souls expending enormous amounts of physical and mental energy ferrying themselves between their bedrooms and the place where their employment happens, flushing in and out every morning and evening like fleshy clockwork, like turds on the tides. When the great revolution comes and we are freed of the shackles…

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Feature: Does a robot even know what it means to jump?

Premature Evaluation: Levelhead

Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the few bona fide, mega-brain geniuses working in games. Inspired by the time he watched a plumber die of a concussion near a tortoise, the Nintendo luminary invented Mario in his toolshed in Kyoto, using nothing more than a couple of AAA batteries and a soldering iron.

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Feature: Incy wincy

Premature Evaluation: Dungeon Munchies

A friend of mine works for an insect farm, raising crickets and fly larvae as an alternative protein source for livestock feed, as well as for human snacks. His job is to distract each cricket for just long enough so that a colleague can swoop in from behind and humanely murder the cricket with a tiny hammer. Or at least that’s how I understood it.…

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Feature: Not worth the hustle

Premature Evaluation: Metro Sim Hustle

There was a time when only a privileged few were given the opportunity to create art. While the less fortunate were out tilling the fields, court-appointed portraitists were funded by royal patrons to immortalise their subject’s likeness on canvas. While us regular folk gnawed on potato peels, married our cousins and died of a cough at the ripe old age of 28, an enlightened few…

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Feature: Das early access

Premature Evaluation: UBOAT

You know you’re in for some serious submarine business when there’s an option to toggle the curvature of the earth on and off. I’m still not entirely sure what a flat earth would mean for a submarine, in any practical sense. Perhaps if the submarine wandered too close to the edge of the world it would spill over the precipice of a cosmic waterfall and…

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Feature: Tracking the greatest prey of all

Premature Evaluation: Pandemic Express – Zombie Escape

Pandemic Express is a game about a bunch of humans escaping a bunch of zombies. The humans, who all resemble French mimes in plague masks, are attempting to board and pilot a train to freedom. The zombies, who all resemble horrible goblins who’ve crept out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting, are out to stop them, using their fangs and claws to monch and clonch the…

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Feature: Burner cards

Premature Evaluation: Trials Of Fire

Trials Of Fire, besides having such a generic sounding title that you forget it every time you’re not looking directly at the words, is a turn-based, single-player, deck-building, choice-driven, procedurally-generated, top-down, role-playing strategy game, set in a post-cataclysmic, dark fantasy world. It’s part The Road, part Tolkien offcuts, as you guide a miserable band of fighters through a blasted wasteland in search of a series…

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Feature: From the developers of Out There

Premature Evaluation – Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

There are few people I find as fascinating as Mister Julian Assange, the debonair hacker and out-of-work Geralt cosplayer who hid inside an embassy for seven years, skateboarding into the ambassador’s bedroom and demanding to know the new wi-fi password so often that they finally got annoyed and kicked him out. Assange has the campy flare of a mid-tier Drag Race contestant, randomly appearing on…

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Feature: WW2 with cards

Premature Evaluation: Kards

My nice grandad fought in World War Two, along with all of the other nice grandads, against the fascist grandads who were causing quite the stir around Europe at the time. As far as I can tell my grandad had a relatively pleasant time, romping around in the desert with his fellow grandads, firing some really big guns into the sky until he was captured…

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Feature: Visceral gameplay

Premature Evaluation: Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Back at PC Zone magazine, where I was born out of an egg, it was my job to take the raw copy submitted by our freelance writers, strip out most of the sexism and veiled threats against politicians, and produce a polished and well structured review that was legally fit for publication. One of the most commonly deleted and cliched introductions to any game about…

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Feature: The Postman Cometh

Premature Evaluation: Willowbrooke Post

Oh, to be a postman. That sultry steward of the mail. That beautiful bastard with the letters. That outrageous freak of parcels. That walking obscenity in Gore-Tex red. That creep who lives inside a van and cannot die, because the postman is both one and many, everywhere and nowhere, always and never. Ding-dong, goes the siren song of the elusive postman. Can you sign for…

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Feature: Twinned with Lazy Town

Premature Evaluation: Factory Town

All of human history is just moving stuff from one place to another. We scoop stuff up out of the ground and stack it into great big pyramids to dispose of unwanted mummies and ankhs. We blast stuff out of rocks and turn it into gardening shears and fidget spinners and lamp shades and clothes hangers, before dumping it all back into the sea –…

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Feature: Would you rather have a robot head or crab claws for hands?

Premature Evaluation: Beacon

David Cronenberg's 1986 horror classic The Fly explored the idea of how much of a fly Jeff Goldblum would have to mutate into before he stopped being extremely hot (the answer, as revealed in the DVD commentary, is as high as 65 percent). It also tapped into a deep seated human fear of being trapped inside an elevator with a fly. But more than either…

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Feature: Grass tastes bad

Premature Evaluation: The Pusher

As a cool person, I know everything there is to know about drugs and drug paraphernalia, such as bongs and what have you. In fact, you’ll often find me hanging out with my fellow dope-fiends in what we in the business call a ‘drugs hole’, where we take weed, cocaine, and the rest of the types of drugs that there are. “Hey, quit hoggin’ all…

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Feature: Dwarfs, building a fortress

Premature Evaluation: King Under The Mountain

Playing early access games is like being flung backwards in time to a proterozoic era of Earth’s formless prehistory, where instead of lush continents and breathable air there are surging oceans of molten rock and noxious clouds of superheated nitrogen gas. And you’re there on this unfinished planet, standing on the precipice of a furious lake of spitting magma, your eyes popping like overboiled eggs…

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