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Posts tagged “Steam Early Access”

Feature: We built this city! We built this city on bread and cheese!

After its recent update, lovely city-builder Foundation has never been better

It's been a while since I played early access medieval city-builder Foundation (shamed by the unintentional yet embarrassingly forced starvation of my villagers). January brought with it v1.5, probably one of the most substantial updates yet. Increased strain has been put upon my villagers and their supply chains, but I still find it one of the most relaxing city-builders I've ever played - surely worth…

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Feature: Hover bored

Premature Evaluation: Comanche

The latest in a long list of topics I have hurled myself into these past two weeks in the naive hope of distracting my anxiety for even just a few minutes, helicopters are all I’m choosing to think about right now. Wow, how do they work? The world is coming to an end. They’re such an exciting way to get around! Hovering celebrity death traps.…

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Feature: Crumplestiltskin

Premature Evaluation: BeamNG.drive

Don’t ask me to explain in any more detail, but I’m almost completely certain I understand what “soft-body physics” means having watched precisely one YouTube video about it while high in bed one afternoon, my own soft body draped inelegantly across the pillows and speckled in Quorn nugget crumbs, like some forgotten Renaissance masterpiece. Car simulator BeamNG.drive deals in the physics of soft bodies, objects…

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Feature: Teach a man to fish

Premature Evaluation: Russian Fishing 4

Back in the before times, before the fires and the disease came, you could feed bread to ducks without being cancelled by the bird police. Just grab a sliced pan of wholewheat Warburtons and hurl it into a lake, then watch as every duck, swan and anaemic-looking goose in the postcode descended upon it in a feathery gale, quacking and honking and feasting in a…

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Feature: Head 'n' shoulders

Premature Evaluation – Skul: The Hero Slayer

A side-scrolling roguelike with a pixel art style and an adorable little skull person protagonist, Skul: The Hero Slayer could easily be mistaken for about seven thousand other early access games. After all, we’ve long since hit peak pixel, reaching the stage in society where lovely chunky squares are the mainstream rather than the exception, and aliased edges and bezier curves have to cower and…

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Feature: Oh buoy oh buoy

Premature Evaluation: Raft

You’ll have heard of Raft. It’s the best open world survival crafting there is, for the singular reason that rather than having to run around to discover and excavate resources, they’re all swept towards you on a never-ending tide of stuff. Plastic, wood, leaves, potatoes. All you have to do is catch the detritus with a hook on a string and then yank it towards…

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Baldur’s Gate 3 will hit Steam Early Access this year

We won't be waiting too much longer to get our hands on Baldur's Gate 3, as it's making its way to Steam Early access later this year. Since it was announced at E3, Larian Studios have kept pretty quiet about the game. But with PAX East fast approaching, it looks like the studio also behind Divinity: Original Sin are getting ready for some big reveals…

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Feature: The colour of the storm!

Wolcen: Lords Of Mayhem is ridiculous and I love it

The world is crying out for Diablikes, or at least it seems that way from the rampant success of Wolcen: Lords Of Mayhem, a hacking, slashing, dungeon crawling action RPG that went into the top ten on Steam as soon as it released. It's only climbed higher since, despite the fact that it's only just left early access and is not issue-free. Also despite the…

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Feature: Get your ass to Mars

Premature Evaluation: Rover Mechanic Simulator

You can keep your trendy meditation apps and your Himalayan pilgrimages to remote temples where ascetic monks ding little bells and dispense timeless wisdom, because I’ve just discovered something a thousand times more effective at achieving a semblance of inner peace. The absolute best salve for an overheating brain is to quietly dismantle a Martian rover. Just sequester yourself away in the spare room for…

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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: Take me turns, six underworlds

Warhammer Underworlds: Online seems OK, I guess

Warhammer Underworlds: Online is an adaptation of the tabletop game that its publisher Games Workshop calls a "tactical arena combat game". That's a fair summary, but I'm struggling to come up something more detailed that isn't kind of negative. I'm finding it hard, to be brutally honest, to care about it much one way or the other.

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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: Do panic

Hands on with GTFO, the best way to panic as a group since Killing Floor

I'm surrounded by three people, each trapped in a vertical cot. We're staring at each other from respective cages as we plunge into the depths of our prison, having been pressganged into resolving the warden's monster problem. It won't be long until we're at each others' side, tiptoing past sleeping abominations. It won't be much longer until we're screaming and scurrying away, after one of…

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Feature: Mostly armless

Wildermyth is a simple, beautiful, brilliant RPG. Play it, you cowards.

As I write this I am on my week off, so I don't have to be professional. Blarg bloog bleeg. You see? Not even real words. I can say what I want. They knew what would happen when they hired me. This is on them. Or, I might just openly berate you for not playing Wildermyth, a tactical RPG with turn based combat. It launched…

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