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Posts tagged “Steam Early Access”

Feature: Like, who really owns trees anyway, y'know?

I played Eco and didn’t want to save the world

This is like one of those jokes that work on Twitter but makes people really concerned if you write it on Facebook: "Anyone else feel like the planet is doomed and we should stop trying?" Like, your aunt would post a comment underneath asking if you were okay. The first time I played Eco, I chose a world that had been running for a few…

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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: 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: 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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Feature: The Call of the Penguins

Premature Evaluation: Lovecraft’s Untold Stories

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s investigating eldritch goings on in action-RPG Lovecraft’s Untold Stories. Never heard of him. Just when I thought Lovecraft had been mined to death, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories comes along and I find myself protecting giant penguins and blowing up pink blobs of toxic goo. You remember the giant…

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Feature: Hide and seek

Premature Evaluation: Objects in Space

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s hauling cargo across pirate-infested star systems in space sandbox Objects in Space. It’s so quiet I can hear the dog breathing as he naps in the hallway. I’ve turned the in-game music player off, killed the power to every component on the ship and I’m hurtling through…

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Feature:

Premature Evaluation: Sky Noon

Premature Evaluation is the (usually) weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser's shooting acrobatic cowboys in Sky Noon, an unconventional FPS full of grappling hooks and aerial antics. My stetson and I have spent a great deal of time soaring through big, open skies recently. It’s been lovely, though there’s always a tinge of frustration and just a…

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Modding tools will inject new life into Dead Cells

Roguey romp Dead Cells - one of the best games of 2017 - is getting mod support, possibly as soon as this month. It’s been requested frequently, so the announcement still comes as a pleasant surprise, mentioned at the end of a brief update post yesterday. The early access game is also now available on Linux and Mac - just pick those versions in the…

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Feature: Lost in the woods

Premature Evaluation: Witch Hunt

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser's off to the 18th century to hunt a forest full of nasty monsters in horror FPS Witch Hunt. He's a very brave boy. Find a bunch of trees and you’ll probably discover a folktale or ghost story set under their boughs. Years ago, I lived right on…

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Feature: Sticks and stones... and ghosts

Premature Evaluation: Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s moonlighting as a grouchy stall owner in Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator, a first-person fantasy retail romp. With the chaos of E3 fast approaching, I’m looking for a more sedate racket. No more of this videogame malarky, I’m going to sell rocks and sticks to the impoverished serfs of…

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