Posts Tagged ‘Steam Early Access’

Premature Evaluation: Empires of the Undergrowth

ant

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 an informative delve into the animal kingdom — specifically the tiny world of our pals, the ants — but instead unfurls into a cruel reminder that nature is terrifying and spiders are dicks. And even here, in this RTS set in a formicarium, the real villains are humans. Awful, awful humans.

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Premature Evaluation: Tannenberg

tan

This week’s Premature Evaluation sees our early access conscript, Fraser, flung into the nightmarish Eastern Front of World War I in multiplayer FPS Tannenberg. It’s a companion game to Verdun, but the weather is worse and and there are a lot more angry men with guns.

A man sprints out of the woods just in front of my hiding spot, screaming as he jumps over fallen trees. Before I can even figure out if he’s friend or foe, there’s a flash and a scream as he’s sent hurtling through the air, the latest victim of the enemy’s mortar. He lands in the mud right next to me, where he moans and gurgles as the life slowly seeps out of him. It’s a noise I’ve become very familiar with in Tannenberg.

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SpyParty is coming to Steam early access after 8 years of development

spy

The first time SpyParty was mentioned here was in 2010, and we’ve not written about it since 2015, so you could be forgiven for forgetting that it existed. But it does indeed still exist, and after eight years of development, it’s coming to Steam early access. There’s a new trailer below that breaks down the simple but seductive premise.

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Premature Evaluation: Bermuda – Lost Survival

bermuda

For this week’s Premature Evaluation, we’ve tossed Fraser into Bermuda – Lost Survival’s unfriendly ocean, where he’ll have to survive on whatever he can steal from the water.

I have, over the last couple of years, misplaced a yacht, crashed a yacht and fallen out of a yacht. You might say that Poseidon and I have a troubled relationship. I just want to go sailing, but he has other plans. I’ve got some experience with nautical misadventures, then, which is why I expect that Bermuda – Lost Survival will be a walk in the park, albeit a very soggy one.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 Now On Steam Early Access

Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] launched into early access today, less than a year after wrapping up its Kickstarter. The fantasy RPG’s initial release is quite small, and waiting for the full version before even thinking about touching it is certainly a reasonable idea but, y’know, maybe Adam’s raving has got you pumped. Original Sin 2 “improves almost every area” of the original, he said – and it was no slouch.

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Game Freak’s Giga Wrecker Now On Early Access

Game Freak, the studio who brought you little games like Pokémon, have a new game out this week on Early Access. It’s a 2D action puzzle’em up called Giga Wrecker [Steam page], in which you take on the role of an aqua-haired cyborg lady exploring a world invaded by a host of malicious robots.

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GOG Starts Selling Early Access Games

In his final Premature Evaluation column on Monday, Marsh said of Steam Early Access: “Developers don’t know what they’re selling, customers don’t know what they’re buying, and I often don’t know what I’m reviewing – each week I play two or three games in the hope of finding one which is recognisable, even loosely, as a product against which even the vaguest expectations might be tentatively measured.”

Today, GOG have started selling early access games. They insist they’ll be “carefully evaluating” games before selling them, and will be kind with refunds. But who will we turn to now Marsh has evaluated himself dry?

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How To Survive 2 Hits Early Access With Online MP

Celebrate the impending doom wrought by the zombie apocalypse with friends, seems to be the message I’m getting from How To Survive 2 [official site]. Oh, and Louisiana looks nice. How To Survive 2 has shuffled its way onto Steam Early Access in search of brains, online multiplayer, and a new camp system for the action-RPG. Focus your cross hairs on the launch trailer below.

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Between Me And The Night Spooking Early Access

Nothing takes me back to those good old days of childhood more than a video game where televisions are basically spiders and our protagonist inhabits a Cronenberg shadow world. Between Me and The Night [official site], oh what a beaut’ this is. A surreal action adventure about a kid on the edge and the mysterious house that he lives in.

The project’s makers at RainDance LX have brought the game to the people for a bit of feedback, launching it on Steam Early Access on Friday. Video after the jump.

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Can’t Catch ‘Em All: Undead Labs Dropping Moonrise

I’m almost done catching up on news I missed over the long holiday weekend and, aw, this last bit’s bad news. State of Decay creators Undead Labs are planning to close their pocket monster battling game Moonrise [official site] without ever officially launching it. Moonrise launched on Steam Early Access in May, selling $15 and $20 bundles of creatures and virtuacash and whatnot. It was supposed to turn free-to-play when it launched but, well, it won’t launch and they’ve pulled it from sale.

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Is Early Access A Good Thing For Players Or Developers?

Early Access games are here to stay, but is that cause for concern or celebration? We gathered to discuss whether early access benefits developers or players in its current state, and how we’d make it better. Along the way, we discussed the best alpha examples, paying for unfinished games, our love of regularly updated mods, Minecraft and the untapped potential of digital stores.

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Blitzkrieg 3 Gets Its First Real-Time PvP Mode

Blitzkrieg 3 [official site] has got a big ol’ update with a new PvP mode. It’s something called Active Defense, which from my understanding of WWII front line defense – most of which has been gleaned from Nick Frost in Spaced – means the developers at Nival are angling for slightly more realistic combat.

Essentially this means it’s in real-time. Up until this point, Blitzkrieg 3’s multiplayer mode was “asynchronous,” meaning the defending team in its front line were offline players whose forces were controlled by AI. Which is slightly strange. It’s only now that they’ve introduced real-time PvP between attacking and defending players.

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New Zachtronics Puzzler TIS-100 Out Of Early Access

What even is a computer?

SpaceChem and Infinifactory creator Zach Barth has released his latest thing-making puzzle game, which sits somewhere between fiddling with chemistry and building automated factories. TIS-100 [official site] is an assembly programming puzzler, having you literally learn and write code to fix up corrupted code in the mysterious eponymous ’80s computer. Yes, you do need to learn and write the TIS-100’s assembly code. Computers are puzzles!

After a seven-week stretch in Steam Early Access, TIS-100 properly launched yesterday.

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Intelligent Design – Ark: Survival Evolved Mod Kit Released

It's harder to go the way of the dodo with mod tools.

Open-world dinomonster survive ’em up Ark: Survival Evolved [official sites] is still storming Steam in Early Access. It’s sitting sixth on the playercount charts as I write this, and what we played seemed a bit of a lark. Still, its makers aren’t resting on their prehistoric laurels, and are working hard to avoid extinction.

They’ve launched the full the Ark Dev Kit, a simplified version of the Unreal Engine 4 editor which lets folks make their own maps and mods. That’ll certainly help avoid catastrophe, or at the very least ennui. It’s got Steam Workshop support to make installing them easier too.

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Hidden Path Drop Early Access Game Windborne

The alphafunding/Early Access model has given us some of the biggest games around, but it’s still a gamble – especially in bustling genres like the Minecraftbut. Hidden Path Entertainment, the Defense Grid and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive folks, took to Steam Early Access last February with Windborne [official site]. It was Minecraft but prettier, with quests and treasure and things to befriend. Now they’ve stopped development and pulled the £20 game from sale.

Hidden Path simply didn’t have enough money to finish it, they say, claiming they invested ten times more money into development than the game ever made back. That means they can’t give refunds, but they are offering more copies of Winborne to owners so they can share it.

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Fighty Footy: Soccer Rage On Steam Early Access

To make a futuresport, take a modern sport then add ultraviolence and perhaps motorcycles. Imagine hockey with razorpucks, cycle polo with motorcycles and warhammers, or football where people don’t dive to the ground when touched but rather give the other player a damned good hiding. That last one’s not far off the idea of Soccer Rage [official site].

With no off-sides, substitutions, fouls, or any rules beyond “kick the ball into the goal” really, Soccer Rage is part football and part fighting game. Ungentlemanly sportsmen can check it out now on Steam Early Access.

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First-Person Shoot-O-Racing: BIOS On Steam Early Access

That's a first-person shooter all right!

Small studio Pixyul seemed a touch over-ambitious in announcing dreams to scan the entire world with drones and recreate it in 3D with their first game, top-down survive ’em up ReRoll. We have not heard much about that recently. Their second announced game is far more modest, arguably more interesting (mapdrones aside), and something you can actually play now.

BIOS [official site] is what Pixyul call a “racing first-person shooter”, a time trial-o-rama about zipping through levels and gunning enemies as fast as possible, learning and repeating to shave seconds. It launched on Steam Early Access this afternoon.

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Minecraftbut LEGO: LEGO Worlds Hits Steam Early Access

Minecraft but with LEGO” is an idea that must have been raised a hundred thousand times, everywhere from playgrounds to board rooms. It’s finally happened. With remarkably little fanfare, Warner Bros. yesterday both announced and launched LEGO Worlds [official site].

Well, launched onto Steam Early Access. Made by the LEGO game folks at TT Games, it’s a procedurally-generated open-world explore-o-build ’em up with terraforming and rideable creatures and vehicles. Its LEGO worlds do look swish, creating terrain out of squillions of carefully-placed bricks. You know, Minecraftbut with LEGO. It’s pretty barebones at launch, lacking multiplayer.

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SpaceChem Dev’s TIS-100: A Programming Puzzler

After having folks design molecules in SpaceChem and automated plants in Infinifactory, Zachtronics are back with another puzzle game of complex systems. What comes after atoms and factories, the whole dang universe? The multiverse? Nah, you write assembly code.

Today Zachtronics both announced and (sort of) released TIS-100 [official site], a game about rewriting corrupted code to fix a fictional ’80s computer. It’s on on Steam Early Access now for £4.49. My prediction: their next game after this will be to literally program SpaceChem.

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Jazz Furniture: Home Improvisation Out On Early Access

Easy enough!

I liked freeform cooperative Ikea furniture-building game Höme Improvisåtion [official site] in its game jam prototype form enough that I showed it at an event I helped organise. Obviously I’m delighted that its makers have continued development, expanding upon the idea of failing to assemble flat pack goods and creating jazz furniture.

The expanded commercial version is now out on Steam Early Access, bringing a whole tool box to customise your creations more, and planning things like online multiplayer.

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