DGA’s Early Access Corner (11/4/14)
Okay…I’m out of clever lead-ins and I’m too tired to come up with new ones. I think from here on out, I’ll simply make the opening paragraph to articles in this series a simple/standard disclaimer. It’ll go something like this:
DISCLAIMER: The title “Early Access” means that the product/game is still under development. As such, the content featured below is subject to change. This includes any opinions I may have at the time of writing, as Alpha and Beta builds sometimes change their core mechanics on a whim. It’s important to stress the word opinions, as I find it unethical to review something not yet released in its final form. In other words, don’t take anything you see here too seriously. You can view all of the articles of this series by clicking the “Video Games” tab, located on the top of this page.
This War of Mine – While survival sims seem to be all the rage these days, “This War of Mine” puts you in the role of a few simple civilians as opposed to some elite batch of superheroes. Further, there are no zombies…rather, you’ll be facing off against a force that has besieged your city. During the day you’ll be limited by the watchful eye of enemy snipers, but at night you’ll be able to scrounge for food, medicine, and other goodies that your group will need to survive. The build I played was a press demo so obviously it’s got a few paces to be put through, but it may very well be the next survival sim that will hog my monitor for weeks on end.
UPDATE: I was able to confirm with the developer that the game will not be featured via the Early Access program and will instead “be available for purchase (in its final form) on November 14th, 2014. It’s available for preorder on Steam or, with 10% discount, at Games Republic, a digital shop created by 11 bit studios.” Still, it’s important to stress that my build was a press demo and thus the video shown below is not representative of the final product. Apologies for the confusion!
Retro-Pixel Castles – “Retro-Pixel Castles” is a village simulator that is a bit rogue-like in the sense that you’ll be trying to grow and prosper your town for as long as you can before your little uncontrollable villagers succumb to whatever hellish death awaits them. In short, you can’t win…though you can learn from your mistakes and see how long you can last the next time out. It’s got a while before release (a year or more), so there’s still a lot of work to be done. I myself see a lot of potential here, though it’s all very basic right now. The lack of a save feature is probably my biggest gripe with the current build, though a fast-forward button would admittedly be nice too. Still, you can browse the Internet and the like while you play as it is able to run in the background. With no price increase planned at launch, you can safely watch this one until you feel comfortable with buying it. You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $14.99.
Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire – I’m a big fan of the “Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures” and “Star Trek: Attack Wing” games, so the process of prepping my forces was fairly easy (each side is allotted so many points to spend). The gameplay took some getting used to however in that your units will first have to pass a roll check before they move to where you want them to go. The sound effects and animations are very basic right now and clicking/moving “formations” can be trivial at times. The number of unit types available are also pretty limited at present and the game has a tendency to “break” on me halfway through a match. Still, I’m anxious to try a more polished version later down the line as it has a lot of potential. You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $19.99 with a price increase planned at launch.