DGA’s Early Access Corner (1/14/15)
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.
The Mims Beginning – I have to say, for an early access game, it’s an incredibly solid experience. It’s essentially a strategic god-like game…that is, you can place structures and cast spells/enact powers that can both aid your minions and damage or destroy pests and other nasty invaders. The different structures and how they chain together can take some getting used to, but I was able to figure it out after a few playthrus on the first level. The game eventually introduces a wave system and researching the appropriate tech will allow you to see farther into the future. It’s easily recommendable in its current state and to that end, you can find and support it via Steam’s Early Access program for $19.99.
Project AURA – “Project AURA” has a “Stargate: Atlantis” vibe about it in that you’ll be leading a colony of disaster survivors via a network of cities on the open seas. Your goal will be to provide for their needs as well as to help them prosper…though the way you go about doing that isn’t as simple as some other city management games I’ve played. This game can be a bit overwhelming at first as there’s a bit of micromanagement involved, mainly by way of organizational charts that require you to connect vital components together. I’m still relatively new to the game but I’m enjoying my time with it thus far and look forward to seeing what the game will ultimately allow me to do. You can find it via Steam’s Early Access program for $14.99.
Nom Nom Galaxy – I’ll say this…this game is certainly unique. I suppose with a name like “Nom Nom Galaxy”, I should have expected no less. In this title, you’ll be constructing a base and gathering resources with the intent on making soup and shipping it to hungry customers off-planet. You’ll also need to place towers around your base to fend off assaults from time to time, adding a bit of tower defense to the “Terraria-esque” gameplay. Rather than face AI soup competitors, you’ll be facing the imaginary ghosts of other players’ previous saves. I honestly would have preferred an AI setting that I could rely on (so that I could practice without fear of being slaughtered), though you can opt to play local co-op via split screen. Personally, I enjoyed my time with this title. You can find it via Steam’s Early Access program for $19.99.
Hand of Fate – Combining an ARPG with the deck-building genre is both gutsy and interesting. I had a hard time wrapping my head around what such a game would be like until I actually sat down with it and gave it a spin. The encounter deck, combined with the narrator’s own stock, will make up the obstacles you’ll have to overcome. You’ll gain equipment, food, and other goodies by successfully completing these encounters, allowing you to improve your character. In between games however, your character starts over with just your basic equipment (though the cards you unlock can be seeded into your decks so that you can discover them next game). The combat portions put you into an arena where you’ll be actively trying to be the last one standing. The flow of combat and the combat mechanics reminded me a bit of “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor“, albeit an extremely simplistic version. As a fan of deck-builders, “Hand of Fate” is an easy recommend. You can find it via Steam’s Early Access program for $19.99.