DGA’s Early Access Corner (12/1/14)
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.
Eternal Winter – This game doesn’t hide the fact that it resembles “The Long Dark” in that it tasks you with staying alive in a cold and barren environment. The developers go as far as to say that “The Long Dark” is what inspired them to develop “Eternal Winter” in the first place. While you’ll run across familiar foes like wolves and still have to manage your personal stats like hunger and fatigue, the game promises a less hardcore approach to it all. It’ll even support co-op and vehicles, features that “The Long Dark” doesn’t have. You can even name your dogs and go dogsledding…how cool is that? “Eternal Winter” isn’t as polished as “The Long Dark” currently, but I’ll be anxious to see how it develops over the next year. You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $9.99 with a price increase planned after launch.
Reassembly – A very interesting concept that is implemented well. I am not someone who enjoys overly complex “X” (ships, mechs, etc.) builders and I’m pleased to report that designing my own ship in this game was incredibly easy. Essentially, you’ll start off with a small ship, earn credits and raw resources, and then build up both your ship and faction in an attempt to get to the center of the map (the difficulty increases as you go, like in “Spore”). It’s a bit pricey for the content it currently offers, though to be fair, the price listed now ($29.99) is actually higher than what it’ll be at launch. This was intended so as to “ensure a higher degree of focus between us and our testers/players.” Those who really enjoy games of this type and don’t mind the aspect of Beta testing and playing Early Access games would be best suited to pick this up. Otherwise, wait for launch and grab it then.
We Slay Monsters – At first glance, this seemed like just another rouge-like dungeon crawler. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering that I’m a big fan of the genre. When I saw the trailer and watched one of the founders use cards to resolve combat, I knew I had to give it a try. My first impressions were extremely positive as I was constantly trying to come up with ways to use my cards’ effects to do damage and defend against enemy attacks. Some card effects teleport monsters away to a distant tile while others freeze them. Some card suits make ranged attacks possible while others are strictly melee based. My only gripe is the lack of tool tips and in-game encyclopedia as some game mechanics aren’t explained all that well despite the presence of a tutorial. All in all though, there’s a lot of replayability here. You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $4.99.
Boid – Boid is an RTS similar to that of Eufloria, Oil Rush, and Planets Under Attack. Unlike Eufloria, certain bases are dedicated to spawning units while others are not. Instead, other bases allow you to convert units from “basic” to something else with each unit class having its own strengths, weaknesses, and stats. It’s a very tactical game and the AI is incredibly challenging, even on the “easy” difficulty setting. A map editor will be introduced down the line which I’ll be interested to try out. I would have liked the ability to be able to set the number of AI opponents…at present, it seems like maps only support a total of two players. It would be fun to see what a three or four player game would look like, I think. I was unable to find a price to determine its value vs content ratio, but I’ll give it a recommend for the potential alone. It’ll be available on Steam’s Early Access program January 6, 2015.