DGA’s Early Access Corner (2/19/15)
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.
Infinifactory – Loved the intro, very humorous. I can only hope that the rest of the game develops on the story and finds ways for you to deal with your unfortunate predicament (like the “Portal” series did). The puzzles start out easy (thankfully) but are still incredibly enjoyable. It’s similar to “SpaceChem” (same developers), but there’s a bit more here from a physical standpoint in that you can actually walk around your environment and interact with it a la “Minecraft” (placing/removing blocks). I’m really enjoying this so far and the quality is top-notch for an Early Access game. Easy recommend for puzzle lovers who like a challenge! You can currently find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $24.99.
Darkest Dungeon – This game is brutal, sort of like “XCom: Enemy Unknown” is before you upgrade your squad. It mainly tasks you with managing a party (and estate) like other guild management games on the market, though this one is much more difficult and introduces character traits that can either help or hinder your dungeon runs. Further, your party members can gain “stress” as they delve into the depths, which does a lot of nasty things all-around. I felt compelled to keep every one of my characters alive, though the sad reality is that I don’t foresee that ever happening (I lost one on the second week due to massive & unavoidable spike damage). Luckily, new characters roll in every week like “Red Shirts” on a production line. This seems counter-intuitive in a way, considering that you can spend gold to upgrade your buildings in your estate and improve your characters. Healing needs buffed, as the heal value is often less than the strength of the following hit. Still, for an Early Access game, it is incredibly enjoyable (albeit maddeningly frustrating at times). You can currently find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $19.99.
Offworld Trading Company – I was super-excited when I first learned about this title, as there aren’t many economic RTS’s out on the market right now (if any). I finally don’t have to worry about memorizing hot-keys to queue up marines or peons or whatever else I may need to reach my keystroke per second quota. Instead, players will each get a HQ, choose a business model, and attempt to buy out their competition by buying low and selling high. This game features both raw materials and finished goods, with the price of each being affected by supply and demand. It reminds me of “Sid Meier’s Railroads” a bit, though you are limited in your building placement by “claims”…that is, a resource that allows you to unlock one hex on the map for your personal use. There’s a bit of a learning curve and the AI can be somewhat difficult, but I found myself wanting more with each gameplay session. You can currently find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $39.99.
Damned Nation Reborn – In short, the game is most certainly not worth $13 at the present time. There is only one game mode available and the game doesn’t do a very good job in informing the player on how to actually play the game. Yes, I did read the manual on the official website and while it tells you to hit “T” for turret and hit “1”, “2”, etc. to select your turret, it does not tell you how to actually place it. All I get is the outline of the object with no indication on what to do next. The hit-boxes are a bit off, especially with the shotgun…a zombie, in theory, should go down after five shots at point-blank range. The visuals are coming along nicely, though this game clearly needs more work. You can currently find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $12.99.