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DGA’s Early Access Corner (5/22/15)

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.

Boss Monster – Based off of the card game of the same name, this video game adaptation is fun and contains a lot of value for the price tag.  For those of you unfamiliar with the game, you’re essentially an evil boss that must lure heroes into your dungeon and kill them off before they get to you (think “Dungeons” by Realmforge/Kalypso).  If you manage to accomplish this, you’ll gain souls…earning ten first wins you the game.  However, they can inflict wounds should they get passed your rooms (which you can customize via cards) and five wounds is enough to eliminate you altogether.  Despite not having played the card game, I won my first game against the AI (though there is also multiplayer and hot seat options available)…in other words, it didn’t take me long to figure everything out.  Worth picking up! You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $6.99.

The Four Kings Casino and Slots – It’s hard not to recommend a “Free To Play” game, though I would like to see more options available to the player all-around. For example, all of the video blackjack machines seemed to have the same minimum bid requirement…it would have been nice to see nickel, quarter and dollar machines to give players a bit more longevity with their chips. On the bright side, there are plenty of ways to earn free chips (daily quests, spinning a daily wheel, visiting the chip machine every so often, etc.). There was barely anyone on when I played, though the gentleman I ran into was nice enough…hopefully the folks who will potentially populate the server will be equally as warm. It has potential, but there’s room for improvement (hence why the game is currently in the Early Access program, no doubt).  You can play it for free via Steam’s Early Access program, though multiple packages exist if you want to spend real money.

Space Rogue – “Space Rogue” immediately reminds me of “FTL”, especially the portions where you can move your crew around the ship and manage your ship’s resources.  Even the rooms and the pacing of combat have the same general concept.  “Space Rogue” does take it a step farther in a few places, giving you the ability to mine planets for minerals (just to cite one example), though you can’t grind for minerals by revisiting planets you’ve already been to.  In addition to this, the customization options for when you’re setting up said sandbox are fairly vast.  All of these things appeal to my inner sci-fi geek…I mean, what “Star Trek” fan doesn’t dream of commanding their own ship?  I think it’s safe to say that if you enjoyed “FTL” (it’s one of my favorites), then you’ll like “Space Rogue” too.  The price is a bit steep considering that the differences between this and “FTL” are few and far between…I sincerely hope that more content is coming to justify the price variance between the two games.  You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $29.99 with a 33% discount being applied during the Early Access period.

Oil Enterprise – The game has promise, but it’s not worth the $15 at this time. At present, the free play mode does not work and there’s only two scenarios available (one of which is a tutorial that doesn’t cover everything you need to know). I believe I figured most of it out through trial and error in that you can sell oil to either the market or via contracts…the former having a variable price while the latter having a fixed price. Logistics enable you to sell more per day, which is important if you intend to accept a lot of contracts. Expect to stumble your first few playthrus of the scenarios as it can get a little confusing. I would have liked a way to distinguish crude from refined oil, for example…they should really have their own separate resource count. That’s not to say that it couldn’t be something fantastic some day, but I’d only recommend it to dedicated fans who want to support the developers. As for the rest of you, I’d say wait a while until the game receives a bit more TLC and content.  You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $14.99.

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