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DGA’s Early Access Corner (6/09/15)

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.

Hardland – As open-world RPGs go, this one isn’t half bad.  It clearly needs more time in the oven, but I am enjoying its simplistic nature.  Some things don’t make a lot of sense at present…that is, the inability to put certain items into your inventory.  I can carry as many apples or swords as I want to, for example, but I have to physically lug around a cabbage and drop it when I want to equip a sword & shield.  Despite the occasional mechanic that doesn’t make sense, you can easily drop a couple of hours into this in one sitting.  You can currently find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $14.99.

Turmoil – I work in the oil and gas industry, so needless to say my interest was piqued a little when I saw this.  The game is pretty easy to get into, though there are some hidden mechanics the game doesn’t tell you about.  For example, there’s an initial cost for laying pipe which increases the more you lay…meaning building one long one is cheaper than a bunch of smaller ones.  Neutral wagons (not assigned to selling oil to Left or Right Inc.) will take from the rig and put it into a storage tank, while assigned wagons take from the tank first.  This is important, as wells can spill if left unattended too long (resulting in a hefty penalty).  While simplistic, I’m having a good time with it so far.  You can currently find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $9.99.

Big Pharma – This game immediately reminds me a bit of “Infinifactory”, another game currently under development.  “Big Pharma” tasks players with creating medicines with various cures and side effects by linking various machines together across a chain of conveyor belts.  It’s both a logistics puzzle and business management sim, the idea of which appeals to me greatly.  I have to admit that it is quite challenging in the sense that it’ll take me time to understand how the different machines work and how to use them in tandem to accomplish what you’re setting out to do.  Still, it’s easy to recommend because it’ll keep you busy for a while, assuming you don’t get frustrated and rage quit.  Along those lines, the impatient and instant gratification types may want to pass on this or do their homework first to see if they’d enjoy it.  You can buy into the Beta via the official website for $24.95 (it’s currently discounted to $19.95 as of 6/9/15)

Gameplay Videos:

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