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DGA’s Early Access Corner (6/17/14)

Now I know why games journalists sometimes hate their jobs.  The sheer number of games out on the market always seem to be increasing, what with the recent rise of Indie developers over the past couple of years and Steam’s Early Access program.  I used to be able to write reviews and previews for every game I featured on my YouTube channel, but no longer.  Either I’m getting older and slower, or DGA is growing beyond the scope for one man to handle.  Perhaps a little of both?  At any rate, I wanted to quickly hi-lite some of the games I’ve been playing that have not yet reached final production quality…meaning Alphas & Betas.  The following are games that I’ve been gifted by their respective developers and I’ve already covered on my YouTube channel, but haven’t here.  It’s worth stressing that all of these games, as of 6/17/14, are not finished.  Therefore, I’ll simply be reporting on whether or not I think they are worth playing at the present time.

Catlateral Damage – Currently on Kickstarter, this game will put you in the shoes for a four-legged feline from hell.  Knocking stuff onto the floor and breaking everything you see for points has never been so fun.  A free demo is available on the official website.

Freaking Meatbags – This is an RTS of sorts, though I use that term loosely.  As a robot trying to make its way from planet to planet, you’ll be using humans (meatbags) to gather resources and fend off other robots a la tower defense.  It’s currently available on Steam’s Early Access program for ten bucks and while it’s not the prettiest game you’ll ever play, it has a certain charm about it.  Further, you can splice meatbags’ traits to make new and improved meatbags via the DNA machine.  At present, I’d say it was worth the “discounted” price of ten bucks.

Imagine Earth – A great enviro-friendly puzzle game that will task you with developing a world while being mindful of things like pollution.  Only the first few missions are available, but the graphics and gameplay mechanics are sound.  With that said, I’d wait a bit to see where the game goes as the price tag ($24.99) is a bit hefty for the content currently offered.  It’s currently available on Steam’s Early Access program.

Factorio – This game…holy hell.  I lost nine hours to this thing when I first began playing it and I haven’t been able to put it down since.  It throws your character onto a planet in which you must thrive by constructing elaborate factory chains.  Think “Don’t Starve” crossed with “Crazy Machines” with a heavy emphasis on automation.  It’s intimidating and difficult, but worth every single penny.  You can buy into the Alpha through the official website for as low as $20.

The Golf Club – One of the best Golf games I’ve ever played, though I would have liked the ability to hit the ball via button presses instead of swinging the mouse or thumbing the X-Box controller knob.  The course editor is just icing on the cake.  $34.99 is a bit much on the average wallet, but if you have the money and love Golf games, this one’s a no brainer.  It’s available through Steam’s Early Access program.

Global Outbreak: Doomsday Edition – On the plus side, it has a “Pandemic” feel about it.  On the downside, it feels like a mobile port at times.  Using helicopters and trained personnel, you’ll be tasked with saving the world from an infection.  It’s currently available on Steam’s Early Access program for $12.99.  While not a bad game, it could stand to be improved upon.

The Forest – Surviving a plane crash, you’ll be tasked with finding food, building a shelter, and finding your son.  It’s a ton of fun when it works and the graphics are fantastic, but is a bit too broken to currently recommend.  It’s currently available on Steam’s Early Access program for $14.99.

Learn more via the below gameplay videos:

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