The Early Access survival/base building genre seems to have a pretty well trodden path these days. You start off with the base game and then release chapters/technology tiers/any other progression mechanic on a semi-regular drip until you get to the point where you call it feature complete. This development method does have some drawbacks though, namely for those of us who like to come into games when they’re fully formed there’s a lot of convention and understanding built up between the game’s early backers and the developers. This means some things get missed, “obvious” things aren’t really so and the…


There’s an unspoken genre of games I like to think of as “Having a Lark with your Mates”. These are games that, played by yourself, are usually pretty dull affairs, the core game loop not really being enough to sustain it for long durations. However when you get a few of your mates together and the inevitable happens (I.E. you begin to fuck about) things get a lot more fun, and suddenly the hours start passing you by before you know it. I’ve played many of these games with a core group of my friends and the latest game of…


It used to be that you really had to get off the beaten track to find experiences that called into question what a “game” really was. Interactivity is definitely key, but to what level is often the sticking point. Interactive movies or fiction like Late Shift certainly feel like they’re not exactly games, but it’s hard to lump them in with every other movie in which you have no input into what happens on screen. Others have developed generals all to their own, ala the Walking Simulator which attracts both it’s fervent adherents and dismissive opponents. …


It’s always fun to think about the genesis of the story and mechanics of a game. Quite often they’re rooted in reality in some way; the stories typically being allegories of the developer’s own experiences and the mechanics being born out of a core idea that’s then stretched, bent and twisted to create a fully fledged game. Maquette then was an interesting one to ponder, feeling like it was equal parts reality and fantasy mixed in together. As it turns out the game mechanics came first and the romance story was born out a necessity to make the game compelling…


It always takes a little bit of time for the big releases of the year to start ramping up. No one wants to release around the holiday period as you’re either going to get drown in the inevitable sales that everyone has or, even worse, you’ll get pushed aside for the games that were bought specifically to play during the holiday season. So it is around late February/early March we start to see some of the smaller indies and adventurous AAA developers testing the waters with…shall we say less run of the mill titles. Whilst I can’t be sure that…


Sometimes you don’t want all the bells and whistles that many games seek to deliver. I’m very much a fan of games that seek to pare down the experience down to the essence of what they want to do, leaving extraneous things to the side. Quite often you’ll find games like this from first time developers just dipping their toes into the water which is the case with first Hexacore, brought to us by an enigmatic developer called ZenJam. …


You’d think with the ever increasing number of games released that I’d be flooded with titles that I was eager to play. It’s not the case unfortunately as a good chunk of those new games released each week are either visual novels, some kind of RPG Maker pixel art adventure clone or any number of what I consider pretty low effort games that aren’t really worth the time. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum, games that take a good 15+ hours to complete something which I’m finding harder and harder to do on a weekly cadence. So I’ve…


The end of last year was just a deluge of games I wanted to play and so many got left by the wayside. I’m catching up on a lot of them now, doing away with the rule I’ve tried to hold for many years of only playing games that are released in that year. Of course this has always meant January was usually filled with a handful of crap or forgettable titles, with only the precious few nuggets that the indie community furnish up saving my sanity. So this year I’ve been playing through last year’s backlog with reckless abandon…


There are certain things I look to as indicators of a game’s overall quality without having to, you know, play the entire thing end to end. One thing that has been a semi-reliable indicator is the sound track which, for the most part, usually feels like an afterthought for most games. For those where it’s front and center, and even better put together by a composer I’ve loved for many years, then there’s a good chance that the rest of the game is probably worth looking into. This is how I came to find myself wanting to play Immortals: Fenyx…


I’m starting to like the idea of proof of concept games over things like Early Access and I’ll tell you why. Early Access has basically become a genre unto itself; the kinds of players who are likely to play alphas and betas for long periods of time driving the developers to cater to more directly to them. This is why Early Access is flooded with survival sims, city builders, simulators and games of similar ilk. Where are the RPGs, RTSs, FPSs or any of the other kinds of games that make up the bulk of titles made by regular development…

David Klemke

General geek, game enthusiast, average coder.

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