alpha

The Forest alpha review

Andy Kelly at

I’ve been playing The Forest today, and whenever anyone’s come over to my desk to watch I’ve been savaging an animal. Spearing fish with a stick, murderising turtles with an axe, and at one point I’d battered so many seagulls with a rock that the resulting pile of feathery bodies slowed the game down to a crawl. As I type this, it’s the second best-selling game on Steam. It would be the first, but a 75% sale on Injustice is getting in the way. Am I enjoying it? Yeah, but I think it’s important I tell you from the off that it’s incredibly janky and limited, even for an Early Access title. At this point in time it feels more like a proof of concept than a game, but what I’ve seen so far shows a lot of promise indeed.


EverQuest Next Landmark timelapse video shows us failing at architecture

Tyler Wilde at

The EverQuest Next Landmark alpha—which I've been playing a ton of—introduces the MMO's voxel building tools with patient restraint. By pacing players with a crafting game (advanced resources and building tools must be earned, and not quickly), it encourages a lot of observing and dirt block prototyping, giving its architects time to establish a sense of scale and plan out their first project. When Cory and I visited SOE in San Diego a few months ago, we didn't have that benefit, as you can see in this timelapse video of an apparently drunk construction crew building a pub.


DayZ players propose a Christmas ceasefire

Patrick Carlson at

Echoing the Christmas truces that took place along the 1914 Western Front during World War I, some DayZ players on Reddit want to spend the day with their baseball bats shouldered and their guns tucked away. Since the game often acts as a sort of laboratory for human behavior, any proposed ceasefire in the DayZ Mod or Standalone alpha will take place as a simple—but maybe revealing—experiment.


Incognita opens for alpha access, trailer shows turn-based espionage in action

Phil Savage at

I'm starting to worry about Klei, you guys. Between new Mark of the Ninja DLC, continued development on Don't Starve, and now the turn-based spy-'em-up Incongnita, they're pumping out an incredible number of games. Has anyone checked to make sure their office isn't full of developers chained to computers; forced to code strategic espionage-based interactions and draw gorgeously stylistic art? They've just opened Incognita for pre-order purchase, giving buyers instant alpha access to the game. Maybe they need to raise funds for some thicker restraints?


Get in here stalker: Survarium alpha set to expand soon

Tom Sykes at

I still can't pronounce its name without adding an extra 'iv' in the middle - 'Survivarium' just sounds so much better to my ears - but I'm still champing at the bit to play this sorta-spiritual-successor to the Stalker series. Survarium is currently undergoing a selective alpha test, but as this tweet from the development team reveals, the rusty iron door to the survivalist MMOFPS is about to be opened a little wider. Head here to register for a chance to join the post-apocalyptic battle for survival, but remember to pack your Geiger counter.


Prison Architect bangs up 100,000 players, no word on the number of shankings

Tom Sykes at

Despite still being in alpha, Introversion's Prison Architect has managed to shave, de-louse and lock up over 100,000 players, raising (according to the website) a not-too-shabby $3,256,895 for its creators. It seems crime does pay after all - just not for the criminals.


Prison Architect alpha 10 update brings Steam Workshop, riots, and a penguin

Phil Savage at

With every update to Introversion's Prison Architect, the lives of its incarcerated 'guests' become that little more harrowing. The alpha 10 patch is only slightly different - it instead gives your prisoners a way to express their increasing displeasure. Unfortunately, rather than anger management sessions, or rehabilitative education, their new means of release is good old fashioned rioting.


Planetary Annihilation gameplay video shows unannihilated planet, alpha planned for May

Tyler Wilde at

I could probably spend hours just zooming in and out of Planetary Annihilation's forested planets. Space! Ground. Space! Ground. Spaaaace! Until I can—the "end of May," if Uber Entertainment hits the alpha release goal it sets at the end of this video—we can all see the scale of the Kickstarted RTS in today's archived livestream, in which Uber's Steve Thompson and Jon Mavor walk us through pre-alpha gameplay.


Ur Not A Hero, but you are a badass in this cover-based 2D action shooter

Tom Sykes at

I have high hopes for Ur Not A Hero, a 2D action shooter that developers Peanut Butter Fingers describe as a mix of Elevator Action and Gears of War, but I think leans closer towards Stranglehold or Vanquish - i.e. insanely stylish, and with lots and lots of sliding around on the floor. (There's also a hint of Hotline Miami, I feel.) Picking from a bunch of guys with different abilities (Suit Guy dual-wields pistols, for example, while the dude dressed as a superhero is a dab hand at the old punch-slide combo), your job is to clear a building of hostiles, while defusing bombs, rescuing hostages, or assassinating a key target. There's a brilliant video below, and a playable, early alpha version to whet your appetite.


A Valley Without Wind 2 alpha footage emerges

Tom Sykes at

AI War/Tidalis/A Valley Without Wind developer Arcen Games has shown off the first footage of AVWW2, the sequel/do-over to their divisive procedurally generated platformer. You might remember us telling you that owners of the original game will be given this for free, but now you can finally see what your non-money will be getting you (well, if you already bought the first game).


Underrail - Arcanum meets Metro 2033 - is available to alpha-buy now

Tom Sykes at

Underrail is an isometric, post-apocalyptic roleplaying game inspired by Fallout, Arcanum and even System Shock 2, which is almost the perfect sentence until you add the part that it's set in a series of underground train tunnels, which pretty much makes it Metro 2033: the isometric RPG. Now it's the perfect sentence, and - to my tastes - probably the most enticing game summary I've come across lately, so I'm just going to let that sink in while I download the alpha demo of the game.

Mojang releases Cobalt alpha, you can buy it

Evan Lahti at

Honoring its unexpected promise, Mojang has made Cobalt—it's first third-party published game—available for sale today. Head to www.playcobalt.com to take a look. Like Minecraft, the side-scrolling, 2D, multiplayer platformer has been released as an alpha that'll be updated over time. If you have a Minecraft account, you can use it to buy and access Cobalt.