The Early Access Report

The Early Access Report: Contraption Maker, Broforce and Centration

Craig Pearson at

Welcome to the early access report, a regular round-up looking at the most interesting early access games of the moment. Here we try new alphas and revisit old ones to separate the promising gems from the bug-ravaged time wasters.

Steam's so big that it's possible for games to be forgotten, like lost civilisations cut off from the rest of the world, never receiving any visitors and wondering who'll eat the special biscuits? But a recent-ish update enables games that have been patched space on the coveted front-page. Anything can land there, as long as it's received a major update, and it works well for Early Access because they're always being updated. That how you /make/ games. That's how I remembered Contraption Maker existed, and that's how a friend ended up playing Broforce and demanding I join him. I also ended up playing Centration so you don't have to.

The Early Access Report: Dead State and Plague Inc: Evolved

Craig Pearson at

Welcome to the early access report, a regular round-up looking at the most interesting early access games of the moment. Here we try new alphas and revisit old ones to separate the promising gems from the bug-addled time wasters.

It's official: there are too many games on Early Access. A plague of them has appeared since the start of 2014. I'd be tempted to do a complete round-up, but that would require a time machine and an extra set of hands. To keep myself sane, I'm going to continue finding themes, which is how I ended up losing hours to both Dead State and Plague Inc: Evolved. Both are compelling end-of-the-world games of markedly different styles and similar problems.

The Early Access Report: Windborne, The Memory of Eldurium and Snow

Craig Pearson at

Welcome to the early access report, a regular round-up looking at the most interesting early access games of the moment. Here we try new alphas and revisit old ones to separate the promising gems from the bug-ravaged time wasters.

Open-world games present an interesting challenge for small developers: the creation of the landscape is easy in comparison with filling it with things to do, and if you put a game like that on Early Access, it means you'll still be adding bits as the players are wandering around. All three of today's games sadly suffer from a similar problem. Windborne, The Memory Of Eldurium, and SNOW are impressive worlds in need of content.