I feel it’s time to take a look at my early access games again. I tend to not play them too much and wait for the release because I don’t want to spoil the whole experience. Also, in some cases, save games aren’t always compatible in between development versions of the game and I’m not too happy having to start all over again all of the time. The last time I looked at the early access games that I bought was in July. That’s three months of development time. Let’s see what happened.
Official release: unknown
Project Gorgon still receives updates, so development is ongoing. I am honestly not paying attention to its progress anymore, though. I wanted it back in 2015 and if early access started today, I don’t think I would back it anymore. This is because my taste in games has changed. Also, the graphics were already dated 5 years ago and it’s certainly not getting any better. It does have a “very positive” rating on Steam, though!
I decided to jump into the game in order to take a couple new screenshots and quickly found myself heading out into the wilds to explore my surroundings. I was in a little town or village and saw several other players (on a Sunday morning, European time)! That is a really good sign if you ask me. The Steam charts also reflect that with an average of 110+ players online. The game feels rather rough and you can see that it’s an indie title. But there is still a lot to do and explore in the game! It also seems to have a lot of depth with its mechanics – there are several combat abilities to level up as well as crafting skills. I also levelled up my cartographer skill by moving around on the map. So really, I am not concerned about the game per se, it’s just my personal preference that has changed. Still, it has been in development for a long time and I am wondering when or if they will ever officially launch the game.
Official release: unknown
The Repopulation is also still getting updates. The last was one month ago and the updates seem to come about once per month. I am referring to updates in the news section. I don’t know if the game is getting game updates regularly as well as I don’t have the game installed anymore. Just as with Project Gorgon, I am not actively following the game’s development. I kind of do hope that the game will launch one day, though, and gain back an active player community. I already play several fantasy games and MMOs, but I am lacking a nice decent science fiction one. If The Repopulation will be that game one day, who knows. Steam ratings are much lower than Project Gorgon, however, with an overall “mixed” rating. I think it makes sense, because while The Repopulation looks nicer and more modern, Project Gorgon is the more active game with a very stable past when it comes to game updates and development. There also aren’t many players still playing the game. The Steam charts show a maximum of barely 4 players on average in the game this year.
I did reinstall the game now to check out its current state – as much as you can do that without spending several hours playing. The auto-configuring tool selected “high” for my graphics settings at which point the FPS dropped to 11. I manually switched to medium and had about 30-50 FPS. My graphics card shouldn’t have an issue with the game as it’s much newer than The Repopulation, but it is a game in development and polishing will come at the end… I hope. Altogether, I am not optimistic that this game will ever launch. And that’s a shame because it started out very promising!
Non-MMO games that launched since July
Chef has an overall “mostly positive” rating on Steam. The game’s pretty solid, but I find myself not playing it much lately. It is a bit too repetitive, but maybe that’s only in the beginning of the game until you’ve established yourself properly. I haven’t gotten to owning more than one restaurant, after all. One thing that’s lacking is the ability to add restrooms. A staff break room would have been great, too. It is a bit too focused on just the dining hall, the kitchen and the absolutely necessary items plus a few more decoration items.
However, if you like games like this, then I don’t think you can go wrong with Chef. I don’t regret buying it at all, despite my criticism!
Empyrion – Galactic Survival also has a “very positive” rating on Steam. It was a bit lower for a while post-release, but it’s good to see it back up. I think other than the MMOs, this is the only game I have lost interest in. Maybe I’ll take a look again one day…
Overcrowd is one of my favourite early access games! It’s so much fun to look at all the tiny people heading to their crowded trains. It has also gotten “very positive” reviews on Steam. If I had to, I would definitely buy this game again. What I don’t like much is managing the different floors in building mode. It has happened several times that I wanted to raise or lower a tile, miss-clicked and then spent quite a long time getting the tile to be at the same height than the surrounding ones. It’s got to do with the isometric view.
Parkasaurus has a “very positive” rating for recent reviews, and an “overwhelmingly positive” for all reviews. This is well deserved! I have played it so much already that I’m taking a break now. It is one of my favourite games, though. In August, I wrote a first impressions review of the game post-release.
Non-MMO games that are still in early access
Official release: Unknown
I am also not playing this game at the moment. I saw a preview of the new user interface and now I want to wait until that one is done! The game is getting updates regularly, so I’m not concerned about its progress at all… getting a bit impatient, maybe, because the preview for the new UI happened a couple of months ago. But I guess other parts of the game are more important than the UI. So, I’ll be watching the game’s progress from the outside until then. It has a “very positive” rating on Steam.
The developers had said that the game would be released in September, if all went well. Since it has not been released out of early access, I guess it takes some more time. I haven’t found any announcement of the game’s release date or why they decided not to launch it. With release possibly in September, I had decided not to play the game anymore as I had instead wanted to wait for its release version. The Steam page lists January 20, 2021 as a release date. This seems too specific, so who knows if that will be the release. I may take a look at it again in the meantime, though. The last time I played it, I didn’t notice it’s still in Early Access because all the features were there already, but I also didn’t play for too long. It has a “very positive” rating on Steam.
Official release: Beginning of 2021
Another game I haven’t played lately – until I started writing this blog post, that is. The fun thing about the game is that you don’t necessarily have to kill the heroes. You can also scare them so much that they run away. Killing gives you blood, which works as a currency. Scaring them away gives you tears which is also a currency. I did have fun playing what was already in the game when I last did and feel that I have already got my money’s worth here. Also, when waiting and taking breaks in between, it is much nicer to return and see bigger development progress than if I play the game regularly. In this case, they either added the Steam Workshop at some point during the past few months or I simply haven’t noticed it before. But I prefer playing the core game with no mods, to see what exactly is added or changed by the game’s developers. I also only know the Slaveholder as the dungeon master, but there are two more that unlock when you have progressed further with the Slaveholder. The game has a “mostly positive” rating for recent reviews and a “very positive” for all reviews.
Official release: Unknown
Oh, Old World. This is in the Epic Store which has no forums or news sections for developers to communicate with the customers. But I am in the developers’ Discord channel and follow their updates all of the time. It’s one of the very few early access games where I read every single news bit. For a while, I hadn’t been playing it anymore because Crusader Kings III called away my attention. I am now back to playing Old World (in between my CK III sessions), because it is too much fun to stay away for long. It is by far my favourite game on this early access list! I don’t know when they will officially release the game, but I get the feeling that they are putting in the finishing touches, balancing etc. I could be wrong, of course, but every feature I could think of for such a game is there already.
Official release: Early 2021
I only bought it already because it was super cheap on the Epic store. I haven’t played the game at all lately, though. I am also not following the game’s development. Poor Surviving the Aftermath. I’ve not been in the mood for such a dark setting lately, though. It is getting regular updates, though. So all is well here. I am just horribly neglecting this purchase. It’s available on Steam as well with a “mixed” rating (it released on there on October 22, apparently).
Whenever I get the urge to jump into the game again and see what’s changed in the meantime, I have to start a new game, because the older games often aren’t compatible with the new game version anymore. This is much worse than any other early access game and I don’t like that at all, because I would really want to play the game! I once started a game only to not be able to continue the day after, as the game had received an update in the meantime that disabled the save game. There seems to be a way to revert back to the previous game version in order to continue playing your save game but then I would miss out on the game’s progress. But the game seems to be doing really well and is getting regular updates. That’s all that counts, in the end. The Universim has a “very positive” rating on Steam.
New early access games that I bought:
I have tried to be good and not buy too many early access games. Thanks for the Steam festivals with demo games, I have a lot of them on my wishlist. I couldn’t resist with two games, though.
Official release: Unknown
I already wrote about this game and shared my first impressions. I don’t think I have enough praise for this game. Finally, there is something that I haven’t seen before and it just feels refreshing! Due to the Corona pandemic, they probably have a bit of trouble as they’re relying on filming sequences with their actresses and actors. But the content that is there already is enjoyable and I even replayed a few mission parts to try and get a better score (something I don’t usually do!). They’re not planning to release before 2021, anyway, so there is plenty of time left to add content and polish. It has a “very positive” in recent reviews and an “overwhelmingly positive” in all reviews.
Official release: Unknown
This is the newest addition. Bookahnerk gifted me this game, actually. It is the opposite of a city-building game. You need to kill off all the villagers. These pesky little humans are too stupid for their own good, though, and new ones move into the village from time to time. So, it isn’t that easy to get rid of them all. You can also get creative in how you proceed. How about you steal something from one, then place it in another one’s house and make the first person see their item in the second person’s house. Yes, much more complicated than simply sending a demon after them to kill them off, but also a lot more entertaining! It currently has a “very positive” rating on Steam.