PC • Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die. If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.
PC • Say what you will about the fire-sale mentality of Games Workshop licenses being granted thither and yon, the dividends are paying out rather nicely. We’ve got grand strategies coming online, decent approximations of the tabletop in the mix, starship combat deftly effected and the list goes on. Tickle me pink that the colossi are seeing their day, too. Just announced? Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus. Fantasticus.
PC • At the intersection of Hornblower-Tolkien cosplay, you find Maelstrom. It’s an enticing clash of high-fantasy and fighting sail, and is exactly the twist a certain type of popular multiplayer game needs right now. Behold, Battleship Royale.
PC/Mac/Linux (now in EA), Mobile (coming later) • I know everyone’s busy playing Into the Breach today, but I’d like to ask you to stop for just one moment. Please. C’mon, you can pull yourself away for a little bit. No? Okay, then just listen to me drone on in the background. Into the Breach isn’t the only bit of coolness to land on Steam today. Our friends at Handelabra have also pushed out an Early Access build of the card-based dungeon crawler, One Deck Dungeon for PC/Mac/Linux which is two more platforms than you’ll find for Into the Breach. Take that, Subset!
PC • We’ve been pulling on the same pair of jeans for twenty five-odd years when it comes to space empire builders. The comfortable fit of a SimTex stonewash is time-tested, and its reliable density drags all and sundry towards the event horizon. As such, you wouldn’t be alone in feeling a wee twig of ennui towards the galactic overlord genre. The outliers are few, but one new tantalising project is tilting at trading the star lane traipse for something different. A little more, ahem, stately. [Dave, take note. This is how we use the word “stately”. -ed.]
PC • Bipedal cupcakes and mushrooms, spiders with knee-length socks, and rainbow-colored unicorns…sounds like a fantasy zoo straight out of the mind of Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss doesn’t it? These are just some of the many odd creatures that populate the fantastically bizarre, apocalyptic world of Pit People. Pit People is a strategy role-playing game that features tactical turn-based combat and a heaping portion of humor. It’s been incubating in Steam Early Access for a little over a year and is getting close to breaking free of the beta stage, so I figured now was a great time to give it a go.
PC/Mac/Linux • I still haven’t figured out how to use Steam. I mean, I play games on Steam quite a bit, but scanning the store for new arrivals and Early Access gems isn’t something I’ve acquired a skill for. As such, I have to wait until I see someone tweet or post about a Steam title before I’m aware it exists. Slay the Spire is a recent example. I’ve been playing the Early Access version for a couple days, thinking I stumbled onto something special, only to find that it’s been available for 2 months now and we’re the only damn site that hasn’t written up something about it. So, just ignore the fact that Slay the Spire isn’t a brand new release and play along.
PC/Mac/Linux • There are few games that take over my complete existence for periods of time, where nothing else in the world matters other than taking another turn. The Civilization games will do this, as will most city-builders. Another group of games that I tend to lose myself in for days or weeks at a time come from a small indie developer, Zachtronics. I instantly fell in love with them after my first foray into SpaceChem, and have loved just about everything else they’ve ever conjured up. Their latest is in Early Access on Steam right now and it’s just as good as anything they’ve ever made. If you’re looking for a puzzler that requires actual brain power, logic, and a dose of coding, look no further than Opus Magnum.
PC • Uppercut Games dropped City of Brass into Early Access last week, and after having spent a good few hours with their Arabian Nights gauntlet simulator, I’m here to give it a mighty thumbs up from the bottom of a spiked pit.
Windows • Junkers, wanderers, lurkers with dicky pistons, attention. Big Robot‘s The Signal From Tölva is just about out on Steam, and if the screenshots are anything to go by, a STALKER of conduit and coolant is about to amble over the horizon.