3 Early Access Games Worth the Spend (February)
Early Access or Paid-Alpha, has really helped the indie game scene explode over the last decade. Players are able to help fund a new game, play test it, provide suggestions and sometimes unlock special alpha only features when the game reaches its final form. Steam is a great place to find some of these hidden gems, and here are a few you should support this month.
Fresh Body – $9.99
If the art style of Don’t Starve and the game play of The Binding of Isaac had a game baby, Fresh Body by LOVIGAME would be that baby. You find yourself on an island of monsters and the only way to survive is to kill them and take their body parts as your own. The art is beautiful and the monsters unique in style and mechanics. The horror of hacking off a head and wearing it is supplanted by the entertaining combinations you can make, that feel very similar to the power ups of Isaac. The levels are procedurally generated, so you’ll never play the same one twice, even if you play the same area again. There is a base in the game that you improve with monster drops and boss body bits and is integral to reaching the end of the story. The base mechanic moves this game from a true rogue like, to more forgiving, fast paced game of gore and horror, and a great value for ten bucks.
They Are Billions – $24.99
Numantian Games, has combined real time strategy, base building and zombies to create They Are Billions. The “Billions” refers to the number of infected that roam the post-apocalyptic landscape, while you try to build and manage one of the last remaining human settlements. There are currently two games modes, story and survival, but there is a third campaign mode in the works. One of the newest additions to the game in Early Access has been the addition of a leader board for survival mode with a new community challenge every week. They are also adding new buildings and features constantly. The steam punk style art is stunning, and the ability for the game engine to smoothly run while tens of thousands of individual AI units are on the screen is impressive. The game play is easy to pick up and nothing feels more satisfying then having a horde of thousands of zombies attack your settlement only to be quickly immolated in a brilliant conflagration by your army.
Slay the Spire – $15.99
It has been awhile since a game has been so addictive immediately after hitting the start button. Slay the Spire by Mega Crit Games, has managed to put the strategy of deck building, the fun of dungeon crawling, and the difficulty of a rogue-like and made it into a beautiful game that will keep you saying “Just One More”. The characters and monsters you encounter look like they could have come from an episode of Adventure Time. The mechanics for each card and the artwork are well done, and create dynamic game-play. There are currently three different adventurers you can unlock, each with their own specialized abilities and cards. Every trek through the Spire is different, not only each map, but each encounter, which yields tons of replay-ability. There is even a weekly leader board, for top scorers that have mastered the Spire. Now to go play, just one more run.