Early Access Titles to follow in 2017

With the rising popularity of Early Access titles here are just some of the titles that hit the market this year that are looking to benefit from players support before release:

Rimworld

A sci-fi colony sim driven by an intelligent AI storyteller, Rimworld draws inspiration heavily from Dwarf Fortress and Firefly and Dune.

Build and expand a colony of survivors and generate stories by simulating psychology, ecology, gunplay, melee combat, climate, biomes, diplomacy, interpersonal relationships, art, medicine, trade, and more to make a story entirely your own.

“Manage colonists’ moods, needs, individual wounds, and illnesses. Engage in small-team tactical gunplay. Fashion structures, weapons, and apparel from metal, wood, stone, cloth, or futuristic materials. Fight pirate raiders, hostile tribes, rampaging animals, giant tunnelling insects and ancient killing machines. Tame and train cute pets, productive farm animals, and deadly attack beasts. Watch colonists develop relationships with family members, lovers, and spouses. Discover a newly generated world each time you play. Build colonies in the desert, jungle, tundra, and more. Manage quirky colonists with unique backstories, traits, and skills. Learn to play easily with the help of an intelligent and unobtrusive AI tutor.”


Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher is the tale of Beatrix LeBeau, a plucky, young rancher who sets out for a life a thousand light years away from Earth on the ‘Far, Far Range’ where she tries her hand at making a living wrangling slimes (rambunctious livestock that produce valuable resources for resale).

Equipped with a Half-Life 2-esque “gravity gun”, that sucks up and launches the inhabitants of these slime-infested lands, players must stake a claim in a foreign world, collect different kinds of slimes in order to amass a fortune, and avoid the continual peril that looms from the rolling, jiggling avalanche of slimes around every corner.

Following a successful Steam Greenlight campaign, Slime Rancher is now available on the Steam Early Access program where it has captivated me for more hours than I would care to admit, and where it has steadily edged its way into my top five games of the year.

  • Platform: Windows PC, Linux, OS X, Xbox One
  • Players: Single-player

Niche – a genetics survival game

A digital board game about genetics, heredity and evolution, Niche tasks players with the survival of a curious-looking animal tribe.

“Niche is a fresh blend of turn-based strategy and simulation combined with roguelike elements. Shape your own animal tribe and find an ecological niche for it to live in. Keep your tribe alive against dangers, such as hungry predators, climate change and spreading sickness. Resource management and smart breeding based on real genetics are key in Niche. All worlds and animals are procedurally generated.



Niche is played from a top-down perspective, giving the player a god-like view of the board. Rounds are represented by a day cycle, in which the player controls animals to move and perform actions (collecting food, scouting a new field, mating, attacking a predator, etc). Animals have a limited lifespan, which makes procreation indispensable. An animal’s characteristics are defined by its genes, which are being passed on to the next generation. Challenges come in form of animals dying and dwindling resources. The game is lost, when a player’s tribe goes extinct. In the next game, a new world is generated, but the previously unlocked genes remain.”

Highly addictive and requiring no small amount of strategy, Niche promises hours of fun and endless replayability as you play with different sets of mutations to try and survive in a hostile world set on ending your species.

  • Platform: Steam Early Access for Windows PC, Mac, Linux, (coming to Android, iOS)
  • Players: Single-player

Subnautica

An open-world, underwater exploration and adventure title, Subnautica has players stranded in the middle of the deep and dangerous waters of the unknown. Descend into the depths of an alien underwater world filled with wonder and peril. Craft equipment, pilot submarines and out-smart wildlife to explore lush coral reefs, volcanoes, cave systems, and more – all while trying to survive.

“After crash landing on an alien ocean world, the only way to go is down. Subnautica’s oceans range from sun-drenched shallow coral reefs to treacherous deep-sea trenches. Manage your oxygen supply as you explore Kelp Forests, plateaus, reefs, and winding cave systems. The water teems with life: Some of it helpful, much of it harmful.”

Explore the depths as you scavenge for supplies to craft vital equipment to aid in your survival, hunt for food, and build yourself a base to keep away the dangers of the deep in one of three available game modes: Survival, Freedom (hunger and thirst disabled) and Hardcore (featuring our friend, perma-death).


We Happy Few

An action-adventure, survival-horror game set in a drug-fuelled, retro-futuristic open-world city, We Happy Few is a tale of the underdogs and the downtrodden members of society. Set in an alternative 1960’s England, players must learn to hide in plain sight as they try to fill the basic survival needs of hunger, thirst and sleep.

“Set in a retro-futuristic 1960s, you will find a city ravaged by war and rebuilt by delusionally happy people. Everything appears to be happy in Wellington Wells, including the roads, the people, and its omnipresent television personality, Uncle Jack! However, it’s a beautiful world on the brink of collapse. You will discover the history of this world, and how it came to be just so beguilingly happy.

We Happy Few is about surviving in and escaping from a procedurally generated world, where you must learn to hide in plain sight. If you act out of turn, or you’re not on Joy (the local happy pills), the locals will become suspicious and will rapidly turn your frown upside down! Forcefully. You will need to practice conformity, stealth and combat if you want to survive long enough to escape.”

  • Platform: Steam Early Access for Windows PC, coming to Mac, Linux, Xbox One
  • Players: Single-player