10 Best Early Access Games on Steam Right Now

Early Access

Early Access

Opinions are usually mixed when it comes to Early Access games and the truth is that some of the games that make the Early Access step offer so little in terms of content or the pace at which developers bring in new content and features that the entire concept suffers. However, not all Early Access games are bad and some do manage to impress even in their extremely early development stages. And we have a list of the best early access games on Steam right now. 10 of them, 10 must try titles!

The games below are in various genres and not listed in any particular order. They’re simply good – or even great – they offer enough in terms on content and are, unfortunately, lesser known than bigger names out there (which were intentionally left out). So let’s not waste any time and let’s check out the 10 best early access games on Steam right now!

Savage Lands

Early Access

Lost at sea and marooned on the shores of a strange and mysterious island, your fight to survive has begun. Explore this hostile world, gathering scarce resources and forging the weapons needed to fend off the ferocious creatures lurking all across the Sundered Isle. Atmospheric, beautiful, must play! Check it out here.

Grim Dawn

02 Grim Dawn

Enter an apocalyptic fantasy world where humanity is on the brink of extinction, iron is valued above gold and trust is hard earned. This ARPG features complex character development, hundreds of unique items, crafting and quests with choice & consequence. Although a bit outdated in terms of visuals, the game does have the potential to be the new Diablo of the action RPG genre. Check it out here.

Besiege

Early Access

Besiege is a physics based building game in which you construct medieval siege engines and lay waste to immense fortresses and peaceful hamlets. Build a machine which can crush windmills, wipe out battalions of brave soldiers and transport valuable resources, defending your creation against all sorts of obstacles. You’ve probably seen already a bunch of extremely fun structures built in this game and wondered if it’s really worth playing. It is. So check it out here.

Stranded Deep

04 stranded deep

Take the role of a plane crash survivor stranded somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Come face to face with some of the most life threatening scenarios that will result in a different experience each time you play. Scavenge. Discover. Survive. I was hesitant, actually, when it came to adding this game on the list because it has very little in terms of content at the moment. But still, the concept is great and I have faith that it will get better and better with each new update. So do check it out on Steam.

The Forest

05 the forest of Early Access

As the lone survivor of a passenger jet crash, you find yourself in a mysterious forest battling to stay alive against a society of cannibalistic mutants. Build, explore, survive in this terrifying first person survival horror simulator. A lot more intense than Stranded Deep, this game is, to put it short, brilliant. So check it out here.

Medieval Engineers

06 medieval engineers

Medieval Engineers is a sandbox game about engineering, construction and the maintenance of architectural works and mechanical equipment using medieval technology. It might sound boring, but I guarantee that it’s the exact opposite! The best part? The developers are extremely active and constantly adding new and amazing features, so this has the chance of becoming one of the best and most surprising games you have every played! Check it out here.

Offworld Trading Company

07 Offworld Trading Company

Rekindle humanity’s adventurous spirit by leaving the tired Earth to find new fortunes in the untapped resources of Mars in Offworld Trading Company, the economic real-time strategy game from Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson. I guess that you only need to read the previous phase and it’s enough to consider this an insta-buy. Don’t get it if you couldn’t stand the Civ series, though! Otherwise, you can check it out here.

Satellite Reign

08 Satellite Reign

Satellite Reign is a real-time, class-based strategy game. You control a team of four agents, each with distinct and unique abilities, collectively battling for control of a simulated, living cyberpunk city. It has everything that I want to see in a game, and then some more. I love this game! (And I’m not talking, now, about basketball). Check it out here.

Project Zomboid

09 project zomboid

Project Zomboid is the ultimate in zombie survival. Alone or in MP: you loot, build, craft, fight, farm and fish in a struggle to survive. A hardcore RPG skillset, a vast map, a massively customisable sandbox and more prepare you to answer the one question that matters: how and when will you die? I like to consider Project Zomboid the “Duke Nukem” of Early Access: it was launched back in 2013 and I’ve been playing it since. It has constantly evolved and was completely changed throughout the time and it’s now an extremely well polished game that leaves you with the impression that it’s a complete game. But fortunately, the developers manage to find new things to add to the mix, which is always a good idea. So check it out here.

Victor Vran

10 victor vran

Victor Vran is the isometric action-RPG where your skill is just as essential as your character build and gear. Experience intense combat action: dodge, jump and unleash powerful skills to finish off your enemies! This is a light but extremely fun ARPG that fans of the genre will certainly love! I sure did. So check it out on Steam.

Bonus: After Reset RPG

11 after reset RPG of Early Access

This one is not really much a game right now, but an insanely promising title. It hasn’t been updated in a long time and offers very little in terms of content, but the truth is that it’s also developed by a one-man team with incredible goals. If he manages to achieve them, then After Reset could be the hidden gem of a generation. So keep an eye on it and see where it goes: you can find it here.

So, there you have it: the ten most promising early access games on Steam right now, and a bonus title to keep an eye on. Which is your favorite?

Best Early Access Games You Should Be Playing Right Now

Access

There has been a very mixed response to the idea of “early access” games, but my opinion is that it helps developers who might otherwise not have access to funds to continue the development of their titles and, in some cases, deliver some true masterpieces. There are a ton of games available in the early access form on Steam and many of them are extremely crappy. But many stand out and we’re here to talk about 10 of them – the best early access games you can and should play right now.

They’re not in a particular order – each game is amazing in its own way – and you should really consider giving them all a try. We did and loved every second of gameplay!

Project Zomboid

01 project zomboid

One of my favorites, a game that’s been in Alpha stage for ages, but you still probably haven’t played it yet. As the name suggests, it’s zombie survival game – an isometric zombie survival game with a huge focus on the scavenging, resource gathering and surviving part rather than shooting down all zombies thing. A truly amazing experience that I highly recommend to gamers who really want to experience something new and cool.

Steam link: Project Zomboid

Star Lords

02 star lords

One line is enough to describe this game, and obviously its devs have found it: “Star Lords is an epic, complex, dense, turn-based 4X PC strategy game, set in deep space”. Although this game is clearly not for everybody, those who love deep strategies will get to love it. It’s a game of galactic proportions!

Steam link: Star Lords

Wasteland 2

03 wasteland 2

I guess that this game needs no introduction. It’s probably the best post-apocalyptic game available on Steam’s Early Access service and ticks all the right boxes for a game to remember. Bonus: it’s the title that served as inspiration for the Fallout series. Until the original Wasteland, no other CRPG had ever allowed players to control and command individual party members for tactical purposes or given them the chance to make moral choices that would directly affect the world around them. Wasteland was a pioneer in multi-path problem solving, dripping in choice and consequence and eschewing the typical one-key-per-lock puzzle solving methods of its peers, in favor of putting the power into players’ hands to advance based on their own particular play style.

Steam link: Wasteland 2

Don’t Starve

04 dont starve

In my case, Don’t Starve was the first real current gen survival game that I have played. And by “current gen” I mean: options. Tons of options, tons of things to do, a lot of freedom and boy, so many things to learn! Couple that with a world that keeps evolving (read: developers constantly add new stuff) and you have a gem of a game to try out if you haven’t already, together with its Reign of Giants DLC.

Steam Link: Don’t Starve

Prison Architect

05 prison architect

A game that gives you the task to build a prison doesn’t sound like the most exciting game ever but more like a poor time management tycoon like game that you will get bored with after a few minutes. However, this particular title is created by the same team that brought us the beautiful Darwinia, so it’s clearly something to look at. You have a ton of options when it comes to building up your prison (will it be a fortress that nobody wants to be in or more of a Hawaiian vacation for your prisoners?) and complex gameplay mechanics that will really make you believe that your dream job is that of a… Prison Architect.

Steam link: Prison Architect

Meridian: New World

06 meridian new world

Play as Daniel Hanson, commander of the first expedition to planet Meridian and uncover the dark secrets it holds! Shape the world around you with every decision you make and through every dialogue with your crew. Meridian: New World offers countless options to devise your own strategy, including various equipment options for your units and special abilities for you to rely upon. Use your abilities anywhere on the battlefield and turn the tide of battle by weakening the enemy troops. Alternatively take the covert approach and sabotage the enemy power supply to shut down their production. You can rely entirely on researching superior weapons or special abilities. Or you can risk building a large economy, constructing a massive army from your enormous resources. The choice is yours!

Steam link: Meridian: New World

Dead State

07 dead state

A bit of a wild card, Dead State has been in development since forever and some gamers are disappointed that after such a long wait the game still isn’t perfect. I doubt there will be any zombie survival game (because that’s what Dead State is all about, after all) that will please all sides but I can honestly say that it’s worth giving it a try. Probably not the best thing since they invented bacon, but still an enjoyable experience.

Steam Link: Dead State

Starbound

08 starbound

You play as a character who just crash landed on a strange new planet. It’s not one filled with the friendliest creatures in the galaxy, so you embark on a quest for survival, exploration and a lot of fighting in a game that procedurally generates content, including creatures and weapons. A highly replayable, highly enjoyable product. Hint: if you enjoyed Terraria, you will most likely enjoy this game too

Steam link: Starbound

Space Engineers

09 space engineers

Although in real life being an astronaut or space engineer would probably be one of the most exciting jobs on earth and around it, in video games having to freeroam your way into space, repairing stuff doesn’t sound like the most fun way to spend your time. Somehow, Space Engineers manages to make it extremely fun and addictive – plus they recently added a survival mode and a multiplayer one which makes things even more exciting.

Steam Link: Space Engineers

Broforce

10 broforce

I must admit, this is a really unexpected entry as the game has just been launched, but it’s filled with pixelated awesomeness so it totally deserves its place on this list. Old school run and gun elements, destructible environments and the most badass team of Bros who are not afraid to use extreme power whenever necessary.

Steam link: Broforce

Do you have any other favorite Early Access games that should be placed on this list?

The Elder Scrolls Online: Early Access Begins Today

The Elder Scrolls Online will release next friday, April 4th, but the early access kicks off today for the the digital Imperial and Standard Edition pre-purchases. Furthermore, the physical pre-orders will have access to the servers on April 1st and assure their three-day head start bonus, as Bethesda stated:

The three-day early access bonus that comes with pre-ordering the Physical or Digital Standard Edition of The Elder Scrolls Online from one of our participating retailer will begin on April 1, 2014.

Pre-orders are still available but the head start bonus is not longer accessible. The servers will launch early in the morning in the United States and late in the evening in Oceania. Check the five-day and three-day early access schedules for different zones.

Five-day early access bonus schedule:

North America (East): 7:00 AM EDT, Sunday March 30th
Central Europe: 1:00 PM CEST, Sunday March 30th
Sydney, Australia: 10:00 PM AEDT, Sunday March 30th

Three-day early access bonus schedule:

North America (East): 7:00 AM EDT, Tuesday April 1st
Central Europe: 1:00 PM CEST, Tuesday April 1st
Sydney, Australia: 10:00 PM AEDT, Tuesday April 1st

For more information about the early access schedules check the official news.

You Should Have The Forest On Your Radar

Forest

Have you heard of The Forest? The Forest is an open-world survival game being developed by Endnight Games that will be going into early-access on May 22. It is a game that struck me as both beautiful and disturbing, and each time Endnight releases a new trailer for it, I find myself getting more and more excited.

On March 19, Endnight released the third trailer for The Forest, detailing more of the late game shenanigans.

Here’s our third trailer, showing a more extended look at some of our survival systems and also what life is like in the forest a little further into the game.

The first thing I noticed when I saw The Forest was that the game looks undeniably gorgeous. It is possibly the most technically beautiful indie game I’ve seen considering the lighting effects and particles, and It’s shocking that they’ve managed subtle things like reflective water on bodies and seemingly dynamic wildlife. There are serene qualities to the graphics that boost the atmosphere and make the game feel oddly welcoming. That is, until they take any sense of safety away and throw hordes of hideous creatures your way.

That stark contrast plays well into the games atmosphere and makes the encounters even more startling. The balance between reprieve and horror seems to be an idea they’re keeping in the forefront, as each trailer shows off tranquil scenarios which slowly lead into the things nightmares are made of.

Furthermore, if you consider that the AI is programmed in such a way that the cannibals might watch from a distance or stalk you rather than engaging in all out combat, it seems that there will be many terrifying and exciting moments that make The Forest memorable.

forest1

Beyond this, the gameplay seems to revolve around survival and crafting. Everything from cutting down trees and building structures, to hunting, fishing, trap-making, and weapon crafting. All of these elements combined really make it feel as if you will be fighting for survival. How deep they make the system is something we will have to keep an eye on, but if it’s anything like what the trailers are hinting at, every single choice and action could be life or death.

The more Endnight teases The Forest, the more I want to sink my teeth in. If the trailer above left you wanting more, head over to these links for more survival horror goodness.