Early access games can go be a hit-or-miss affair; you can sometimes get a great game early in it’s life and sometimes you can get a game that looks like it’s going to be great, but for some reason it just doesn’t . I enjoy it when these early access games have a vibrant community based around consistent game updates that keep giving the game new life, developers listen to feedback from the audience to feed new developments and features and everybody wins; Minecraft, Project Zomboid and Prison Architect spring to mind. On the other hand the game might hit snags during its development, the team might quit or the game might not turn out like you had hoped, fans of the games Town were upset when lack of sales forced the developer to quit, you can read the forum post here. An even worse scenario, they implement a pay-to-win scheme, ugh. Because of this I am cautious when it comes to early access games. Still, a while ago I took a punt on one called ‘The Forest’ and I’m really glad I did.
The Forest is a survival game where the player finds themselves waking up in the wreck of a plane crash in the middle of an island. You have to survive by building shelter, making fires, cooking, eating animals, crafting weapons etc etc. As you change the landscape in the forest by cutting down trees and the such, the local inhabitants take interest in what you are up to. These inhabitants, called Mutants by the online community, react differently to you depending on how you interact with them and how you go about living on the island. Building big bases will cause them to send large numbers out to your base at night, perhaps even send the dreaded tank ‘spider mutant’ to knock your walls down. Personally, I like to build lots of small bases and switch between them in an effort stay undetected, building the odd trap on their patrol routes to spice things up.
The menu screen has a big timer counting down to the next release of the game – always a good sign that there are constant updates. There is also a community of people playing and discussing the game at http://www.reddit.com/r/TheForest/
I’m really enjoying it, but as always with alpha games, you should check what the general census is before dropping your hard earned cash. Some interesting things about the game I’ve found on the web for anybody thinking of getting it:
- User StirlingG discusses how he didn’t attack the natives on the island, but they prepared themselves against him.
- Doctor Dentits Unoffical Map of the forest
- Some dude shows us how to build a cool base in multiple screenshots
- Interview with one of the developers