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3 Early Access Games Worth Your Money

Early Access. The two words that make most of us cringe when we are looking at an interesting game on Steam. “Is this game worth my money? Is it worth my time? Will they actually finish the game or am I just paying for a glorified alpha that will remain incomplete?” If you’ve ever heard yourself ask those questions, then consider these three early access titles that are well worth your money even in their current states. The games are listed in no particular order.

Darkest Dungeon

  • Darkest DungeonReleased on February 3rd to Steam Early Access, Darkest Dungeon promised to provide players with a stressful and intense experience, and boy did they deliver. Darkest Dungeon is a dark, turn based RPG with permadeath for your characters. From the very beginning, when you realize that it is possible to lose characters even in the tutorial, you understand how brutal the RNG (random number generation) of the game can be. The gameplay consists of taking a party of four characters into various dungeon runs, which have objectives such as “explore 90% of the rooms” or “complete all of the room battles”. The map consists of several rooms arranged in random patterns that are connected by hallways. You click on the adjacent room you would like to visit, and then begin walking through the hallway, which can contain a variety of things such as bookshelves, altars, urns, crates, and piles of stone that block your way.All of these things contain a huge amount of RNG in terms of whether something good or bad will come from interacting with them. The depth of the game becomes apparent when you realize that many objects that you can purchase prior to your dungeon run, such as torches, bandages, food, and antivenoms, can be used to interact with the objects in the hallway for various benefits or risks. In the Darkest Dungeon, you will lose characters. You will have terrible runs. You will become a victim of the RNG. However, these things are where the game really shines. When you have that perfect run where you get good crits and collect huge amounts of gold and trinkets, you feel unbeatable. Darkest Dungeon is not a game that holds your hand, nor does it tell you much about the game other than the very basic controls. That, however, is the reason that Darkest Dungeon is worth your money. Even though it is in early access, the current depth of the combat and party combinations makes it well worth a purchase. It can only get better as time goes on, and I cannot wait to see what they do with the already fantastic game. Pick it up on Steam for $19.99.


  • Tabletop SimulatorAnother early access gem, though not as popular as Darkest Dungeon, that was released in April of 2014. If you are a fan of board games, which I very much am, then you will adore Tabletop Simulator. Have you ever wanted to play a board game with friends, but you just couldn’t set up a time where you could all meet and get a session started? If so, then this game is perfect for you. Tabletop Simulator allows you to play classic board games such as Chess, Checkers, and Dominoes. The real meat of the game, so to speak, comes when you take a look into the huge modding scene that the game possesses.Tabletop Simulator provides the tools to create your own board games from scratch, and this has spawned some fantastic original creations by the community, as well as digital interpretations of classics such as Battlestar Galactica, Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, and a fan favorite known as Cage Who?, which is basically Guess Who? with pictures of Nicholas Cage replacing all of the original cards. Having access to the large library of workshop content is what definitely makes Tabletop Simulator worth a purchase if you are even a bit interested in board games. Grab it now on Steam for $14.99

    Prison Architect

  • Prison Architect. Prison Architect was one of the first and most popular titles to pop up on Steam early access. The gameplay is simple at first glance, “build and manage a maximum security prison”, but the surprising depth of actually executing that objective is what really gives the game lasting appeal. If you were a fan of the Tycoon games of yesteryear, then this is a game that you cannot afford to miss. I have sunk more time than is acceptable into this gem and plan to continue to do so. Each prisoner has a name, and a background which makes them seem like more than just numbers. It gives the game a more personal connection because you become familiar with certain prisoners and their tendencies.The game allows you to develop your prison in any way you see fit, and will not tell you whether you are doing fantastic, or whether you are setting up for failure. Again, if you are at all interested in construction and management games, definitely give this one a look. It is available on Steam for $29.99 currently.

Those are just a few of the great games that are currently available on Steam’s Early Access. What are some of Early Access titles that you think are already worth the asking price?

About Sean Flint

I enjoy playing pretty much any type of game out there. My passion lies in finding the gems of the indie gaming world. When I'm not playing games, I'm programming them, at the gym, or tending to my small army of cats. Writing has always been a part of my life and I'm grateful for the opportunity to get my content out there for people to see.

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