Early access games were eliminated from my top 10 best games of 2020 because they didn’t meet my criteria for games to be eligible for my top 10 games. A game must be in it’s completed form to be eligible. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t play some great early access games last year and that’s what I’m here to showcase today. My favorite early access games of 2020!
Grounded was really close to making my list, but I didn’t play this one as much as other games on my list and that’s why it was left off. Grounded is a unique spin on the survival genre that has you playing as kids that were somehow shrunken. It’s basically a Honey I Shrunk The Kids video game. The entire game takes place in someone’s backyard so most of the enemies you’ll, or avoid, are your basic garden spiders, ants, etc.
It’s a neat little game, but it’s one that didn’t do enough to earn a spot on my list.
5. Edge Of Eternity
Edge of Eternity is an awesome JRPG that’s been in early access for quite some time now. It recently had its final price drop before the official release and it’s already got a shit ton of content in it. So why is it so low? Because I don’t want to play any more of it before the official release date.
I LOVE this game. Possibly more than every other game on this list, but it’s also my least played game on the list. I dropped out partway into act 1 because I’m pretty sure there’s going to be character wipes at the end of early access. I don’t want to invest dozens of hours into a game that I’ll be forced to start over. Especially in a JRPG.
You should absolutely buy this game though. It’s super cheap on Steam and already has over 60 hours of gameplay. This game is beautiful, has good combat, characters, and lore. It’s a really interesting game that’s come a long way in early access.
Everyone has dreams when they fall asleep. Dreamscaper takes place in our dreams. This unique roguelike game tasks players with adventuring through their dreams while slaying monsters and solving puzzles. During the day you can chat with different NPCs and get to know them. It’s a super interesting take on roguelikes and the aesthetic is incredible.
Getting to know NPCs in the waking world is important and rewards you for doing so. The rewards are actually super useful. Things like new passive abilities are unlocked by talking and getting to know people when you’re not sleeping. The conversations are well done and I enjoyed getting to know the various different NPCs that I met around town after my incursions in the dream world.
I highly recommend Dreamscaper if you’re looking for something different to play with a charming aesthetic and good gameplay.
Killsquad sounded like a corny arena deathmatch shooter to me. My curiosity made me click on the game and I was very surprised by what it was. It’s an ARPG (Diablo, Path of Exile, etc) with a mix of Moba and a twin-stick shooter. This game has 4 different characters to choose from. Each of them plays differently than the other.
The goal of the game is to accept bounties and complete the objective you’re given. Some objectives will task you with killing a super-powered monster while others will have you protecting objectives. There are also boss fights that pop up periodically that you can attempt to take down by yourself or in a group. I ended up buying this game for my wife and me and we already love it. It’s the newest game on this list and I’ve already played it more than every game except one on the list.
I like KIllsquad because it’s easy to get into. If I don’t have much time I can easily boot this game up and get a good session or two before logging off. It’s like Warframe in that aspect. The four different characters help keep things feeling fresh and the non-stop action is exactly what I was looking for right now.
2. Sands of Salzaar
Sands of Salzaar is like Mount and Blade, but with a top-down view and different combat. As soon as I played it I fell in love with it. There are a bunch of different character classes to choose from when you start the game and the game itself plays very much like a Mount and Blade game. Sometimes I even prefer this game to Mount and Blade because of the fantasy aesthetic.
A lot of my time was spent traveling around the world map and solving other people’s problems. Getting to know NPCs, trading goods from one area to the next, and building up my own personal army to ensure my safety on the road. Combat is where things get interesting. It’s nothing like Mount and Blade’s realistic gameplay. This game is more action-oriented and you can even cast spells at your foes.
It’s a lot of fun and you’re looking for something different I highly recommend it. It’s also super cheap too and in a world where early access games are $40+, that’s a good thing. This game is only $15 and it’s a damn steal at that price because it’s easily worth double that.
Since I bought up Mount & Blade…
1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
The long-awaited sequel finally hit Steam last year in early access and boy did it sell a shit ton. It’s also the most expensive game on this list by far. Bannerlord cost 49.99 on Steam. That’s the price of a full game and I was very hesitant about buying this game because of the fact that it’s in early access and they’re charging full AAA price for it.
Those doubts evaporated as soon as I started playing. Bannerlord is absolutely fantastic. I put 50 hours in this game in just a few days after I purchased it. It’s my most played early access game of all time and I still want to play more. No game gave me the satisfaction that this one did. If this was a full release game it would have easily won my game of the year. That’s how much I enjoyed playing it. Even with the shit AI and lack of diplomacy in the early access version.
The gameplay, settings, factions, and sheer amount of stuff to do in the game sold me on it. This was my introduction to Mount & Blade and after I was finished with this game I immediately went and bought the first game with all the DLC on Steam for under $10.
Bannerlord is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what this game will be like once it leaves early access.
That’s my list! Those are my favorite early access games that I played in 2020. What are yours?
I’m Omar. I’m the founder of drakulus.com and the new founder of Petescorner.net. I cover every type of game genre there is and I’m using all of the skills I learned over the last 7 years working on Drakulus to make Pete’s Corner the best it can be. My favorite types of games are strategy, RPGs, and Shooters. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other types of genres. Those are just my top 3. You can expect my brutally honest opinion on what I think of games in long reviews, editorial pieces, and game news coverage.