On an average day, about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that's a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we’ve done.
Thanks in part to the website WhatsOnSteam.com, we’ve gone through every game that’s launched on Steam in the last week to find the diamonds in the rough. This list, updated every Sunday, won’t include the Grand Theft Autos or the Fallout 4s of Steam, focusing instead on the games that may have been easy to miss.
These games seem the most promising, already have positive user reviews, and may be worth a closer look. This week we'll be looking at newly released titles for the last fortnight, to account for the holiday break.
Goblins of Elderstone
Released: January 9
Developer: Lost Goblin
This is a city-building and management game centred around goblins. Most of us unsheath our swords when we see goblins in video games, but Goblins of Elderstone provides a rare opportunity to make amends. Dubbed a “goblin tribe simulator” by studio Lost Goblin, in addition to building settlements and nurturing your clan, you’ll also need to procure food (from dungeons and villages, and with weapons, naturally). According to the studio it’ll appeal to fans of Rimworld, Banished and Anno. It’s in Early Access at the moment, and while there aren’t many reviews they’re “mostly positive” so far.
Released: January 10
Publisher: AGM PLAYISM
Yume Nikki is a cult surrealist adventure game originally released in 2004 and which, admittedly, you may not have missed. We’ve reported on it a bit, after all, but it’s worth mentioning again. Why? Because aside from the prosaic fact that it’s free and excellent, it’s just a damn weird experience that everyone should at least dip their toes into. “Every time Madotsuki goes to sleep, she wakes up in an twisted version of her room,” Glada Zavarise wrote in this retrospective published last year. “Everything looks the same, but the details are all wrong: the sky outside is an unnatural color, an eye blinks from the TV screen, and the door can now be opened.” Seriously, just play it.
The Disappearing of Gensokyo
Released: January 11
Developer: MyACG Studio
Publisher: MyACG Studio
This is a fan-made project which translates the Touhou Project universe into an action RPG (Touhou Project, for those who don’t know, is a series of loud and psychedelic bullet hell shooters). According to the description by MyACG Studio – the Chinese doujin group who created this spin-off – the game has elements of Touhou Project “danmaku” shooting (ie, the characteristics of a bullet hell game), but judging by the trailer it’s a fair less twitch-oriented affair than its inspiration. Whatever the case – and whether you’re into Touhou Project or not – the game has amassed over 400 positive reviews since last Friday, so it’s probably worth a look.
Next Up Hero
Released: January 11
Developer: Digital Continue
Next Up Hero is a topdown 2D action game about slaying monsters and mechs. The devs at Digital Continue describe it as “tough-as-nails” and “impossibly-hard” in the Steam description, so proceed with caution if you play most games on easy. The game can be played single-player or cooperatively online, and features an interesting system where each player death leaves an “echo”, available for the next player to raise. The more playable character deaths, the stronger everyone becomes. With talent responsible for titles like Scribblenauts, Lock’s Quest and Drawn to Life, this Early Access game is probably worth a look if you’re into more-ish (and punishing) arcade action.
Released: January 11
Developer: SIEIDI Ltd
Publisher: SIEIDI Ltd
Westard is a VR exclusive first-person heist game with a Western twist. Played alone or online, there’s the cooperative-focused heist mode where you’ll be taking either a stealthy or volatile approach to bank robbery, or else there’s a PvP component with two modes, one of them deathmatch. The game is in Early Access and, given the positive reception so far, seems to be adequately playable right now. It’s expected to release properly in about five months.
These games were released between 01/09-01/15. The first page of this list is updated every Sunday and previous weeks are archived on the following pages. Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.