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. If nothing catches your fancy this week, we've gathered the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of the 2022 games that are launching this year.
Release: February 24
Developer: Garage Heathen
Launch price: $9.59 | £7.43 | AU$13.56
Who's Lila? is a "reverse-detective adventure" where, instead of choosing dialogue options, you manipulate facial expressions, which are then studied by a neural network and interpreted accordingly. Tanya Kennedy has gone missing, and the last person known to have seen her is protagonist William. It's William's expressions you'll be messing around with throughout Who's Lila? towards one of 15 possible endings. "Prepare yourself for dream-like landscapes, surreal architecture, steam-filled factory interiors, and David Lynch-inspired beauty of the industrial and the mundane," reads the Steam description.
Release: February 25
Developer: Uuvana Studios
Launch price: $14.44 | £11.46 | AU$20.35
Launched into Early Access last week, Longvinter is a cute online survival game that's less about punching trees and fending off brutal wild creatures than it is living off the land. Players are "researchers" sent to Longvinter Island to learn about its secrets, and their first priority is to set up a camp, do a spot of fishing, maybe some berry foraging, and work towards getting more advanced equipment for research purposes. Sounds relaxed, but you'll also need to defend against other player groups, or else attack other settlements, in order to strengthen your own. There's farming, trading, building, crafting... everything you'd expect from a game like this. The Early Access period is expected to last around a year.
Release: February 22
Developer: Three Bees, Inc.
Launch price: $15 | £11.39 | AU$21.50
Perfect Tides is set on a beautiful remote island, but the setting is otherwise pretty familiar. It's the year 2000, and protagonist Mara is "an internet-obsessed young writer." A point and click adventure, Perfect Tides is also a meditative coming of age narrative: Mara is on "an ever-evolving quest for love, friendship and experience," so don't expect dragons. Do expect the type of luscious pixel art that made the 1990s a real pinnacle for the medium.
Release: February 26
Launch price: $10.49 | £7.97 | AU$15.05
More lovely pixel art, this time in the form of a roguelite dungeon crawler. The DarkBlood series has its origins on smartphones, but this new game looks tailor-made for mouse and keyboard, and will likely appeal to anyone who loved Ultima Underworld and Eye of the Beholder, among many others. So expect turn-based combat against over 200 monster types, as well as light grid-based puzzling and traps.
Brendan Keogh's Putting Challenge
Release: February 25
Developer: Brendan Keogh
Launch price: $2.69 | £1.88 | AU$4.05
In keeping with Australian developers' penchant for including their names in the title of their games (see: Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy) comes this teeny golfing game by writer and academic Brendan Keogh. With up to three local friends, or online with Remote Play, you freely roam an open world featuring five nine-hole courses, one of which is an "extra-large desert course". If that wasn't enough, you don't even have to play golf if you don't want to. Instead, you can go for a bike ride, or just hit balls on the driving range (not technically golf!). Like Celeste, Putting Challenge was originally a Pico-8 game, which makes its open world nature pretty impressive, and it looks perfect for Steam Deck (is that a thing we say now?). Do note that Putting Challenge is described as "a local co-op golf game about all the parts other golf videogames cut out," so it may be slightly annoying at times, presumably by design.