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 2021 games that are launching this year.
Sword and Fairy 7
Release: October 22
Developer: 软星科技（北京）有限公司 | Softstar Entertainment
Launch price: $30 | £23.79 | AU$42.95
Sword and Fairy is a popular action RPG series in its native Taiwan, though it was mostly unknown until its predecessor released in the west in 2019. That predecessor is a charming if noticeably ropey turn-based affair; this latest instalment heralds the arrival of a whole new real-time combat system that in videos at least, looks pretty serviceable—it was decent in Xuan Yuan Sword 7, also developed by Software Entertainment. It's the promise of a traditional Chinese setting that is attraction here, so it's well worth investigation if you're looking for something outside the norm.
Youtubers Life 2
Release: October 20
Developer: Uplay Online
Launch price: $30 | £25 | AU$49.95
A dystopian tycoon sim set in a world where young people perform repetitive tasks in front of a livestreamed audience, success is dominated by engagement metrics, and a hyper-critical audience is baying for your blood. In other words: it's a game about becoming a successful YouTuber. You'll "collaborate with legendary celebrities, explore the city of fame, find out hidden stories, and follow trends to create viral content." Or you could start a new Skyrim run as a pacifist Argonian—it's up to you.
Release: October 21
Developer: HeroCraft PC
Launch price: $17 | £13.59 | AU$20.35
Launched into Early Access last week, Gravewood High is a horror game with a whiff of Hello Neighbor about it. It's set in a high school, levels are randomised, environments are destructible, and there's a weird crazed-professor nemesis ready to bludgeon you to death if you're not careful. The school setting can vary: the Steam page describes schools based on "the wild '80s to the American Civil War." Gravewood High is expected to exit Early Access some time next year, with new levels, enemy abilities and puzzles to be added during development.
Release: October 23
Developer: Casper Croes
Launch price: $16.19 | £12.60 | AU$23.35
New retro-styled horror games are almost as common as new roguelikes nowadays, and Alisa is the latest to hit Steam in all its low-poly, warping walls glory. This one actually looks a bit like Alone in the Dark, though it's "inspired" by the 1920s so there's a bit of a period piece vibe beneath all that 1990s murk. Protagonist Alisa is on the tail of a wanted criminal, and that pursuit takes her to—wait for it—a spooky mansion. There are scary sentient dolls, and it apparently has "Soulsborne difficulty". You can piece the rest together.
Release: October 23
Developer: David Szymanski
Launch price: $6.29 | £4.67 | AU$8.95
This "demake" of Dusk is actually its own game, inspired by the ye olde push-blocks-to-solve-puzzles format popularized by Chip's Challenge and Sokoban. Don't worry though: there are guns and baddies to shoot with them. All this takes place across 30 increasingly tough levels, with chiptune takes on Dusk bangers and a level editor, too. It also looks beautiful, if you're into early PC graphics. As a bonus, it "runs on literally anything" so stop trying to hit 60fps in Far Cry 6 on your aging gaming laptop and play this instead.
These games were released between October 18 and 25 2021. Some online stores givers. us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.