Five new Steam games you probably missed (March 18, 2024)

CTRL Phreak
(Image credit: Robot-Satan)
Best of the best

Baldur's Gate 3 - Jaheira with a glowing green sword looks ready for battle

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

2024 games: Upcoming releases
Best PC games: All-time favorites
Free PC games: Freebie fest
Best FPS games: Finest gunplay
Best MMOs: Massive worlds
Best RPGs: Grand adventures

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 2024 games that are launching this year. 

CTRL Phreak

Steam‌ ‌page‌ ‌
Release:‌ March 11
Developer:‌ Robot-Satan

CTRL Phreak is a hacking sim in the vein of Hacknet. The goal is to become the most "LEET H4X0R" in the world, which means digging through the deep web's dodgy chatrooms and data payloads in search of the most sought after and impenetrable target among hackers. While it adopts a dark retro terminal aesthetic, CTRL Phreak seems to have a sense of humor about it: some "encounters" require you to mash the keyboard violently, as if roleplaying as a real hacker. I love the art style, and the Steam reviews suggest that hacking sim enthusiasts—quite a starved population—are loving this.

Passing By

Steam‌ ‌page‌ ‌
Release:‌ March 13
Developer:‌ Studio Windsocke

Here's a charming puzzle game about sailing a hot air balloon. As Curly, you'll hop from floating island to floating island, solving whimsical problems, engaging in some light platforming, and meeting a bunch of weirdos. There are also some light survival elements to keep you on your toes, because one does not embark on a long hot air balloon journey without some resource gathering. The paper cutout art style is a real delight, and the vibes: they are light and breezy throughout.

Oh Deer

Steam‌ ‌page‌ ‌
Release:‌ March 16
Developers:‌ Cozy Cabin Studios

Here's a pretty fun asymmetrical shooter-slash-survival game about deer hunting. A lone hunter must sniff out four real human players cast as deer. It's basically hide-and-seek, as there are AI deer with which to blend in with, but as a deer you also need to eat, which means you can't just camp somewhere pleasant and wait it out. Deer players have quite a strong foe to contend with, because the hunter has a bunch of gadgets at their disposal, all the better to find the right deer before nightfall. Oh Deer is in Early Access: completion is expected in around six months, with new maps and modes coming in the meantime.

Death of a Wish

Steam‌ ‌page‌ ‌
Release:‌ March 11
Developer:‌ melessthanthree

Here's a gorgeously bleak action RPG about one kid's efforts to bring down the cult he grew up in. The art style looks like the scribblings of a lunatic, and the colours and over-the-top attack animations contribute to the oppressive atmosphere. Beneath the distinctive art style is a complex combat system that seems to borrow as much from character action games like Devil May Cry as from Hyperlight Drifter. More stylish kills are rewarded, and according to the Steam page there are "limitless" ways to fight stylishly, due to the many and varied upgrade paths.

Rebel Transmute

Steam‌ ‌page‌ ‌
Release:‌ March 12
Developer:‌ Evan Tor Games

Rebel Transmute is a Metroidvania and it's about as orthodox as they come. Made by a sole developer, it ticks all the Metroidvania boxes, including a sprawling map, the slow doling out of new abilities leading to new ways to explore, and lots tense gunplay reminiscent of Metroid or—closer to home for PC gamers—Axiom Verge. Sometimes you've just got to play a gorgeous pixel art Metroidvania that doesn't mess with the rules. Next time that need hits, Rebel Transmute will be waiting.                                                                            

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.