This Week In Games: Way, Way Too Many Steam Games...

Today is the day where I realised there were way, way too many games being released on Steam now. I think that service is in severe need of some quality control.

This week is a quiet week by video game standards, but on Steam? The release schedule is just loaded with new releases and most of them I haven't even heard of. It's insane. And almost all of them are described as 'OLD SCHOOL PLATFORMER/STRATEGY/RPG/DUNGEON CRAWLER'. It's just a little overwhelming. A little bit... App Store for my liking. I think someone needs to bring it back in a little.

100% Orange Juice (PC)

What is it? You're going to see a lot of unoriginal stuff on today's 'This Week In Games'. This game is not one of them. Should you care? I think you should care. This game is basically a goal orientated board game come to video game life and it's weird enough to look interesting.

8BitBoy (PC)

What is it? Exactly what it says on the tin. Hardcore 8-bit style platformer. Should you care? Looks like fun, but I like platformers like this. Your mileage may vary. Also: Super Meat Boy exists.

Bound By Flame (PC)

What is it? Bound By Flame is an ambitious, gorgeous looking RPG. Looks like a big deal. Should you care? There's a fair amount of solid early buzz about this game. Might be worth investigating.

Coldfire Keep (PC)

What is it? An old school RPG dungeon crawler that takes me back to the Amiga days. Should you care? Seems like a niche idea, but it might appeal to folks who spent hours with these kind of games as a kid.

Demon Gaze (PS Vita)

What is it? It's a JRPG that's also a bit of a dungeon crawler. Fast paced, with unique first person exploration. Should you care? Not bad, not great. Reviewed pretty averagely.

Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl (3DS)

What is it? An RPG thing with some incredible animation sequences from Madhouse. Should you care? Yeah, you should care. Particularly if you're one of those JRPG enthusiasts. Which applies to pretty much all adult 3DS owners.

Flockers (PC)

What is it? Oh cool! A game from the creators of Worms that isn't Worms. Amazing. Should you care? Looks a bit like Lemmings. That's cool. That's pretty much all I know about this game to be honest.

LEGO The Hobbit (Wii U)

What is it? One of the approximately one zillion LEGO games being released this month. Should you care? There are way better LEGO games out there. Get one of those.

Planet Stronghold (PC)

What is it? A sci-fi RPG with a turn based combat system. Pretty 'old school'. Should you care? It's a cool concept, looks a bit low budget though.

Sweezy Gunner (PC)

What is it? Another retro top down shooter. Man, there's a lot of these on Steam at the moment. Should you care? I'd say skip this, even if you're a fan of the genre. Plenty of better examples out there.

Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

What is it? Tex Murphy is back! I know that excites a certain group of people. Should you care? This looks like a lot of fun. Also the Soup Nazi guy is in it. SOLD.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, 3DS) What is it? It's been a while since we've had a good Spiderman game. And we're still waiting. Should you care? Nope. You probably shouldn't care about it. Not great.

The Whispered World (PC)

What is it? The special edition of a pretty modern adventure game. Should you care? It looks fantastic. By all accounts this game is pretty special.

You Have To Win The Game (PC)

What is it? An 8-bit retro platformer... stop me if you've heard this one before. Should you care? It actually properly looks retro. It's also free-to-play, so what do you have to lose? I think it looks cool.


    Ditto. I'm still enjoying Lego Marvel Superheroes when it was $5 a couple weeks ago. Man that game is A LOT more fun than I was expecting, and a great nod to comic book aficionados.

      There's just so many little things in the game that make it good. I spent about 10 minutes just riding the ghostrider bike around the city.

    It should be noted that both Etrian Odyssey Untold and Demon Gaze are Wizardry style games. Etrian Odyssey Untold is also a remake of the first game in the series updated with the gameplay and features of EO IV and the option of a dedicated story mode with fixed characters.

    Last edited 05/05/14 10:10 am

    EB's website says Bound By Flame isn't out until May 15, and the game also comes out 360, PS3 and PS4?

    I agree. Valve needs to rethink balance. I'm all for fostering the indie game community, particularly as the mainstream developers often produce lemons, and the indie community occasionally produces gold. But that doesn't mean it should become difficult to find the content you are after. The "new releases" and "coming soon" tab are pretty much useless at the moment, just a clusterF of indie content.

    I actually think Valve should consider separating indie content from mainstream content. That doesn't mean there can't be some crossover. In movies, there are "mainstream" cinemas that occasionally show alternative/arthouse content or have an arthouse festival or whatever, and arthouse cinemas that occasionally show mainstream but edgy content. Why not have this for steam?

      "The "new releases" and "coming soon" tab are pretty much useless at the moment, just a clusterF of indie content."

      Small publishers seem to be dumping their back catalogue onto Steam - according to whatever data source Enhanced Steam uses, only 4 of the 10 current new releases are actually new game releases, the rest are new "to Steam". Eurofighter Typhoon, a game that was released in 2001, is in the top ten new releases, ffs.

      Valve needs to sort out their store page, period, maybe by separating these games into a "new on Steam" tab.

      Last edited 05/05/14 11:57 am

    You Have To Win The Game: is that just the first time it's been released on Steam? Because I remember playing that quite a while back. (Their website tells me it was May 2012)

      A lot of publishers seem to be submitting their entire pre-2014 back-catalogues, all the way back to the 90s. When you enter the store page for each individual title, it shows the true, original release date (eg: 2002, whatever), but on the 'new release' page, it shows the date it's been posted to Steam. Which is annoying, seeing all these new titles and clicking on them only to see it's a game you don't remember from the 90s, which given my levels of enthusiasm for gaming in the 90s is a BAD FUCKING SIGN for the quality of that game.

    Lego The Hobbit is awesome just for the "Middle Earth Carnival" red brick.

    I'll be sticking with that on Xbox One and Stick of Truth on PS3 until Watch Dogs comes out I guess.

      I'm still in the process of 100%ing Lego: The Hobbit, don't think I've found that red brick yet.

    Hey @markserrels,

    Here's a great video on the current "quality control problem" on Steam.

    @markserrels: Demon Gaze is a Wizardy-style Dungeon Crawler with almost exactly the same type of gameplay as Etrian Odyssey,

    I've written about this a few times, but this torrent of filth turning Steam into the App Store? I'm laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the desperate hungry indies and the sympathizers who pamper them and tell them they're all unique, special diamonds because 'life as an indie is hard' and they should get the reward of a Steam Payday that they haven't actually proved that they deserve.

    "You are not stuck in traffic. You ARE traffic."

    When your problem is 'discovery', of being heard above the noise of other titles, then you ARE the problem, you ARE the noise. If your game was truly outstanding, it would have been noticed and elevated by the brave souls who trawl through indiegogo, desura et al to try and dive for pearls in a toxic ocean of trash.

    If I have to read, "A love letter to [x era/genre]," one more time, I will pitch a fit.
    The store page is getting flooded with shitty RPG-maker titles, 3rd-world-publishers flooding Steam with their back-catalogue, bullet-hell shmups with nothing to distinguish them, 2D platformers with silhouette art style because they can't afford to draw foregrounds... And that new craze of getting one talented individual to do clever pixel-art is starting to shit me, too; it's losing its novelty. Platformers with novel physics puzzle mechanics, shallow-ass dungeon crawlers who hide their lack of depth by killing you every five minutes and calling it a 'roguelike' to pretend that the joy is meant to be in replaying that shallow crap repeatedly...

    We can see what they're doing, and they're all the same. They're not impressive. They are the noise that they complain prevents them from getting their just reward.

    And if it keeps up, they'll bitch and whine that they aren't getting that fabled Steam Payday anymore because the Steam audience has become utterly jaded with their app-store blandness. They're engineering their own destruction and everyone else to go after them, because, "Fuck you, got mine."

    Valve needs to step up and put a stop to this shit. But apparently, they're actually going to make it easier, with the death of Greenlight... god help us.

      I always feel bad for the 'love letters' but you're right. I see their 'retro' platformer and it's like I get that it's not easy to make a game and that they probably genuinely liked their idea even if to me it sounds like they designed it by just mashing words from the 80s/90s together, but they clearly didn't have the resources to make anything more than a postcard. They can make something you can look at and think 'yeah, Super Mario World was good times' but they just don't have the budget to make their own Super Mario Bros, letalone Super Mario World.

      I mean I really don't want to be a jerk, I feel terrible slamming these games, but at the same time it's like 'well, you've made a lackluster platformer that isn't fun to play, but if you were a larger studio I wouldn't be generous enough to use the word lackluster'. Steam may be indy friendly but it's still the big leagues. Valve need to get the message across that you can't go in there with something that struggles to reach the same level as a GameBoy movie tie-in.
      Sprites are becoming the Shrek of Steam. Throw 'pixel art' on the box and try to sell it to people who haven't been burned yet.

    Coldfire Keep "Over Ten Hours of Gameplay"
    WoW a whole TEN hours!!!!!!!!!

    Early Access is starting to shit me a bit, too. While it's possibly true that it's responsible for letting some truly outstanding titles see the light of day where they wouldn't have otherwise, we're missing some of the Darwinism that would otherwise have developers pick up the pace a bit and actually meet some fucking deadlines. As it is, there are many titles which seemed doomed to eternal beta, only releasing major build updates every time they feel sales have dipped and they want to turn up on the front page again, not to mention that finally releasing buys them a bypass on 'front page double-jeopardy', giving them two shots at publicity.

    We're starting to see some of these titles still in Early Access since from its inception, to the point that what LOOKED like it was 'kind of dated, but promising' a year or two ago is only getting older and less impressive and less promising, with no follow-through.

    Early Access: The games of yesterday... tomorrow! ...Maybe.

    There's a definite benefit to the publisher model in that having a whip over the developers to say, "Get it fucking done or you'll lose your studio," actually results in a game getting fucking MADE so they can move on to the next one, as opposed to eternally iterating on a concept at their leisure while the rest of the gaming world passes them by. I get the feeling that many of these devs do NOT have trained/competent project managers at the helm, just programmers/artists/designers muddling their way according to 'what seemed like a good idea at the time'.

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