On average, a dozen new games are released on Steam every day. And while we think that’s a good thing, it can be hard to keep up. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play, unless you sort through every game released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we did. If nothing appeals to you this week, we’ve rounded up the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of 2021 games launching this year.
Country of screens
Released: February 5
Developer: Serenity Forge
Introductory price:$6|£4.79 |AU$8.50
The last five years have seen a welcome abundance of games focused on personal relationships. What many of them forget about interacting with the world of the flesh in the 21st century is the prerequisite for take your eyes off the screens. As the name suggests, Land of Screens is an adventure game themed around this challenge. After a breakup, protagonist Holland has to get out of the house and away from screens to move on, but “no matter where Holland tries to run, everyone is glued to their screens.” What follows is a series of point and click sets about the difficulty of mingling in the smartphone age, from the creators of Half Past Fate and Circadian City.
The hundred year kingdom
Released: February 3
Developer: kaeru-san games
Introductory Price: $13 | £10 | AU$18.50
The Hundred Year Kingdom is a turn-based city builder that challenges you to nurture a happy civilization in 100 turns. It doesn’t feel like a particularly stressful sim: there’s no war or diplomacy to worry about, and the whole time you’re guided by a “mythical maiden goddess” of your choice, ranging from Freyja from Norse mythology to the Japanese Amaterasu. . Each oracle brings their own strengths and weaknesses to the project, which seems to mostly involve the careful placement of blocks in order to create a truly enjoyable pixel art world. Looks relaxing.
Released: February 4
Developer: UKZ Arts
Introductory price: $0.89 | £0.71 | AU$1.35
Another point-and-click adventure, this time about an influencer whose cat videos no longer appeal to audiences like they used to. No, the protagonist Anthony needs to deliver much more engaging content than a pretty kitty: he needs something dark, something ugly, something wrong. Well, maybe not bad, but he chooses to pursue a giant bug, the likes of which, of course, would probably get a lot of clicks. This game launched on itch.io last year but only came to Steam last week. For that price (and considering that beautifully garish pixel art), it’s definitely worth it.
I don’t think I’ve traveled this stretch of road before
Released: February 1
Introductory price: $4 | £3.19 | AU$6
Here’s a brief narrative game about, yes, walking along a stretch of road. The Steam page is littered with descriptors like “smoldering” and “strange,” and the trailer above definitely confirms that. As you move along this lonely road, you will come across “fragments” for you to interact with, all of which will culminate in a “hopeful story of self-calculation”. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for a mood piece under half an hour. “A shameless Jeff Nichols/Kelly Reichardt/David Lynch cult,” the Steam page says.
The tangle of tribulation
Released: February 6
Developer: Anxious Neck Games
Introductory Price: $13.49 | £10.25 | AU$19.35
It’s hard to say how well The Tribulation Entanglement behaves as an action platformer, but its art style is absolutely brilliant. Appearing as a nightmarish, monochromatic version of Axiom Verge, the pixel art here looks almost hand-drawn, such is its terrible intricacy. As for the relatively prosaic point of what you actually do, The Tribulation Entanglement is a linear platformer with over 25 different enemy types and “challenging” combat. If the style of, say, Tamashii is in your wheelhouse, The Tribulation Entanglement should be too.