The Steam Games Festival has hit. It’s a Valve-hosted, live streamed gaming extravaganza featuring game demos, dev Q&As, and snippets of unreleased treats.
If, like me, you crave every crumb of info you can get on hot new game releases, then the Steam Games Festival is for you. Valve’s no-nonsense approach to presenting you with the info on games, active gameplay, and a direct line to the makers is refreshingly simple.
With all 500+ games on display locked in for release dates between February 10, 2021 and September 1, 2021, this is the perfect time to get in before they’re cool, or to discover some weird AF gems.
Promoted as being just as valuable for the devs as it is for the audience, this is the perfect moment to get your feedback heard, and appreciated, at a crucial time in a game’s lifecycle. For example, do I think that Ranch Sim is the perfect game? Yes. Will I still tune into their session and unreasonably demand a hardcore survival mode? Definitely.
We’ve done our best to make our way through the mammoth Steam Games Festival list, and are presenting you with a little info on our 10 favourites, along with the best questions to get yourself booted from the dev chats.
Narita Boy has been teased since 2017, a glorious, side-scrolling love letter to the late ’90s. Presented with a gorgeous pixel-art style, you dive right into the code of a game on Narita Boy’s real-world PC. Prepare to fly a floppy board on your way to the techno sword.
Question to get you kicked: “Why no Narita Girl, huh?”
Check out Narita Boy here.
You’re an Axolotl with an AK-47. I really don’t feel like this needs to be explained more. You have to defend your pond in this arena shooter meets bullet hell.
Question to get you kicked: “Can I AKS you a something? Did this game take ALOTL time?”
Check out AK-xolotol here.
This is an absolutely cooked ecchi rail-shooter – think Time Crisis, but instead of fighting terrorism, you’re trying to avoid getting laid. It’s absolutely as nuts as it sounds. You shoot women with pheromones in delicate regions to reduce their attraction to you. Even writing about it makes me think I’m about to get Swatted.
Question to get you kicked: “Does Gal Gundot make an appearance?”
Check out Gal*Gun Returns here.
No Place For Bravery
No Place For Bravery is 2D, top-down RPG featuring nightmare-addled non-hero Thorn questing to save his lost daughter. A classic situation, and one that looks exceptionally well realised. Packing self-described Sekiro-esque combat, this game has instantly piqued my interest. Your character isn’t invincible, and should approach everything with caution.
Question to get you kicked: “Oh I get it! You’re a bunch of cowards?”
Check out No Place For Bravery here.
You Suck at Parking
The world’s most extreme parking game presents you with a series of ever more difficult challenges to park your sturdy white sedan in. You Suck at Parking look like a cross between Rush Hour (that puzzle board game from your youth) and mini-golf, except you’re the golf ball.
Question to get you kicked: “What am I, an outdated stereotype?”
Check out You Suck at Parking here.
Sometimes in life you are gifted with ideas so ridiculous that they step into genius. Timberborn is one of those ideas. Imagine a LumberPunk future, one where humanity is gone and only the beavers remain. You must build up beaver society to take their rightful place at the top of the food chain.
Question to get you kicked: “Do I give you wood?”
Check out Timberborn here.
Global warming has resulted in the island you live on slowly sinking underwater. It’s the exact opposite of Chicken Little, where instead of the sky falling, the water is rising. BigChick is a top-down puzzle platformer that leaves no egg on your face, if you play it right.
Question to get you kicked: “What is this game, my ex-wife?”
Check out BigChick here.
The Invisible Hand
A stocks simulator. Finally, you can lose thousands of your own dollars without losing a dime. In The Invisible Hand you play a mid-level stockbroker on their way to the top, meaning you can finally live out your capitalist dreams of glory. It’s Wolf of Wall Street, but only the bits you didn’t see on screen.
Question to get you kicked: “STONKS STONKS STONKS. $GME TO THE MOON. CHICKEN TENDIES TONIGHT.”
Check out The Invisible Hand here.
How To Win
A game that begins by letting you set all the rules, including the ever evasive question of How To Win. This looks to be an interesting take on a choose-your-own-adventure anti-game. If you love all things meta and irreverent, How To Win looks right up your alley.
Question to get you kicked: “Can you teach me how to lose? I’d like to learn from the best.”
Check out How To Win here.
This feels one step away from Salad Fingers: The Game. A terrifying world awaits as you play a boy plagued by nightmares, desperately trying to wake up. Traverse deep through the messed-up psyche of Amanita Design on your quest through a land of decapitated bunnies.
Question to get you kicked: “Do you like rusty spoons?”
Check out Happy Game here.
Now, don’t let this list dictate all your time in the festival. There’s so many games on offer that we’ve definitely overlooked a firecracker or two.
Find all the info on the Steam Games Festival here.