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.
Land of Screens
Release: February 5
Developer: Serenity Forge
Launch price: $6 | £4.79 | AU$8.50
The last five years has seen a welcome abundance of games focused on personal relationships. What a lot of them forget about 21st century flesh world interaction is the preliminary requirement to get eyes off screens. As the name implies, Land of Screens is an adventure game themed around that very challenge. Following a breakup, protagonist Holland needs to get out of the house and away from screens in order to move on, but “no matter where Holland goes to try and get away, everyone is glued to their screens.” What follows is a series of point ‘n’ click set pieces about the difficulty of mingling in the age of smartphones, by the creators of Half Past Fate and Circadian City.
The Hundred Year Kingdom
Release: February 3
Developer: kaeru-san games
Launch price: $13 | £10 | AU$18.50
The Hundred Year Kingdom is a turn-based city builder that challenges you to nurture a happy civilization within 100 turns. It doesn’t sound like a particularly stressful simulation: there’s no war or diplomacy to worry about, and the whole time you’re guided by a “mythical young goddess” of your choosing, ranging Freyja from Norse mythology, through to the Japanese Amaterasu. Each oracle brings their own strengths and weaknesses to the project, which appears to mostly involve the careful placing down of blocks in order to create a really nice, pixel art world. Looks relaxing.
Release: February 4
Developer: UKZ Arts
Launch price: $0.89 | £0.71 | AU$1.35
Another point ‘n’ click adventure, this time about an influencer whose cat videos are no longer engaging audiences like they used to. No, protagonist Anthony needs to come up with some content far more engaging than a beautiful kitty: he needs something dark, something ugly, something evil. Well, maybe not evil, but he opts to pursue a giant insect, the likes of which, sure, would probably drive a lot of clicks. This game launched on itch.io last year but only made it to Steam last week. For this price (and considering that gorgeously garish pixel art) it’s definitely worth a shot.
I don’t think I’ve walked this stretch of road before
Release: February 1
Launch price: $4 | £3.19 | AU$6
Here’s a brief narrative game about—yes—walking along a stretch of road. The Steam page is strewn with descriptors like “brooding” and “uncanny,” and the trailer above definitely bears that out. As you move along this lonely road you’ll encounter “fragments” with which you can interact, all of which culminate towards a “hopeful story of personal reckoning.” Definitely looks worthwhile if you’re after a sub-half-hour mood piece. “Shameless Jeff Nichols/Kelly Reichardt/David Lynch worship,” so says the Steam page.
The Tribulation Entanglement
Release: February 6
Developer: Anxious Neck Games
Launch price: $13.49 | £10.25 | AU$19.35
It’s hard to tell how well The Tribulation Entanglement fares as an action platformer, but its art style is absolutely brilliant. Coming across as a nightmarish, monochrome take on Axiom Verge, the pixel art here looks almost hand drawn, such is its ghastly complexity. As for the comparatively 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.