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 (opens in new tab) you can play right now and a running list of the 2022 games (opens in new tab) that are launching this year.
Widely dubbed “Wipeout for PC”, the original Redout (opens in new tab) actually bettered its source material for my money. This sequel looks to expand on the strengths of its predecessor: neon-lit futuristic races with vehicles that go so fast you may find yourself gurning and drooling on your keyboard. Spectacle is at least half of the appeal of the old Wipeout and F Zero games, and Redout 2 has that in spades, though don’t expect much aesthetic deviation from its primary sources: this is very clearly marked a “tribute to classic arcade racing games” after all. It’s all about the frisson of sparkling fluorescent and dizzying particle effects, as you race through 36 tracks in your heavily customisable future car. It’s a formula that, if you love it, will never get boring.
With a title like American Theft 80s you could easily mistake this game as one of those weird Unity asset flips that still hit Steam in their droves. But this is actually a real game, and it’s made by the studio responsible for Thief Simulator, which Chris really enjoyed (opens in new tab). American Theft 80s plays a lot like that older stealth game, except as the name implies it has a very overt 1980s theme (you know, CRT TVs, videostores, weird wallpaper). You’ll roam an open world, robbing all and sundry, or if you’d prefer to work for someone else you can “finish shady jobs for cash and reputation”. GTA, except with immersive sim elements? Sounds good to me.
Nightmare Frames is a point and click adventure about trying to find “the scariest horror film of all time”, and no, that film is not Troll 2 (opens in new tab). This is another game set in the 1980s, this time in Hollywood, and as screenwriter Alan Goldberg you’ll roam these pixel streets in search of a “genius horror director” who, if discovered, could transform Goldberg from a has-been into a, ah, currently-is. It’s a really fun premise for an adventure game, and the Steam page isn’t shy about revealing that the game may not be entirely set in Hollywood. Expect grim surprises.
With the launch of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge (opens in new tab) last week, it’s probably a tough time to be any other beat ’em up. But if you’re a fan of the genre—wandering through gorgeous pixel art landscapes beating the everloving shit out of punks—Final Vendetta looks great. Through the usual array of decrepit 1980s urban blight, you’ll aim to take down the Syndi8 gang, which has kidnapped protagonist Claire Sparks’ sister. Sparks isn’t the only playable character, though: she has two friends along for the ride and you can play as both of them as well. Expect a cocktail of combos across four game modes, and best of all, Final Vendetta supports two-player local coop.
The latest tiny game by the Sokpop Collective is about pushing matching tiles together on a grid. If the tiles thematically match—say, four forest tiles, or four volcanic tiles—you’ll unlock further tiles with their own rules. It’s a little more complicated than that, because combining certain tiles with certain features will alter surrounding tiles. One example: If you place a windmill next to a grassland tile, you’ll end up with wheat fields. This looks like a fun coffee break game from a studio with a brilliant reputation for creating those, and as always, the music is gorgeous, and the art style clean and cheerful.