Steam has a huge catalog of games and that means that sometimes the best and brightest titles can go unnoticed and un-played. That’s why I’m on a quest to round-up some of my favorite titles to share with you. Starting with:
Dear Esther – ($10.99)
“A deserted island…a lost man…memories of a fatal crash…a book written by a dying explorer.” (via Steam)
Dear Esther, originally a Half-Life 2 mod, was lovingly remade and fully realized by The Chinese Room studios in 2012. An atmospheric first person exploration game, Dear Esther is about as simple and ambiguous as games can get, and that’s what makes it stand out.
Selling Point: Dear Esther is void of traditional gameplay. Instead, bits and pieces of the game’s story are randomly selected and triggered through straightforward exploration, making each playthrough (and each player’s take on the story) different.
Paired with its award-winning soundtrack from Jessica Curry, Dear Esther is a truly immersive experience made all the better by allowing players to lose themselves in the search for answers without making the them worry about making all the right decisions.
Long Live the Queen ($10.99)
“Being a princess is not an easy job. Being a Queen is even harder. Especially when you’re only 14 years old, and the reason you’ve inherited the throne is that your royal mother has just met an untimely end. Can you survive long enough to reach your coronation?” (via Steam)
Looks really are deceiving when it comes to Hanako Games’ Long Live the Queen. What appears to be a sweet and sugary story on the outside is actually a tale of murder, power and patience.
Selling Point: Long Live the Queen boasts an extensive skill system used to help keep princess Elodie alive and kicking until her coronation day. The long list of potential story lines and consequences triggered by the player’s selections in the over-sized skill system is what makes the game so much fun.
With so many potential roads to success, so many different ways to die and a short completion time, Long Live the Queen is a fun, re-playable title well worth the $9.99 price tag.
Shadowrun Returns ($16.99)
“The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry.” (via Steam)
Developed and published by Harebrained Schemes, Shadowrun Returns (and its DLC, Dragonfall) can be best described as Blade Runner meets Lord of the Rings. The series originally started as a tabletop role-playing game in 1989 and has spawned numerous novels, console games and a collectible card game since then.
Selling Point: The cyberpunk/fantasy dystopian world of Shadowrun Returns is built on a thick foundation of lore and details that really bring the game to life. Taking on the role of Shadowrunner is made easy by the series’ panache for good, old fashioned storytelling.
Players looking for a game with a heavy tabletop feel to it will find exactly what they’re looking for in this title. From its established history to it’s turn based tactical combat, Shadowrun Returns is a game for the dice roller in all of us.