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 2023 games that are launching this year.
Slay the Princess
Steam page Release: October 24Developer: Black Tabby Games
Here’s a thoroughly disturbing visual novel about murdering a princess. At least, that’s what the protagonist—you—is meant to do, but the princess is going to try to talk you out of it, even though slaying her will save the world. I can sense your eyes rolling at that age old conundrum (see: The Last of Us), but Slay the Princess isn’t really about exploring that dilemma. It’s more about navigating the bizarre psychological tactics of an unknowable interlocutor, with branching dialogue leading to a huge variety of outcomes. And make no mistake: it’s a horror game, and definitely not one for those easily discomforted. It currently has an “overwhelmingly positive” status on Steam, and comes from the studio responsible for Scarlet Hollow.
Steam page Release: October 25Developer: Pet Project Games
Ripout is a co-op first-person shooter about blasting disgusting creatures to death in claustrophobic spaceship corridors. These mutants can “strengthen and reconfigure” themselves, which means smaller mutants can combine to make bigger, uglier ones, so that—in theory—you’ll always be encountering newly horrifying foes. Oh, and your gun is sentient too, because of course it is. All the class-based specialisation you’d expect is here, the levels are procedurally generated, and there is loot aplenty. It’s an Early Access affair: full release will drop in 2024 while Pet Project Games adds new content and makes adjustments according to user feedback.
Steam page Release: October 24Developers: Zeekerss
Launched into Early Access last week, this co-op horror game has already amassed over 800 “overwhelmingly positive” reviews, which bodes well. Players are contractors tasked with visiting desolate, former moon colonies to search for valuable scrap and other resources. It sounds relatively chill, at first: You’ll visit desolate old bases, discover peaceful space creatures, and rummage for your quarry. Obviously, the chill doesn’t last: there are unthinkable, volatile forces out there that will force careful collaboration between you and your fellow contractor friends. The Early Access build supports four-player coop, and boasts seven planets and nine creatures to explore; more will be added over the next six months.
Moonlight In Garland
Steam page Release: October 24Developer: Winters Group Estate
This week’s column has been very grim so far, but Moonlight In Garland offers some much-needed respite. It’s a cosy game about moving to the big city, which means choosing a nice apartment, decorating it, maybe creating an urban garden, and of course, making new friends. To ingratiate yourself with the prickly city folk, you’ll work on solving community problems, and if you feel like it, you can even go full-cop on the local graffiti. Moonlight in Garland will stay in Early Access for around nine months.
Steam page Release: October 26Developer: B52 Development Team
Look, I might easily have overlooked D’Lirium if not for its “overwhelmingly positive” user reviews. It stars cartoon ponies, for one, which doesn’t float my boat. But apparently this is a brilliant 2D shooter with strong survival horror elements, and is worth playing even if you don’t love ponies. Dusk creator David Szymanski sings its praises, for example, writing that it “boasts some really creative gameplay ideas with regards to risk / reward and navigation” (he also assures us we can ignore the ponies). It’s actually been in Early Access since 2017, but last week’s 1.0 release has finally put the finishing touches on a cult game that I had previously never heard of.