On a typical day, Steam releases about a dozen new games. While we believe this is a good thing, it is understandably difficult to keep up with. Unless you sort through every game released on Steam, potentially exciting gems will be lost in the deluge of new things to play. That’s precisely what we’ve done. If nothing appeals to you this week, we’ve compiled a list of the best PC games available right now, as well as a running list of the 2021 games set to release this year.
Sword and Fairy 7
Release: October 22
Developer: 软星科技（北京）有限公司 | Softstar Entertainment
Launch price: $30 | £23.79 | AU$42.95
Sword and Fairy is a popular action RPG series in Taiwan, but it was mostly unknown outside of the country until its predecessor was released in 2019. That predecessor is a charming if noticeably ropey turn-based affair; this latest instalment heralds the arrival of a brand new real-time combat system that, at least in videos, appears to be pretty serviceable—it was decent in Software Entertainment’s Xuan Yuan Sword 7. It’s the promise of a traditional Chinese setting that makes this place appealing, so it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something different.
Youtubers Life 2
Release: October 20
Developer: Uplay Online
Launch price: $30 | £25 | AU$49.95
A dystopian tycoon sim set in a world where young people perform repetitive tasks in front of a live-streamed audience, where success is determined by engagement metrics, and where a hyper-critical audience is awaiting your demise. To put it another way, it’s a game about becoming a popular YouTuber. “collaborate with legendary celebrities, explore the city of fame, find out hidden stories, and follow trends to create viral content.” according to the game’s description. It’s up to you whether you want to start a new Skyrim adventure as a pacifist Argonian or not.
Release: October 21
Developer: HeroCraft PC
Launch price: $17 | £13.59 | AU$20.35
Gravewood High, which was released in Early Access last week, is a horror game that has a Hello Neighbor vibe to it. It takes place in a high school, with randomized levels, destructible environments, and a strange crazed professor nemesis ready to bludgeon you to death if you’re not careful. The school setting can vary: according to the Steam page, schools range from “the wild ’80s to the American Civil War.” Gravewood High is set to leave Early Access at the end of the year, with new levels, enemy abilities, and puzzles being added in the meantime.
Release: October 23
Developer: Casper Croes
Launch price: $16.19 | £12.60 | AU$23.35
Alisa is the latest low-poly, warping-walls horror game to hit Steam. This one looks a little like Alone in the Dark, but it’s “inspired” by the 1920s, so there’s a bit of a period piece vibe beneath all that 1990s muck. Alisa is on the trail of a wanted criminal, and her investigation leads her to—wait for it—a creepy mansion. There are scary sentient dolls, and it has “Soulsborne difficulty” according to the description. You’ll be able to put the rest together on your own.
Release: October 23
Developer: David Szymanski
Launch price: $6.29 | £4.67 | AU$8.95
This “demake” of Dusk is actually its own game, inspired by Chip’s Challenge and Sokoban’s push-blocks-to-solve-puzzles format. But don’t worry: there will be guns and baddies to shoot. All of this takes place over 30 increasingly difficult levels, complete with chiptune renditions of Dusk bangers and a level editor. If you’re a fan of early PC graphics, it’s also quite lovely. It also “runs on literally anything” so put down your ageing gaming laptop and play this instead of trying to hit 60 frames per second in Far Cry 6.