On average, a dozen new games are released on Steam every day. And while we think that’s a good thing, it can be hard to keep up. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play, unless you sort through every game released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we did. If nothing appeals to you this week, we’ve rounded up the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of 2022 games launching this year.
Who is Lila?
Released: February 24
Developer: Garage Heathen
Introductory price: $9.59 | £7.43 | AU$13.56
Who is Lila? is a “reverse detective adventure” where, instead of choosing dialogue options, you manipulate facial expressions, which are then studied by a neural network and interpreted accordingly. Tanya Kennedy has disappeared and the last person known to have seen her is the protagonist William. These are the expressions of William that you will play with throughout Who’s Lila? towards one of 15 possible endings. “Get ready for dreamlike landscapes, surreal architecture, steam-filled factory interiors, and David Lynch-inspired industrial, mundane beauty,” reads the Steam description.
Released: February 25
Developer: Uuvana Studios
Introductory price: $14.44 | £11.46 | AU$20.35
Launched in Early Access last week, Longvinter is a cute online survival game that’s less about smashing trees and fending off brutal savage creatures and more about living off the land. Players are “researchers” sent to the island of Longvinter to uncover its secrets, and their first priority is to set up camp, fish, maybe look for berries, and work on getting gear. more advanced for research purposes. It sounds relaxed, but you’ll also need to defend against other groups of players, or attack other settlements, in order to strengthen your own. There’s farming, trading, building, crafting…everything you’d expect from a game like this. The early access period is expected to last about a year.
Released: February 22
Developer: Three Bees, Inc.
Introductory price: $15 | £11.39 | AU$21.50
Perfect Tides is located on a beautiful remote island, but the setting is otherwise quite familiar. It’s the year 2000 and the protagonist Mara is “a young writer obsessed with the Internet”. A point-and-click adventure, Perfect Tides is also a meditative coming-of-age tale: Mara is on “an ever-evolving quest for love, friendship and experience”, so don’t expect not to dragons. Expect the type of luscious pixel art that made the 1990s a true pinnacle for the medium.
DarkBlood is reborn
Released: February 26
Introductory Price: $10.49 | £7.97 | AU$15.05
More beautiful pixel art, this time in the form of a roguelite dungeon crawler. The DarkBlood series has its origins in smartphones, but this new game seems tailor-made for mouse and keyboard, and will likely appeal to anyone who loved Ultima Underworld and Eye of the Beholder, among many others. So expect turn-based combat against over 200 types of monsters, as well as light grid-based puzzles and traps.
Brendan Keogh’s Putting Challenge
Released: February 25
Developer: Brendan Keogh
Introductory price: $2.69 | £1.88 | AU$4.05
In keeping with Australian developers’ penchant for including their names in the title of their games (see: Getting over it with Bennett Foddy) comes this little golf game from writer and academic Brendan Keogh. With up to three local friends, or online with Remote Play, you freely roam an open world featuring five nine-hole courses, one of which is an “extra-large desert course”. If that wasn’t enough, you don’t even have to play golf if you don’t want to. Instead, you can take a bike ride or just hit some balls on the driving range (not technically golf!). Like Celeste, Putting Challenge was originally a Pico-8 game, which makes its open-world nature quite impressive, and it looks perfect for the Steam Deck (is that a thing we’re saying now?). Note that Putting Challenge is described as “a local co-op golf game about all the parts that other golf video games have cut out”, so it can be slightly boring at times, probably by design.