Steam Charts: Fresh Meat

Children, gather round, for I have a tale to tell. A tale of wonder, intrigue, mystery and astonishment! Are we ready? Let me begin.

“Once upon a time there was a week when the Steam charts were slightly different to every other week since the dawn of time…”

Don’t get too excited – four are permanent regulars, one is weird, and the same game’s at number one as will be forever and ever AND EVER – but five fresh names, three of them brand new games, and one of them not even out for two months. What a time to be alive!

10. Kingdoms and Castles

Well here’s something lovely. A wee indie game from a first-time two-person team (although either has worked on names like Spore, Abzu and Journey), releasing and finding itself in the top 10 week one. Now we just need them to release their sales figures, and we can find out whether getting to #10 is a huge achievement, or an inevitability on a quiet week.

This is a management sim inspired by genre classics like SimCity, Stronghold and Banished, as you attempt to grow a mighty kingdom from just a few meagre huts. It was funded via Fig, and is the first game to receive cash from that format to see the reality of release, following a mighty 725% of their $15k goal. We’ll have our opinions about the game coming soon enough, but let’s just savour the taste of something fresh, sweet and innocent surviving in these fetid waters, because it’s about to get murky for a few entries, so please join me after this short intermission.

9. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

Someone’s uploaded 1994’s animated version of Gary Larson’s Far Side. I spend too much of my life wondering what retired cartoonists do all day long. I know Bill Watterson paints and all, but what does he actually do? Larson’s an even weirder one – The Far Side was always so similar to the wonderful B. Kliban (seriously, if you haven’t before, go take a look, you’ll be properly shocked how similar they are – and gosh, I never knew they’d archived his work on Go! I’ve got books of his cartoons I’ve scavenged from second hand bookshops in Chicago, but this has loads I’ve not seen before) and even the greetings cards aren’t sold any more. It must be so odd to have been so outstandingly famous, and then while still rather definitely alive, to a new generation be completely obscure.

8. Grand Theft Auto V

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Kliban’s comics are up on Go Comics. I mean, they’ve been there since 2012 I now realise, but I’ve been finding his collections since the very late 90s when I first stumbled upon them in Myopic Books in Wicker Park, Chicago. It’s the best place. There’s just free coffee on the counter, and a cat that prowls the precariously balanced floor-to-ceiling piles of unsorted books. Downstairs, in the basement of the store, near where the floor was subsiding in Biography (I’m not kidding – huge crack where the floor had ridden up – I went back years later and a section was cordoned off as if just abandoned to time), is a low shelf packed with cartoon collections.

I’ve loved such books all my life. As a child I craved Garfield collections (beyond awful to read as an adult), and Peanuts (still wonderful), and then got into Foxtrot (twee but somehow comforting). As a teenager I discovered Larson, and of course, Calvin & Hobbes. There’s even all four books of the short-lived but surprisingly lovely Citizen Dog. The piles of books still adorn my shelves decades later (with the exception of Garfield – gosh I hate Garfield now), joined in more recent decades by stranger collections. Max Cannon’s Red Meat, Jules Feiffer’s Sick Sick Sick, that sort of thing. So finding Kliban was such a moment. Far more obscure than Larson, but surely the inspiration for both the humour and the art (I’ve double-checked in The PreHistory Of The Far Side, and even though he acknowledges another cartoonist published in Playboy, there’s no mention of Kliban at all), it often crosses over into the utterly inexplicable. But I love that, that any cartoon could be opaque to the point of being impenetrable, or simply an awful pun.

7. PGL 2017 Krakow CS:GO Major Championship Mega Bundle

Yes, people are still spending an absolute fortune on a collection of pretend stickers.


And we’re back!

The takeaway message here is: free makes money.

DOOM was free this weekend, and just before that chose to give away all its DLC that it had previously charged for, and as a result it’s re-entered the charts of games people are paying money for.

Also it probably helps that DOOM is a very good shooty-bang game.

5. Total War: Warhammer II

Good gracious, I guess the message about not pre-ordering is perhaps not quite permeating the masses, eh? For flip’s sake, all they did was announce some dumb-ass pre-order bonus of the Norsca race, playable for “free” when you pay for the game. And I guess that was enough for everyone to forget the game’ll inevitably launch with a percentage discount, and the DLC cost likely less than the difference. Oh, yeah, and IT MIGHT BE A COLOSSAL PILE OF SHIT. It might not be, of course – but when it comes to Total War games there’s history of their releasing buggy messes. Perhaps it will be astounding. The point is, to every bloody person who paid for it months and months before any reviews appear, YOU DON’T KNOW.


There’s not even a pre-order discount! It’s FORTY POUNDS! You’re just giving Sega FORTY POUNDS on the assumption that they’re making a good game instead of a bad or mediocre game, on the basis of literally no sensible information! What is wrong with everyone? Why do we even bother? Gah.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Once, for a piece in PC Gamer, I was taught how to play Counter-Strike (original) by a professional Counter-Strike player. He taught me about standing on someone’s shoulders, and about where to point your gun at a certain wall, and the whole thing seemed far more like working out how to cheat the foibles of the game than running around trying to shoot chums or strangers in the back. I found that very disappointing. Also, I was awful at it. This has been a short, not very interesting anecdote about a different game.

3. Dark and Light

Let’s confess: this one caught RPS entirely by surprise. A sandbox survival online RPG, looking graphically stunning, and diving headfirst into the Steam charts without much of a peep. I’ve installed all 55GB of it so I can take a look, as I suspect this one might end up hanging around in the charts for a little while.

2. Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

Well blimey! What a joyous thing to see – an inclusive, novel, and most of all, funny game at what may as well now be the top spot on Steam. (Plunkbat is just there at #1 forever now, in a way that sort of pushes its position into irrelevance.) It seems the unpleasantness accompanying a brief release delay has done it little harm in terms of sales – a fortunate side-effect of such douchebaggery could well have been some epic free advertising.

Pip’s presently dating digital dads in order to bring us some thoughts about the game soonfully.

1. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

All Kliban cartoons from Go Comics.


  1. Beefenstein says:

    War is hell and poop is smell. I hope you like my poem well.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      “I love to eat them mousies…Mousies what I love to eat! Bite they little heads off, Nibble on they tiny feet!”

  2. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I’d not seen those pun-tastic drinks names in Dad Dating before (in the headline image). I don’t know who wrote those but I think I would get on very well with that person.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Same! I both like black coffee as well as GY!BE (and Die Antwoord I don’t mind either ^^)

  3. AbyssUK says:

    But wait no GTA: V ? I thought its sales were following Moores law…

  4. Snowskeeper says:

    The Norsca race pack will remain free for “early adopters” up to a week after launch, and is already available to purchase separately (though it won’t unlock until August 10th; I’m assuming you realize it’s DLC for I, not II). That’s not the reason people are pre-ordering the game.

    If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s probably the fact that Total Warhammer II has been repeatedly marketed as, effectively, a very large expansion to Total Warhammer, esp. due to the fact that one of its biggest selling points is that the map of I will be merged with that of II. People are aware that they’re basically getting more of the same, and are okay with that. Think that sort of thing is a separate issue from the majority of pre-orders, where people have absolutely no idea what they’re getting. But, y’know. YMMV.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      Yeah, this is a very different case from the usual pre-order nonsense. If you played the original game and any of its DLC, you probably have a sense of how on-point Total War has been with it. They could still fail to live up to expectations in some way, but the track record is pretty clear; I’d be very surprised if it wound up being a bad game.

    • Blastaz says:

      Well there is also the fact that CA have basically put out a new TW every year, and every year I put a few hundred hours into them.

      I might as well just set up a standing order…

    • Repojam says:

      I have no issue with a pre-order on TWW after the amount of time I’ve sunk into the first one. If we were talking about a true sequel rather than what is like to be an expansion pack that is roughly the same size as the first game it might be a different story.

    • Aetylus says:

      True. What is more surprising to me is that people are willing to pay 40 quid for an expansion, to which they will then get the privilege of paying many more quids for DLC onto that expansion. I liked Total Warhammer, but I’ve drawn the line here at how much CA are trying to milk me for this particular cash cow.

  5. Nauallis says:

    Nobody told me not to pre-order Destiny 2, so I did that. Of course, that’ll never show up on Steam Charts anyway, because reasons!

  6. Darth Gangrel says:

    “four are permanent regulars, one is weird” I wonder which one is considered weird, because it seems weird that both CS:GO and GTA V continue to keep their place. H1Z1 is perhaps the least weird, just another of those trendy games.

    At least I know why that game from Playerunknown is always at #1 -because he’s the goddamn (Plunk)batman!

  7. Ghostwise says:

    Seeing the dad dating game at #2 after the various totally-not-an-homophobe screeds in the comments sections about how it couldn’t possibly interest anyone…

    … made me laugh like a Nazg├╗l trying to sound cool and debonair to impress Pretty Shelob.

    • Chillicothe says:

      The scardiest dog barks the loudest.

      also lol @ Pretty Shelob

      That Far Side cartoon was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond what most people were used to seeing on TV back when it aired. I remember loving it, but then again, my sense of humor is broken.

    • goodgeorge says:

      I don’t see anything wrong or homophobic in a straight guy not seeing the appeal of a game that seems to mostly contain men dating other men. It’s really nice that the game has had a good start, but I have no difficulty in understanding why someone could doubt that the game might not sell well and that has nothing to do with homophobia. I really object to such labeling.

      • ogopogo says:

        “You want to shoot a LESBIAN porn? Lesbians are only like 1% of the population. Who else would possibly be interested?? It’ll never sell!”

        You’re either homophobic or not very bright, take your pick. Or take both, but if you honestly thought this game wouldn’t sell well… it has to be at least one or the other. Sorry dude.

        • goodgeorge says:

          I don’t think your example is very good as it is quite obvious why a straight man would be interested in lesbian porn. On the other hand dating other men is something that I would assume that a straight man would not be very interested in, by definition. Based on the assumption that the vast majority of gamers are straight men that would not be very interested in a game like this, I don’t see anything stupid in wondering whether there is a big enough of an audience for the game to make a profit. I think it’s wonderful that a game like this exists, but having doubts about its chances to be successful really isn’t that strange in my opinion. How any of this is homophobic is something I just can’t understand. Unless this is one of those words that has been redefined to mean something entirely different. I have also seen gay men say that this game might not be a good match for straight men.

          • ogopogo says:

            Why on earth would you assume “the vast majority” of gamers are straight males? Are you somehow posting from the early nineties or something?

            link to

            If you’re honestly confused about why the game is selling so well, you’re dumb.

            If you’re actually aware of the gender distribution stats & are simply being disingenuous, well, what’s your motivation for that? In modern parlance “homophobic” almost always means “people who have a strong dislike/hatred for gay people or culture” –as in beyond simple distaste or disinterest.

            So, are you really seriously unaware of how many female gamers there are on Steam (most likely 40%+ for nearly a decade now) or do you have some other motivation that makes you pretend to be that slow? And if your motivation to *pretend* to be stupid isn’t homophobia, then what is it?

          • goodgeorge says:

            Your ability to misunderstand me is quite epic.

            If the reason for the game selling so well is so obvious then why didn’t you just say it? Calling me stupid multiple times does not help in that at all, it only makes you an ass.

            Your statistics say that 59% of gamers are male, so quite a big chunk of gamers are straight males. I didn’t read into the statistics further than that so I hope this isn’t one of those statistics that count females that play FarmVille in Facebook as gamers as those people never actually buy games like the one we are discussing here. The amount of females is also totally beside the point that I was making. I was talking about straight males solely because I am one. I have no idea how female gamers see this game.

            That is the way I understand the word homophobic too. If that is what it means then I can’t understand why wondering about who this game is targeted to makes you homophobic in someones eyes. That was also the point I was trying to make. You get slapped with homophobic, misogynistic, etc label in record speed for asking the most innocent questions. Where does this need to dig something negative behind normal discussion come from? Is it really such an impossible thought that someone could ask something like that and not be a bigot with some horrible hidden motives? Your view of this world is pretty dark. Do I ever dare to ask what kind of monster you are imagining me to be. Jesus, I even said TWICE that I approve the game.

          • Daemoroth says:

            It’s not so much their ability to misunderstand you as it is a conscious decision to misunderstand you.

            A common tactic if you don’t toe the ‘popular line’ (Or keep your mouth shut while they vilify innocuous questions), they just misrepresent your point, insult you over the misrepresentation, label and dismiss you and any attempt you make at reasonable and civil discussion.

          • goodgeorge says:

            That is sadly how this feels like. The other thing I feel is that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of middle ground of opinion in the minds of some. Either you are fully for or against something, it seems to be totally black and white. Say anything that with some effort can be twisted as negative and you are fully against the subject being discussed. Maybe I’m just naive, but why it has to be like this.

  8. and its man says:

    “Godspeed You! Black Coffee”…
    … and “The Golden Mount Carmel Memorial Orchestra” ?

  9. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Now I’m wondering whether Kamagurka was ever translated to English. And whether that’d even make sense.

  10. Dezztroy says:

    Total Warhammer 2 is the wrong game for your pre-order rant. We mostly know what the game will be, and that is more of Total Warhammer, which is fine because the first game is one of the best in the series, and it actually launched in a perfectly good state. It’s hardly based on “no sensible information”.

    • John Walker says:

      You have no way of knowing if it will be a) good, worthwhile content, and b) in a fit, working state.

      Like all games.

      None of which should ever be pre-ordered.

  11. Landiss says:

    Ok, you convinced me, I’ll pre-order Total Warhammer.

    Are you f… kidding me? People are pre-ordering a game 2 months before a release? Why? What the hell is wrong with humanity!?

    • Dunbine says:

      Yeah, pre-ordering a video game is really the low point we’ve collectively hit in recent years. I can’t think of anything that makes me question humanity more.

  12. Grovester says:

    John – I’m guessing this is the same Myopic Books as sung by Mark Eitzel on American Music Club’s “Myopic Books”:
    link to

    “i was just hoping
    for a bookstore
    like the one i prayed for
    and the music they play there
    would be dinosaur jr
    and the people who worked there
    would be super skinny
    and super unfriendly
    and that would make me happy”

    Absolutely superb. I suspect there are two kinds of people – the type that’d hear that and either go “That is EXACTLY the place I’d like” or those who’d go “Who are Dinosaur Jr?”

  13. jmags says:

    Kliban is so underrated. There is so much there.