Alec is away this week, following the Vengaboys around on tour. Or, if they're not currently touring, just visiting places they've been, taking photos and placing them inside his scrapbook alongside some brief reflections. That means it falls to me to tell you which ten games were the best selling on Steam in the past week, and there are some pleasant games inside.
I'm glad to see Planet Coaster doing well, because I want to live in a world where management games are commonplace again. That said, I stepped off Frontier's rollercoaster pretty quickly. I found it fiddly to build rides, both trying to work out how to attach entrances to them and for the left-click-to-add-new-track controls. I built half a coaster, turned it off and re-installed Cities: Skylines.
I'm not au fait with Warhammer, which means I hear "Wood Elves DLC" and have no idea where they place within the canon of Warhammer races. Are people excited to be leafy treedwellers, as much as they are goblins and orcs and dwarves and so on? It turns out, yes. Now that Time Commanders is back on TV, maybe we can get a special Christmas episode called Warhammer Commanders.
Half price down to $10 for the last 5 days sees H1Z1 storm back up the charts. King of the Hill is the standalone spinoff, carved from the main game proper, in which players are parachuted into an open world that's continually shrinking in size. You have to scavenge for weapons while being pushed towards the centre and the last player standing is the winner. It's an exciting distillation of what makes a lot of these survival games fun, though creator PlayerUnknown has split from Daybreak to make a game based on the mode of his own called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
I love Counter-Strike Global Offensive but even I'm surprised that there are people left who don't already own it. Did the people who bought it this past week only hear of it recently? Just find the time to get round to it? Or were they drawn in by the Christmas jumpers placed on chickens? Hmm.
5. Watch Dogs 2
Word is that Watch Dogs 2 is selling only a fraction of what its predecessor did, which is probably a result of marketing more than anything else. By all accounts, Watch Dogs 2 is the better game, replacing the original's drab main character and world with a likable cast and missions more based around tomfoolery than seedy human trafficking gangs. I've played a bit of it and was unreasonably annoyed that restaurants and hotels I like in San Francisco weren't present in its nevertheless beautiful and impressive open city.
Another half-price sale to $10 saw Rust also re-appear in the top ten. A quick look at SteamSpy suggests Rust is owned by 4.5 million people, which, geez, is a lot - particularly given I don't hear that much about it anymore, after all the initial stories of player-driven cooperation and horribleness. Are any of you playing it? Is Rust the DayZ-style survival game come good?
I'm thrilled this has broken into the top ten. I hadn't heard of Shadow Tactics until it was released, but I loved the Commandos games back in the day and this is essentially a genre revival. An underrepresented set of ideas, some lovely level design, and you should read Tim Stone's review to see why Shadow Tactics is this week's outlier success.
A bump owing to the release of the Wood Elves DLC, above, and a couple days at a reduced price of $45. Also because it's Total War and Warhammer combined and so this thing is just going to sell and sell until they make a new one.
Oh, this is nice. We've seen Euro Truck and American Truck Simulator pop up in the top ten before, but it's a pleasure every time. Vive la France is the latest expansion, which expands France with thousands of new roads and countryside and terrain much as the previous Scandinavian expansion did to that region. I'm a fan of this series - which people still think is a novelty or only enjoyed ironically, sadly - and need to find the time to get out my wheel and try this.
Like Planet Coaster above, I bounced off Civilization VI pretty quickly. I don't think the game is the problem, I think it's me; I think I just don't like Civilization games anymore. Adam described the series as a race towards a finish line and I think that's why. I'd rather play a grand strategy game that created a story than a 4X game in which I was racing blind towards victory or failure. Many other people feel differently, of course.