Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Steam introduces digital gift cards and a lot of hassle

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Can’t think of a decent birthday present for that sort-of-but-not-really friend or distant family member? Don’t worry: Steam has your back. Instead of just giving them some cash that they’ll probably spend on a game anyway, why not show that you care — but not too much — by picking up a digital gift card from Steam? They’re available now, if you’re willing to jump through some hoops.

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Winter’s Steam sales approacheth on these dates

Pun Crime

Octemberweenmas is the most magical time of the year, filled with skeletons, imported turkeys and jolly fat men in chimneys. For us videogame-appreciating sorts, it’s also the season for dark forces to align and savagely maul our wallets until there is nothing left but tattered receipts, regrets and a swelling backlog of games to play.

At least this year we’ve been forewarned. Through a combination of dates leaked on reddit and journalists poking developers, we now have dates for Steam’s upcoming Halloween, Black Friday/Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday sales.

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Secrets of the developer who sold half a million videogames you’ve never heard of on Steam

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In the space of a half-hour conversation, Adam Nickerson, aka Nickervision Studios, uses a variant of the phrase ‘I don’t know really how to make videogames’ at least half a dozen times. Yet he’s managed to singlehandedly sell half a million copies of his games on PC.

You’ve probably never heard of Bit Blaster XL, for example, but it’s shifted 260,000 copies on Steam. He developed it solo, in just two weeks. Its follow-up, on course to be equally successful, was developed in 75 hours.

How did he do it? He figured out exactly how to get noticed on Steam during this time of seemingly ceaseless new releases – a time that has destroyed the hopes and dreams of many other small developers. Read the rest of this entry »

The Witcher turns 10 years old and celebrates with a big sale

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Somehow, our lad Geralt’s video game adventures have turned ten years old this week. That’s ten years of slaying monsters as the silver fox with cat-eyes. Ten years of werewolves, dragons, unicorns, romances and politics, usually all at the same time. Ten years of articles debating how much sex in a video game constitutes too much.

To celebrate the series’ tenth anniversary, you can pick up all the games in the franchise (as well as the various bits of DLC) with some hefty discounts this week. These offers are available at GOG if you like your games DRM-free, Humble if you’d like to kick a few pennies towards charity while you buy or Steam, if you like to keep things as simple as possible.

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Unknown Pleasures: 5 of the best new Steam releases

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures. Each week, we wade through the chin-deep river of new Steam releases to find five hidden gems that otherwise would have passed most of us by.

This week: Hadoukens & cherry blossoms, a The Flash game without The Flash, sinister bureaucracy and extremely charming elephants. Read the rest of this entry »

Making The Orange Box: how 3 Valve games became 1

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The Orange Box is one of the strangest quirks of gaming history. Never before had a developer released three brand new, entirely separate games at the same time in one package, and thanks to digital distribution, it probably won’t happen again. What makes The Orange Box truly remarkable though is that it contained two of the most-anticipated games of 2007, and what proved to be the biggest surprise hit of the year (some might argue ever).

The company was Valve and the games were Half Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

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Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam releases

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the most excellent hidden gems we dug up from the past week of new releases on Steam.

This week: botany simulation, electro-tanks, skeletal Wolverine and automatic Starship Troopers.
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Unknown Pleasures: the best new little-known Steam games this week

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the most excellent hidden gems we dug up from the past week of new releases on Steam.

This week: endless runners remixed, spaceship life simulation and Dark Souls vs Ico.
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Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam games

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best overlooked new releases on Steam.

This week: choose your own trousers, Devil Daggers on a motorbike, forgotten rally classics and No Meow’s Sky.
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Steam now fighting review bombs with diagrams

All social problems can be solved by data, any naive tech company can tell you, which is why Valve are attempting to solve Steam ‘review bombing’ by adding graphs to its player reviews. Review bombing is the practice of players organising to leave negative reviews that drive down a game’s rating in an attempt to punish or manipulate developers by damaging their future sales prospects. Games bombed over the past month range from Firewatch to Grand Theft Auto V. This is a known and old problem with Steam’s reviews, and one Valve aren’t happy with. So, to counterattack disproportionate bursts of negative reviews, Valve have added unusual activity warnings to Steam store pages with histograms tracking reviews over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia blocks Steam to ban religious fighting game

The Malaysian government has blocked access to the whole Steam store in an attempt to ban Fight of Gods [Steam page], a new fighting game where deities from Jesus to Odin punch each other in the face. The game is a threat to the “solidarity, harmony and wellbeing of the multi-racial and multi-religious people in the country”, an official said.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission yesterday issued a 24-hour ultimatum demanding that Steam’s operator, Valve, block users in Malaysia from downloading the game. After that passed and the game was still available, they ordered ISPs to block the site. Steamers in Malaysia are unable to access the store, though playing Steam games still seems to work – and the block can be bypassed. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: the best Steam games you might have missed

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly digest of our favourite new games released on Steam over the past few days that we’ve not already covered in detail.

This week: roguelite flight sims, The Thing as survival-strategy game, tank racing and cowboy commandos. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: this week’s Steam new release highlights

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best new but under-reported games released on Steam over the past seven days.

This week: SF startup simulation, nihilistic Tetris, toilet humour and fantasy RPG Tinder.
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Unknown Pleasures: 10 of the best new Steam games this week

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly digest of the best new games released on Steam over the past seven days, but which most probably flew under your radar.

This time: Pong with 500 balls, XCOM meets SUPERHOT, house-trashing wizards, the not quite so fantastical Mr Fox and feline Zelda.
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Unknown Pleasures: the best overlooked Steam games of the past week

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly selection of the best lesser-hyped games on Steam that you’ve almost certainly missed.

This week: walking simulation, horse simulation, hang-gliding simulation, Aztec combat simulation, dog-in-a-dungeon simulation and Portal recreation.
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Unknown Pleasures: 10 of the best new Steam games

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round up of ten of the best (or thereabouts) new games released on Steam that have not, as yet, enjoyed the fifteen minutes of fame that they deserve.

This week: I’m actually covering two weeks’ worth of games rather than the usual seven-day crop, as I was away for a bunch of last week. The larger pool means more strong options than usual, including: high-speed 4X, FMV anxiety attacks, minimalist Shadow of the Colossus and the singular nightmare that is Hand Simulator. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: new Steam releases you might have missed

Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly selection of the best new releases on Steam that you (probably) haven’t heard about before.

This week: timelords, broken America, fat suits, Gauntlet vs Smash TV and cyberdog cowboys.
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The Best Steam Skins

This is how I've customised my Air skin

Steam skins let you change up how your Steam client looks. Some are pretty much just recolouring options while others want to have their wicked way with your menus, refining or rejigging them. Skins have been around for years now so you might have encountered some of these already – certainly, the community has clustered round a few good skins with a smattering of irregularly updated fan service when it comes to particular games, anime or My Little Pony (I will always be fond of Fluttershy even though it’s horribly out of date now – RIP Fluttershy). But there’s a chance you’ve missed out – or you’re hankering for a change of digital scenery – so here’s an updated list featuring five of the best Steam skins. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam UI overhaul incoming, Valve presentation confirms

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An overhaul of Steam’s UI is in the works and will focus on changes to the library and game launch pages, according to a Valve presentation at the recent conference Indigo 2017.

The slides from Valve’s product designer Alden Kroll, posted on the ValveTime forum, say that there’s an “overall UI refresh and update coming”, but give no date for the changes. Specifically, Valve plans to add the option to quickly launch recently played games from the library home page. That’d be welcome – if you’ve got a large collection and you’re juggling 3 or 4 games, it’s a (very minor) pain to have to keep scrolling between them.

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Unknown Pleasures: the best overlooked new Steam games

Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly compendium of the 8-10 best new games released on Steam over the past week that haven’t already been covered to death here and elsewhere.

This week: match-3 XCOM, Nuclear Throne homage, Homeworld-styled shmup, barista simulation and books not judged by programmer art covers. Read the rest of this entry »