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.
battle cry of freedom
Released: March 2
Developer: Flying Squirrel Entertainment
Introductory price: $16 | £12 | AU$20
This hugely ambitious real-time war simulator has been in development for at least 10 years and is the work of the team responsible for the popular Mount & Blade: Warband expansion Napoleonic Wars. In Battle Cry of Freedom, Flying Squirrel Entertainment stays in the 19th century, but turns its attention to the American Civil War. As a Union or Confederacy, you’ll be participating in online battles for up to 500 players, which is crazy, although there are also “commander battles” that can host up to 800 bots per server. Infantry, Artillery, and Specialists are the main branches of the military, and there are over 120 weapons to learn and use. All in all, this looks like a massive achievement and is well worth a look for war sim fans and history buffs alike.
Conrad Stevenson’s Paranormal P.I.
Released: March 1
Developer: D&A Studios, LLC
Introductory price: $9 | £6.19 | AU$12.95
Here’s a neat setup for a horror game: you’re a supernatural private detective tasked with uncovering ghosts in your clients’ homes. A first-person “ghost hunting simulation”, you’ll use equipment such as an EMF meter, camera, thermometer, and audio recorder to gather evidence of pesky ghosts or other supernatural phenomena. Set in the city of New Eidolon, successful investigations lead to new clients and locations, and ghosts appear randomly with new behaviors, so you’ll always need to keep your PI hat on. Conrad Stevenson’s Paranormal PI is an early access affair and is set to launch in early 2023 at the latest, with 10 new locations and ghosts added during that time.
A musical story
Released: March 5
Developer: Glee-Cheese Studio
Introductory price: $13.49 | £10.25 | AU$19.35
Most rhythm games have a fairly genre-neutral presentation, but A Musical Story throws its full weight behind the 1970s channeling. It’s there in the art style and fashion sense, but also in the soundtrack. , which includes 26 original songs. The narrative backdrop is compelling: Protagonist Gabriel “tries to come to terms with his situation through ties to his musical memory”, but his “situation” seems like something that shouldn’t be spoiled. Either way, it sounds like a beautiful and unique take on the rhythm genre.
Released: March 5
Developer: Alexander Taylor
Introductory Price: $14.39 | £11.15 | AU$20.65
Here’s a nice puzzle game about programming robots to “create endless looping assembly lines”, or in more familiar gaming slang, to solve puzzles. Through 50 stages, you’ll place robots on grids and then use a series of commands to determine their behavior, and while each stage must be solved to move on to the next, there are “no predetermined solutions”. There are leaderboards and “histograms” (essentially, a record of the commands you’ve used to solve a puzzle), and there’s even a .gif exporter to show off your genius approach to bot management.
The life of the kingdom
Released: March 1
Developer: Studio Company
Introductory price: $7 | £5.89 | AU$10
Here is a “turn-based global strategy game” in which you found a nation, develop it, control it and, inevitably, go to war against other states. The time spans from the Middle Ages to the present day, and there are 160 “unique laws” to impose on your population, as well as over 100 technologies to develop. Sure, there’s warmongering, but you’ll also make alliances and diplomatic advances, along with the usual resource acquisition, city building, and more. It looks like a fascinating take on the global strategy game, not least because of its simple yet appealing pixel art style.