King’s Musing: About Greenlight’s 21 new games and a few other thoughts…

I muse about the latest 21 Greenlight games on Steam…

This was going to be a new section of my personal musings that I was going to experiment with. Just to see how I would like writing my thoughts on Greenlight on a more regular basis. However, that section turned into this really long winded part of the personal musings. Considering how long the personal musing already was, I decided to make this its own musing series. Whether I continue this series will depend on if I enjoy doing it and how you guys respond to it. So feedback will be appreciated.

Today, Valve selected 21 games that were approved of by the community to be Greenlighted. This had been previously announced to be only a pool of 10 games, but Valve felt the need to increase the size of the group. Which I agreed with, Greenlight needs to do more than 10 games every month or so though I don’t know if 20 is enough, but its a start at any rate.

Games that got Greenlighted:

  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (Project Giana) – I’ve been following this game for a little while and its a platformer that has a lot of promise. I’m certainly intrigued by the game and hope that its a solid game when its released. It also has a kicking soundtrack and the visuals give me those Trine feelings. Which I really enjoyed Trine’s visuals so that’s always a good thing. I’m glad to see this game got approved by the community.
  • Octodad – A ridiculous and silly looking physics game where the story is about you being an Octopus pretending to be a human Dad. Its such a ridiculous premise, that it looks like fun. You can’t help but support the game. Glad to see something like this approved.
  • Perpentuum – This is a MMO in a similar vein to Eve Online, from what I’ve heard about it. You’ve got a massive, persistent world on a single server where you and others fight each other with giant robots and alien technology. Its also very player driven and a harsh universe like Eve Online as well. I’ve never had the chance to play Perpentuum before I retired from MMOs but considering that Eve Online is on Steam, it only makes sense that Perpentuum should get the same approval.
  • Contrast – I discovered this platformer on my own. Set in the 1920s, this game features an in-depth story, a unique shadow platforming system and looks very well crafted. I like the unique visuals and mechanics they showed off in the trailers and it was apparently playable in E3. I would have liked to try out this game too, but all of what they showed was enough to get a thumbs up from me.
  • The Stanley Parable HD Remix is another one I found on my own and this seems to be one of those experimental storytelling games. It was originally a Source mod but the devs are bringing it onto Steam as a sequel…remake…expansion thing. It seems to have a good sense of humor and has me very intrigued about the game. So I voted for it. I’ll be checking this game out when its released later on.
  • Interstellar Marines is a game that I didn’t vote for and its mostly because it didn’t strike me as a unique experience. I should have tried the demo on this game and maybe I’ll get around to doing that one day. While they seem to have a lot of dev power behind the FPS, there wasn’t anything in the game itself that stood out to me.
  • Blockscape was another one I found and voted for. I like the overall aesthetic the game has and the idea of tower-defense in a Minecraft style. It will be interesting to see if its actually balanced. They claim it will be “true 3D” tower defense where the enemies will walk on the walls and ceilings as the main big feature of the Tower Defense and I will grant them that I haven’t seen a Tower Defense pull that off thus far. Still, if nothing else the game seems to promise a Minecraft experience with a modern graphic style.
  • Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth, this Half Life 2 mod is one that I’m a bit iffy on it getting Greenlighted. They really don’t give you much information to go off of in the page and the trailer is nothing more than a teaser trailer. The website is also in Russian and Google Translate is having difficulties translating the website. Still, people wanted it and its a free mod so even if it is bad, no one really loses anything, except time.
  • Postal 2 is definitely the most controversial game of the bunch. The controversy comes from its graphic violence and extreme stereotyping in the main plot. Just reading the wiki article on this game is…different to say the least. Plus, this game is old having been released back in 2003. Its definitely one of the more unique releases coming to Steam…
  • Folk Tale is a city building 3D game that has a lot of potential that I hope it realizes. Slated for release in Winter 2013, this “comedy-fantasy” world will have you building an economy, harvesting resources, building a city and many other activities. After which, you’ll risk it on some epic journey through the wilderness. Being one of the more unique games I’ve seen on Greenlight, I felt like voting for it.
  • Yogventures! is a game about being able to create and shape worlds like Minecraft but with a wider array of options. Its being produced by the Yogscast Channel from YouTube which is unique in its own right as I don’t really know of too many YouTubers making/producing their own games.
  • Mine Wars 2081 is a 6DOF action-survival space-shooter stimulation game akin to the Descent games of old. This one definitely caught my eye as it has a lot of Descent vibes coming off of it with modern sensibilities too. Its very cool to see a modern 6DOF game after all this time without one so I voted for it.
  • NeoTokyo was another FPS I passed over because it just didn’t look all that interesting. It didn’t have anything that stood out to me and I wasn’t interested in seeing more F2P multiplayer shooters on the store. It also looks fairly aged compared to many of its competitors too which doesn’t help it. It seems this Greenlight push is to try and draw a new crowd back into the game for the community, but I question whether this older game can compete against some of the bigger competitors in its field.
  • Gnomria seems to be a higher graphical version of Dwarf Fortress with Gnomes. Considering that its available in alpha just like Dwarf Fortress, its not unreasonable to draw that comparison. Its neat to see even more of these city-builders being made and I gave it a thumbs up.
  • Fly’n is a platformer that seems to be going for a more casual route compared to some really difficult platformers. It didn’t interest me much, though I cannot remember why in this case.
  • Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition is a bit of Dead Space and a bit of Mass Effect vibes all wrapped up into a FPS adventure. I found the voice acting to be lacking and nothing really stood out to me as this being anything but a regular FPS horror shooter. This is one game I wish had a demo I could have tried.
  • The Intruder got picked to be the Slender-like game on Steam. I’m not all that interested by The Intruder as I don’t find scare-jumping games like these to be all that fun. The features in this particular version seem aimed at giving you tools to survive and put up some sort of house defense against this intruder that’s coming for you.
  • AirBuccaneers is a multiplayer airship pirate game. I don’t think I need to say anymore than that. This odd game will have you and your team firing cannons at other air ships, capturing and using enemy ships for your uses and a bunch of other features. Its an odd multiplayer game to be sure. I got the chance to see a preview of the gameplay too and it looks very solid from what I saw.
  • Forge is an different kind of multiplayer game. I don’t recall seeing a class-based combat fantasy game like this one that wasn’t an MMO in recent memory. I do like that there is a lot of terrain and interesting maps so that its not just one flat plane that we all fight on. And you can set fire to the forests. C’mon, who doesn’t want that in a multiplayer game?
  • Miasmata is a game that caught my eye for one thing, that it has an advanced AI for its enemy. Its an adventure game that has you as a scientist exploring this island your on. However, throughout the game your hunted by this strange predator that will use sight, hearing and smell to hunt you. Some of the animations are a bit dodgy and I wish they had showed more of the game but the game seems intriguing enough.
  • Secrets of Grindea is a old-school action RPG that supports up to four players. Sort of a Legend of Zelda kind of RPG its a pretty big world with plenty of content to sink your teeth into. It looks like a solid game as well.

So why am I participating in Greenlight? Well, there are two main reasons. One, it gives me one of the better avenues of discovering new and upcoming games. Hence, this gives me a chance to share these new games that I discover here. Second, I am intrigued at this social experiment that Valve is trying. So why not try it out for myself and see how I like it.

I will say, that to go through all of the current games (which is over 800+ titles) is a serious chore. And the amount of terrible, spammy games that exist is rather disappointing. Worst yet, some are outright joke submissions too. Which is kind of stunning that someone wasted $100 on a joke, but hey, a fool and his money… I wish there was a way we could deal with these really terrible games but I don’t know what we can do to keep it fair. So the next problem we should be focused on is how people are going to deal with going through 100s of games and rating them. Its difficult to go through the sludge of games on the store and Valve is going to have to figure out something that will help people in this regard.

I would also like it if Valve gave us a “look at later” button for games that are missing information like a demo or gameplay footage so we can get back to them easily. Another feature I wish we had was an easy way to download a demo from Steam of the game so that we could try out the game for ourselves. While I understand alpha games might not have one, it would greatly help people deciding whether they want the game or not. As it is, we have to rely on trailers and photos and that’s difficult to make a decision on. Especially when many games don’t even provide a simple gameplay video (which is very aggravating I might add).

All that said, this batch of Greenlight games is quite diverse and the games look to be of good quality all around. I generally like all the games that got Greenlighted this round even if I didn’t vote for all of them. Though a few of the FPS games concern me for various reasons that I can’t put my finger on. I’m also glad to see some very odd, obscure and peculiar games also get Greenlighted as well. This seems to suggest that not just the popular games will be able to get onto Steam and will get the attention they deserve. It will be interesting to see in the coming months what the next Greenlighted games will be.

Until next time…


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