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Ultra-hard new co-op game Chained Together races up the Steam charts

Forget Elden Ring, as a challenging new co-op game tasking you with escaping the depths of hell is rapidly climbing up the Steam charts.

Ultra-hard co-op game Chained Together is blowing up on Steam, and it's under $5 - A giant spiked gate looms ominously over a path..

The arrival of Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree proves once again that the thirst for challenging co-op games is stronger than ever. But FromSoftware’s masterful DLC is far from the only way to satisfy that craving right now, as one new indie game rockets its way up the Steam charts, amassing an impressive 40,000 concurrent players at its peak. This is Chained Together, and if you have a couple of like-minded friends you can dive into the depths of hell together with a delightfully low entry price of less than $5.

Released just a couple of days ago on Wednesday June 19, Chained Together has already flown up the Steam charts, reaching a peak of 39,995 players online together at the time of writing. That’s quite the feat, putting it above some of the best co-op games including Terraria and Deep Rock Galactic, and within touching distance of 2024 champion Helldivers 2. One look at the chaos and it’s easy to see why, although the low price, further amplified by a launch Steam sale, probably helps as well.

So what exactly is in store for you and your intrepid friends? It’s simple: climb out the depths of hell by navigating a series of increasingly challenging platforming sequences, all while chained to your fellow escapees. Think the likes of Getting Over It or Only Up but in up to four-player co-op and you’ll already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. There’s the sweet taste of victory as you overcome tough obstacles, only to be marred by the bitterness of defeat as a single wrong move causes you to plummet back down past those areas you so recently conquered.

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Having your friends with you, then, is both a blessing and a curse. Along with the obvious potential for moral support, you can actually help out your buds if they’re struggling to make a jump, or slip and fall off, by dragging them back to safety chain-first. The physics simulation means that you might even be able to work the chain to your advantage in the right situation.

Conversely, however, one person’s slip-up might end up being your undoing, and no matter how reassuring you try to sound there’s no denying the feeling that your group might have been successful were it not for that mistake. Fortunately, if you’re worried a falling out might be on the cards, a beginner difficulty setting allows you to teleport back to the highest point you’ve reached, avoiding the shared heartache of a dramatic fall.

If you fancy yourself a real host of hotshots, however, you can go in the other direction and crank up the challenge with the ‘lava’ mode. Here, an ever-rising flood of hell’s favorite sauce pursues you constantly, forcing you to move as quickly as possible to stay ahead of the encroaching molten morass. It’s worth noting that Chained Together also supports solo play, although you’ll obviously miss out on some of the appeal if you journey alone.

Chained Together Steam charts - SteamDB image showing a peak concurrent player count of 39,995.

Chained Together is out now on Steam, with an introductory discount of 10% through Wednesday June 26. That means you can expect to pay $4.49 / £3.86 now, or $4.99 / £4.29 once the sale period ends. Think you and your pals have what it takes to make it to the top? Just head here to grab your copy.

Alternatively, we’ve got plenty of the best platform games – not all of them as frustrating as Chained Together, either, we promise. Or you can browse the best free Steam games, where you’ll find lots of fantastic options that won’t set you back a penny to get started.

To see if your PC can run it, take a PC benchmark test with an FPS monitor, and see the minimum and recommended specs, go see the Chained Together system requirements.

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