Fifty emerald torches have suddenly flared up in one of Steam’s dark-grey corridors, as if to light a videogame protagonist's way to a nearby boss fight. In fact, each represents a place reserved in the Steam Store for a community-championed game.
Inevitably, some of the 50 don’t seem particularly interesting. Some, with names like X-Plane 10, Lambda Wars and Depression Quest, do.
X-Plane 10 is a “seriously meaty” flight simulator we declared better than Microsoft’s venerable competitor just last year. Ordinarily, it comes on eight dual-layer DVDs. They’re mostly taken up by the game’s global environment, which clocks in at 86GB when compressed. I’ve never had to find out precisely how long a download that size might take on a Steam account you’d presumably want to interrupt occasionally to play games - but now, somebody will.
Lambda Wars reframes Half-Life 2’s Strider battle sequence as an RTS, using Alien Swarm’s modified Source Engine. It’s an idea that seems to have resonated around more skulls than your average headcrab, and this trailer makes a compelling case for why:
Depression Quest doesn’t really do trailers. It’s a work of interactive fiction designed to empathise with those who suffer from depression and educate those who don’t. As an in-game sufferer, you’ll attempt to manage your illness around a job, relationships, and possible treatment. PCGN readers tend to be at least passingly familiar with the internet and its failings - but I imagine you’d be surprised and horrified to learn about the prolonged harassment developer Zoe Quinn faced in bringing the game to Steam for free.
Find the full list here. These games join the 100 Valve greenlit before Christmas, along with a host of others yet to be finished. Of all the arguments made to explain the growing rate of Greenlight approvals, I like this one best: Valve have thought up something to replace it, and want to clear the decks. What on Earth could replace it, do you think?