The past week of new releases on Steam gave us some pretty great heavy hitters, with the latest entry in the Total War series, as well as super enticing survival game The Forest coming out of Early Access. But as is always the case, there were also a couple of incredibly engaging, lesser-known hidden gems to pick up too in the form of humorous competitive dating sim Monster Prom and the Arabian Nights-themed action roguelike City of Brass. No matter your taste, you’ll hopefully find something to love in our diverse picks this week.
The Forest ($19.99)
The Forest hit Steam Early Access in 2013, and in the time between then and now, survival games seem to be a dime a dozen. But now that it’s hit its full 1.0 release, it’s clear that this game captures something that few others do, and people are responding to it in droves. Maybe it’s the cinematic art direction, the near-complete lack of guidance which forces you to suck it up and make your own strides in learning and progression, or the thrill of having a chance encounter with terrifying cannibals somewhere on the island. The Forest almost feels like you’re in a series of LOST, and that’s pretty great.
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia ($44.99)
Total War’s Warhammer games were great and all, it’s great to see the series finally going back to the hardcore histories that made so many of us fall in love with the franchise in the first place. Like the ‘Saga’ in its name suggest, Thrones of Britannia is a little more focused compared to the regular full-scope. But if you like the idea of managing politics, lineage, bloodlines, keeping your vassal states in check and getting down and dirty with your aggressors in the muddy lands of Ye Olde England, then the engaging campaign of Thrones of Britannia is most likely going to be right up your alley.
Monster Prom ($11.99)
In a high school attended by strange monsters with equally off-the-wall personalities, you need to find a prom date, and fast. Monster Prom is a multiplayer dating sim (though it can be played single player, too) where you’ll spend your school days working on your attractive qualities and getting into hijinks with the cast of characters, with the goal of catching their affection before you pop the ultimate question. But if your friends have their eye on the same monster as you, there’s going to be trouble! If you’ve played The Yahwg, you’ll have an idea of how Monster Prom’s engaging time-based adventure works. But if not, the aggressively humorous (if a little shocking) writing, beautiful art, and the number of narrative possibilities are enough to make it worth recommending.
City of Brass ($19.99)
Why haven’t there been more Arabian Nights-themed video games outside of Prince of Persia? First-person action roguelike City of Brass makes excellent use of the setting, and with some Indiana Jones-inspired whip dynamics, it boasts a fun and thoughtful combat system. Whip an enemy in the legs to trip them and finish them off with your sword, or snatch their weapon away and push them into a bottomless pit! Is it any wonder that this game was brought to you by people who worked on Bioshock? With impressive procedurally generated levels and a challenging roster of enemy types, there’s plenty of opportunities to get creative with City of Brass’ satisfying combat tools.