On an average day about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that’s a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we’ve done. If nothing catches your fancy this week, we’ve gathered the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of the 2022 games that are launching this year.
Best of the best
Midnight Fight Express
Release: August 24
Developer: Jacob Dzwinel
Launch price: $20 | £16 | AU$29.95
Midnight Fight Express is a beat ’em up crime saga about Babyface, a reformed crim whose quiet, rehabilitated life is thrown into chaos by a drone warning of an imminent citywide disaster. A bunch of rogues are planning to take over the entire city, and Babyface has until dawn to stop it. This involves, of course, beating the ever loving crap out of said rogues, whether with his fists, axe or knife, or with the many and varied environmental objects littered about. All of Babyface’s abilities are upgradable, so there’s a little bit of freedom when it comes to evolving your own fighting style, and there’s ability trees, a range of cosmetic customization, and an online leaderboard. This looks like a blast if you’re into combos, gratuitous cartoon violence, and fighting crime.
Release: August 24
Developer: Kyle Thompson
Launch price: $20 | £15.49 | AU$28.95
Islets is a handsome Metroidvania with a Ghibli-esque art style that’s reminiscent of the recent Greak: Memories of Azur. Protagonist Iko needs to unite a handful of floating islands, which involves visiting them via airship and completing their dungeons. Once they’re conquered, they’ll join together, which is a neat twist on the sprawling Metroidvania map formula. It’s otherwise a pretty orthodox affair, with the usual smattering of upgrades, foes and boss battles. Islets is described as “surprisingly wholesome” on its Steam page, and it certainly looks like a “warm blanket” kind of game, something to wash away the Sunday evening dread.
Hot Lap League
Release: August 24
Developer: Ultimate Studio
Launch price: $9.89 | £7.51 | AU$14.19
Someone in the Steam reviews for Hot Lap League writes: “Good game, but why would I play this when I can play Trackmania?” It’s a decent question I guess, but one answer that comes to mind, and which I can relate to, is: “because some people can’t get enough of Trackmania”. If you love moreish arcade racers with big jumps and gravity-defying loops, this is probably the best you’ll find this side of a new Trackmania, and there’s a lot to sink your teeth into here: more than 150 tracks, heaps of customization, gllobal leaderboards, and daily challenges.
BROK the InvestiGator
Release: August 27
Launch price: $18 | £16.19 | AU$26.05
The Steam page describes BROK: The InvestiGator as a “punch and click” adventure, which is great for those of us averse to adventure games without a little bit of biff. Brok is the protagonist: he’s an alligator on a mission to unpack the truth behind his wife’s tragic death. It has a “light cyberpunk” setting, though the tone is more Saturday morning cartoon, and while there’s a mode for playing Brok as a straight point and click adventure, the real innovation here is being able to punch the puzzles to death, rather than solve them. This adventure is fully-voiced and has multiple endings to work towards during its 20 hour play time.
Release: August 26
Launch price: $5 | £4 | AU$7.50
The latest from micro-game specialists Sokpop is an idle game (think Cookie Clicker) about nurturing a farm. You’ll buy a plot, choose your crops, install all manner of useful farming equipment, and then go play another game, or watch YouTube videos, or whatever. There is a little bit more “thinking” here than your average idle game, because farming ain’t as easy as building a cookie empire, but the whole thing can be automated if you’re clever enough, and you can even buy charming animal companions to roam your land. As usual, the gorgeous simplicity of Sokpop’s art style is a big part of the appeal here.