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 2023 games that are launching this year.
Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer
Release: June 2
Developer: Big Z Studios Inc.
Launch price: $15.29 | £12.86 | AU$22.45
From the creator of Hypnospace Outlaw comes this boomer shooter based in the same universe. Specifically, Slayers X (the typo in the name above is deliberate) is presented as a game designed by Hypnospace Outlaw character Zane, an obnoxious ’90s adolescent whose very polygonal visage smells like Lynx Africa (and sounds like Static-X). While it’s not made with the Build Engine, Big Z Studios has done its best to capture the spirit of Duke Nukem 3D, Redneck Rampage, and other ’90s shooters that tried to simulate real urban environments with fairly rudimentary tech. It’s not the best feeling boomer shooter you’ll play, but its unapologetically over-the-top ’90s edgelord sensibility is a lot of fun.
Release: June 2
Developer: Team17 Digital
Launch price: $20 | £16.79 | AU$29.20
Another game set in the not too distant past, Killer Frequency is a comedic first-person horror that casts the player as a late-night radio show host in the 1980s. Once a big shot radio guy, protagonist Forrest Nash now runs a graveyard talk show in a backwater town where no one can run a phone line. Problematic if you’re hoping to host a talk show, but even more problematic if there’s a murderer on the loose! What follows is a decision-based puzzle game where branching phone conversations with townsfolk can lead to either their death or survival. You’ll also get the opportunity to handle an apparently “authentic” rendering of a 1980s radio station, which sounds worth the price of admission alone.
Release: June 1
Developer: Game Grumps
Launch price: $20 | £16.75 | AU$29.50
Bear with me here, but Homebody looks like a “big budget” take on the decidedly low budget PSX-inspired horror games that are currently all the rage. This doesn’t make it “better”—the low-fidelity crappiness of say, Murder House, is a huge part of what makes it terrifying—but Homebody feels more akin to something like I Know What You Did Last Summer than, uh, a dodgy looking VHS found in a dumpster behind Blockbuster. Like that film, this is an ensemble affair: a group of college students are holidaying in a remote mansion, when suddenly the electricity goes out and the shit proverbially hits the fan. Expect puzzles, evasion, and to gradually learn about protagonist Emily’s strained relationship with her friends.
Release: June 2
Developer: Stoked Sloth Interactive
Launch price: $9.59 | £8 | AU$14.20
As a huge fan of games about going really fast down hill (Lonely Mountains: Downhill, Descenders) I was immediately drawn to Driftwood, which is all about going really fast down hill on a longboard. As a sloth. As the name implies, drifting factors heavily into this high speed pastime, but you’ll also need to perform dangerous tricks and avoid oncoming traffic. These are the kind of things you’d worry about as a human going downhill on a longboard, so consider these sloths relatable. Driftwood is good, simple fun, and since its an Early Access affair, it’ll also get “more levels, additional gear and cosmetics” over the next six months or so.
Release: June 3
Launch price: $8 | £6.80 | AU$11.60
Pile Up! is kinda a city builder, in the sense that you’re plonking structures onto surfaces to make cities. But there are twists that bring it closer to a puzzle game: the islands you’ll be building on are pretty small, so you’ll need to think about the best ways to make use of that space. That will inevitably mean building upwards, so expect to be managing hugely vertical metropolises, with all the unique problems that might entail. The management and disaster-mitigation elements are all there, but if you just want to build impressive skyscraping settlements, there’s a sandbox mode too. It’s an Early Access affair, with that period expected to last for up to ten months while the small team add new islands, buildings, modes and more.