A few times a year I spend anywhere from 5 to 15 hours digging through some Linux garbage. Deep Sixed is a spaceship management roguelike game in space about managing a spaceship the way we see in movies.
Deep Sixed also loves that moment in Dark Star. Maybe not specifically that moment, but that kind of moment. Actors pretending to interact with complex avionics. It loves the idea of having to toggle switches before getting to some unwieldy dual arm-twisting dials or levers. Sometimes you have to remember to bring the screwdriver because the retro-booster valve is underneath a panel. Sometimes you have to whack a recalcitrant door with a wrench to get it to shut. Sometimes you have to put duct tape over a leaking coolant pipe. Sometimes transistor boards burn out for no discernable reason. Oh, the inanity of inanimate objects! Sometimes in Deep Sixed, you even have to reinstall drivers, which often requires uninstalling other drivers first.
One thing I find particularly frustrating in Steam is being inundated with curator recommendations from Gamer Gate supporters like Total Biscuit, well the good news is that you can ignore them now. Of course, Valve has made this incredibly frustratingly only accessible from one page, and only when some algorithm decides to recommend that you follow that curator. That’s also the only place to undo ignoring that curator, despite each one having individual curation pages.
Ignoring a curator will ensure that Steam will no longer recommend that curator on your home page. You can take that one step further by ignoring all the top curators recommended by Steam, which will cause Steam to stop recommending any curators at all. It’s a fairly small change, but potentially handy for dedicated Steam users who don’t especially care what other people think. A Valve rep described it as “part of our ongoing efforts to refine the services and features of Steam.”
The husk of 3D Realms has published a new BUILD-engine game, Ion Maiden, developed by Voidpoint. In Steam’s Early Access program, It has the atrocious Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison character from 3D Realms’ twin-stick shooter, Bombshell. I completely forgot about that game before it was even released.
It’s a game about screaming around at outrageous speeds, hammering the Use button on any object or wall that looks out of place just in case, and of course spreading enemy gibs about the walls and floor. It feels so fluid, so natural, and such a blessed respite from the bum-following misery-trudge that is so much of modern first-person shooting. It’s ludicrous in every way, enemies aiming with ridiculous skill, and you tasked to work out how to deal with that.
Ion Maiden’s Early Access preview campaign is $20 on Steam for Windows and Linux. As good as it is, I’d be unlikely to get it without seeing the finished game, which is scheduled for late this year.
Dean Dodrill’s Never Stop Sneakin’ has finally hit Steam after being released on the Nintendo Switchlate last year. It still looks like a brilliant, but perhaps too repetitive, satirical reduction of Metal Gear Solid minus all the complex controls. I’m so glad that this is a thing in the world.
Subset Games’ FTL was a huge hit for anyone looking to get into the realm of managing spaceships in difficult times. Their follow-up, Into the Breach, looks a bit closer to Final Fantasy Tactics or Advance Wars, which are all the good kinds of wars.
If you’ve played FTL, you’ll remember the very particular kind of clammy-palmed panic it’d conjure as you’d face another seemingly no-win situation. Into the Breach will bring that feeling right back, and it’s wonderful.
As a bonus until the 6th of March, Subset is offering a copy of FTL if you buy Into the Breach through gog or Humble instead of directly on Steam. It’s $15. Subset has also planned that the game will hit other platforms, but right now it’s only on Windows.
That sounds like a morning breakfast show, doesn’t it? Well, Windows Today isn’t a thing, but Puyo Puyo Tetris is out for Windows via Steam, today, it’s $20. I played a short bit and it felt just as good as it does on the Switch, which reviewed well as we discussed previously. It is very odd to have a lot of visual novel cutscenes that take forever to tell their story inbetween levels of the single-player campaign, but those are easily skipped if you’re not interested in anime characters screaming at each other about how their worlds have been ripped asunder to bring Puyo Puyo and Tetris together.
There’s something special to free games on the web. Luke Rissacher (via Tom Francis)has this quick game, Battleship Solitaire. It is a “mindless podcast companion” as he describes it. I like that it is simple callback to a beloved board game, and has elements of sudoku, minesweeper, and picross. Fun.
This version will include all of the original Paradise’s DLC, like the Big Surf Island expansion and cars that look like close to famous rides (KITT, Ecto-1, and more) from movies and TV. Big Surf Island and all were never on Windows before, but you can still get another version of Burnout Paradise on Steam (or Origin) for $20. The Xbox 360 game is also backwards compatible on the Xbox One.
Paradise is a fine game, and this version’s mainly boasting about updates to the graphical fidelity with a 4k resolution and 60 frames-per-second on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, but I’ll always miss a real crash mode from the older Burnout games. It’ll be good to read impressions once this update is out.
The Fall was a fantastic, short, adventure about an AI combat suit that activates when it crash lands on an unknown planet, its duty was to protect the unconscious human pilot inside. That was Part 1, things are different in Part 2, and you can see a bit of that in the gameplay footage above where ARID tries to convince her friend that he isn’t train.
I absolutely loved part 1 of The Fall, it was a genuinely surprise when it was released almost 4 years ago, and it has been a terrible wait for part 2. If you haven’t played part 1 then you are in luck as (temporarily) you get both for the price of the second part at $17 on Steam or Humble for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The developers point out that you don’t have to play part 1 first, but, with this deal you don’t have much to lose in getting 2 and playing them in order or going at 2 first and playing 1 as a prequel. They equate it to being like the Mass Effect games, they’re fine standalone, with maybe the exception of the third game… and Andromeda, which I’ve never unwrapped.