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.
2023 games: Upcoming releases
Best PC games: All-time favorites
Free PC games: Freebie fest
Best FPSes: Finest gunplay
Best MMOs: Massive worlds
Best RPGs: Grand adventures
Release: December 15
Developer: The Parasight
Launch price: $24 | £20.79 | AU$31.96
Hardtail is a first-person adventure heavily inspired by the Slavic folk legend of Baba Yaga. The protagonist is Yaga, but don’t worry: you won’t be bludgeoning foes with a pestle, because the combat in Blacktail is all about magical archery. In Blacktail, Yaga is a “16-year-old girl accused of witchcraft and expelling from a medieval Slavic settlement,” and during her hunt for the spirits that haunt her, she’ll make some agonizing decisions that will affect the whole world—including those who have banished her. Studio The Parasight features former members of Bloober Team, and while Blacktail most certainly isn’t horror, it looks as gorgeous as the likes of The Medium and Layers of Fear 2. Early Steam user reviews are “very positive”, too.
Release: December 16
Developer: Half Asleep
Launch price: $13.49 | £11.69 | AU$19.79
Melatonin is a psychedelic rhythm game set on the threshold between reality and dreams. Most importantly, it’s a rhythm game that does away with the usual rhythm game interfaces: instead of a rolling series of icons, the environments and animations in Melatonin tell you all you need to know (Thumper did this too, albeit in an entirely different way). The world of Melatonin is rendered in crisp lines and evocative pastels, and each of the 20 levels features its own gentle and bubbly music. If you master it and want more, there’s a level editor too.
Insomnia: Theater in the Head
Release: December 16
Developer: Perfect Day Studio
Launch price: $2 | £1.66 | AU$3
A game that strives to capture the agony of insomnia doesn’t sound particularly appealing, but Insomnia: Theater in the Head looks fascinating nevertheless. As an interminable, sleepless night wears on, the protagonist interacts with various bizarre puzzles that play out in her mind. It’s a point and click puzzle game, basically, but with puzzles that strive to evoke that dreaded feeling of mid-night alertness. Insomnia is developed by Perfect Day Studio, which is responsible for very popular A Perfect Day, which has sadly yet to receive an English translation.
River City Girls 2
Release: December 15
Launch price: $36 | £27.89 | AU$51.25
Like its predecessor, River City Girls 2 is all about walking right and beating the crap out of baddies. It’s a beat ’em up developed by one of the best pixel art studios in the biz, and if the recent Shredder’s Revenge reignited your interest in old school arcade action games, this is well worth a look. There are six playable characters, all with a bunch more moves and executions than in the earlier game, and like the first game there’s both local and online co-op support. Basically, in typical sequel fashion, there’s more of everything.
Release: December 17
Developer: Dynamic Zero
Launch price: $6.79 | £4.92 | AU$9.77
Here’s a retro-styled open world RPG, with pixel art presentation that resembles a rose-tinted glasses take on the 8-bit Zelda games. Based on the Steam description, the story is as vanilla as they come: the protagonist is after some or other treasure, and finding it will complete their “father’s legacy”. But a complicated story does not a good RPG make, especially if you’re in it for the crafting, levelling and combat, all of which Arcane Vale offers in large doses. Seems like some old school fun, and the pixel art is really pretty.