Culture

Bit Slap: Steam Community Greenlights

steam greenlight

Today heralds the return of Bit Slap, Heave’s place for all things video games and tangentially related to video games. Column founder Joe Anderson has returned to the throne, to talk about a few of Steam Greenlight’s latest offerings.

Yesterday, 12 more games have been selected from Steam Greenlight to be published on Valve’s digital distribution platform. Steam Greenlight, which launched last August, allows Steam users to vote and ultimately decide what games will make it onto Steam. It’s the fun participatory part of democracy, without the potential downside of your dad accusing you of taking a dump on the Constitution because he found out who you voted for.

Of the recent batch, a few titles have caught my eye in particular:

La-Mulana is a massive Metroidvania that has players taking the role of Lemeza Kosugi (That’s Polish, right? That’s probably Polish) as they explore the lost city of La-Mulana and do what all professors of archaeology do: whip stuff so they can get tenure. Although obviously inspired by Indiana Jones, La-Mulana is an IP that isn’t limited by Harrison Ford’s mortality. The game is already available for purchase on PLAYISM, Gamersgate and GOG, but it’s nice to know it’s making its way to Steam.

Minecraft’s success has certainly had an impact on indie development (I mean, look at BlockScape, which was also Greenlit in this recent batch) and its influence is clear in StarForge. SF has players working cooperatively in a sci-fi setting, as they build forts and craft weapons for the purpose of staving off wave after wave of hostile aliens. It also offers Local Co-Op, which is definitely an attractive feature, especially as I find myself using Steam’s Big Picture mode. The game is currently in alpha and, understandably, is a work-in-progress. Look at it this way: StarForge is the next technological step in the creation and defense of blanket forts. No longer can your friends claim they are too busy to help because they have jobs or kids or are simply unnerved by your insistence on wearing ill-fitting onesie pajamas the whole time.

If you like the grand strategy genre, hex-based combat ala Civilization 5 or non-pinball wizards, Eador – Masters of the Broken World is probably worth checking out . Developed by the Russian studio Snowbird Games, Eador is exactly what it looks like: an incredibly ambitious (and complicated) strategy game that blends various genres. If this isn’t your bag, it’s worth checking out the video if only for the narrator’s unbelievably calming voice.