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 2021 games that are launching this year.
Release: August 14
Developer: T19 Games
Launch price: $13.49 | £11.69 | AU$19.35
Here’s a retro-styled first-person shooter with a strong Quake engine vibe and a charmingly rote narrative backdrop: you are entering hell in order to exact revenge on demons. Awesome! It’s not just a shoot and circle strafe affair though, because there are ninja weapons in Dread Templar, as well as some skill customization and light puzzle solving. It looks pretty good, but do be aware that this Early Access version is only a fraction of what the final game will be: There are ten of an expected 25 levels here, with the full 1.0 expected to release during “Fall 2022”.
Release: August 13
Developer: Reptoid Games
Launch price: $4.79 | £3.83 | AU$6.80
Fire Tonight is about a couple separated by a fire that’s ravaging their city. They want to reunite, but there’s a problem: it’s the ’90s, so they’ll have to use their legs and eyes rather than a smartphone. It isn’t a horror game, though, more of a visual novel mixed with an isometric puzzle game. The dioramic city looks like a real joy to navigate, and you’ll traverse it via road, car, train and roller skate while avoiding police barricades and, naturally, fire.
Release: August 12
Launch price: $20 | £15.49 | AU$28.95
Garden Story has been in development for quite a while but here it finally is, and the top-down action adventure definitely looks gorgeous. Coming across as a mix of ye olde Zelda, Stardew Valley and Forager, you play as a grape named Concord, who must help revitalize their declining island. Yep, there is gardening, but it doesn’t appear to be a huge focus here. Expect to explore a whimsical pastel-hued overworld, interact with other vegetable and fruit life, and delve into dungeons to slay extremely cute baddies.
Release: August 10
Developer: Lioncode Games
Launch price: $13.49 | £12.59 | AU$19.35
Launched into Early Access last week, Mech Armada is a turn-based tactics game with, yep: mechs. With most of civilization living underground due to a hectic alien invasion, these extremely well-armed robotic vehicles are used to slay the aggressive wildlife that thrives up on the surface. All mechs are fully customizable with over 70 parts, so you could spend a lot of time optimizing your build, and with procedurally generated maps there’s a lot of game here to bite into. The current Early Access build has a full roguelite campaign with five biomes and more than 30 enemies to face, but expect a lot more content between now and its 1.0 launch in “about a year”.
Release: August 13
Developer: Vaka Game Magazine, ImCyan
$10 | £7.19 | AU$14.50
Tsugunohi is a series of terrifying Japanese horror browser games. There’s not much to them really: You take control of a protagonist, but you’re really just walking in a certain direction while scary things happen. That’s a hugely reductive (if basically true) description though, because the Tsugunohi games are all about gently haunting narratives unfurling is unexpected ways. Anyway, this Steam package includes every previously released episode of Tsugunohi plus two new instalments, so if it’s a veritable treasure trove of pants-shitting scares you’re after, this is worth investigation.
These games were released between August 9 and 16 2021. Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.