Folks, Steam is on fire and seems totally uninterested in putting the flames out. Besides that, it’s very nearly a monopoly in the PC gaming market. I am not a fan of this. It’s not good for players and it’s extremely bad for devs.
Give your money to people who are selling their games in different stores!! itch.io is essentially Bandcamp for games, and I put almost all my stuff there now. The itch summer sale also just started. Here are some things I’ve enjoyed which are currently on itch or part of that sale:
Mu Cartographer is a weird little gem of a narrative game. It requires you to learn the intricacies of a totally alien UI. I reviewed it for Zam!
Anodyne is a gorgeous and deeply affecting little Zelda-esque game. It’s dreamlike and strange and is absolutely worth your time.
My friend Bruno made this! I played it on iOS and on Mac and the new PC/Mac version is pretty sweet. It’s a procgen narrative game about flying around a bunch of different planets and investigating alien ruins.
It’s kind of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game”? You hunt vampires. Stuff happens. I enjoy David Pittman’s work a lot, and this is a good one!
Dissembler – PC/Mac/Linux/Android
A minimalist puzzle game that I had on my computer for a while early this year. It was a good way to cleanse my brain between tasks!
I had this on my phone for months. It rules. All of Alan Hazelden’s games rule, IMHO, but the art in this one deserves special attention. It is charming as fuck. Also, the puzzles are very hard in a very good way. I liked it a lot!
Ananias Roguelike – PC/Mac/Linux
I had this on my tablet a while ago, and it honestly stayed on there much longer than I initially expected it would. Got me through a lot of meetings where I sat in the back of the room and just killed monster dudes in a dungeon. Big thumbs up from me, the Roguelike Enjoyer.
This is, uh, another one that I played a lot of at work. Brilliant puzzles, very satisfying. Check it out if you haven’t already!
A moody narrative game where you play a housekeeper who voyeuristically explores the wealthy home of her employer during a 70s-era coup in Latin America. I enjoyed it!
Another kickass David Pittman game. This is literally the only game I have ever speedrun. I love FPS roguelikes and this is honestly one of the better ones I’ve played.
This game has a lot of extremely good platforming and also an interesting story!! Check it out!
This is one of the earliest indie games I ever purchased, back when I was in college and “buying an art game for money on the internet” had just recently become a thing real people could do. I think I learned about it on RPS? Anyway, critical Tale of Tales back catalog. Play it!! Particularly if you do games crit but were a literal child back when Tale of Tales was still publishing manifestos!! This is a fascinating part of your medium’s recent history!!!!
A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build – PC/Mac/Linux
It is hard to build a good snowman! It is also extremely fun and cute! I built all the snowmen and I enjoyed the experience a lot.
A short, emotional story game you can finish in a single sitting. Absolutely worth that time. I’m always grateful when people make carefully-considered story games about regular human experiences in our normal-ass world!
I played this game and tried to ghost every level. I failed. I was very angry with myself. This is a good game!
Long Live the Queen – PC/Mac/Linux
There’s this queen. You tell her what to do. People keep assassinating her!!! Don’t let them assassinate her!!!!!
The Graveyard – PC/Mac/Linux/Android
Go play the Tale of Tales back catalog!!
It’s a first person roguelike! I love these. I enjoy lycaon’s work a lot. Check this one out!
I played this on iOS. It’s an Escher-esque puzzle game with some sweet art. I liked it!
And Yet It Moves – PC/Mac/Linux
Again, one of those early indie games I bought all at once when I learned you could play weird shit and participate in an international videogame arts scene from the stacks of your college library without ever setting foot in a games store. Phenomenal soundtrack, great puzzles, and some fun torn-paper art. Please play this one!
It’s almost 2 AM and I can’t keep writing these anymore. But my point is: there is some extremely neat stuff on itch and you should be supporting your favorite devs on this platform. They get a better cut of the sale price, and you’ll be supporting a game store that actually cares about developers. Thanks for reading this list!