Five Steam Games to Watch for in April

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It's easy to learn about AAA titles and big launches on Steam, but what about the smaller games? This slideshow highlights a few games coming out in the next few weeks on Steam that look interesting but might not have crossed your radar.

Westerado: Double Barreled by Ostrich Banditos

An open-world spaghetti western in a dusty, pixelated style. The game promises that you can "shoot anyone, anytime" while hunting down clues for who killed your killed your mother and brother. And I have got to say, I believe them. Playing in Westerado, the origins of Westerado: Double Barreled (it's free to play online), you can shoot your own uncle if you choose rather than letting him help you avenge your family. The game doesn't even blink.

Another interesting gameplay aspect is how you use your gun. You can draw it during any conversation, then choose to cock it for extra menace, or holster your weapon. Your actions, as well as the conversation prompts you choose affect how people respond to your bandy-legged hero. As each shot requires three key presses (draw, cock, fire), and then a key press for reloading each bullet this is certainly a game that will make you think before firing.

Westerado: Double Barreled is a "bigger, better, badder and funnier" version of Westerado. The Steam version also includes controller support and higher resolution. Hopefully, Double Barreled will also have an expanded soundtrack, because the one in Westerado drove me insane in under ten minutes.

Westerado: Double Barreled is due to release for Windows and Mac on April 16.

Solarix by Pulsetense Games

A science-fiction horror-stealth game that reminds me a lot of Alien: Resurrection but heaped with crazy. Check out the trailer to see what I mean:

In essence, you are the lone human survivor of a medical experiment gone wrong and your only companion is a mad AI. Avoid your monstrous former teammates, the clean up crew sent to dispose of the evidence (i.e. you) and make your way to freedom.

The developers say that their "goal is to go beyond jumpscares and cheap thrills. Solarix is about a world that overpowers you with unease, insecurity, and desperation, forcing you to confront your own role in the horrors to come." Solarix promises massive, detailed levels and open-ended gameplay. 

I'm not sure how the mixture of classic adventure puzzles will work with stealth, but the game certainly seems to have a menacing atmosphere. I'm looking forward to the option of using both weapons or hacking tools to overcome obstacles.

Solarix is due to release for Windows on Steam on April 30. A future release on Xbox is also a potential.

Wander by Wander MMO

I've been looking forward to this game for some time. It's a non-combative exploration MMO with a derelict futuristic-fantasy feel. So kind of like an open-world Myst but without those pesky puzzles.

You start off the game as a giant tree-being but through gameplay you can change shapes, which will allow you to explore different environments. I'm looking forward to exploring lush, natural 3D environments without the risk of getting shot, arrowed or otherwise maimed.

I'm less keen on the collaborative elements of Wander. Velvet Sundown, a social mystery MMO tried something similar, in that it requires characters to interact and cooperate to complete scenarios. However, Velvet Sundown has mostly turned into a moderator-free chat room with very little actual gameplay and a very toxic environment. It will be interesting to see how Wander tries to create a community, if at all.

Wander is due to release on Steam in April. It will also be available at a later date for the PS4.

Luna's Wandering Stars by Serenity Forge

This title is a beautiful action-puzzler that uses Newtonian physics. Control the orbits of planets and moons, change their trajectories and density or even break out the lasers while trying to collect asteroids and progress to the next level.

The game promises 200 levels, plus DLC and an in-built level editor to make your own and share online. So theoretically there's endless replayability for this little gem. 

Luna's Wandering Stars looks beautiful, but you really need to see it in action to appreciate just how lovely this game looks.

Luna's Wandering Stars will be released on Steam on April 22. It's currently available on Desura, Gamersgate, IndieGameStand, and ShinyLoot for $9.99.

Highlands by Burrito Studio

Highlands is a turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting with gorgeous hand-painted graphics.

The game is set on floating sky islands, under attack by a mechanical army. Combat is carried out on land, but also on giant skyships. Highlands uses the traditional TBS mechanics of combat, resource management and hero recruitment, and also promises a strong story as well.

Highlands was funded by a Kickstarter campaign last October and been very successful in keeping to its timeline.

Highlands will be available for Windows on Steam on April 21. It will also be available for Mac and Linux.

Published Apr. 12th 2015

Contributor

I'm a PC gamer of moderate years, with a love of turn based strategy, adventure and point and click games. I also crowdfund a number of projects with varying success, and explore the mysterious world of indie games.

  • John Harper
    Contributor
    A few of these have piqued my interest. Thanks for the heads up.

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