The Best of Steam Green Light’s First Approvals

Steam Green Light finally approved its first 10 games to be featured on the site, and (for the most part) they’re proving why this program is such a great idea in the first place. From zombie games, to samurai simulators, to “Half-Life” mods, back to zombie games, just in the initial offering of titles we are seeing some really remarkable ideas that will soon become available for all. Ranking those initial 10 titles is no easy task, but if you want the best of the best of Green Light so far, here it is.

10. McPixel – Probably the type of game that looks fun to vote for, but won’t get that many buys, “McPixel” is an odd title to say the least. It’s made up of a series of 20 second levels where you have to achieve a goal (usually getting rid of a bomb) without many instructions on how to do so. It’s reminiscent of “Wario Ware,” and carries a very unique since of humor, but looks like it may wear its welcome faster than that classic ever did. Nothing to see here, move along.

9. No More Room In Hell – “No More Room In Hell” is a “Half-Life 2” mod that more than favors “Left 4 Dead,” but this zombie squad based FPS gets some serious points for knowing its genre. I like the variety of zombie enemies, weapons, and appropriate environments, but what I love is the scarce ammunition, lack of crosshairs display, multiple game modes (including an awesome survival mode where you hold down a zombie fort) and overall fun factor. If you’re not tired of “Left 4 Dead,” but crave something new, keep your eye on this one.

8. Cry of Fear – A “Half-Life” mod, this is one of two horror games to make the final cut. “Cry of Fear” uses the old “you have amnesia” story to throw you into a world of fear and constant terror. The goal of “Cry of Fear” is to simply throw as many unexpected atrocities at you as possible and test your limits of composure. “Cry of Fear” reminds me of a really good carnival haunted house, and its use of sound, light, and atmosphere are top notch. Also, you have to see the above video of people playing it and losing their minds to the game’s scares.

7. Heroes and Generals – Maybe the most technically proficient of the initial Green Light games, “Heroes and Generals” looks to breathe a little life in to online FPS shooters. “Heroes and Generals” allows players to either take to the frontlines in a variety of combat situations FPS style, or take the role of a commander and manage the battle in more of an RTS format. This type of game has been tried before, but has never really produced a big hit. However, the media released so far is intriguing, and the team behind the game is some of the same people who worked on the “Hitman” series and “Freedom Fighters.” It’s got a lot of pedigree going for it, and could be a quick hit.

6. Project Zomboid – ANOTHER ZOMBIE GAME? Yes, but don’t hold that against it. This may be the most conceptually intriguing zombie game I’ve ever seen, as the emphasis is on survival and not shooting. Using a sandbox mode and isometric perspective, “Project Zomboid” allows players to scavenge supplies, build safehavens, maintain their hunger and boredom levels, and of course, fight the occasional zombie. It’s so in depth, you have to consider things like hanging sheets over your windows so zombies don’t spot your lights, and already features an active mod community who contribute to the game regularly. I’m a BIG fan of this one, and you should definitely consider it if you’re a fan of the first two “Fallout” games.

5. Towns – Pretty much exactly the type of game I expected to come from Green Light, “Towns” allows you to design your own RPG town. The goal is to attract traveling heroes, all while molding your town into a role playing metropolis. I’ve always been fascinated with the design and concepts of towns in RPG’s, and it great that there’s a game out there that shares that obsession. It’s a little bit of “SimCity” mixed with “RPG Maker” and “Dungeon Keeper,” and in a “Mincraft” obsessed world, this could become a pretty big deal.

4. Kenshi – Whoa, this game is promising a lot. A sandbox style squad based RPG with RTS elements, “Kenshi” takes place in the samurai era and promises an unprecedented level of freedom. Many potential gameplay options abound from becoming a businessman, to raiding towns, to joining an army (or opposing it), or just setting off on your own as a mercenary. Much like “Project Zomboid,” this game is about survival as the world around you is cruel, and you’ve got to work to get through it alive. I can’t begin to cover all of this game’s promised features here (though you should check them out), but if it can achieve even part of them, this could be a hardcore gamer’s dream.

3. Dream – I believe I’m becoming too highbrow in my gaming tastes, but I’m quickly becoming fascinated with this game. The story of a slacking graduate who becomes obsessed with his dreams, not much is known about “Dream” at this time. It’s promising free roam environments, with a variety of secrets to be found, and the design reminds me of a cross between “Myst” and “Psychonauts.” Maybe it’s the hauntingly beautiful, but mysterious, nature of the title that’s got me so intrigued, but the sooner I get to play this one, the better.

2. Black Mesa – One of the most hyped indie projects for a while now is finally getting life thanks to Green Light. In case you haven’t heard of it, though, “Black Mesa” uses “Half-Life 2” graphics to remake, and re-imagine, the original “Half-Life” for a new age. Covering that title up until the Lambda Core chapter, “Black Mesa” is intriguing not just as a great looking free title, but also in how its re-imagining keeps everything that was great about “Half-Life” intact while subtly altering it for the modern age of gaming. For keeping one of the most important titles of all time relevant for a new generation without watering it down, “Black Mesa” should be a day one download for everyone.

1. Routine – What can’t you love about “Routine?” It takes place in an alternate 80s timeline on a fully open to explore moon base, where something has gone wrong. As much as I loved “Dead Space,” it still came off like “Resident Evil” in space, and not quite the horror game it could have been. “Routine,” however, with its permanent death system and “2001: A Space Odyssey” meets “Alien” style atmosphere looks like a different animal entirely. The best part is, we don’t even know what there is to be scared of yet, as the developers have done a great job of not showing “Routine’s” full hand. Many Steam users have commented that they’ve literally thrown money at their screen to get this one released faster, and I can sympathize. I can’t play this game quick enough.


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