ByMarcus O'Shea, writer at Creators.co
Resident RPG nerd and SoulsBorne fanatic. Can be spotted by their floofy hair.
Marcus O'Shea

When I was a kid, my parents would let me buy one game every six months or so. Releases were few and far between and carts were so expensive that it was do or die on picking the right one to last me until the next one, no take backs.

Except for War Gods, which even my parents knew was so unplayable that they felt bad and let me get Mario 64. [credit: Midway Games]
Except for War Gods, which even my parents knew was so unplayable that they felt bad and let me get Mario 64. [credit: Midway Games]

The idea that there might one day be too many games never occurred to me, it was completely unthinkable. Nowadays however, it appears we may be hitting critical mass.

According To All Sources, Steam's The Place To Gooo

Earlier today, the business development analysis site Steam Spy reported that 38% of the total #Steam library was released in 2016, not just that, but about 80% of games on Steam were released in the last 3 years!

[credit: Steam Spy]
[credit: Steam Spy]

The main explanation for the glut of games? Greenlight. The #Indie-developer-friendly service has made it easy for almost anyone to get their works on the service. To my childhood self, the idea of free-to-play games would have sounded like a godsend, but not to everyone. To some, this is bad news. That is a lot of games after all, and many of them will invariably be shovelware, experiments and rip offs. But while the easy access for indie game developers has certainly resulted in a lot of crud, it's also led to the release of some cult hit gems and unique experiences that probably couldn't have found their audience otherwise.

Games such as the bizarre Shenzhen I/O, a puzzle game that simulates being an employee at a cheap Chinese electronics company, complete with coding, circuit building and a simulation of procrastinating by playing Solitaire.

Or Beamng.Drive, the soft-body car physics sandbox that lovingly simulates cathartic and oddly-beautiful car destruction. Perfect after a long day of dying horribly in Overwatch.

And who can forget about Screeps? The Indie RTS that demands you code your own unit AI in realtime as you play in its massive, shared world.

In a sense, Steam has become the online version of that weird record store in your neighborhood. Sure there's an inexplicable amount of Best of the Eagles and things that sound eerily like Best of the Eagles, but if you dig through or know your stuff, you'll find things you'd have never discovered otherwise.

There's a really cool train driving simulator hidden behind a couple of free-to-play Korean MMOs in the corner. [credit: La Weekly]
There's a really cool train driving simulator hidden behind a couple of free-to-play Korean MMOs in the corner. [credit: La Weekly]

Have you found any amazing hidden gems on Steam? Let us know in the comments.

Poll

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