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#1 Posted by BaD_KarAte (76 posts) -

What are some of the best games you've found while diving through the steam sale bins or game you just thought might be interesting? I'm talking about games with little to no exposure in the press or older titles that you've tried without much knowledge of.

#2 Edited by BeachThunder (13084 posts) -

Call of Du...I mean, Puzzle Dimension?

But really, people's definition of hidden varies. There are definitely people that would consider anything other than a Call of Duty game to be hidden...

#3 Posted by Jimbo7676 (766 posts) -

One Finger Death Punch. Buy it, play it, love it.

#4 Edited by EquitasInvictus (2067 posts) -

Backstage Pass. You work in the entertainment industry, and it's a visual novel, and then this

Aww yiisss

#5 Posted by Legend (2695 posts) -

I-Fluid, Life Goes On, Slip, Electronic Super Joy and Race the Sun are all fun games on Steam that not many people have heard of.

#6 Posted by BaD_KarAte (76 posts) -

@beachthunder: You're right, the idea of hidden is subjective. I guess I was really just curious to see what games people enjoyed that they found on steam without any prior knowledge of.

#7 Edited by EuanDewar (5143 posts) -

Its kind of a cult classic so not the most "hidden" of gems but my mate told me to check out Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines and it ended up being one of the raddest games I've ever played. Very unique with a colourful personality and a wholleeeeee lotta bugs.

#8 Posted by me3639 (1991 posts) -

I cant recommend Expedition Conquistadors enough. A unique setting and brutal choices await.

Also, while everyone else was playing FTL, for good reason, i got sucked into a game called Bionic Dues. Totally addicting and pretty good soundtrack.

#9 Edited by BisonHero (8311 posts) -

Freedom Force is fucking baller. It hails from a time before I played PC games.

It's basically a 60s super hero game, if you controlled it like Baldur's Gate (overhead viewpoint, issue orders with the mouse, game is real-time but you can pause whenever). The voice acting is hilariously hammy, appropriate for the Silver Age of comics. It's so great.

Wizorb is really great, neat little Arkanoid-style game. Speedrunners is a great multiplayer game if your friends would like a multiplayer platformer that is pretty much like Mario Kart.

#10 Edited by JadeGL (1011 posts) -

@bisonhero: YES! Freedom Force is awesome. I played this when it came out, I think I still have the original box somewhere in storage. I even edited skins for the game, like tried to make Dark Phoenix, Jesse Quick, stuff like that. I remember it having a good amount of challenge and if you love comics, it's a real love letter to them, especially the Silver Age.

I would recommend Eldritch. I never see it talked about much, but it's a fun first person Rogue like experience. There's a QL of it, but after that I didn't see many people recommending it at all. I like the graphics and the sound design, while sparse, can be pretty freaky in some instances. It's also cool if you dig Cthulu mythos stuff.

Paper Sorcerer is fun too, and the music is fantastic! First person dungeon crawler with an interesting art style and fun mechanics. Scratches an itch for more old style RPGS, kind of like Legend of Grimrockdid a few years ago.

#11 Posted by fisk0 (5089 posts) -

@me3639 said:

Also, while everyone else was playing FTL, for good reason, i got sucked into a game called Bionic Dues. Totally addicting and pretty good soundtrack.

Yeah, Bionic Dues is pretty cool. I wish the missions weren't in top down perspective (the isometric overworld map looks amazing, and I'd wish the entire game was presented like that), but it plays really well.

If you're into Battle Isle, Advance Wars and that kind of stuff, Battle Worlds Kronos is pretty good. Unfairly hard at times (such as a mission where you have to order all your troops to go north during the first 20 or so turns, otherwise they'll all die), but it's a beautiful game, and the general feel of it all is really good.

Metal Drift is a very good first person vehicular combat game, where you play soccer with tanks, it sadly doesn't have the multiplayer population it deserves, and is multiplayer only. I'd recommend you pick it up if it turns up as a daily or weekly deal.

And then there's an Early Access game, so, of course you never know if it'll ever be finished, but it's pretty playable at this point already - Verdun, a world war 1 first person shooter. At this point it only has two modes (a somewhat battlefield-ish large map conquest thing with a few different character classes, and rifle deathmatch where everybody kill each other with bolt action rifles in the trenches) and a few maps, but there are always a few players on.

Oh, right, if you used to play Apogee platformers like the original Duke Nukem, Secret Agent or Monster Bash back in the day, I strongly recommend MURI. It goes pretty far in recreating the look and feel of those games, to the point that I'd probably not recommend it to people who didn't grow up with PC platformers, due to the really weird ways jumping behaves (the longer you hold down the jump key, the longer you stay in the air, the moment you stop holding the jump key down, you start falling down), and the fact that the game is locked to 15 FPS. But if you did grow up with those games, it's a pretty damn cool game.

#12 Edited by fatalbanana (241 posts) -

Valdis Story, Reminded me a lot of Dust A Elysian Tale and that's good cause that games awesome. So maybe check that out.

Also SteamWorld Dig is rad, Shatter is rad, Master Reboot is ok, Giana Sisters Twisted dreams is ok, EYE Divine Cybermancy is weird, Dyad is cool, Cook, Serve, Delicous is rad, Castle Crashers is rad, Altitude is fun, and 3089 is neat.

#13 Posted by Kaiserreich (805 posts) -
#14 Posted by believer258 (12697 posts) -

@ghostiet seems to think that Aarklash Legacy is pretty great.

#15 Edited by Ghostiet (5565 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@ghostiet seems to think that Aarklash Legacy is pretty great.

It's fucking insanely good. Great, pause-based tactical cRPG in the vein with a lot of variety, fantastic emphasis on character movement and placement that's less like BG/IWD-style formation keeping and more about active positioning of your characters, streamlined skill system so that you don't trudge through garbage spells, fun voice acting, story that, so far, is about politics and not saving the fucking world.

It's fantastic. Would have been on my top 10 of last year if I played it back then. If someone likes Divinity: Original Sin, play this shit, because it brings the old school juice in new clothes in a similar vein, even though it's real time/pause, but the principle remains. Shit is so good that now I want to check out that Confrontation vidya game.

You fuckers go and play Aarklash: Legacy right now. I mean it.

#16 Posted by Irvandus (3060 posts) -

It's not really a hidden gem but more people should play The Banner Saga. Was kind of ignored when it came out.

#17 Posted by Brackstone (150 posts) -

When I saw this topic, my mind immediately went to Flotilla by Blendo Games. It's a turn based space combat game, with randomized space exploration sort of like FTL, but before it was cool and not as deep. Apart from that, Paper Sorcerer, Banner Saga and any ACE Team game certainly deserve a look.

#18 Posted by millionthlayla (54 posts) -

Some of my favorite games have little-to-no focus on combat and an emphasis on exploration, discovery and atmosphere. My lesser known favorites on Steam include Botanicula, Knytt Underground and Waking Mars. All lovely, unique experiences that are worth having. :)

#19 Edited by audioBusting (1725 posts) -

There are a few games on Steam I really like that almost nobody seems to know about. I put some on my Steam profile showcase thing, but who the hell actually looks at them other than myself =\

  • Hammerfight is a weird-ass physics-based airship brawler that I found surprisingly super fun (though frustrating at times).
  • SpaceChem is pretty much my most favorite puzzle game ever made (and cannot beat). It's basically visual programming.
  • Dominique Pamplemousse is not amazing or anything but there's not many musical video games out there.
  • Magical Diary is a shoujo ("for girls") visual novel (and I'm no girl) but it kinda owns? It's basically a high school life sim but in anime Hogwarts.
  • Blueberry Garden is... something. Takes about 30 minutes to play through, but it's weird and interesting.
#20 Posted by me3639 (1991 posts) -


Aarklash was so refreshing and really did things different. Also, balls hard. My recommendation: http://steamcommunity.com/id/CitizenX3639/recommended/222640

#21 Edited by Slag (5471 posts) -
  • Ittle Dew - great little Zelda -Like
  • Teslagrad - Fun virtually combatless Metroidvania in an Old World setting
  • Steamworld Dig - Neat digging game, not sure what to call it really. Kinda like a modern Dig Dug
#22 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1863 posts) -

@jadegl said:

I would recommend Eldritch. I never see it talked about much, but it's a fun first person Rogue like experience. There's a QL of it, but after that I didn't see many people recommending it at all. I like the graphics and the sound design, while sparse, can be pretty freaky in some instances. It's also cool if you dig Cthulu mythos stuff.

I really want to like Eldritch, but the lack of verity in the combat killed the game for me. Plus, something about the wall textures makes me nauseous if I play it for too long.

If you like super weird shit, you should giveAfterfall: Insanity a look.

#23 Edited by Icicle7x3 (1235 posts) -
#24 Posted by Rorie (3369 posts) -

@jadegl: @bisonhero: Freedom Force is, indeed, the shit. It's a great game with a fantastic sense of humor. It can be cheesed a little bit by saving up your points and making a super-superhero, but still well worth playing for the voice samples alone. "I FALL...FOR THE PEOPLE."

I have a weird bit of a soft spot for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It's not a great game by any means, but it's a weird single-player MMO that has a lot of good ideas in it.

#25 Posted by EuanDewar (5143 posts) -

If you like super weird shit, you should giveAfterfall: Insanity a look.

Never heard of this game before but doing some research on it and it has had some AMAZING names prior to being released under the name it has now. Apparently it was at one point called Bourgeoisie: Pearl of the Wastelands and after that it was called Rascal.

#26 Posted by Dalai (7765 posts) -

One of the best hidden games I can remember buying on Steam was Altitude. I seriously doubt anybody is playing it now, but maybe there's a small, dedicated group of players out there I don't know about. It's one of the few Steam games I had S-ranked.

Other than that... I hear Dota 2 is a game.

#27 Posted by handlas (2899 posts) -

Strike Vector

Posted about it when it came out. It's not old. It's awesome. Got no love then. Gets no love now it seems.

#28 Posted by theapthomas (8 posts) -

I don't think they're necessarily hidden gems, but I still don't feel that enough people have played them. Puzzle Agent and its sequel are both fantastic games in the same vein as something like Professor Layton, but with more of a Twin Peaks/Fargo vibe. Relatively short depending on how you handle the puzzles, I guess, but they're always on sale for cheap if you're against the $5 price point.

#29 Posted by UnrealDP (1256 posts) -

Intrusion 2 is incredible. It's like a physics-y Metal Slug, but not as shitty or full of cheap deaths. There's something just incredibly satisfying about it and its physics, like the weight of everything makes it so much fun to roll around and murder the everything. It's longer than you'd expect, too.

#30 Posted by ThunderSlash (2247 posts) -

I'm gonna vouch for SpaceChem and Expeditions: Conquistador. Both games caught me off guard how good they were.

#31 Edited by Veektarius (5299 posts) -

Seconding this

Drakensang:, the river of time is also a good one.

@me3639 said:

I cant recommend Expedition Conquistadors enough. A unique setting and brutal choices await.

#32 Posted by Sbaitso (606 posts) -

If you want an interesting mix of realtime strategy and tower defense, I can't recommend Creeper World 3 enough. It's cheap, it's got tons of levels (some of the steam page reviews have played this game for over 800 fucking hours), and it's got an interest genre bending gameplay twist.

#33 Edited by Silver-Streak (1519 posts) -

I love adventure games. I especially loved Quest For Glory.

Finding out that Heroine's Quest is on Steam, and with achievements, was awesome.(It's free, btw). It's a homage Quest For Glory game, focused on Norse mythology. You play as a heroine instead of a hero, as the name implies, and are just as every bit as badass as the hero of Shapier. You can also unlock a giant two-handed sword named Balmung.

Also, Quest for Infamy just came out and was fantastic. (Less free, also has cards)

#34 Posted by s10129107 (1332 posts) -

Check out VVVVVV

#35 Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6922 posts) -

Banished is sorely underrated, and not just because it was made by one guy, but because it's genuinely one hell of a fascinating, addictive city-builder. It's a bit on the difficult side at first, but stick with it.

I'll add to the general goodwill towards Freedom Force. That game was terrific.

Silent Storm has some problems, mainly due to technical glitches when you bring down an entire building on an item you need for a mission, and it's almost insanely difficult without cheesing it, but it's a good turn-based squad tactical combat game, not entirely unlike X-Com or, more appropriately, Jagged Alliance 2.

Speaking of which, anybody who gamed back in the day is probably going to say it's not a hidden gem, but Jagged Alliance 2 is a fantastic game. You hire a team of mercenaries and set them loose on a giant island divided up into a bunch of smaller sectors. It's turn-based squad combat at its absolute best. I like it more than I like XCOM (or X-Com, for that matter) because all the mercenaries have personalities and quirks. Again, it's a difficult game made for a different era, but if you can handle the challenge, it's deep and fun.

Defender's Quest looks like ass, but seriously, it's some of the best tower defense gameplay out there. The RPG mechanics add a lot of depth.

Omerta got shit on upon its release, and to this day, I'm still not sure why. The gameplay is a mix of a city-builder and turn-based squad combat. Sure, it's rough around the edges, it never quite gets the best elements of either of its genres, and the voicework will make you cringe, but I put about thirty five hours into it and I regret none of it.

Recettear is a really weird shop simulator combined with kind of a crappy dungeon crawler, but the elements wind up blending together pretty well. I do wish the artstyle and writing weren't so horrible, and I refuse to play the game with the sound on, but it's a pretty addictive game once you get into it. Be warned, though - it's pretty heavy on the anime bullshit.

Again, a lot of people played this one on release, but you don't hear Titan Quest mentioned much anymore, despite being a fantastic Diablo 2-esque game. The lack of support post-release is the stuff of gaming legend, but the original product is relatively solid (you'll maybe want to bone up on some class basics before getting too deep).

Space Rangers 2 is sorely underrated. It's immensely hard to describe what this game is, because it's so many things packed into one. At the core, you fly a spaceship around on a 2D plane, taking on missions, selling cargo, fighting aliens, and upgrading your ship bit by bit. But this is all done with a variety of different gameplay elements, including an RTS, text adventures, and straight-up arcade styled shoot-em-upping. Almost no one remembers these games even exist, which is a travesty. They're hugely entertaining.

The Blackwell games (and really, Wadjet Eye's games in general) have a ton of heart and some pretty solid classic adventuring gameplay with some intelligent, non-abrasive puzzles. These folks are not praised enough for their continued forays into creating immensely playable adventure games with modern sensibilities with a deeply nostalgic look and feel.

Pendulo Studio's adventure games can be hit and miss. The original Runaway was terrible, but stick with it and jump into its sequels, and it becomes sort of a hidden treasure of a series. Yesterday was dark and kind of brilliant, if a bit short, and The Next Big Thing had admirable spirit, even if the puzzles were irritating.

The Broken Sword games don't get mentioned with the same kind of reverie as LucasArts or Sierra, and while there are reasons for that, the games are perfectly serviceable and occasionally great. I don't believe 4 is available on Steam, but I think it's on GOG, if I'm not mistaken. Oh, yeah, the artwork in the early games still holds up remarkably well. Hand drawn backgrounds will never not look great.

Hector is a stupid game made kind of awesome by din of its refusal to admit it's a stupid game. Produced by Telltale (but not developed by them, Lordy no - and whatever happened to Telltale's publishing arm, anyways?), it's the kind of adventure game that makes you remember why the genre died down, but oh man, it's got such a weird, blatantly offensive sense of humor that it's hard to look away. I'm not sure if it's even bundled with Telltale's games anymore, but if you can nab it, give it a shot if it's cheap.

Jolly Rover is a weird little knockoff of Monkey Island, but it's entertaining enough for a couple of hours.

Organ Trail is broken, buggy, and a ridiculous pain in the ass to control. It's also fantastic. It's Oregon Trail with zombies. Just go buy it.

There are other great older games available on Steam too, like the Space Quest, Might and Magic, and King's Quest collections, but I'm a little hesitant to recommend them to absolutely everybody. They're all certainly great games (well, some of them in the collections, anyways), but maybe look them up first before you purchase so you know what you're getting into.

#36 Posted by SunBroZak (1684 posts) -

The Binding of Isaac can no longer be considered a hidden gem, but back when I found it I thought I had happened across something special.

#37 Edited by Corevi (6794 posts) -

Might and Magic: Dark Messiah, also known as Kicking Dudes: The Video Game. The lategame is pretty bad though because you start fighting enemies that are immune to kicks. Good luck on getting it to run on a modern PC though (I did but no clue how)

Silent Storm is a cool game if you like turn based strategy.

Get Metal Gear Rising if you haven't played it (not a hidden gem but is an amazing game).

#38 Posted by Loafsmooch (423 posts) -

I second Dark Messiah, Valdis Story and Flotilla.

All great games for their respective genres. Though Flotilla does not have a lot of content, sadly.

#39 Posted by BisonHero (8311 posts) -

@theapthomas: Man, remember when Telltale had a weird pilot program where they were gonna release smaller games that were weird ideas they were trying out? And then it turned out that Puzzle Agent was literally the only game to ever be released in that vein, because it must've sold kinda not great, and they were busy making licensed adventure games based on films and comics?

Also it's super weird that either of those Poker Night games got made. Especially since the first one had Strong Bad, literally months before homestarrunner.com pretty much stopped updating. And it somehow had Tycho from Penny Arcade, which is insane when I think about it.

#40 Posted by fisk0 (5089 posts) -

@handlas said:

Strike Vector

Posted about it when it came out. It's not old. It's awesome. Got no love then. Gets no love now it seems.

Oh damn it, I forgot to include that in my post. Yeah, it's really good, feels a bit like a multiplayer Terminal Velocity.

#41 Posted by fisk0 (5089 posts) -
There are other great older games available on Steam too, like the Space Quest, Might and Magic, and King's Quest collections, but I'm a little hesitant to recommend them to absolutely everybody. They're all certainly great games (well, some of them in the collections, anyways), but maybe look them up first before you purchase so you know what you're getting into.

When it comes to older games I'd generally recommend that people pick them up on GOG rather than Steam. Some older titles on Steam work fine, but generally they don't put in the effort to make sure they run on modern systems, or keep updating them once newer OSes are out.

#42 Posted by EVO (4027 posts) -

Volgarr the Viking probably isn't a hidden gem but you should definitely play it if you haven't already, especially if you're up for a challenge. Beating it was one of the most satisfying experiences in recent memory.

#43 Posted by BisonHero (8311 posts) -


#44 Edited by JadeGL (1011 posts) -

@rorie: KOA: Reckoning was a lot of fun. I burned out on it after maybe 30 hours, but I often think about going back and finishing it. Other games just came up and I set it down and never went back.

It was great for just going in and not following the main story, just running around and doing whatever quest you came across. And I really liked the combat and crafting. I think it did a lot of good things overall. I just wish it had a more unique personality.

@soldierg654342: Yeah, Eldricth does have very basic combat. I think it does what it does well, but more variety would be nice. I have no issues with the graphics and textures, but I don't play it for extended periods of time. I usually do a couple of runs, maybe one really great run, and then when I die I stop for the night. They have added some stuff since the initial release, so I hope they continue to do so, maybe even adding more items and weapons to make the gameplay a little more varied. But I like the basic concept and I enjoy my time with it overall.

#45 Posted by Tordah (2554 posts) -
  • Cook, Serve, Delicious. I feel like this game should be talked about more, especially here in the GB community. For those of you that might not know; there's an achievement called "Forever Remembered" which you get by serving a Ryan Davis burger.
  • Anodyne. Kinda like the weird, abstracted and dreamy indie version of A Link to the Past.
  • Space Pirates And Zombies. If you can look past the generic and possibly misleading title, you'll find a surprisingly addictive 2D space action game with RPG elements. It does get pretty repetitive, so your mileage may vary.
  • Aquaria. Underwater Metroidvania with amazing music and atmosphere.
  • Botanicula. Possibly the most funny and adorable adventure game I've ever played.
#46 Posted by BaD_KarAte (76 posts) -

@tordah: Cook, Serve, Delicious is a fantastic game. I came to it late but loved it. I know they did a quick look but did it get any mentions during the game of the year stuff?

#47 Edited by pinner458 (1028 posts) -

Little Inferno is a great little time killer.

They Bleed Pixels

The Showdown Effect


#48 Edited by kcin (212 posts) -

Worms Armageddon is the best Worms game ever made by a fucking landslide, with beautiful hand-drawn sprites and silly 90's cartoons animation, both of which they abandoned for reasons I cannot fathom. It is fully supported and patched as recently as last year, which is insane as it came out in 1999.

Also, it is apparently on sale for $7.49 till the end of the week. You CANNOT lose.

Sid Meier's Pirates! is an utter classic in video game canon, but for whatever reason, no friend of mine has ever played it, let alone heard of it. If this is the case for you, too, then by all means, add it to your wishlist and get it when it's on sale, as it so often is, for $2.50. It's an open-world exploration / action ship combat / RPG with choices, strategy, and economy elements. One play is about 30 hours, and the next will be completely different. A great, relaxing game, and just like Sid's other games, you'll find it hard to stop.

#49 Posted by JadeGL (1011 posts) -

@pinner458 said:

Little Inferno is a great little time killer.

I would agree with Little Inferno. It's a relatively simple appearing game that really does interesting things with it's storytelling. I enjoyed it, but it is a quick play. I think I finished it in two sittings, one short and one long.

#50 Posted by Alyssia (375 posts) -