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An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now brought up to date with the riches of the last two years. From intricate wargames to soothing peacegames, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.
In case you’ve not picked up on all the hints: Devil Daggers [official site] is my favourite new game of 2016, and I’d say the best-looking game in yonks too. Devil Daggers is Geometry Wars thrown against a satanic altar in a darkened room made of Quake [see me -metaphors ed.]>. I do recognise a leaderboard-climbing first-person shooter in skull-filled satanarena is a hard sell for some so here, look, it’s in the latest pay-what-you-want Humble Bundle along with Prison Architect and more games. Maybe that makes it cheap enough for you to give it a try?
Cos this stuff comes up in comments most every time I run one of these: these charts depict the top ten best-selling games on Steam as accumulated over the week leading up to Sunday just gone. They are not what are the top ten best-selling games at this moment in time, as seen on the front-page of Steam and which are invariably a little different. They come from this here Valve RSS feed. If there is any massaging of figures or weighing of e.g. revenue earned vs copies sold then I do not know of it, but neither can I say for certain that there is not. This is, however, pretty much all that Steam ever lets slip about what’s going on, though you can look to the guesstimates on Steam Spy if you want to try and drill down further into actual figures.
So: Steam’s ten biggest games last week. Well, nine and a half. Deus Ex has been dethroned already.
Cell-building sim Prison Architect [official site] has received its last update and the creators are taking a break before they come back to work on their next game, cave explorer Scanner Sombre. They ll still be doing the odd patch and providing bug support, they say, but this is the last batch of content to be added, resulting in version 2.0. And it s a bit of an old-fashioned addition, because it adds the ability to use cheats.
Prison Architect [official site] technically left early access ten months ago but developers Introversion Software have kept updating their build-o-management game as before. Now they’re finally almost done. After the upcoming release of version 2.0, Introversion plan to call it a day and – aside from fixing bugs which pop up – focus on new things like their pretty cave-scanning game. V2.0 will properly launch next month but you can try a preview version today if you fancy playing with tricky events like food poisoning and mass tunnelling.
Prison Architect has been adding extra dimensions to its simulation of prisons for years now, but this is a big one: it now has a 3D mode. The option is semi-hidden but can be activated by a small ‘TT’ button in the bottom left of the game’s “Extras” menu. It doesn’t require any mods, but it will convert your existing 2D prison into a three-dimensional representation of same, complete with prisoners, furniture, vehicles and a camera that can swoop and dive among the corridors. You’ll find a video and more details below.
Prison Architect [official site] emerged from its long stint in Early Access earlier this year and recently clinched the Best Management Game accolade in RPS’s Advent Calendar 2015. Now it has, finally, added female prisons. Luckily, there’s more to it than simple sprite swapping, as Introversion’s Chris Delay and Mark Morris detail in the accompanying video featured below.
As far as Early Access games go, Prison Architect [official site] is one which did it right. Over three and a bit years, developers Introversion Software have added, tweaked, and tuned, and now it looks and plays now so very different. It may have left Early Access and formally launched in October, but Introversion are still fiddling away and yesterday released the first post-release update to add even more. Naturally, they have another long video developer diary explaining what’s new too:
I never intended for that picture to become the official header for What Are You/We All Playing This Weekend, you know. I found myself in charge of this section one week and thought I’d find a nice picture of a pond – which was where I intended to mostly spend my weekend. Finding nothing in antique illustration archives (we have our whole antiquated Britishness schtick, yeah?), I turned to what else> I’d be doing: appearing in visions, indulging my nymph side, and firing cannons at ghastly moustaches.
Anyway, what are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re into: