In the summer of 2012 Steam debuted a new approach to breaking great games into the marketplace, Steam Greenlight. This process has since allowed for developers of all sizes to compete equally for visibility and allowed for players to enjoy a very active scene of new indie games.
While Steam Greenlight has certainly seen failures in its time, the success stories are what really make it so important and great for the online gaming community as a whole. Now that Steam is moving away from Greenlight in favor of another system, it’s time we respected the great games this service helped bring to the forefront.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Steam Greenlight games.
Lucas Pope and 3909 LLC developed perhaps the most unique and impressive game to come out of Steam Greenlight in its 5 year history, and maintains very positive reviews years after its release.
The Steam page for Papers, Please describes the backstory to the game with:
“The communist state of Arstotzka has just ended a 6-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin. Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists. Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested.”
While it might be timelier subject matter now than ever, the topic isn’t the only reason Papers, Please was such a resounding success. The game brings an entirely unique gameplay experience to the table, something few others can truly boast. The continued high ratings and positive feedback is a testament to this.
If you’re a fan of the Half-Life series, perhaps you’d better take note of this one. Black Mesa is a fan recreation of it.
Black Mesa is a wonderful tweak on the series and one of the most successful games greenlit on Steam so far. It’s imaginative and extremely entertaining.
On its Steam page, the game is described with:
“Prepare for an experience that you will find Nostalgic, exciting and fresh. Black Mesa is a re-envisioning of Valve Software's seminal game Half-Life. You will re-visit the inaugural role of Gordon Freeman and his memorable journey through the Black Mesa Research Facility.
Expect tremendously detailed environments to explore, a huge cast of characters and experimental weaponry. All-new music, voice acting, choreography and added dialogue give way to a more expansive and immersive experience than ever before. In a nutshell, play Half-life the way we think it was meant to be played!”
It has had very positive reviews overall since its 2015 release date, and may be the most successful game coming out of Steam Greenlight in the last two years.
7 Days to Die:
7 Days to Die is perhaps the most successful survival game ever greenlit on Steam, and for very good reason. The game falls across many popular genres and types of game including survival, fps, tower defense, and plenty more.
It is described on Steam with:
“7 Days to Die has redefined the survival genre, with unrivaled crafting and world-building content. Set in a brutally unforgiving post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead, 7 Days to Die is an open-world game that is a unique combination of first person shooter, survival horror, tower defense, and role-playing games. It presents combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth, in a way that has seen a rapturous response from fans worldwide. Play the definitive zombie survival sandbox RPG that came first. Navezgane awaits!”
It has had more than 43,000 reviews leaning to very positive consensus since its 2013 release date.
While many other games have tried to capture zombies in a survival based universe, few have done it as well as 7 Days to Die did, and even less at its price point of $25.
But these aren’t all Steam Greenlight has to offer for as long as it remains.
Legends of Ellaria has been greenlit and is set for Early Access release on Steam May 26th. It looks to join the ranks of Greenlight success stories like the wonderful games listed above.