Where to Try (and Buy)…
…Hidden Object Games: Steam
…By Trisha Lynn…
Looking for a place to buy more hidden object games? We take a look at indie darling Steam, which isn’t just for hardcore gamers anymore.
- Released to the public in 2002, third-party games first appearing in 2005
- Available for Windows, OS X, Linux, PS3 (limited), iOS (limited), Android (limited), Steam OS
- Original games include: Counter-Strike, (multi-player first-person shooter), Portal (puzzle), Half-Life (action-adventure)
If you’re a hardcore gamer, you probably already have Steam installed and have a deep library of games. What you’re probably not aware of is that Steam has a small but growing library of casual hidden object games as well.
Titles like The Tiny Bang Story and Crystals of Time are available for purchase from the Steam store and considering that the reason why Steam was developed was to enhance content delivery for parent company Valve Corporation’s Counter-Strike, installing these games is a breeze.
But perhaps what might be of interest to the hardcore gamer is the fact that you can add games that haven’t been purchased on Steam to your library and launch them from within the Steam app. In this way, you can play a game you purchased on any other hidden object game distributor’s site without being subjected to that site’s game management software.
Another thing that might appeal to the hardcore gamer is the fact that unlike other game distributors, Steam has operated independent of venture capital financing since its debut and that though there is some region-locking, many of its titles are available to an audience outside the U.S. But if you’re a hardcore Richard Stallman-ite who wants all software to be free, you may be disappointed to hear that any title purchased on Steam comes with Digital Rights Management software which will prevent anyone other than the user who purchased it from installing the software into their own system and/or devices.
Unfortunately, because Steam caters more to the hardcore gamer rather than the casual one, it’s harder to find deals and sales than it is through other distributors. This means that making the leap from browsing the store to downloading a purchased game a bit more difficult because you can’t “try before you buy.” Steam compensates for this by having the user reviews for a title directly under the system requirements information, which can be filtered into “mostly positive” and “mostly negative” lists; thus, you’ll probably have more than enough information than you need before you decide to buy a game. This is something I learned the hard way when I bought a game called Escape the Museum and didn’t scroll down to notice that out of the 8 reviews posted, only 3 of them rated the game as “Recommended.” I think that moving the review recap a bit higher on the page would definitely help; however, I don’t think that it’s in Steam’s best interest to discourage the occasional impulse buy.
All in all, Steam is a great tool to have in your gaming kit because you should never let the idea of learning how to master a technology beyond your comfort zone get in the way between you and a good game.