Steam Greenlight Spotlight: Dead Cyborg
Dead Cyborg is a free-to-play episodic first-person sci-fi adventure game, created by just one man. Using the Blender Game Engine, Endi (Endre Barath) did it all – coding, art, story, and design. Endi describes the game world as "a rusty post-apocalyptic metal and concrete world," and that's certainly the feeling I got when I loaded up the first episode. Yep, the first episode is already released (though obviously not on Steam), and two more episodes will follow (Endi estimates that he is 70% through episode two). He describes the story as being about the meaning of life and death.
If you have ever played a first-person shooter or role-playing game and wanted to explore the world and enjoy the beautiful vistas without the worry of getting a bullet in the back of your head, Dead Cyborg is for you. The art is truly stunning and atmospheric. It's a game about exploration, searching for items, and solving puzzles. If you love the text adventures of old, you'll love how Endi translates that to an immersive, first-person, 3D experience. If you aren't a fan of text adventures, then you may be put off by the puzzles in this game – they're simply not that clever. I have not completed the episode yet, but so far the puzzles have mostly been the cliche and often-frustrating scour-the-environment-until-you-find-the-hidden-object variety. In fact, on quite a few occasions, I had to backtrack to find a hidden object after I reached a dead end and realized I needed something else to progress further.
Still, despite its flaws, the first episode of Dead Cyborg is well worth the meager 31MB download. It's a game more concerned with the experience than the gameplay, but if the puzzles do get frustrating, there are walkthroughs to help you get through. Although you can download the first episode from the official website, and while I'm sure you'll be able to do the same for the second episode when it's complete, this game deserves to be on Steam if for nothing more than to help Endi get the exposure he deserves. It may not be a game for everyone, but if you enjoy games that reward exploration and make you think (eg. Dear Esther), then you'll probably enjoy this as well. The game is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.