I don’t have a lot of time in my life these days. Both of my kids have a nasty habit where they need food, so I spend the waking hours of each day worrying about that. But I still want to find time to stay on top of the latest releases. That’s where Steam’s “micro trailers” come in. These are 6-second gifs that an algorithm creates based on the videos that developers upload to Steam. Valve Software launched micro trailers as a new prototype feature in July.

So I had an idea. I don’t have time to play all these games, but what if I just reviewed them based on these short snippets? Surely, that is not useful to anyone, but hey — it’s content!

Let’s see how this goes, and maybe I’ll make it a regular thing. Here are the rules:

  • I can only review games I’ve never heard of before.
  • I must base my review completely on the microtrailer.

With those laws in place, here are my uninformed reviews for Monday, August 12.

Zoological Era II

This is a fun one to start with because I honestly cannot tell what is happening in this loop. My guess is that it’s some sort of turn-based tactical battler. Ooo — maybe it’s another autochess game!

But this is already one of my top games of the year thanks to the sizzler text.

“Use flight and accuracy with a bird.”

“Be a mammal.”

“Play as a reptile.”

All of these things are very appealing to me. Look, I love mammals above all other classes in the animal kingdom, and I don’t care if it’s not politically correct to say that. But I’m still curious about what it’s like to use flight and accuracy with a bird. And finally, a game is going to help me explore this curiosity within myself.

Score: 99/100

Get Zoological Era II on Steam

Ginga Kagekidan

I love two things in this world: gyrating anime characters and Elite Beat Agents and virtual light sabers. Well, after years of living a life of suffering, Ginga Kagekidan is finally putting all of those things together.

The “Meets-Meets-Meets” for Ginga (as we call it on the streets) is Beat Saber meets Elite Beat Agents meets the ogling simulator MikuMikuDance. In this game, you bat down diamonds as they come flying at you while the opening theme to Evangelion plays (probably). You also draw hearts, so it’s not just an exact copy of Beat Saber.

But while you are doing all of this, anime girls are thrusting in the background. How the hell are you supposed to concentrate on the rhythm diamonds while Hatsune Miku’s cousins are distracting you with the cha cha?

Score: 1/100

Get Ginga Kagekidan on Steam

Desert of the Dead

Desert of the Dead is clearly just trying to get by on its cover art, which you can see for a split second at the end of the clip. It’s a cool-looking cowboy man sitting all cool-like probably because he’s cool and drunk.

The game itself doesn’t look anything like the art. Desert of the Dead looks like a modern remake of Custard’s Revenge, which is also known as Content Warning: The Game.

But something about Desert of the Dead’s look is really appealing. It seems just like a very basic dual-stick shooter, but the art looks a lot like those educational Mac games I played in my elementary school computer lab back in the 1990s. And that counts as nostalgia, which makes this game an automatic winner.

Score: 99/100

Get Desert of the Dead on Steam