Steam Deck Weekly: Horizon Forbidden West Impressions, Sokobond Express & Quilts and Cats of Calico Reviews, News, Sales, and More

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly following my recent review of Dragon’s Dogma 2 which you can read here. Alongside Dragon’s Dogma 2, Alone in the Dark and Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition released on Steam this week. There are also quite a few new announcements and Steam Deck Verified + Playable games. Before the news, let’s get into the Steam Deck gameplay impressions and mini reviews where I focus on how specific games look and feel on Steam Deck first.

Steam Deck Game Reviews & Impressions

Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition Steam Deck Impressions

I’ve not had much time with Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition yet with it just having unlocked a day ago, but I wanted to write up some brief impressions based on the opening hours. Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition was one of the most gorgeous games in years when it hit PS5, and I’m surprised at how good it looks on Steam Deck. If you skipped Horizon Zero Dawn, play that first for sure. Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition was one of the games I was looking forward to the most on Steam Deck for 2024, and being a cross generation release with a PS4 version, I had high expectations.

I’ve only played it on my Steam Deck OLED, but it seems like the medium preset with some tweaks (shadows to very low as usual for me) is good enough for a 30fps experience with HDR enabled. I capped the game to 30fps at 90hz using the Quick Access Menu and have set it to 16:10 on Steam Deck. I love that Sony games let you also play at 21:9 or other aspect ratios regardless of the display. I used that to test how it looks, and I might play more of it at ultrawide with how good it looks.

The one thing we need for sure is compiled shaders for Steam Deck for the game. There are some stutters when new particle effects or while moving to new locations. Barring that, it feels great to play and even supports gyro on Steam Deck. I’ll be digging into it more over the coming days potentially for a full review. I definitely want to see how The Burning Shores expansion looks on Steam Deck.

Sokobond Express Steam Deck Review

When Draknek and Friends announces a new puzzle game, I pay attention. The publisher has introduced me to so many amazing games through its publishing, own games, and newsletter, that I’m always willing to try anything involving Draknek and Friends. When Sokobond Express was announced, it looked like it could potentially be a nice blend of two different puzzle games: Sokobond and Cosmic Express. The end result is a lovely puzzle game with trivia, chemistry, pathfinding, and more accompanied by relaxing music and elegant visuals.

On Steam Deck, I’ve had no issues with Sokobond Express. It looks and runs great at 90fps on my Steam Deck OLED. I enabled the dark mode as well since I usually do in games like this and Mini Metro.

If you’re looking for a new relaxing puzzle game to sink your teeth into, Sokobond Express is excellent. I haven’t even bothered trying this docked yet because it feels so perfect in handheld mode on the Steam Deck OLED. This is another win for Draknek and Friends, and I can’t wait to see what developer José Hernández does next.

Sokobond Express Steam Deck Review Score: 4.5/5

Quilts and Cats of Calico Steam Deck Review

When Wingspan digital adaptation developer Monster Couch announced Quilts and Cats of Calico, I immediately was interested because of how good Wingspan turned out on all platforms. Two friends of mine praised the board game Calico, and told me to try out Quilts and Cats of Calico when I could. I decided to see how it looks and feels on Steam Deck, and I’m glad I did.

Right now, Quilts and Cats of Calico is only available on PC unlike Wingspan that is on mobile and consoles as well. I assume this was so that Monster Couch could make sure everything is working fine before porting it elsewhere, but it clearly is ready. The team likely took all of its learnings from Wingspan and its updates to deliver Quilts and Cats of Calico in a polished state right from the get go. It looks excellent, has lovely music, great animations, and a very good tutorial. The story mode leans more on the puzzle side, and I appreciated that as a break from playing with others.

On Steam Deck, Quilts and Cats of Calico has 16:10 and Steam Cloud support. It also plays as it should with the Deck’s own controls. You can also play with touch controls which work quite well with the mouse simulation. For some reason, the game’s graphics settings have frame rate tied to quality. Setting the game to low caps it to 30fps. Playing on medium sees about 70 to 80fps while the high preset has the game running between 50 and 60 normally.

Quilts and Cats of Calico is officially marked as Steam Deck Playable by Valve, but it really should just be Verified. Everything works perfectly including online multiplayer with turn notification support, and it looks gorgeous on the Steam Deck’s screen. Quilts and Cats of Calico is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a relaxing blend of a puzzle and strategy game.

Quilts and Cats of Calico Steam Deck Review Score: 4.5/5

News and Trailers

The Future Games Show Spring Showcase aired yesterday with quite a few announcements and reveals in addition to the many we already had during the week. I’ve included highlights from the week and the event below. Raw Fury had two announcements at the showcase. The first is a first-person mystery game called Blue Prince. The other announcement is more interesting for me given the genre. Knights in Tight Spaces is a deckbuilding turn-based tactics game. Watch the trailers for both of them below:

Playdigious who we all know and love for their mobile ports also does things on PC and consoles. It is working with Kimeria Games to release Linkito on Steam in the summer. Linkito is a connection based logic puzzler that was also revealed during the Future Games Show Spring Showcase. Watch the trailer for it below:

When Grasshopper Manufacture announced a remaster of Shadows of the Damned (originally released in 2011 on PS3/Xbox 360), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Alongside NetEase Games, Shadows of the Damned: Hella Remastered is due for release on Steam, Switch, and other consoles in the future. It is also playable at PAX if you’re attending now. Watch the trailer for it below and wishlist it here on Steam:

Atlus moved the Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance release date forward by a week to June 14th for Steam and all consoles. I assume this is to avoid the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree release. Either way, I’m glad that I’ll be able to experience SMT5 with vastly improved visuals and performance sooner. I beat the game four times on Switch and I’m now ready to play it on Steam and PS5.

While this hasn’t been announced for Steam yet, Skydance New Media and Marvel Games announced the narrative-driven action-adventure game Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra showing off the four playable heroes.

Bandai Namco Entertainment showed off gameplay for DRAGON BALL: Sparking! ZERO with a full look at its UI and new moves. As expected, it looks incredible. I hope it runs decently on Steam Deck. Watch the gameplay below:

Just like Myst, Cyan Worlds is doing a full remake of Riven for flatscreen and VR platforms. Watch the Riven remake trailer below:

Phantom Fury, the follow up to Ion Fury featuring Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison from 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks will release worldwide for PC on April 23rd. It is also coming to consoles later in the year. Watch the Phantom Fury release date trailer below:

Paradox Interactive showcased a new trailer for Prison Architect 2 ahead of its launch on May 7th showcasing the ways you can make money in-game. I played a lot of the original and I’m hoping this one plays well on Steam Deck. Watch the trailer below:

New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week

  • Death Trick: Double Blind – Playable
  • Dune: Imperium – Verified
  • Quilts and Cats of Calico – Playable
  • Roots of Yggdrasil – Verified
  • Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley – Playable
  • Tales of Kenzera: ZAU – Verified (via TouchArcade reader Mor)
  • Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator – Playable
  • Tchia – Playable
  • TEST TEST TEST – Playable
  • Welcome to ParadiZe – Playable
  • WRATH: Aeon of Ruin – Verified
  • WWE 2K24 – Playable

Steam Deck Game Sales & Discounts

The Steam Spring Sale 2024 just ended a day ago, so don’t expect any huge sales right now. Humble Bundle has a new boomer shooter bundle featuring Turbo Overkill, Ultrakill, Prodeus, and much more. This one looks incredible if you don’t own the games already like I do. Barring the bundle, Square Enix has its publisher sale on Steam, and let me use this to remind you to grab Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade because it is awesome and looks excellent on Steam Deck OLED. This sale is on until March 25th. The sale also has big discounts on LIVE A LIVE, Triangle Strategy, and more.

That’s all for this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. As usual, you can read all our past and future Steam Deck coverage here. If you have any feedback for this feature or what else you’d like to see us do around the Steam Deck, let us know in the comments below. I hope you all have a great day, and thanks for reading.

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