Gaming can involve more than playing, particularly if you’re a blogger. Sometimes you need help deciding which title to play next. At others, you need advice on a particularly difficult level or section. And there are moments when you need to do some research for your next post.
There are several online resources I’ve found myself returning to regularly over the past few years to seek out that information when I need it. The websites below are some of my favourites and well worth a bookmark in your browser. From finding out how many games are released on Steam every year to getting help on which of them you should play next, hopefully there’s something here that everyone will find useful.
Not sure what to play next? Then check out Games Finder. This website finds titles similar to those you already like and if you enter the name of a release, you’ll receive a list of recommendations – for example, search for Gone Home and you’ll see The Stanley Parable, Journey and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter in the suggestions. It sadly doesn’t cover every game out there but, the quality of results is usually pretty high because it’s curated by a team of editors.
HowLongToBeat.com is handy when figuring out a schedule for a marathon stream like GameBlast or when to schedule a review. Simply enter the name of a title and you’ll be able to see how long it takes on average to finish – and how much longer you’ll have to spend on it if you’re a completionist. You can also create an account and link it to your Steam library to see how many hours of your life you’ll need to devote to getting through your backlog, perfect for #LoveYourBacklog and #MaybeinMarch.
PEGI Public Site
Parents looking to make informed decisions about which video games are suitable for their children should head to the PEGI website. It’s also useful for understanding how the age-ratings applied to titles are derived and finding out why each release has been given a certain grade. A quick tip: I’ve found in the past that this site crashed frequently when viewed on a mobile device, so it’s usually better browsing on a laptop.
Quantic Foundry is a market research company focused on gamer motivation, and I’d highly recommend taking their short survey to see your own profile. The results are pretty accurate: for example, mine shows a high Immersion score and players who show this trait want games with interesting narratives, characters and settings so they can be deeply immersed in the alternate worlds. Their tweets are sporadic but it’s worth giving them a follow to see when they publish a new blog post.
Steam Trailers in 6s
Over 20 new games are released on Steam every day, so how on earth are you meant to stay on top of them all? The Steam Trailers in 6s account on Twitter might be able to help. Whenever a new title appears on the platform, this handy experiment bot clips its trailer to six-seconds and tweets the resulting video. The frequency is kind of scary to watch in real time; there’s a tweet every 45-minutes or so and I wouldn’t be surprised if that increased during 2020.
Did you know that each Steam user owns 60 games on average and the title trending right now (at the time of writing) is DOOM Eternal? This is the sort of data you can get out of SteamSpy, a statistics service based on a web API provided by Valve. It’s worth reading about its limitations and accuracy so you know what you’re looking at but it can produce some interesting findings. I’ve used it in the past when working on posts where I’ve wanted to really dig into the subject, like this one about the number of games released each year.
The Video Game Atlas
If you’re a fan of retro games with a terrible sense of direction (like me), it’s worth taking a look at The Video Game Atlas. This website has been running since May 2002 and contains the largest online collection of screenshotted maps submitted by users. It’s a useful resourceful when playing older titles, but also great if you’re simply looking for a nostalgia hit; just take a look at the images for those consoles you loved as a kid to relive those childhood memories.
Virtual Gaming Library (VGL)
The VGL YouTube channel advertises itself as the most complete gaming database out there. If you’ve got almost 12 hours to spare, take a look at The PlayStation 2 Project video; this features ten-second clips from all of the 4,218 games released for the console and it’s really hypnotic to watch. Similar videos for the original PlayStation and Nintendo DS are currently being created, and in the meantime you can catch longplays of you favourite releases.
Are there any other useful gaming resources you’ve come across? Tell everyone about them in the comments below so we can add them to our bookmarks.