Wishlist war: too many video games

I have a problem. I guess you could say it’s becoming an addiction, and I’m ready to admit that I need to do something about it before it goes too far and I’m no longer able to do anything to control it. It haunts me each time I open my laptop and I need help.

It’s my Steam wishlist. I just don’t seem to be able to stop adding new video games to it. Almost a hundred titles are now included there (at the time of writing) and instead of being somewhere useful to keep track of the upcoming releases I was interested in checking out, it has now become a place which is almost unmanageable. I seem to add games to my catalogue more quickly than I can remove them, so its size has expanded at a speedy rate over the past couple of years and I’m concerned the increase is going to continue.

Steam, recommendations, video games

I’m therefore sending out an SOS to everyone in the gaming community and hoping you guys can help me. Firstly, I’d like to know how many titles are on your own wishlist and how you manage them. Do you use your list to record only the games you’re going to buy next, those you’re hoping will be discounted, or all the releases you’ve got your eye on? Or do you not bother using it at all and have some other way of managing the titles you’re interested in?

Secondly, I need assistance with trimming down my wishlist. I’m hoping that by listing it in full in this post, it will force me to think about which releases are worthy of a place on my catalogue and get rid of some of the chaff that clutters up the place. Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments below if you’ve played any of the following games and can either highly recommend or strongly reject them. Your opinions may help me clean up my act and return to a list which is far more controllable!

With almost 25 games released on the platform each day in 2020 so far, it’s no wonder our wishlists there are becoming bigger because we’re spoilt for choice. And with Steam putting more effort into new features such as the interactive recommender and search query expansions since July last year, the titles automatically suggested to us and those we might be interested in are becoming a lot easier to surface than they were previously (although there’s still some way to go).

Let’s see how much I can reduce my list by. Here goes, so in alphabetical order and with links which may explain some of my wishlist choices… it’s going to be a long post.

Number Game Added on
1 3 Minutes to Midnight 21 September 2018
2 A Case of Distrust 08 February 2018
3 A Short Hike 30 July 2019
4 A Space For The Unbound – Prologue 11 April 2020
5 All the Delicate Duplicates 09 February 2017
6 Answer Knot 21 March 2019
7 Assemble with Care 28 March 2020
8 Backbone 06 May 2019
9 Beckett 22 November 2019
10 Beyond a Steel Sky 18 October 2019
11 Beyond the Veil 20 April 2020
12 Black Book 16 January 2020
13 Blacksad: Under the Skin 19 July 2019
14 Book of Travels 11 November 2019
15 Burning Daylight 20 April 2019
16 Children of Silentown 15 May 2020
17 Chinatown Detective Agency 20 March 2020
18 Cloudpunk 14 August 2019
19 Coffee Talk 15 March 2020
20 Commander ’85 14 April 2020
21 Disco Elysium 25 September 2017
22 Draugen 03 February 2019
23 Dry Drowning 08 August 2019
24 El Tango de la Muerte 01 January 2019
25 Eliza 04 December 2019
26 Event[0] 16 September 2016
27 FAR: Lone Sails 19 April 2018
28 Gamedec 29 August 2019
29 Genesis Noir 10 May 2019
30 Harold Halibut 14 August 2019
31 Harvester 19 May 2020
32 Hazel Sky 20 March 2020
33 Hypnospace Outlaw 15 March 2019
34 Imposter Factory 01 January 2020
35 In Plain Sight 20 May 2020
36 In The Valley of the Gods 03 February 2019
37 INFRA 24 April 2018
38 Iris.Fall 10 December 2018
39 Kind Words 13 September 2019
40 Kynseed 11 November 2018
41 Last Stop 23 April 2020
42 Late Shift 09 July 2019
43 Mad Experiments: Escape Room 05 May 2020
44 Maid of Sker 31 May 2020
45 Maquette 23 April 2020
46 Metamorphosis 04 April 2019
47 Metaphobia 29 March 2020
48 Moncage 20 March 2020
49 Mosaic 22 August 2019
50 Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill 24 October 2019
51 Nanotale – Typing Chronicles 05 April 2019
52 Nauticrawl 04 October 2019
53 Necrobarista 01 January 2019
54 Neo Cab 24 July 2018
55 Night Call 10 May 2019
56 Nighthawks 30 April 2020
57 No Longer Home 10 July 2018
58 Off-Peak 21 July 2018
59 Omikron: The Nomad Soul 24 September 2017
60 One Dreamer: Prologue 22 May 2020
61 OneShot 10 December 2016
62 Playerless: One Button Adventure 02 March 2019
63 Quern: Undying Thoughts 24 December 2016
64 Resort 14 August 2019
65 Ring of Fire 31 May 2020
66 Road to Nowhere 19 May 2020
67 Röki 12 December 2019
68 Sagebrush 08 September 2019
69 Silver Creek Falls: Chapter 2 13 July 2018
70 Solstice 18 March 2016
71 Someday You’ll Return 25 May 2018
72 STAY 18 February 2018
73 The Almost Gone 01 August 2019
74 The Bradwell Conspiracy 15 September 2018
75 The Complex 07 February 2020
76 The Curse of Monkey Island 29 May 2018
77 The Eyes of Ara 06 January 2020
78 The Flower Collectors 31 May 2020
79 The Last Night 29 August 2019
80 The Mirror Lied 10 December 2018
81 The Murder Mystery Machine 26 December 2019
82 The Norwood Suite 21 July 2018
83 The Occupation 09 January 2018
84 The Painscreek Killings 21 July 2018
85 The Shattering 07 May 2019
86 The Signifier 19 March 2020
87 The Silver Case 29 March 2020
88 The Spectrum Retreat 06 June 2018
89 The Suicide of Rachel Foster 10 January 2020
90 The Supper 21 March 2020
91 The Test 21 March 2020
92 Theropods 31 May 2020
93 Those Who Remain 17 March 2020
94 TSIOQUE 16 November 2018
95 Twelve Minutes 23 April 2020
96 Unheard 29 August 2019
97 Utopia Syndrome 20 May 2020
98 while True: learn() 23 August 2019
99 ZED 01 February 2019

43 thoughts on “Wishlist war: too many video games

    • Funnily enough, I purchased it last night! I’ve also managed to play a few of the shorter titles on my wishlist since drafting this post last week so I’ve made a good start. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Those Who Remain looked really good, I had my eye on that.

    As for the Steam wishlist, I use mine like a mental note, just to keep track of any games that sound interesting. I’ll mainly look out for a discount from there on, removing it at a point if I have a change of heart. So far have trimmed down the wishlist from 25 to 8


    • I’ve been keeping an eye on Those Who Remain and the Steam reviews are really mixed so far. That doesn’t mean I’ll take it off my wishlist immediately though – I’ll just wait for the right time and when I’m in the mood for it, or when it’s on sale! Let me know if you get around to playing it yourself and what you think of it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • The mixed reviews were concerning, but I think looked great. Might indeed be one of those ones you have to take a chance on when the time comes. I’ll let you know if I end up picking it up- have to work through the backlog just now haha


  2. Those are rookie numbers! You gotta pump those numbers up! *Mark Hanna intensifies*
    As of now, there are 449 games on my wishlist, but seeing as EA is coming back to Steam, this number will probably be abov 500 pretty soon.

    Alright, enough bragging, now for something that might actually help you: When it comes to keeping track of my list, I have a nifty system in place: I don’t.
    Let me elaborate: I don’t use the wishlist as a way to keep track of the games that I definitely want to buy sooner or later, but everything that looks even remotely interesting gets on there. Twice a week (once during the week and once on the weekend) I go to the list, sort it by discount and whatever is discounted 80 % or more gets bought. Even if I end up disliking the game, I didn’t financially set me back. To quote the prophet Macklemore: “But shit, it was 99 cents!”

    Of course, this only works if you have enough games to keep you occupied and don’t care if you get to play the game a few months/years after its release. On the plus side, you save a TON of money 🙂
    If you want to keep track of upcoming releases, I don’t think the Steam wishlist is the best tool. It would probably be best to follow the games/developers directly on social media. What I would do is create a second account on those SM I need and use it solely to follow the games I’m interested in (In my case, I’d name it “Quietschistwo”^^). But as with any kind of database, it can only be as good as how up-to-date you keep your data.

    What I did was to repurpose and redesign the databank-program we use in my company (I’m the co-creator, so I got a “dev’s access”) to neatly organise my library (wich sits at around 1500 games). That way I have access to all tags, parameters, connections, search- and catalogue-options that I want in the way I want it. I do the same with my cooking and drink recipes (plus notes on execution, where to find them, further reading, etc.). Seeing as this option probably isn’t viable for you, I’d suggest a neatly organised Excel document. It’s a bit of a hassle to set up, but once you get it running, it just works. It’s just ultra-satisfying!

    A lot of the games on your list are on my wishlist or in my library, too. It also seems as a few games are on there just to have them on Steam instead of a physical copy or on another platform, right? For example, I’m pretty sure you’ve played Monkey Island 3 already, and if I remember correctly, you already talked about In the Valley of Gods?
    No matter, in my opinion, you can cross off 2 of the games without much hesitation: Quern – Undying thoughts and Event(0).

    Quern tries to cash in on the success of Myst, but ends up being a pretty uninspired “screen-based” Puzzle game. The narrative suffers from a lot of problems similar Indie games have (overly mysterious/nebolous story, plot-arcs that don’t go anywhere, anticlimactic ending, etc). Funny, enough, I’m currently working on a post about exactly this topic! Also, the puzzles themselves are a bit disappointing. They are mostly classic logic puzzles. On the store page, “reusable puzzle mechanics” are advertised. This just boils down to “some items can be used twice”. It is not a bad game, per se, but a thoroughly underwhelming one. And for 20 € it’s just too expensive, in my opinion.

    Even(0) sounds extremely exciting on paper. And for the first hour of the game, it is exactly that – extremely exciting. But the facade crumbles after that and you start to see the shortcomings of the programming and the game ends up feeling like a glorified chatbot. Again, for about 3 hours of playtime, 20 € ist a bit hefty. I have a spoiler-free review on my site (sorry for the self-plug), and there’s a really cool video from Mark Brown on Youtube about how the game works – although it’s pretty spoiler-y.

    I’ve heard pretty great things about A Short Hike and Disco Elysium, so you probably don’t want to remove those. And Pete Davison from MoeGamer has a review about Coffee Talk (https://moegamer.net/2020/01/28/coffee-talk-its-a-brewtiful-day/). I overflew it, and he seemed to like it.

    I’ve just started AC:Revelations, but after that I can play (and review) a few of “your” titles, like Omikron or Kind Words 🙂


    • I always love your well-placed Macklemore quotes! 😆

      Event[0] is a bit of a weird one. It has been on my wishlist since my other-half and I played it at a gaming expo four years ago and, even though I know the reviews aren’t great and I’ve heard ‘meh’ summaries from friends, I’d still like to try it myself one day. Quern was added to my list because it looked like Myst – but let’s face it, there are an awful lot of games which look like Myst nowadays so it’ll probably end up getting removed.

      I’ve wanted to play Disco Elysium since trying it at another expo a while back, but I’ve just not been in the mood for it. I remember it being quite text-intensive so if you’re not up for that kind of gameplay, it’s probably one to avoid. I’ll get around to it some day though!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t get me wrong, both games are not bad, per se. But I wouldn’t spend 20 € on them. If they’re on sale, then by all means, get it. Especially Event[0], since the concept is great, and I’d like to see it evolved!

        Regarding Disco Elysium: If you’re not into reading text, blogging might be the wrong hobby, I’d say xD


        • Alright, you got me there ha ha! Because work has been pretty heavy recently, I’ve been turning to games which are more lighthearted or where you don’t have to think too much. Disco Elysium will have to wait until the lockdown is over and the work pressure is off.


  3. I have about 103 on Steam wishlist at the moment. It would be more if I spent more time browsing Steam, but I’ve fallen out of the habit this past year between bundle offers and Epic practically throwing free games at everyone.

    I use it mainly to mark games I’m interested in that caught my eye on Steam, and during sale periods, I do a quick scroll down the wishlist to see if anything is 50-75% off and ready for purchase consideration.

    I don’t really bother filtering or sorting through it more than that. Usually once a game hits an acceptable discount price, then I go check out the current reviews and existing opinions about the game to factor into the buy now or wait longer decision. After all, it might wind up in a bundle unless I want to play it immediately.

    If it’s been 5-6 years and I still haven’t gotten my hands on it one way or another (e.g. through a bundle or bought on discount), then I consider if I want to remove it from the list. Usually, the factors I consider are mixed reviews, too many bug/glitch reports or DRM system complaints – if the game is abandoned and no hope of improvement, then I take it off the wishlist because I’m not likely to want to buy or play it in that state either way.

    For games that I’m willing to purchase at less than 50% discount, I trust that it will be rattling around in my brain so much, going “play me, play me now!” that I won’t even need to refer to a wishlist to remember them.


    • It seems like most people are using their wishlists to keep track of when the games they’re interested in are on sale. I do this too – if the price is really good, I’ll buy the title even if I’m not interested in playing it and it’ll get added to my backlog. Which probably explains why my backlog is so large. 🤔

      I usually remove stuff from my wishlist if the reviews are too low or players report a lot of bugs, but there are a few I’ve kept on there despite these factors because there’s just something about them which makes me want to try them for myself. I know I’ll probably end up being disappointed but hey, at least I’ll be able to write a post about it!


  4. I actually don’t use wishlists. If I did I probably would have a similar problem to you. Part of this is I prefer console over PC and physical over digital. There are games I want and will keep an eye out on the price of but I don’t add them to a specific wishlist. I feel bad enough looking at my not up to date games list as there are so many unplayed games on there that I don’t want to have an actual list to look at for games that I want.


    • So many games, so little time huh? I’ve been pretty good this year and have made a point of trying to buy games only when I’m going to play them straight away. It doesn’t always work, particularly if a good sale comes up, but it does mean I’m starting to complete more of them!


      • Definitely so many games, so little time. I’m trying to be good and do think this year is helping with getting through more of my backlog and trying more games. Of course if sales come up I’m not necessarily going to say no but I’m trying to get games closer to when I may actually play them (given time etc) rather than oooh look that game I really want to play *at some point*. Anything that helps me stick to the games I’m playing rather than getting distracted so often is good.


        • Have you found you’ve been more distracted during the lockdown? Lately my motivation when it comes to figuring out what to play has taken a hit and I’ve spent several hours simply staring at my Steam library, rather than choosing a game. It’s turning into Netflix!


          • I’ve found that streaming has helped my game focus so in a lot of ways lockdown has helped (at least in terms of gaming). Sometimes my motivation seems all over the place or I just sit and watch stuff but I think it depends. Sometimes I just need that weekend to sit watching whatever on Netflix/wherever and other times I just want to play or I want to have a long writing session or build Lego etc.

            Though I’m in a bit of a strange situation with lockdown given I’m still furloughed and no idea what’s happening with that but Mr GD has been at work as normal. I don’t feel like lockdown has affected me as much as other people because of how I am if that makes sense. So I’m probably not a useful person to ask.


            • Yeah, that’s understandable. I think the lockdown has affected everyone in a slightly different way and we’ve all coped with it in different ways, too. I’m looking forward to getting back to a bit of normalcy so I can start working up that motivation again – and actually know what it is I want to play.


  5. Long comment incoming.

    For reference: https://store.steampowered.com/wishlist/id/frostilyte/#sort=order

    How many games: 42
    How do I sort them: I start by dividing the whole list into three partitions. The top is for games that are currently available for purchase. This keeps them right near the top so I can see if there are any sales at a glance.

    Following that are games that are out, but are in Early Access. I tend to prefer playing games once they finish their EA period, so keeping them on my wishlist is more of a reminder to check in on them every so often to see if they’ve released. Once they are fully released they are bumped up to the first section.

    Finally there are the games that aren’t out yet. These are games with Steam pages, but they haven’t been released. These take up the bottom part of the list and are not ordered in any particular way. I keep these here as a reminder that I was interested in the game and because wishlisting a game’s steam page helps give it a boost when it goes live. It also tells Steam that you should be notified when said game comes out (usually by placing it as the top result on the front page of the store for you).

    So fundamentally my strategy for sorting is based on keeping games I am prepared to purchase high on the list, while keeping games I’m merely tracking lower on the list. In a perfect world the tracked games eventually bubble up to purchasing portion of the list.

    Now, for trimming your own wishlist: I can’t speak to many, but I have insight into a few.

    Disco Elysium I have not played, but I own and intend to play. It warranted enough praise from mainstream and independents alike that I think it’s probably worth keeping (and playing).

    OneShot I have played. You should to. I can not delve into why because that’d ruin the game. It’s one of *those* games. Comes highly recommended though.

    TSIOQUE is one I played for review back when I was writing for viewport. It’s okay. I’m not huge on point and click stuff, but I found it light hearted and straight forward. It’s an okay way to spend ~3 hours, though I suspect you’ll finish it faster than I did.

    That’s all I got. Hope it helps.


    • So OneShot comes recommended, huh? Funnily enough, this game was included in a bundle I bought earlier this week (along with a few others on my wishlist). I’ve heard many good things about it but I’ve simply just not got around to trying it for myself just yet. Now that I’ve heard your review, I’ll bump up its priority. 🙂

      I rewatched the trailer for TSIOQUE as part of writing this post because I couldn’t remember what it was – and I can’t even tell you why it got added to my wishlist in the first place. Sounds like it might be one of those games to play when I’ve got a spare afternoon and want something to zone out to.


  6. My wishlist – 1. Just one. Katamari Damacy, that’s it. No reason, I’m just terrible at using the wishlist system haha! I usually end up buying the game right away if I’ve wishlisted it!

    However wishlists are really good for indie devs! A lot of indie devs will ask for their followers to wishlist their games when it’s announced as “coming soon” on Steam. I think it plays with the Steam algorithms in their favour, meaning Steam is more likely to advertise the game as there are people interested.

    So if you’ve wishlisted a bunch of indie games, it’s not a bad thing 😉


    • Wishlisting isn’t a bad thing. I just need to get better at getting around to actually *playing* the games on my wishlist. 😆


  7. That is a BIG list. I have currently got 18 items on mine – I always check out what offers are on when I get the email telling me that something in my wishlist is on sale, but I usually only buy if it is better than half price, or less than £5.

    I’m incredibly grateful for the rather easygoing refund policy on Steam. I have been able to test out a number of games that I thought looked good enough to go on the list, but then turned out to be not nearly as enjoyable as I expected. I think this has helped me keep my wishlist relatively small. I only wish that other platforms followed suit with their digital content. Not every game has a demo, and sometimes a game just isn’t what you expect it to be.


    • You know what, I’ve never actually used the refund policy on Steam. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game I’ve disliked enough to return; there have definitely been some protagonists I’ve hated but I’ve managed to make it through to the end of the title! 😆

      Demos weren’t something I bothered with in the past but I’ve found myself playing quite a few of them during the lockdown. Some of the expos which have moved online this summer have been offering the chance to download them, and I’ve found that being able to play them at home rather than in a noisy exhibition hall is great. Digital events that do this are more interesting than those which just show videos, at least for me personally.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I usually return one because either my laptop isn’t good enough to run it smoothly, or because I found myself let down by the gameplay. Otherwise I tend to keep my purchases, but it is so reassuring to have the option there.

        It’s a shame that more titles don’t offer demos really, but I suppose we should be grateful that demos exist at all!


        • Yeah, it feels like demos used to be more popular when I was younger. But maybe that’s because I’m old enough remember when they came on a floppy disk taped to a gaming magazine. 😆


  8. I’m using GOG to manage my entire game library now, at over 500 games owned I need to keep track somehow. Sadly it doesn’t pool wish lists together, but hopefully one day…

    Wish lists are useful for finding out about sales for me.

    Several titles that have been on my wish list have been given away at various points by Epic and Twitch too. A lot of what Twitch gives away with Amazon Prime could be classed as indie titles. If you’re able to claim you should keep an eye on them!


    • At one point, there were several months where the games offered through Twitch were right up my alley and I downloaded them straight away. That seems to have slowed down a lot recently though; either I’m not interested in playing them or they’re titles I’ve already completed. I guess you can’t win every time, though! 😉


  9. I don’t know the exact number on my list but it’s less than 10. My “games I own but haven’t even started” list is more of a disaster.

    As for your list, I played and enjoyed Draugen. It had a plot twist that I was not expecting and it blew my mind. I’m rarely surprised by these things, so it was a big deal.


    • Thanks for the Draugen recommendation! I love the Red Thread team and this game has been on my radar since they mentioned it during a presentation at an expo a few years ago. Now I want to find out what that plot twist is… 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my, I don’t even have a wishlist, as the Steam (or GOG) list of owned games is already too long :-). But what about choosing the games that are very short to complete? So no RPGs or anything longer than 5 hours ;-)?

    Definitely get “The Curse of Monkey Island” (THE best Monkey Island game ever)! BTW, I’ll publish a review soon. Might be an interesting co-op feature we can do :-).


    • There were a few games on my wishlist which could be completed in under an hour, so I tackled those this week and managed to reduce the list from 104 to 98. There are still a couple of those to go so hopefully I can reduce that number even further this weekend!

      The Curse of Monkey Island is on my wishlist because I’ll buy it at some point so I have all the games in my library. I’ll look out for that review, and I’m always up for a collaboration. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a plan, maybe you could also write about those 1-hour less games. Could be you’ll spend more time on the article than with actual gameplay, happened to me a few times ;-).

        Yes, I’ll contact you because of that collab thing! Already planning Halloween special, can’t be soon enough for those reviews and the time spent on playing them. Any recommendations for shorter but good games are always welcome.


        • Have you tried Metaphobia? It’s about four hours long, the puzzles are all pretty easy and the ending is good, if a little clichéd. But considering it’s free and made by a very small team, it’s very well done.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I kept getting reminders of wishlist items going on sale and ended up thinking that if I wasn’t to buy them right away maybe I should remove them so I don’t keep being informed of my lack of progress in resolving it. 😉


    • I have that thought too when I see the sale notifications… and then I think, ‘But I might want to play it *one* day!’ This is reason why most games never end up being removed from my wishlist. 😆


  12. It’s bad that instead of offering ANY advice, I wound up adding a Nancy Drew game. I didn’t even know those existed! I LOVED those books growing up. I didn’t add the one on your list, but a more recent one. I have a similar backlog problem. I’m almost up to 300 games o.O


    • Kelly from Why We Play Games said I should try a Nancy Drew game and recommended the one currently on my wishlist. I haven’t yet gotten around to playing it but I do intend to one day! Since writing this post, the number of titles on my list has gone down and then back up again so I probably won’t be far behind your 300 soon. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I should really go through mine, too. I’m sure I have a few I could clean out. If I can find the Nancy Drew you have, I’d definitely play it though. I saw the year it was and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get it on any of my current systems.

        Liked by 1 person

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