College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Crossword

The Top Steam Games For The Cold Weather

A summary of the best computer games on Steam to distract you from the sub-zero temperatures, so you don’t go crazy while staying indoors.
Kate Struck

As the autumnal colors fade and Midwestern weather ramps up to become more miserable, we must find new ways of enjoying the great indoors. What better way to do so than to transport yourself through the different worlds of computer games? So, here are my top picks to get through late fall and winter.

  • Hades

    Promotional cover for “Hades.”

This single-player action game provides a new twist on Greek Mythology. You play as Zagreus, Hades’ son, as he attempts to escape the underworld to reconnect with his birth mother, Persephone. You travel through a random maze of chambers that span four portions of the underworld, with each chamber giving you a special reward. As you do so, you will gain help and challenge from various infamous Greek gods and legends, revealing the inner relationships of

both the Olympic and Chthonic gods.

The most interesting part of the game lies in its action. The player can choose between various weapons, each of which has four features: attack, special, cast and dash. To deal even more damage, you can apply boons to these features, which are God-given power-ups that deal different types of damage.

For example, Zeus’ boon inflicts lightning whereas Dionysus’ inflicts hangover. This, along with certain mechanical alterations for the weapons, provides endless opportunities for customization. This is by far my favorite part of the game, as it is incredibly fun to mix and match different gods’ boons to get different damage combinations. My favorite build is the twin fists with an Ares attack, Demeter special, Zeus Cast and Athena Dash. These customizations also add variety to sometimes tedious runs that can get repetitive (which is really my only complaint about the game.)

There are also health and coin chambers, so your combination of chambers is important in ensuring that you have the tools and longevity for a successful run. Therefore, you must act diligently to ensure a well-balanced and well-stocked inventory.

Hades shines with its incredible graphics and soundtrack. Each of the four chambers has a distinct aesthetic experience with beautiful fine-line graphics that perfectly capture the essence of the Hades myths. This experience is only intensified by an amazing soundtrack composed by Darren Korb, which perfectly encapsulates the mood of each section of the underworld.

Overall, this game provides a well-rounded and expansive adventure with incredible graphics and references to famous folklore. For $24.99 on Steam, it is certainly worth the money. And the same creators are currently developing Hades II, which follows Zagreus’ sister, Melinoe.

  • Stardew Valley

    Promotional cover for “Stardew Valley.”

While most players are familiar with the game Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley is a very similar game with a few interesting twists.

It has both a pixelated design and a preset time clock that only runs when you are playing the game. I personally prefer these differences as it makes a more enjoyable and relaxing experience when playing. Animal Crossing can often feel all-consuming, where different events happen on specific days and specific times. However, Stardew Valley allows you to move at your own pace, reimagining all of our cottagecore dreams.

Your character leaves a corporate job in the big city and relocates to a small village where it is responsible for maintaining a livelihood. You have options of fishing, farming, foraging and mining to earn money.

Like with any skill, the more time you dedicate to a craft increases your skill level. So then you can create specialized goods that sell at a better price. For example, if you decide to farm, you are able to optimize your farming by improving the quality of crops and products. You still follow the seasons, just like in Stardew Valley, which dictates what activities you participate in.

You also interact with your fellow villagers and form close relationships with them. Some of the fellow villagers are arguably more tolerable than others, but there is a very wide cast of characters.

While this mostly functions as a single-player game, you can invite your real-life friends to your village through the co-op format.

Additionally, you are also responsible for decorating your home and your farm, so feel free to go crazy with your artistic side with customizations. There aren’t any time-sensitive deadlines or any complex storylines that you have to follow carefully, so it is a great way to relax. Overall, this is a great life simulator game that you can play to destress from the real world and run away to a farm like you have always secretly dreamed of doing for just $14.99.

  • Strange Horticulture

    Promotional cover for “Strange Horticulture.”

While Halloween may be over, that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy the spookiness of autumn as the sun now sets at 5 p.m. Strange Horticulture does just that, as you run an inherited magical floral shop with your black cat and provide your customers with plants that fit their specific needs. However, you are confronted with two major dilemmas. The labels of the plants have been lost, so you have to use clues to determine which plant is which, with deadly consequences. Additionally, there is a town murder, and you are tasked to determine who did it.

You are confronted with an array of spooky characters and choices, and who you ally with determines who will survive. You are not bound to your shop and must travel around to various places on your map to discover new plants and new clues about the murder.

It can almost feel as if there are two separate plots occurring at once, which doesn’t make for the most cohesive game. However, the occult aesthetic of the game and the character interactions make up for this deficit and unite the two events.

The murder plot allows you to actually have more freedom when selling your plants, as different plants have different effects, and ultimately you determine the effect you want your customer to receive.

Your interactions with the characters are the most interesting part of the game, and you control the outcome with what plants you sell. You must discern who is guilty or not, and your currency is flora.

I also enjoy how there are a variety of different endings based on these choices, so you can replay the game to get a different outcome.

Overall, Strange Horticulture manifests a choose-your-own-ending story into a computer game among sordid characters and lands, bringing a great story on an aesthetically pleasing landscape for $14.99. I do warn players that this game is much shorter than the others, so if you want the most bang for your buck, I would consider the other options first.


These are a few fun games that you can play over the winter season, all of which combine an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere that features a strong plot and customizable options. All of these games can be purchased through Steam.



More to Discover