This is Niche Spotlight. In this column, we regularly introduce new games to our fans, so please leave feedback and let us know if there’s a game you want us to cover!
If you use Steam, then you’ve probably realized that the biggest platform for PC gaming has become a bit of a dumping ground over the past five years. Between Steam Greenlight and Steam Direct, Valve has allowed its once heavily curated online store become inundated with an unstoppable tidal wave of daily releases. From meme games to asset flips, achievement farms to baby’s first Unity tutorial, Steam’s arteries are thoroughly clogged with terrible games that often bury the genuinely interesting new releases before they’ve had a chance to catch anyone’s attention.
It’s with this in mind that we are bringing back Niche Spotlight as a daily feature. I’m one of those brave (and supremely stupid) souls that actually digs through the Steam new releases every day in search of obscure games begging for attention. This is something I’ve been doing for years as a hobby for other, smaller websites, and I’m extremely grateful to have been given the chance to help the Niche Gamer audience find some cool games they might not otherwise have heard of.
I need to emphasize that I’m not saying these games are necessarily good, just that they stood out among Steam’s daily barrage of new releases. This is not intended as a recommendation series, but merely as a way to discover games that you might not have noticed. I’ll try to stick to games that have a decent number of user reviews on Steam, but considering just how obscure some of these games are, that won’t always be possible. For many of these titles, Niche Spotlight is the only coverage they have ever received.
For my first article in this series, I’d like to highlight Super Daryl Deluxe. In many ways, it exemplifies the kind of game I want to give a platform to. Super Daryl Deluxe raised a modest $7,861 from 73 backers on Kickstarter in 2014, and saw a full release on Steam back in early April. Of the game’s 72 user reviews, only one of them is negative, and yet it has had a very difficult time growing an audience. I haven’t played it personally, but it’s a game I’ve kept my eye on and would like to eventually give a proper review here on Niche Gamer.
Super Daryl Deluxe is a 2D brawler with Metroidvania and RPG elements that was created by the two-developer team at Dan & Gary Games. You play as Daryl, a friendless weirdo that has just transferred to Water Falls High School. Daryl’s quest to fit in is quickly cut short when his new school is consumed by a multi-dimensional anomaly, forcing Daryl to become the unlikely hero of Water Falls. The game is also available on the PS4 and Switch.
Here’s a bit more information about the game from its Steam page:
Super Daryl Deluxe is an RPGvania with brawler-style combat set inside of a perfectly normal, sprawling, multi-dimensional high school. Like any other perfectly normal school, its students and faculty are going missing and the classrooms have been locked down for weeks. Yes, there’s nothing remarkable happening at WFHS whatsoever – just ask the new principal.
Things are bound to get stirred up when an enthusiastic, bizarrely dressed new kid wanders into town. This go-getter’s name is Daryl, and he just wants to make friends. What starts out as an innocent effort to help jump-start a young contraband textbook business turns into a harrowing quest through the school and its enormous, monster-filled classrooms in the hope of becoming the most popular kid in town. Oh – and saving everyone’s lives is top priority, of course.
No need to worry. There’s nothing to see here at Water Falls High School.
- Cartoon violence – buy and upgrade over 40 skills to make the kills!
- Hundreds of characters like Julius Caesar, Mozart, and the janitor!
- A sumptuous open world featuring scads of maps!
- More than 15 hours of story with minimal plot holes!
- Discover secrets instead of completing the story!
- Talk to strangers and run their errands in exchange for sweet loot!
- Don fancy equipment like a Dunce Cap or the Super Weenie Sword!
- Legendary soundtrack with tunes ranging from creepy to rock opera!
If you’re a developer and want your game showcased on Niche Spotlight, please contact us!