Valve Launches Their Eighth New Steam Lab Experiment With A Play Next Function

Valve Launches Their Eighth New Steam Lab Experiment With A Play Next Function
Credit: Playdead via YouTube

We’ve talked at length to everything that Valve brought to their current titanic platform of PC gaming, Steam, in 2019.  One of the triumphs that ended up costing consumers was the Steam Labs feature, allowing users to find games similar to those that they’ve enjoyed.  The Steam Labs experiment is precisely that; a foray into possibilities and maybe’s laid bare for consumers to pick at and explore.  The developers over at Valve get a wild hair or idea and then push the project into Steam Labs so they can see if the project has something more to offer.

Among the six that have been released prior, Deep Dive has been heralded by many as a new medium to find titles that have otherwise bypassed players notice completely on the crowded platform.  Whether you’re looking for a more nuanced and esoteric mechanics in a JRPG, or just need to swing a sword about randomly while winning, you can find everything through the Deep Dive system, to the chagrin of your bank account.

Valve has brought yet another experiment to the Steam Labs, and this one isn’t aimed at finding hidden gems or purchasing titles whatsoever.  Instead, Experiment 008 is about chewing through your massive catalogue of titles on the Steam platform.

PC gamers have likely found themselves miffed in terms of what to play next; massive platforms and storefronts readily available with only a few clicks, and the choice can be a bit overwhelming.  Alternatively, you’re only on Steam, and your library has grown considerably out of control.  So you sit while you hem and haw at the slew of titles that are all demanding your attention.

This is where the Experiment shines, called Play Next.  Play Next looks at titles and genres you prefer to play, then recommends titles within your Steam library that you haven’t tried out yet that you already own.

Whether it’s rediscovering the first purchase of a frenzied sale that you somehow overlooked or a gem in a bundle that you promptly forgot about, it’s an interesting system to encourage players to clear out some of the titles that have been sitting on the ‘to-do’ list for far too long.

In execution, it can be hit and miss, much as Deep Dive was when it was introduced.  The only actual complaint is that ‘remastered’ titles continue to show their head after I’ve completed the title, and the offering of some new textures isn’t enough to make me want to dive back into some of the older games.  That being said, it did remind me that I have yet to look at Limbo what with my unmeasurable amount of free time.

Next time you’re looking at your library with your eyes glazed over, mindlessly clicking around to see what your next digital exploits should be, it’s worth taking a look at the new experiment.  Who knows, maybe you’ve neglected some classics as well.