Look at all the fake games Valve made-up for the recent Steam sale

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Valve recently hosted the now-traditional Steam summer sale, during which it used the promotion to hide a kind of store ‘minigame’ for players. Essentially a time traveller called Clorthax tells you they’ve nicked ten games from the future and offers up riddles to help players find them.

The sale’s over now and Clorthax has returned to their own time and place, which means Valve artist Claire Hummel could share all the cover art she mocked-up for the future games.

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I’m not sure whether the art or the riddles are the best thing about this stunt (there’s a gallery below pairing them up). Some such as Get the King to the Toilet are just straight-up funny concepts, while others are a tiny bit more pointed. Take The Consecration Of Esthme, which is found by solving this riddle: “The horror the horror, pretentious explorers / This one’s the father of all arty snorers.”

The thing that these games get absolutely right is the veneer of plausibility: we’ve all seen a hundred games on Steam that look like these kinds of things, and it’s easy to imagine players scrolling by without giving many of these a second thought.

“Erik Wolpaw and Jay Pinkerton came up with the names/descriptions for Clorthax’s fake games,” writes Hummel, “and then I just tried to match their energy in the final art. Super fun trying to make plausibly polished logos in a whole bunch of different styles/genres.”

My favourite has to be the art for Hold In Your Farts, which channels the kind of language and layout used by games like Evony by enquiring whether YOU could be budget Gandalf’s next champion.

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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

You’ll find riches in rhythm, and fame in six strings / But beware the tax burden axe mastery brings! (Image credit: Valve)
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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

You’ve settled a city and put down your roots / But now can you settle small legal disputes? (Image credit: Valve)
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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

Sport is the angle / The bait the allure / Success the disease / And you are the cure. (Image credit: Valve)
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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

Maybe you managed to shut down your rivals / Your lucrative theme park’s still dead on arrival (Image credit: Valve)
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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

A know-it-all’s monstrous need to correct you / Will give you and your friends a lot to object to. (Image credit: Valve)
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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

No actions to take or choices to make / This passive adventure prefers that you wait. (Image credit: Valve)
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One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

Your role in this realm / Is to guide your king true / To sit on his throne / Or mayhap on two. (Image credit: Valve)
Image 8 of 10

One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

The horror the horror, pretentious explorers / This one’s the father of all arty snorers. (Image credit: Valve)
Image 9 of 10

One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

This virtual river has a full boat conveyed / Two princes that paddle with three little spades. (Image credit: Valve)
Image 10 of 10

One of ten fake games made up by Valve for the 2022 Steam summer sale.

If your strategy is to keep me close, I’ll make you think. If your strategy is to let me go, I’ll make a stink. (Image credit: Valve)

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