So, a while back, I (and some others) wrote up some mini reviews for various Steam games, and the entries were such a rousing success  that I decided to write a second one! So if you're in the market for some miniature Steam reviews without actually reading user reviews on Steam (and no one would blame you) come on in and have a quick look at my reviews, now 50% off!
Double Dragon Neon
When Double Dragon Neon launched on PS3 and Xbox 360, it had a lot going for it: bright neon 80's drenched nostalgia, a rockin' soundtrack, and plenty of Williamses and Abobos to beat up, just like the old days. One thing it didn't have going for it was online play, meaning in order to take advantage of two-player mode - i.e., the main draw of the game and beat 'em up genre in general - you had to have someone sitting next to you. But then the Steam version came along and fixed that right up, so now you can play this fun and flashy game with anyone, anywhere! Well, as long as the game doesn't glitch or crash a bunch, as it's known to do in online mode. In any case, it's still good for people who missed it the first time around, or simply didn't have any offline friends interested in playing.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is just The House of the Dead: Overkill except you kill zomb-err, sorry, "mutants" with words. We're done here, right? Okay, supposing you've never played the original game, it's a schlocky, foul-mouthed on-rails shooter in the vein of pretty much any other light-gun game, but it's got a lot of b-movie "charm" (depending on your opinion of b-movies) to keep things from getting too serious. You type words and phrases that appear on screen to kill enemies, but If typing words at things to kill them doesn't sound like a good time, first, get yourself checked, because there's something wrong with you. Second, good news! You can play the original version of Overkill with a mouse or gamepad as well. Whichever way you decide to play, just don't make Detective Isaac Washington mad. He'll rip your (expletive deleted) balls off.
Assassin's Creed III
What can I really say about an Assassin's Creed game you don't already know at this point? The series is still trucking along its yearly path, even despite the ridiculously botched launch of Unity. Anyway, before Unity and some of the other ones, there was Assassin's Creed III, which takes place in the time frame preceding and during the American Revolution. The gameplay elements of the previous games were all there and expanded upon, along with some new features like captaining your own ship and leading ragtag American armies to victory in what can only be described as a Redcoat Shooting Gallery. While some of the elements set the framework for future entries in the series, the game's plodding plot, mostly unlikable characters, and inability to do anything really interesting with the Colonial setting really hold it back from being anything but mediocre. Unless you really care how main present-day character Desmond's story ends (you don't) you can probably skip this one.
Metal Slug 3 and Metal Slug X
I'm lumping these together because they're pretty much the same, gameplay-wise, and which one is "better" comes down to personal preference. If you've never played a Metal Slug game, it's basically similar to Contra (and if you've never played that, I just can't help you) in that you do a lot of running and a lot of gunning. But the series has a good sense of humor about it and some ridiculous guns and vehicles to really set it apart. The great thing about the Steam versions of these games is, like Double Dragon Neon, both have had online co-op added so you can blow stuff up with friends and strangers all around the world. Although both games are fairly short, being arcade ports, they're still a lot of fun to play over and over. If your Steam library is in need of a quirky side-scrolling shooter, pick up one or both of these for some fun, frantic arcade-y action!
Score: 8/10 (each)
Puzzler World is a collection of different puzzle types including crosswords, Sudoku, wordsearch, and others. Honestly, there's not a whole lot left to say about it after that, but I will say this - it's easily one of the biggest time-wasters I have on Steam, and I mean that in a good way. If I'm not interested in action-oriented games, don't feel like saving princesses, or don't feel like figuring out where to use the rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle, I can boot up Puzzler World and just have a relaxing bit of fun. If nothing else, it's worth having for when you need a "chill" game or just want to waste a few minutes that wouldn't get you much of anywhere in other types of games. There are hundreds of puzzles to complete, so this one alone can keep you busy for quite a while, and if you ever finish that, there's a sequel waiting for dedicated puzzlers.
Scooby-Doo! and Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure
"Scooby-Doo! AND Looney Tunes!? In one game!? Sign me up!" Your inner child may be screaming right now, unless you had a terrible upbringing, in which case, sorry. Incidentally, "sorry" is what developer Wayforward should have said when they sent this out the door and into the world. Let's get this out of the way - you don't play as any of the famous characters. Oh, they're there, but you simply get to observe their story (the characters barely even acknowledge your existence) as a generic character created from a handful of different body types and clothing styles. You run about from a top-down view and basically just attack enemies and collect items, which is fine, usually, but here's it's just boring and mind-numbing. The characters don't save the game either, as none of them really sound or act like they're supposed to, save Fred from Scooby-Doo! (apparently Frank Welker doesn't care how much he gets paid) and the story is so disjointed and unfunny you won't know or care what's happening. In short, don't listen to your inner child, don't listen to an actual child who claims to want this, and don't bother with this game.
Cat Goes Fishing
Well, I just told you everything. You're a cat, and you go fishing. Essentially, this is one of those "zen" games where you just kinda sit back and relax while doing something that could marginally be classified as "gaming." However, in this case, everything is just so darn charming that it's hard not to enjoy the game and keep coming back. Add in the fact that you can purchase several upgrades that allow you to move further into the water and catch different fish, and you'll find yourself going fishing quite often to save up for that next boat or rod upgrade. You'll also find yourself fishing for hats that randomly appear in the water because, in addition to making your cat even more adorable, they offer up some sort of bonus to help you out. If you like cute cats, calming experiences, and catching fish, you'd do well to reel this one into your library.
Life of Pixel
Life of Pixel is a pretty neat concept, though one you'll see a lot while browsing Steam - you basically play through the history of old-school video games, working up from the blocky, barely recognizable graphics of something like the Atari 2600 to levels that wouldn't look out of place in a SNES or Genesis game. And that's not just me talking - the game literally models each set of levels after a particular console or computer's graphical style, and also gives you a little bit of history on said console/computer. It's actually pretty fun for a while, but, unfortunately, as the game goes on, the level design starts to feel a bit tired. It's as if, by the time they got to the SNES stages, the developers couldn't think of any way to ramp up the challenge beyond "MORE SPIKES!" and, combined with not having any checkpoints, leads to a lot of cheap deaths and frustration late in the game. It's still a fun little platformer, but the jarring difficulty jump and over-reliance on nostalgia before creativity might turn off some players.
The Fall is an interesting beast - it's essentially a side-scrolling action-adventure game, but it also borrows elements from the point & click genre, with an inventory system that requires you to pick up and correctly use items about the environment, while occasionally engaging in firefights with enemies or stopping to have a chat with one of the few other characters in the game. It's a visually dark, atmospheric game where you play as an AI who has taken control of its unconscious owner's combat suit after crash landing, in hopes of finding medical assistance. The plot, of course, gets much thicker as you go, but I won't spoil any of it here - just know that you're in for a healthy mix of puzzle-solving and action if you dive into this tale. The only downside is this is the first part of an episodic adventure, leaving things on a cliffhanger, but the good news is Part 2 should be launching later this year.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
The hardest murder to solve...is your own. At least, that seems to be the excuse to make this game last long enough to be, you know, a full game. You play as a detective in Salem, Massachusetts who has been murdered (obviously), and, in your new ghostly form, are the only one who can solve it! Because everyone else on the police force is terrible at their job, I guess. You'll visit various locations and learn about the town's history, what with the witch trials and all, as you search for the clues that will lead you to your killer. While you'd think it would be pretty hard to die when you're already dead, there are also some stealth sections where you have to sneak by or stealth kill demons, lest they drag you to the afterlife. The game is just long enough to be worth a rental (around 8 hours) and just short enough to not wear out its welcome, but there's pretty much zero replay value, so there's not much reason to purchase this digitally and have it forever.
The original Gauntlet was pretty simple - one to four heroes (depending on how many players you had) descend into a dungeon, destroy the enemies, then go to the next area to do it again. The new Gauntlet really isn't much different - one to four heroes descend into various and occasionally randomly generated (some levels are always the same no matter what, but not all of them) dungeons to destroy enemies and defeat evil once and for all. Or something. There's a story here, but there's so little focus on it that I'll be darned if I can remember anything about it. Anyway, this modern re-imagining does a nice job of setting each character apart, making them all good at something and giving each of them a unique role in a team. Of course, if you don't have a full team of four people, you can still go it alone - just don't expect a walk in the park, even with the newly-added runes that activate various powers, and the ability to upgrade your character's equipment. Regardless of how many players come along, you'll battle your way through hordes of enemies and a few bosses, find keys to unlock doors and hidden areas, and, probably, the food will be destroyed at least once by the oh so skillful Wizard.
So, what do you think? Did any of these persuade you to try out a game? To stay away from a game? Did you not care about any of these games to begin with? Already own them? Whatever you have to say, say it down there in the comments, and be sure to check back next time, when we run our 75% off special, making our reviews are only two sentences long!