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Steam's latest free game soars to top of charts in spite of horrendous reviews

Ewan Moore

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Steam's latest free game soars to top of charts in spite of horrendous reviews

Featured Image Credit: Valve

There's a certain stigma around free games, but I'd hope we've all learned by now that just because a game is free doesn't mean it's bad.

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Just look at Fortnite. Or Apex Legends. Then there are bangers like Fallout Shelter, The Finals, and Conqueror's Blade. Free doesn't always mean bad. But when it does? Hoo boy, it really does.

A quick look on SteamDB today shows me that the most popular new game by a huge margin is something called Astral Party. At its peak it had over 34,000 concurrent players, which is undeniably impressive! At the time of writing it has just over 31,000.

At first glance one could see why it's currently so popular. It's completely free. A cursory glance at its Steam page tells me it's some kind of party game with anime characters, which sounds like it could be fun. Except the vast majority reviews appear be slamming the game, with a rating of Mostly Negative based on 2,524 reviews at the time of writing.

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"Where do I start," reads on Steam review. "Most of the game is exactly the same as the demo, the translation errors still remain, card history is still missing, the UI is still hot garbage, and the gameplay itself is still painfully slow, with no option to accelerate it. The only thing that changed between the demo and the official release was the inclusion of the gacha mechanic and other F2P elements."

"Locking characters behind gacha, despite previously claiming microtransactions are cosmetic only," another review states, which seems to be the main problem most Steam users have with the game.

Astral Party launched yesterday, so I would imagine this huge influx of players will drop off pretty quickly as negative reviews continue to pile up. It's not uncommon for people to flock to a free game, because what have you got to lose by trying it out? It's also worth noting a lot of people appeared to genuinely be looking forward to this game, so it didn't just come out of nowhere. We'll keep an eye on Astral Party's player numbers over the weekend and see where things end up.

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Topics: Free Games, Steam, PC

Ewan Moore
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