Valve finally confirms all Steam sale dates for 2021

We've got some recommendations for what you should keep an eye out for too!

Valve have graced us with confirmation of what leaked via SteamDB months ago, that the dates for the Steam Sales for the rest of 2021 will be on the following:

  • October Halloween Sale: 28th of October – 1st of November
  • Steam Autumn Sale: November 24th – 30th
  • Steam Winter Sale: December 22nd – 5th of January 2022

It’s up to you whether you can hold out for the yearly winter sale, which usually sees games’ prices slashed all over, or jump in with the Halloween-themed or cozy Autumn sale. We’ve no idea what little minigames are going to be in the Winter one yet, but I’m sure it’ll be convoluted.

We all want to escape this winter into a delightful game and there’s nothing better than getting lost in the various worlds presented to us on the cheap. So keep an eye out for the following games, which since I’ve recommended them, they’re the absolute best things you can play while wrapped up warm, cup of coffee in one hand and mouse in the other.

That or utterly armadillo’d because it’s either Halloween or Christmas!

Disco Elysium

This game always comes down in price around a sale and this year’s update bringing full-fat voice acting to just about every aspect makes it an enticing offer. Disco Elysium is not only a brilliantly written game but maybe one of the finest video games ever crafted.

Take the role of an amnesiac cop and discover the mysteries surrounding a murder a town wants nothing to do with. There’s no combat perse, but each choice and action you make have an overall lasting effect on the story – and you. Will put all your points into being in shape or perception? Or will you make yourself look like a fool anyway?

The whole game features running commentary from within the detective’s mind, with each personality trait being their own character, with the great Kim Kitsuragi as your companion through your messy solving process.

Engaging, hilarious, and utterly gut-punching, the adventures that Disco Elysium sets up will always leave you questioning which way they’re going to go next.

Dyson Sphere Program

It’s in early access and ever-changing, with a huge combat update coming in the next few weeks, but Dyson Sphere Program has eaten my time to the point of having to forcefully uninstall the game lest I be swallowed by the time sink.

You manage a robot whose sole goal is to build a Dyson Sphere to harvest energy from a sun to send back home. It’s a gratifying exercise in micromanagement, as you build factories and structures to help aid in your quest.

There’s also no better feeling than blasting off into the depths of space in search of new material, only to come back and see that your well-laid plans haven’t suddenly stopped due to a blockage somewhere.

The game gets extremely large, extremely quickly, and will absolutely show whether or not you can cope with the tangled network of conveyor belts and electrical management that it lures you into.

Hades

Zagreus wants out of his father’s clutches. Hades will continue to allow the underworld to kill his child. This game is a run-based action game with a heavy emphasis on story. Each run and subsequent death will result in more and more story tidbits being thrust at you.

You’ll never feel like a failure, as each time you die, you get to upgrade yourself and immerse yourself in Zag’s ongoing friendships or rivalries with the inhabitants of the underworld.

You also get help from Olympus, as the gods will send you a powerup to help you on your way, each too, with their own personality and interactions. Seriously, this game has so much dialogue, I rarely saw – if ever – anything twice.

NieR Replicant

A remaster of a PS3 and Xbox 360 game, this is the prelude to NieR Automata from 2017, which sets up the world of NieR, as well as routinely depress you as nothing ever seems to go right.

It completely overhauls the combat, but still retains its eccentricity. Ditching the western version entirely, Replicant sees you take the role of Nier, the older brother to the kidnapped Yonah, as he tries his best to rescue her from the evil Shadowlord.

Yoko Taro’s deeply twisted story will leave you feeling wonderfully empty inside, while the game itself will bring a big whiff of nostalgia with its obtuse methods of unlocking everything. Be sure to go through the game multiple times for the different endings!

Dorf Romantik

This is my current go-to for relaxing at the PC. Stick something on YouTube and sit back in the chair as you construct a quaint little town and try to beat your score from the previous round. Each segment you put together will either grow your city and give you extra tiles to play with or you might accidentally end the expansion of a river because you placed a house in the wrong path.

Learning it is great, but getting comfortable with it is even better.

Loop Hero

Another run-based game (but they all these days, amiright?!) but this one comes with a small little twist. Take the role of a hero trapped in a world that has already ended, as you try to revitalize it by heading from your little village to kill the big bad on a literal loop.

Each map is randomized each run and you decide what things will be placed on the loop’s path, surroundings, and whether or not a graveyard of skeletons is worth placing over the cave of bats. You’ll infinitely loop around the map until you decide to eject out to take all your rewards.

You’re never too far away from a game over, but the satisfaction of your gamble of going around for one more loop and it having it pay off big time is incredible.

DOOM

DOOM is the only game that’s worthy of being written in all capitals. A vicious meatgrinder and perfectly structured chaos, DOOM 2016 is the perfect soft reboot. It’s genuinely one of my favorite games of all time and has yet to be topped by anything else that has come since – even its own sequel.

Black Mesa

A fan remake of Half-Life that was in development for over a decade. It came out the same year as yet another Half-Life game and is absolutely stupendous. While not an entirely 1 to 1 remake, it refines some of the weirder end sections of the original, while bringing a different fresh coat of paint to the game. Less “Rambo with glasses and zombies” and more “The Thing with soldiers”.

It also features an obscenely great soundtrack that I can listen to adnauseum.

Disaster Report 4

This game is terrible. It’s awful.

Play it.

It is such a chaotic mess of comedy, deeply dark twists, and fourth wall breaks, I’m not entirely sure what they were going for. My time with it was so wild that if Disaster Report 4 goes on sale in the Steam sales, you just have to experience it knowing that it’s going to be a bad time to play.

Truly, truly and deeply bad.

Play it.

Control

This is Remedy back on form after a few stumbles with Quantum Break and the short not-really-a-sequel to Alan Wake. Control features brutally fast action, an intricate story, and some absolutely sublime decor to completely annihilate everything.

As Jesse Faden, you enter the Federal Bureau of Control’s offices, only to discover that the large building not only holds a deadly infestation at bay but is alive itself. Now you must discover what the Hiss is, who’s behind it, and why the director of the FBC killed themselves, all the while coming to grips with the powers you’ve been bestowed.

It’s a fascinating combination of high-end TV storytelling and the type of freeing combat that third-person-shooters rarely bring to the table anymore. If you manage to snag this in the sales with the full DLC package, you’ll also get hints as to what happened to Alan Wake after the events of the two previous games.

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