Steam’s annual Summer Sale is here again, and we’ve rounded up a couple of great deals for fans of Japanese games who aren’t sure what to get!
This list is organized by price (starting with the cheapest ones!), and we tried to make it a mix of genres in hopes that anyone taking a like might find something they had never thought to try out before: With these low prices, why not give a genre you’ve never forayed into a chance?
A short and sweet horror/closed circle mystery visual novel. We also have a full length review of the game here.
Recommended for: People who like whodunnits.
While frequently described as a Souls-like, Dragon’s Dogma is very much its own thing, and has unique systems and fantastic action of the sort seen nowhere else.
Recommend for: Fans of Souls, Berserk, and dark fantasy.
A fairly orthodox tactical RPG inspired by Japanese mythology with the twist of having an aggro stat that lets the player predict and manipulate enemy moves, allowing for an extra depth of strategy.
Recommended for: People interested in SRPGs and classic Japanese mythology.
DEEEER Simulator $7.49
At first glance a silly tongue-in-cheek sandbox game like Goat Simulator, DEEEER Simulator actually has more to it than is immediately apparent.
Recommended for: People who like From Software games, the Nier series, 80-90’s OVAs.
While many people unfamiliar with the Ace Combat series assume that it is a flight simulator, that assumption is completely incorrect: Rather, the Ace Combat games are flight action games that are very accessible to regular gamers, with great gameplay and interesting sci-fi stories, and 7 is one of the best in the series. If you’ve never given the series a chance, now’s the best time to give it a shot!
Recommended for: People who like sci-fi anime like Ghost in the Shell.
While the first Valkyria Chronicles became a cult hit in the west, the fourth game went under most people’s radars for some reason, which is extremely unfortunate because the game is fantastic: Read our full review here.
Recommended for: People who like fantasy takes on war settings, people who like strategy games but are tired of the usual formats.
Trails in the Sky $9.99
The first game in Nihon Falcom’s popular Trails series, and a timeless classic.
Recommended for: Anyone who enjoyed classic 90’s Japanese RPGs.
One of the most renowned visual novels of the 2010s (though technically released in late 2009), STEINS;GATE’s fascinating time travel suspense story and eccentric characters make a particularly unique concoction.
Recommended for: People who like science fiction (especially stories about time travel and parallel worlds), people who like reading about conspiracy theories, people interested in Japanese otaku culture.
ATRI: My Dear Moments $12.59
A sci-fi visual novel taking place in a world where rising sea levels have submerged most of the planet underwater, with a story about a boy who finds a robot girl with no memories. Read our full review here.
Recommended for: People who like chill post-apocalyptic settings and stories.
Princess Maker 5 $14.99
The fifth game in Gainax’s legendary Princess Maker series of raising sim games, the first of which was an epoch maker in early Japanese PC gaming. 5 is the most complex and comprehensive game in the series.
Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys simulation games but wants something different from the usual theme park management and city building sims.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon $14.99
The Ryuu ga Gotoku/Yakuza/Like A Dragon series has become more well-known in the west in recent years, but many people get the wrong impression that it is a Japanese equivalent of Grand Theft Auto, or confused as to which game to start with. Though technically the seventh game in the series (and in fact titled Ryuu ga Gotoku 7 in Japan), Yakuza: Like A Dragon is a soft reboot with new characters, a new setting, and an entirely new battle system, being a turn-based RPG rather than having action gameplay like its predecessors, and is thus the perfect starting point for a new player. Read out full review here.
Recommended for: People who like the quirky side of Japanese video games, people who enjoy exploring realistic present-day Japan locales in games, anyone who wants to get into the Yakuza series but isn’t sure where to start.
Have your own recommendations to share? Tell us about them in the comments below!