Gaming🎮 [Mobile] Steam Deck Weekly: Reviews Including Children of the Sun, New Verified Games, Steam FPS Fest 2024, and More

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. After a few controller reviews, and some iOS games I’ve been obsessed with, I’m back with a few Steam Deck game reviews for titles I’ve been enjoying over the last week or so. On the news front, we had the Triple-i Initiative this week, new Atlus trailers, Bitwave Games releasing more Toaplan games on Steam, and some notable games getting Verified as well. I have two specific longer features planned for the near future so stay tuned for that if you enjoy Paradox Interactive games or Final Fantasy XIV. Before the news and Steam Deck Verified/Playable games for the week, let’s get into the reviews first.

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Steam Deck Game Reviews & Impressions

Children of the Sun Steam Deck Review



When Devolver Digital revealed René Rother’s Children of the Sun, it looked exactly like my jam, but I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it until I tried the free demo. I was immediately sold. Children of the Sun is a blend of a puzzle game and a third person shooter where you control one bullet but do a lot with it. Children of the Sun is basically “One shot, multiple kills", and it is amazing.

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Children of the Sun has you playing as “The Girl" trying to take down cultists as a tactical sniper. There’s an interesting narrative with some great designs for the cut-scenes in between levels at play here, but the real draw is the sublime gameplay in each level. The desire to climb the leaderboards after you finish a level and try and optimize your score in it also plays a big part of the experience. You can ignore that and just make your way through the levels to see more of the story though.

I’ve seen some friends of mine skip the cut-scenes and such, but I don’t recommend doing that on your first run at least, because you will end up wasting time as those lead up scenes usually show you the different targets giving you a glimpse of how you should approach a part of a level. If you have say six targets in a level and can’t see them after you’ve skipped a cut-scene, you will just waste your own time trying to find them during gameplay.

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Visually, Children of the Sun is stunning. It has a limited color palette in each level, but is sublime to look at on my Steam Deck OLED. Speaking of how it is on Steam Deck, it runs great out of the box, but I turned down some visuals to get the frame rate as high as possible on the OLED. If you run at 800p and disable some of the effects, you can get it to target 60fps or above with it hitting the high 70s at times, but you won’t be seeing a locked 60fps later on. During gameplay, I’d recommend capping it to 60fps with lower quality visuals or running it at 45fps if you play on the 90hz screen on the Steam Deck OLED for the best experience.

If you do play this on Steam Deck, I’d also recommend enabling gyro for the joystick for an even better experience when you unlock the ability to improve the aim precision a few levels in. It feels like Children of the Sun was designed to be super amazing on Steam Deck OLED specifically given how it looks, controls, and runs but it likely isn’t the case. I just think it is a perfect fit for the handheld.

On the audio side, the game has amazing sound design across the board. Get a good set of headphones to play this one if you can. Children of the Sun manages to perfectly complement its aesthetic with the audio through every single animation and effect during a level. It also shines in its story scenes between levels.

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Children of the Sun is Steam Deck Verified already, and runs fine out of the box. As I said above, you can tweak things to run it at a higher frame rate if you want, and this is possible thanks to various post processing options like ambient occlusion, volumetric light, motion blur, and other options. I’d recommend enabling rumble and tweaking the aim sensitivity regardless of if you change anything else.

For its narrative, I’m very satisfied with Children of the Sun, but I would love more modifiers or levels as paid DLC in the future. This is a complete game, and while I was content replaying levels to get better scores, I really want more from this world. It is that good. The only area I think some might have issues with is the trial and error in some levels. I never thought it was a waste of my time and enjoyed experimenting before aiming for an optimized run through a level. Some levels took me quite a few tries to get right while others got done in one go.

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Children of the Sun is fantastic. Not only does it encourage replays to climb up the leaderboards, but it is exactly what I want to see from Devolver Digital with its vibe and awesome gameplay. I hope it does well while also coming to consoles in the future. Right now, it is a perfect fit for Steam Deck and shines on the OLED screen. Don’t skip this one.

Children of the Sun Steam Deck Review Score: 5/5

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Steam Deck Review



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Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom from developer Panik Arcade and publisher Those Awesome Guys is another game I had no idea existed until a friend saw the page pop up on Steam. He told me it looked like a game I’d either love or hate, and that got me curious. While there is a demo, I didn’t bother much with it, and got the full game to play on Steam Deck. I can safely say that I love Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom, and I wish I had paid attention to it sooner so I could’ve soaked up everything from the demo well before I had the game for review. I digress, but Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is the real deal, and it has been a joy to play on Steam Deck.

If you’ve not heard of it, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is a hilarious 3D platformer without a real jump button that feels like it blends elements and colors from a few notable games from the 90s while still having its own flavor. Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is also quite a collectathon of a game, so if you enjoy those, I urge you to get this. You will not regret it. I love the elements from Crash and Mario Sunshine it brings into the fray while still being relatively easy to complete. Working towards 100% has been quite a lot of fun as well.

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Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom ships with a very stylish and animated font and interface. You can turn off some of the effects in the accessibility menu though. It has quite a few options under video settings that let you change resolution, toggle screen shake, motion blur, color distortion, v-sync, smooth movement, render distance, and more. On my Steam Deck OLED, I left it running at 720p and turned off the retro style filter to have it look as crisp as possible. You can also toggle a speedrun timer and rebind controls

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom hasn’t been tested by Valve for Steam Deck yet, but it was playable without issue after changing one setting pre-release. Since launching a few days ago, that issue has been fixed and Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom boots up fine out of the box and will likely be Steam Deck Verified once the keyboard issue is fixed. I have to manually invoke the keyboard for any text input in-game. I previously used Proton Experimental, but it works fine now without any change. It can even target 90fps and do a good job of sticking to that.

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Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is immediately one of the nicest surprises of the year, and a superb platformer collectathon game. It oozes 90s charm with its unique characters, excellent music, and hard to put down gameplay. Steam Deck OLED owners should consider this for how the colors pop on the screen as well.

Steam Deck Review Score: 4.5/5

Minishoot’ Adventures Steam Deck Review



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Minishoot’ Adventures from developer SoulGame Studio is a superb and polished blend of twin-stick shooters and top-down Zelda games with a sprinkle of metroidvania along the way. If that sounds up your alley, stop reading and go download the demo, then buy the game. It is that good. After playing it on both my Steam Decks, I was surprised at how long it was clocking in at a bit over 13 hours. This is definitely a meaty game.

After a brief tutorial segment, Minishoot’ Adventures opens up and basically lets you explore. As you take on more enemies and bosses, you collect gems or crystals to slowly level up and invest in various abilities. You also unlock actual new mechanics through progress and the pacing in Minishoot’ Adventures has been lovely outside of a few instances where I got lost or stuck and couldn’t tell where to go thanks to not realizing something in the environment was a point of interest, but that’s likely on me.

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Minishoot’ Adventures has you taking control of a spaceship, taking on bosses, bullet hell zones, crystals, and more. My only real complaint is that the aesthetic feels a bit forgettable in parts. It is responsive and colorful across the board though, and a joy to play on the Steam Deck OLED on the 90hz screen where it ran perfectly out of the box.

Minishoot’ Adventures’ graphics options let you adjust frame rate target (up to 240hz), resolution (no 16:10 support despite having an 800p option), v-sync, and some accessibility options like screen flashing and screen shake intensity options. I turned them both off. It supports controllers and even lets you choose what controller prompts to display across multiple Xbox and PlayStation options.

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Minishoot’ Adventures also has a few difficulty options including the ability to auto-aim, have slower enemies and enemy bullets, with separate options for game speed, invincibility, and infinite energy if you’d like to have a completely relaxed experience. Barring some elements of the aesthetic that are quite forgettable, Minishoot’ Adventures is awesome from start to finish. If you enjoy twin-stick shooters and older top-down Zelda games, this one is worth your time right now. Stop reading and go download the demo.

Minishoot’ Adventures Steam Deck Review Score: 4.5/5

News and Trailers


Lots of news this week across the Triple-i Initiative showcase that aired on April 10th, a new and awesome Shin Megami Tensei V Vengeance trailer, Mortal Kombat 1 bringing my most anticipated kharacter in as DLC soon, Bitwave Games releasing more of Toaplan’s shmups on PC, a big System Shock remake update, Sand Land news, and more.

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Atlus and Sega released new details for Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance alongside an excellent new gameplay trailer. Atlus confirmed that Nahobino will have a new form, showcased a new explorable part of the game world, and Demon Haunts. This feels like Atlus’ most expanded and enhanced re-release yet, and I can’t wait to play it at hopefully 90fps on Steam Deck OLED. Check out the new Sacrifice trailer below:


Mortal Kombat 1 adds Ermac as a DLC kharacter on April 16th for Kombat Pack owners and everyone else on April 23rd when he goes up as standalone DLC. Ermac was my most wanted DLC kharacter, and I’m glad that he’s finally joining the game soon. Watch his gameplay trailer below:


The Triple-I Initiative stream had many notable reveals like the Contra x Vampire Survivors DLC, Brotato DLC and co-op mode update, and more. The showcase ended with a reveal from Ubisoft and Evil Empire showcasing The Rogue Prince of Persia. This is a new 2D action-platformer rogue-lite game coming to Steam Early Access on May 14th. This is Ubisoft’s second Prince of Persia release of the year, but this is the first one on Steam. Hopefully Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown hits Steam soon as well. This looks incredible, and I can’t wait to play it in a few weeks on Steam Deck. Watch the trailer below:


City builder Laysara: Summit Kingdom from indie studio Quite OK Games got a shadow drop during the showcase, and it is out now in Steam Early access. I’ll be covering this soon, but it has been interesting to play. Watch the colorful trailer for it below:


Humble Games and E-Line Media revealed Never Alone 2, a follow-up to the original, but this time in an expanded 3D world. The original game was worth playing and I’ll be keeping an eye on this one. Hopefully it comes to mobile as well, but for now you can watch the trailer for it below:


Bitwave Games released the fourth volume of the Toaplan Shmups this week with Truxton II, Dogyuun, Twin Hawk, and Grind Stormer available standalone, in a bundle as volume 4, or an ultimate bundle for all 16 releases so far. These have quality of life features, leaderboards, and more, and they also play great on Deck. Stay tuned for my review next week. Watch the trailer below:


Gearbox had a few notable reveals this week across the Triple-i Initiative and on its own. Risk of Rain 2 had new information for Seekers of the Storm DLC and its Devotion Update that includes a Dead Cells collaboration revealed this week. Watch the trailer for the update below:


Gearbox and Wabisabi Games revealed RKGK, a gorgeous 3D platformer that looks built for the Steam Deck OLED screen. This is planned for release this summer, and you can watch the trailer for it below:


The last bit of notable news from Gearbox relating to Steam for this week is the “History of Homeworld" video the team released ahead of next month’s Homeworld 3 launch. I hope this one runs fine on Steam Deck, and you bet I’ll be trying it.


Bandai Namco Entertainment revealed its final dev diary for Sand Land discussing the brand-new region coming to the game. This region features a new story, monsters, and missions. After how much fun the demo was, I’m looking forward to the full game. Watch the new Sand Land Forest Land video below:


The final notable news of the week is two different updates from Nightdive Studios. The first is System Shock remake’s major 1.2 update adding in a new female protagonist, expanded ending, improved controller support, and a lot more. Full patch notes are here.

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The second is Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition getting cross platform multiplayer and more through its first major post-launch update 1.1. Check out the full patch notes here with many PC-specific additions like the level editor now having a music jukebox, lobby invitation changes, and more. Watch the trailer for the big update below:


New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week


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A few games I’ve completed entirely on Deck finally getting a rating from Valve like Relink and Monster Hunter Stories 2 getting the Playable rating. It is also good to see Alone in the Dark which I still need to play get a Playable rating while thatgamecompany’s Sky gets a Verified rating. The full list of notable new Steam Deck ratings from Valve this week is below:

  • Alone in the Dark – Playable
  • Granblue Fantasy: Relink – Playable
  • Joe Danger – Verified
  • Manic Mechanics – Verified
  • Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin – Playable
  • Samorost 3 – Verified
  • Sky: Children of the Light – Verified
  • The Road to Canterbury – Verified
  • World’s End Club – Playable

Steam Deck Game Sales & Discounts


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The Triple-i Initiative showcase was accompanied by a set of Steam sales and some demos for the featured games. Check it out here. Barring this (highlights above), the other notable sale for this week is the Fallout franchise sale that celebrates the Amazon Prime series just airing. Check out the deals here.

Beginning April 15th until April 22nd, the Steam FPS Fest 2024 will take place with deals, discounts, and demos for first-person shooters including team-based ones, boomer shooters, and more. Check out the trailer below:


That’s all for this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. I didn’t get enough time to play one specific game for this week, so stay tuned for that and more next week. As usual, you can read all our past and future Steam Deck coverage here. If you have any feedback for this feature or what else you’d like to see us do around the Steam Deck, let us know in the comments below. I hope you all have a great day, and thanks for reading.
 
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