The bigger an online store’s selection gets, the harder it can be to discover new things. It’s no problem to find a particular game you already know of, but what about all the small fish hidden in the ocean of bigger fish, silently waiting for you to find and enjoy? With the new Steam tags feature, finding that perfect little gem of a game that you weren’t looking for is now much easier.
Steam has done an okay job at labelling what a game is. You can tell by looking at a product page if a game is Single-player, Multi-player, RPG, Indie, has support for controllers, includes trading cards, etc. But if you’re looking to find an indie RPG with both single-player and multi-player that you can play with a controller and collect trading cards? Enter Steam tags.
The Steam product page for every game and software item now includes a list of tags submitted by Steam users and up-voted by other users. It may seem a simple thing on it’s face, but once you visit the popular tags page you can see that it’s actually a rather powerful tool for discovering new games that fit the kind of criteria you’re interested in. Browsing by a particular tag opens up a myriad of filtering options to further narrow the search, and you can even list the results by newest release, popularity, and those currently on a sale. These tags also integrate with the “recomended for you” page accessible from the “store” drop-down menu. Games with tags related to those of other games you commonly play will be listed for you, making it even harder for you to resist buying more games you’ll never get the time to play. The system works quite well for me, as nearly every game at the top of each recommended tag is in fact one I’m interested in. Niche tags such as “Great soundtrack”, and “Story Rich” not only sound a little like Doge, but are also exactly the sort of things I care about. Not sure why “sex” is listed, though…
As with all great things on Steam, this feature is in a Beta stage, but unlike other features it’s already available for everyone to use. No need to join a group or wait for an invite. The “Beta” label is simply there to point out that the system may be a little rocky and possibly even a bit of a mess until enough data is submitted by Steam users to properly categorize the massive Steam library in a way that best serves us. But as I pointed out, it’s already provided a much-needed service that’s almost Google-like in it’s personalization.
Also new on Steam is a new “News” section. It’s brand new! Located at the top navigation-bar on the store, “News” is simply a quicker way to access the updates list for Steam that lets you know about everything that’s, say it with me, new.