The latest Steam update (as of March 18) gives the bug-ridden game launcher a minor makeover, with a new header menu. It also silently adds a useful feature (it’s not even mentioned in the release notes)– the ability to install games to a location other than the startup disk.
The feature, which has been available in the Windows version of Steam for a while, means that you will be able to use a secondary hard disk (or perhaps even a USB 3 disk on a newer MacBook) to store your game collection. It works really well, and you can even move games between Steam Library folders whilst Steam is closed without it getting upset. Disconnect the drive with the library, and the games will show as “not installed”, but will reappear after connecting the drive and restarting Steam (after a lengthy delay), even resuming any downloads that might have been in progress.
Also new on Steam this week is their “Early Access” programme, which gives the ability to buy games in advance, with immediate access to alpha or beta versions. So far, the charming yet dastardly Kerbal Space Program is available, as is Prison Architect, although it should be mentioned that neither of them is particularly cheap at this point in time. Still, it can be a good way to support a developer you like, with the convenience (and trust, if you like) associated with buying through Steam rather than a random website.
Which brings me to the last of the Steam-related news: the Indie Spring Sale is now on. The sale runs through March 29, but it’s particularly low-key compared to Steam’s usual big sales. There are no awards, flash deals or anything like that, just a bunch of games at a discount. Two particular standouts are FTL and Hotline Miami. For the full list of all games on sale, check out SavyGamer, as always.