Steam Deck Weekly: Lorelei and the Laser Eyes Preview, Sand Land and More Reviews, Golden Week Sales, News, and More

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. Quite a few reviews and new Steam Deck Verified games this week, and I also have a preview of one of my most anticipated indie games with Simogo’s Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. Beyond impressions and reviews, the Golden Week sales have started going live for more publishers on Steam in addition to the general one, and I’ve included some notable deals at the end of the article. Let’s get into the reviews and gameplay impressions first.

Steam Deck Game Reviews & Impressions

The highlights of this week in this category are reviews for Sand Land and Bitwave Games’ new set of Toaplan shmups with a preview for Simogo and Annapurna Interactive’s Lorelei and the Laser Eyes.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes Steam Deck Preview

Having played games on iOS since the App Store launched, I’ve been a huge fan of Simogo across the developer’s older and newer titles. The likes of Year Walk and Device 6 are all-time greats. After Simogo brought many games to iOS, the App Store slowly changed, and it felt like the boutique games Simogo was known for wouldn’t be economically feasible anymore. We started seeing ports and games announced for other platforms from the developer. Sayonara Wild Hearts did make it to iOS through Apple Arcade thankfully, but nothing has been announced for Lorelei and the Laser Eyes yet. I will basically play Simogo games on literally any platform they release on, and that’s where this preview comes into the picture. I had a chance to play Simogo’s Lorelei and the Laser Eyes on Steam Deck early, and I’m blown away by it after just two hours with it.

If you are interested in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes and will be getting it at launch, stop reading this preview right now (but DO read the rest of this article) and go in with as little information as possible. I won’t spoil anything here, but I’m glad I got to experience Lorelei and the Laser Eyes without knowing much about it outside of two trailers. This preview is only going to cover the early parts and will not reveal anything about the puzzles or solutions.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes has you playing as a woman who has been summoned to an old hotel. Right from the get go, you will start to see Simogo’s genius with its game mechanics and visuals. It is a simple game to control with one main interaction button and a movement option, but the simplistic interaction will have you rotating through menus quite a bit as you go through your possessions, mental notes, and more in-game. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes feels like it brings the best of Simogo so far blended into something that feels equal parts fresh and familiar, but the latter is only a facade. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is full of surprises, and I cannot wait to play more. I recommend having a notebook or note taking app near you when you do play it.

We’ve seen Simogo post about it running well on Steam Deck and Switch, but I was curious how well it runs myself. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is gorgeous on the Steam Deck OLED, and it runs flawlessly out of the box with its 90fps target. I even played it docked on my 1440p display and it ran at 120fps or higher almost all the way in the time I’ve put into the game so far. I won’t be surprised to see it get Steam Deck Verified soon.

While the visuals are striking and I’m in love with everything on display, I want to highlight the great audio design in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes so far. This is one to play with a good set of headphones for sure, and it was actually the game that got me to grab one for my Steam Deck. I can’t wait for the full soundtrack.

I’ve only scratched the surface so far, but Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is shaping up to be spectacular, and it has the potential to be my favorite Simogo game yet alongside Device 6 and Sayonara Wild Hearts. I can’t wait to dig into the full game more and also check it out on Switch. Stay tuned for our full review closer to launch.

Sand Land Steam Deck Review

I approached Sand Land from ILCA and Bandai Namco Entertainment in two different ways. I hadn’t actually read the manga when the game was announced, and I decided to keep it that way until a bit later. I’m always curious to see how these adaptations work for newcomers and those who are familiar with the source material, and I think Sand Land does good on both fronts. I played Sand Land for a few days on Steam Deck after getting review code for the full version with no prior experience outside the demo. I then got the manga on Kindle to see how I felt about it. I’ve come away with a positive opinion of Sand Land on Steam Deck, and I’m going to be replaying it on PS5 in the future.

If you’re new to Sand Land, this game is based on the manga by the late Akira Toriyama that also has an anime going on. Sand Land, the game, is an action RPG with vehicular combat, excellent character designs, music, and has been a joy to play almost all the way with its customization, quests, and how it looks and feels on Steam Deck. It even has elements of base building and interesting interactions with a colorful cast of characters. There are open world-like zones to explore, but they aren’t anything to write home about. You’re here for the vehicular combat and story, and it delivers on those fronts. This isn’t just the usual anime or manga licensed game for sure, and I’m glad to see the developer continue to release great adaptations.

The Steam version of Sand Land lets you adjust window mode (fullscreen, borderless, windowed), resolution, v-sync, resolution scale, frame limit, anti-aliasing quality, shadow quality, toggle motion blur, toggle depth of field, texture quality, and post-processing quality. I used a combination of medium and high here as shown in the image to get it looking great while running stable on my Steam Deck OLED. There are parts that can run well above 60fps, but the open world can struggle so I opted to aim for a stable frame rate with good image quality.

On Steam Deck, after testing a few different presets, settings, and tweaking things, I settled on playing it at 30fps for a more stable experience rather than opting for 45fps or 40fps like I normally do on games that can’t hit 60 or 90fps on Deck. You can opt for a higher frame rate but will need to turn the resolution below 720p (or reduce the scaling) to aim for the likes of 40 with minor drops in the open world. Sand Land doesn’t have 16:10 support despite some screen mode options causing it to look like it does. It seems like this is bugged and I hope it gets fixed. One more setting I recommend changing is the camera sensitivity under control settings. The default is too sluggish. I turned it to above 75 for the best experience.

In its current state, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sand Land is marked as Steam Deck Playable because the only potential issue will be the font size that is on the smaller end for the Steam Deck’s screen. I hope 16:10 aspect ratio support is added soon as well.

Some of the quests and open world activities felt repetitive, but on the whole Sand Land is one of the better adaptations we’ve seen from the publisher. Whenever Bandai Namco Entertainment announces a new project like this, I never know whether it will be worth my time or not. Thankfully, Sand Land ended up delivering and is worth your time on Steam Deck. I definitely recommend trying out the free demo if you aren’t sure it is for you.

Sand Land Steam Deck Review Score: 4/5

Toaplan Arcade Shoot’em Ups 4 Steam Deck Review

Bitwave Games is back with the newest and final set of Toaplan shoot ’em ups in Toaplan Arcade Shoot’em Ups 4 on PC platforms. The collection launched over a week ago as a bundle and individual releases, and there is even an ultimate bundle for those who own or want to own all 16 games at a discount. As with Volume 3, I’m going to cover the games themselves, but also the collection since I usually recommend getting the bundles for a better discount. Volume 4 includes Truxton 2, Twin Hawk, Grind Stormer, and Dogyuun.

When Bitwave launched the first three collections, there were issues that have slowly been addressed and I still consider the day one launch as an early access release for those titles. A similar thing has happened with Toaplan Arcade Shoot’em Ups 4, but the glaring issue with one specific game has been mostly addressed. I’ll get into the individual games in a bit. As with prior Bitwave releases, the games in Toaplan Arcade Shoot’em Ups 4 include the same options. These games are presented as their arcade versions with different regional editions (if applicable), save states, rewind options, a few visual options, sound options, assist options, and more. The games are very lightweight clocking in at a few MB each, and they boot up instantly on PC platforms.

I played the games on Steam Deck using the controls on the system itself and also with my Haute42 Board mini and 8BitDo Arcade Stick. There were no issues with any control option here as expected.

As usual, my main complaint for the overall package is the lack of any extras like interviews, and also the font used in the menus which makes it look very bad. Thankfully the games themselves look good, but I hope that the main wrapper font can be changed since all four collections are now available. Now, onto the games themselves.

Truxton 2 Steam Deck Review

Originally released back in 1992, Truxton 2 is a sequel to Truxton, and it has gorgeous visuals. It is also quite difficult, but really has been the game in this set I’ve revisited the most since getting access to it. As a vertical shmup, Truxton 2 has excellent gameplay, and I’m glad to see the audio issues get addressed quite a bit with updates following the launch. It isn’t perfect, but I’m pleased with the current state of Truxton 2, and it plays flawlessly on Steam Deck with Steam Remote Play Together support.

Truxton 2 Steam Deck Review Score: 4/5

Twin Hawk Steam Deck Review

Twin Hawk is an 1989-released vertical scrolling shmup from Toaplan that has an alternate World War II setting. This one is a bit different to Toaplan’s usual shmup settings with its visuals and the real star is the music of the package aside from the gameplay of course. Overall, I did enjoy my time with Twin Hawk, but I hope the sound emulation can be improved a bit because having heard Twin Hawk’s music before playing it, the end result here is a bit lacking. Aside from that, I recommend this release, and love how well it plays on Steam Deck. It definitely made me interested in the Evercade version if I ever decide to get one of those.

Twin Hawk Steam Deck Review Score: 3.5/5

Grind Stormer Steam Deck Review

Toaplan’s 1993-released vertically scrolling shmup Grind Stormer, considered a successor to Slap Fight, has been one of the biggest surprises so far from Bitwave’s releases. I’ve enjoyed experiencing it for the first time, and the quality of life features helped make it easier to play through initially. While the visuals and music are excellent in Grind Stormer, the gameplay is the real star. Grind Stormer also includes the V・V regional version which is worth checking out. I just hope the few small audio issues get resolved in updates.

Grind Stormer Steam Deck Review Score: 4/5

Dogyuun Steam Deck Review

1992-released vertical shmup Dogyuun is a stunner of a game with its environments and design. I hadn’t played it before this release in any form, and didn’t even bother checking out any footage of it barring that trailer. It floored me with its gorgeous visuals for the time and music. I think it is now one of my favorite Toaplan shmups with its setting and unique mechanics. Dogyuun makes me wish Bitwave did galleries and museum modes in these releases because I want to see more of this art. If you only want to grab one of the games from this bundle, Dogyuun is my favorite.

Dogyuun Steam Deck Review Score: 4/5

As a newcomer to most of Toaplan’s games, I appreciate what Bitwave Games has done with low-cost and lightweight versions on PC, but the developer needs to be better about how it launches these games. I’m sure the games will improve more after a few weeks as prior releases did and they already have in ways. In its current state, I can recommend these games if you’re new to Toaplan and want to try out some interesting shmups on Steam Deck at a low cost of entry. If you’ve already played the originals and want a more detailed comparison with different versions, stay tuned for something Shaun is working on.

Toaplan Arcade Shoot’em Ups 4 Steam Deck Review Score: 4/5

News and Trailers

Before game-specific news, Valve has some changes to how early access (time wise) unlocks work and refunds on Steam. This has now been called Advanced Access and will be indicated on the store page for the relevant editions as spotted by SteamDB. The time played during this will also count towards the refund period (via GamingOnLinux). Check out a screenshot from SteamDB for the new Advanced Access below:

Digital Eclipse just announced that its remaster of Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord will be leaving Steam Early Access and hitting 1.0 on May 23rd. It will also be available on consoles the same day. This 3D remaster was excellent from the start, and I can’t wait to replay it with 1.0 on Steam Deck.

Capcom has started streaming the first two episodes of Monster Hunter Stories Ride On anime on YouTube until March 2025. Pre-orders are also now live for the remaster of the original Monster Hunter Stories for Steam and consoles for $29.99. There will be bundles with Monster Hunter Stories 2 on Steam at launch if you’d like to grab both games together. Watch the first episode of the anime below:

Patattie Games just announced Wax Heads, a puzzle narrative sim hybrid coming to Steam on Windows and Linux, and it is already one of my most anticipated games to play for whenever it releases. It already looked amazing before I saw the vinyl collection and mechanics. More information on this will be revealed soon, but you can watch the trailer for it below:

Wired Productions had its Wired Direct 24 showcase with new games, release dates, and updates showcased for many of its titles. The highlights include Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles’ free DLC, Hotel Architect coming to early access, Lumote getting a new co-op mode, and more. Watch the full showcase below (It starts after 55 minutes of the video):

Atlus finally announced the release date for Metaphor: ReFantazio, the developer’s new fantasy RPG. Metaphor: ReFantazio launches for Steam and consoles on October 11th worldwide, and it even has a collector’s edition for consoles that looks excellent with a SteelBook. Metaphor: ReFantazio pre-orders have started going up as well. Metaphor: ReFantazio got a new trailer which looks incredible. Watch it below:

Granblue Fantasy: Relink version 1.2.0 is now live on PS5, PS4, and Steam with new playable characters, quests, and additional content. This update also adds support for additional paid DLC including some more item and upgrade sets. The next major update for the game arrives in May. Watch the trailer for today’s update below:

New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week

A lot more notable Steam Deck Verified games this week and also some games I expected would be Verified much sooner like Botany Manor. SaGa Emerald Beyond should be Verified because the text size isn’t smaller than other games that Valve marks Verified anyway, and it is best on Steam Deck out of all platforms. Sea of Thieves moves from Verified to Playable, but hopefully Rare can fix that. Another Crab’s Treasure has also been great on Deck, so I’m not surprised to see it get rated already.

  • Another Crab’s Treasure – Verified
  • Backpack Battles – Verified
  • Botany Manor – Verified
  • Capes – Playable
  • Centipede: Recharged – Playable
  • Crow Country – Verified (via TouchArcade reader Mor)
  • Death Come True – Verified
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes – Playable (via TouchArcade reader Mor)
  • Fallout 4 – Verified
  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition – Playable
  • Gravitar: Recharged – Playable
  • GUNVOLT RECORDS Cychronicle Steam Deck – Playable
  • Holo X Break – Playable
  • Heading Out – Playable

  • Little Kitty, Big City – Verified
  • Midnight Scenes: A Safe Place – Verified
  • Paragon Pioneers 2 – Playable
  • PONG Quest – Playable
  • qomp – Verified
  • Reigns Beyond – Verified
  • SaGa Emerald Beyond – Playable
  • Sea of Thieves – Playable
  • SimCity 3000 – Playable
  • Surmount – Verified
  • Terra Memoria – Playable
  • Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom – Verified

Steam Deck Game Sales & Discounts

The main Steam Golden Week Sale hosted by Komodo is also now live with loads of discounts on the likes of Fire Pro Wrestling World, Trails of Cold Steel, Trials of Mana, Atelier, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Octopath Traveler, and more. The individual publisher Golden Week Sale pages are also live. Check out Tekken 8’s first discount and more from Bandai Namco here. Capcom’s Golden Week Sale is still on with good discounts on Monster Hunter World, Rise, Sunbreak, and more. From Square Enix’s Golden Week Sale, I recommend NieR Automata and STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN👊. Koei Tecmo has some good discounts as well. I might finally grab Dead or Alive 5 on Steam with its DLC.

Barring those, Spike Chunsoft has its amazing Danganronpa and AI The Somnium Files games on discount in addition to others. Two interesting non-Steam sales for either Steam and PC games here. The first is a new “Create Automate and Manage" Humble Bundle with The Colonists, Astro Colony, Mob Factory, and more. The bundle is worth considering if you’re interested in at least two of the games included. A new bundle (you’d need to install these games from Desktop Mode on Steam Deck so keep that in mind) has amazing games at a very low asking price. Check out this Palestinian Relief Bundle here. Highlights from the bundle are Coffee Talk, Zero Ranger, and A Monster’s Expedition.

That’s all for this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. 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.