Steam – There’s an (awful) app for that! (iOS Version)

Hot and Valvey


This is a difficult review to write. Not because of any conflicting feelings or a lack of words, but because I’m not sure whether this is a review or a preview. Either way, now it’s going to be a bad one. Although the apps website looks polished and complete and there’s no mention of keys or limited release in either there or in the apple store description but upon loading it up I’m told the Steam app is still in limited beta. This isn’t mentioned anywhere else but signing in without activating my beta key first seems to work so take from that what you will.

The apps aesthetic borrows heavily from Facebook’s. Although skinned in the standard steam grey it has exactly the same menu button in exactly the same place to open an almost identical menu. Having said that Facebook was the right company to copy because it looks pretty slick. Everything is sized well for the screen and the features are grouped into logical categories: community, store and newsfeeds.

So what can you actually use it for? The official website only has three suggestions, and two of those are the same. Connecting with friends using the chat feature can be useful for connecting with guilds or clans or what have you, but it seems like every one of my conversations goes like this:

Me: ‘Hi.’
Friend: ‘Hey, want a game?’
Me: ‘Can’t, I’m on my phone’
Friend: ‘Oh…’

These as the same thing. Also, what a boring conversation.

Just a little awkward. There’s still one use left though!

Access to the store is kind of useful if you’re trying to catch a sale. If the summer sale isn’t on though (which it isn’t 99% of the time) it isn’t really all that much help. The syndicated news is a hidden gem with a spread of (Valve related) articles from a good range of gaming news sources. It isn’t quite enough to make up for its overall lack of features.

The app has a lot of potential. It could be a gaming news hub, or they could expand it to include game functionality like that of the World of Warcraft Armoury app. It could even be used by Valve as a gateway to the lucrative phone gaming market. For now it just feels like it has been forgotten. Something they started but got bored of, leaving it for more important projects, damning it to a mediocre limbo.

Price: Free
Availability: Seems to be open to everyone
Rating: 6.0 The Price is right