Three Months With the Steam Deck

I’ve had my Steam Deck for about three months now. In the roughly nine months between hitting that pre-order button, and finally having it in my hot little hands, I had a lot of time to think about whether it was something I really needed, would I get enough use out of it to justify the cost, and could it actually be anywhere near as cool as I hoped it was going to be.

Well, on the first question, no, I didn’t need it (but – honestly – there was no reason to ever think I needed it – it’s a toy after all). For the first few weeks it was here, it was looking like the second and third question were also going to be no’s and I was going to have a $600-ish hunk of regret. I suppose the jury is still out on the third question, but over the past couple of months, that second no has turned into a resounding yes.

The first month, I didn’t so much play on the Steam Deck, as I played around with it. I installed games, booted them up, played for a few minutes, then went on to try something different. No matter what I tried, nothing really felt like the correct thing for the platform. I mean, if I just sat at my desk, I’d have a bigger monitor, and my trusty mouse & keyboard, and why did I think I wanted this thing in the first place?

I was still pretty obsessed with Bugsnax at the time, so I kind of forced myself to push through a hefty chunk of a third playthrough solely on the Deck. I didn’t come anywhere close to beating the game this time, but it was enough for me to start to get used to the idea. It wasn’t, however, until I started messing around with Atomicrops that I really started to be as excited about the Steam Deck as I was the day I placed my reservation.

It was the right game at the right time. I found myself reaching for the Steam Deck every time I had a gap in my day where I though I could knock out a season or two. Because of this, it ended up being my most played game in both May and June (and in June, nothing else came anywhere close). It let me shake off the bit of buyer’s remorse I’d been feeling.

Now, when I convinced myself that I wanted this, I thought I knew what types of games I wanted it for. What I didn’t consider is how much adjustment I would need to non-mouse-and-keyboard controls. I finally branched out more last month, trying out different types of games. Some felt pretty good with the controller, some I played just long enough to know I wanted my PC for them.

However, it was nowhere on my bingo card that my latest Steam Deck obsession game would be a Pop Cap title from 2006. Surprisingly, Zuma Deluxe plays like a dream, and 20 or so hours I’ve spent shooting tiny orbs out of a frog’s mouth over the last month or so have gotten me very used to the trackpads.

Of course, no love story is perfect. Although not something I am willing to send it back over, I unfortunately got a Deck with a wonky power button. Instead of just being able to gently press on it to boot it up or wake it from sleep, I need to really press it pretty hard. I have a tiny screwdriver that does the trick every time, and I’ve just started keeping it in the case. Sure, it’s a weird accessory, but it’s working for me.

It’s unlikely that the Steam Deck will ever overtake my PC as my primary gaming device, but I definitely feel like I’m using it enough to justify having it. Sure, I’m not playing the games I thought I’d be playing on it, but when I find a game that works for me on the smaller screen, I’m loving every minute I’m spending with it.

One thought on “Three Months With the Steam Deck

  1. I can’t wait to get mine! After finally being able to purchase it last week, it was supposed to come this Friday but I’m working so I scheduled it to come on a day off next Tuesday, I’m so excited.


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