Surprise! Valve woke up this morning and decided to announce a brand new game that isn’t Half-Life 3. Instead, it’s called Aperture Desk Job, a free playable short made especially for Steam Deck.
Aperture Desk Job is, per Valve, a reimagining of the “walking simulator” genre in favor of “the lightning-spanked, endorphin-gorged world of sitting still behind things.” you play as an entry-level employee of Aperture Science (the deeply fraught organization at the center of Half-Life and Portal) whose job it is to inspect products. It’s not clear what all that exactly entails in the game itself, but the trailer implies some explosions.
The game is specifically made to show off the Steam Deck, which officially launched today, though it’s available on Steam for PC as well. It’s in part a walkthrough of the device’s controls and features “while not being nearly as boring as that sounds” per Valve. It follows in the footsteps of Half-Life: Alyx in its availability as a free launch game for a new piece of Valve hardware, though it gives off vibes more akin to Aperture Hand Labs in its status as an apparent tech demo with personality.
Steam Deck Images
Aperture Desk Job will be available beginning March 1 for free on Steam. The Steam Deck itself, meanwhile, launched today. We have our review-in-progress of the handheld now live, as well as a look at Elden Ring (also out today) running on the device.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.