Okay before I can tell you about Steam Train, I need to tell you about Game Grumps, which is the parent channel to Steam Train. Game Grumps is a Let’s Play channel established in July 2012 by co-hosts Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor) and Jon Jafari (also known as Jontron) who played the characters ‘Grump’ and ‘Not So Grump’ respectively, and while I’m talking about Jon, you can click here to find out my Top 10 Jontron videos.
Arin and Jon ran the Game Grumps channel together, with their editor Barry Kramer (also known as razzadoop) until Jon left in June 2013 to focus on his own channel. Following Jon’s departure from the channel Dan Avidan (also known as Danny Sexbang) replaced him, taking over the role of ‘Not So Grump’.
Danny had initially been planned to be a co-host on Steam Train, another show on the Game Grumps channel, alongside Ross O’ Donovan (also known as RubberRoss, RubberNinja or CondomRoss) however because of Jon’s sudden departure from the show and because Arin had said “Danny would have always been his second choice to co-host Game Grumps if Jon were unavailable” he ended up taking over the role and has been the co-host ever since.
Interesting little side note, his first appearance on Grumps, in the videos ‘Ode to Jon/Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!: Around the World – PART 1 went up on the channel on the same day as his first appearance on Steam Train in the video Hotline Miami: Who’s Calling? – PART 1 (which was actually recorded several months previously) and that day was 25th June 2013. Before we move on to talking directly about Steam Train, you can check out my Game Grumps Top 10’s for Jon era (which you find here and here) and Dan era (which you can find here and here) as well as my Top 10 Game Grumps moments by clicking here.
Okay, now moving on to Steam Train specifically, now the idea was initially conceived by Ross more of less so he had an excuse to play all the games he has on Steam (brief side note, you can feel free to add Off the Record on Steam by following this link) which at that point was over 300 games, and has as of December 2019 expanded to approximately 1176 products. While the show’s title and initial concept are inspired by playing games on Steam, Ross does not limit the show to just playing Steam games, they also play DOS and indie computer games as well. Steam Train was also originally planned to be its own channel/show, however Arin invited Ross to host it on Game Grumps. It was met initially with a lukewarm reception, due to airing the same day as Jon’s departure from Game Grumps as I mentioned above, however eventually fans accepted and appreciated the show. As mentioned previously, the show was initially hosted by Ross and Dan, much like how Game Grumps was hosted by Arin and Jon, then later Dan.
However, the show eventually expanded its cast of hosts, presumably to allow Dan to better manage his time between Game Grumps, Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb, after which several other members of the Grumps cast could be conductors on the Steam Train including Arin Hanson, Barry Kramer, Suzy Berhow, Brian Wecht and occasional guests such as Holly Conrad (also known as Commander Holly), Alexander Louis (also known as Octopimp) and Christopher “Chris” O’Neill (also known as Oney). Steam Train, as mentioned up top started on June 25th 2013 and ran until mid-2017 when the show went into an extended hiatus, and with the exception of Stout Train (which aired on March 17th 2017) and ‘OrbusVR’ (which aired on 5th January 2018) there’s been no new episodes since December 2016, with the reasons being cited, that Ross wants to focus more on his animation career, coupled with Game Grumps, the parent channel, also covering Steam games making Steam Train more or less redundant.
One last thing before we move onto the Top 10 list, if you are a fan of Game Grumps and Steam Train then I would also strongly recommend you check out KittyKatGaming, a channel by Suzy Berhow (also known as Mortem3r) who is Arin Hanson’s wife, and if you like that then you can check out my Top 10 KittyKatGaming extended playthroughs and One-offs by clicking here and here respectively. So now that I’ve successfully overloaded you with way too much information, check out my Top 10 below.
1. Spore (16 Episodes)
As much as Arin, Dan, Ross and the whole Game Grumps cast are all talented, intelligent, creative and awesome people, they are, and this is to their credit, not above simple dick and poop jokes, and they are in top form during their Spore playthrough because they are put in charge of the physical development of their Spore creatures and take the opportunity to make them look like the aforementioned male genitalia. This entire playthrough is great, and the back and forth dynamic between Arin, Dan and Ross really add to the whole thing.
2. Civilization V: Brave New World (4 Episodes)
Another game that’s enjoyable to play or watch playing but is truly brought to life by the dynamics and interactions between Arin, Dan and Ross. I’m also a fan of longer videos, and this is one of the longest videos on the channel (roughly the 8th longest) so it provides plenty of entertainment. Another thing that makes this playthrough hilarious that in a fit of rage, Ross manages to kick the computer, breaking it and thus ending the playthrough for good.
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (13 Episodes)
I am a fan of ‘creative’ gameplay so I thoroughly enjoyed this playthrough where rather than playing Skyrim the ‘traditional’ way he attempted to utilise various speedrunning techniques as well as glitches to cut through the game as quickly as possible. Frankly it’s super impressive to watch and to add to that, Ross had a mod enabled which makes all of the dragons look and talk like “Macho Man” Randy Savage, it makes one of the more imposing adversaries in the game funny. It was also nice to see a playthrough from the point of view of Khajiit as I invariably end up playing a Nord or an Imperial when I play myself. He also introduced me to the Infinite Sprint Glitch which I’m sure will help me next time I play Skyrim.
4. The Sims 4 (4 Episodes)
Everything I’ve seen from The Sims 4 was kind of mixed, so I wasn’t excited to play it, let alone see someone play it but I was thoroughly surprised by this playthrough, plus it made a lot of fans happy by in some way confirming all of the Game Grumps fan fiction.
5. Hustle Cat (4 Episodes)
This is one of my favourite PC games, and much like Arin I liked sharing it with my partner, me and Tori B Bearly completed at least three separate playthroughs, although I enjoyed watching Arin and Suzy play this almost as much as I did playing it myself. Also interesting side note Ross also played this one on Commander Holly’s channel, and you can check that out here.
6. Undertale (50 Episodes)
I couldn’t not put this on the list, I really deliberated on its position on the list, in nearly broke the top five, but since this is my personal list, I had to be honest and admit I liked a few other games/playthroughs better. Okay, what I really liked about this game is that they really explored the various runs, from the neutral and True pacifist run, to the genocide run a few months later. Watching this really made me want to play the game again myself. Ross played this with Barry on Steam Train, and later played in on Commander Holly’s channel and you can check that out here. But anyway, this game has everything from cute dogs, to homicidal robots, to awesome skeleton brothers, and and did I mention the dogs? Also cool side note there is an animator and illustrator called Tuyo (or Tuyoki) Chang (also known as Temmie) who made a cameo in Undertale as a character(s) also called Temmie but she also made a Game Grumps animated, and you can check that out here.
7. DreadOut (9 Episodes)
So what attracted me most to this playthrough was that despite being a little glitchy and potentially confusing, the game itself looked really interesting. I do feel sorry for Dan and Ross though as both have noted multiple times that they do not like horror games. Even though the first episode of this playthrough has them just walking down an endless, deserted road, it still managed to kick of an entertaining series.
8. Lego Island (5 Episodes)
Lego Island was one of my favourite games as a kid, and I’d very nearly forgotten all about it until I saw this playthrough and I was inspired to replay it and relive some fun moments from my childhood. Other that the engaging and entertaining content, which works, but in different ways, depending on the hosts, I like Game Grumps and Steam Train because it either introduces me to or reminds me of awesome games. I also like the episodes where one of the hosts remembers the game and shares it with the other, it makes it feel like friends just playing games together, which for me has always been part of the appeal of then show.
9. Grand Theft Auto V (6 Episodes)
Despite some technical issues which fans complained about when the episodes were aired I enjoyed this playthrough, partly because they don’t tend to play these types of games but also because it was genuinely a fun series. I also enjoyed the bit about Will Smith in one of the later episodes.
10. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (9 Episodes)
As I mentioned above one of the most enjoyable aspects of a playthrough is when one of the hosts, in this case Dan, is really passionate, knowledgeable and/or nostalgic about a game and he helps to make it fun or engaging for the other host, who is in this case Dan. It helps that this game is funny, goofy and random on its own, but Dan and Ross also bring a lot to it.
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