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 Steam Train One-offs below.
1. Amazing World
This is one of the longest episodes on the channel, other than streams, and also happens to be the first Steam Train episode I ever watched, up to that point despite watching Game Grumps pretty consistently I hadn’t seen any Steam Train, their videos didn’t even feature in the related videos feed on YouTube, and frankly I think this is a good video to start on, easily good enough to earn the top spot on this list. One of the highlights of this episode is Ross putting his father’s real email in when prompted, only to have to ring him in Australia to have him authorise the account so Ross and Arin could play. Ross also spends $99 of real money on this game, which Arin was less than pleased about, perhaps my favourite part though was Arin and Ross just lying to another player about being from space, and presumably since this game is targeted at children, these two adults had a good laugh, lying to a child.
2. Presentable Liberty
This episode really introduced me to Suzy, beforehand I’d only seen her in a handful of things and while some fans have/had been rather negative towards her, I didn’t have much of an impression other than that she seemed nice, but watching this not only did I love the chemistry between her and Arin but also it led to me discovering more about her and becoming a fan of her gaming channel KittyKatGaming. Despite them not really seeing the point of the game, watching their playthrough together was enjoyable, especially all their interactions with Otis, a small bug they adopt and dote on throughout the episode.
3. Papers, Please
This is one of my favourite PC games of all time, easily right up there with This War of Mine and The Stanley Parable, so I was excited to watch them have fun with this on Steam Train, because it’s a deceptively complex game, on the face of it, you think it’s simple, just welcome or rejecting people from entry to you country, but it gets more difficult on your end, and you are presented by all sorts of challenges. Something I liked about this playthrough though is that it’s Barry and Brian (Ninja Brian) which is a Game Grumps pairing we don’t get to see a whole lot, and which works surprisingly well. Much like they did on Steam Train, I’m also going to urge you to try this game if you haven’t already.
4. Sonic Fan Game (AKA Green Hill Paradise – Act 2)
This made the list, not only because it’s a really fun episode, and Arin and Ross work well together but also because Arin is well known for his reactions to and opinions of Sonic games so it was interesting to see what he thought. This as the title suggests is a fan made game by Daniel Coyle (also known as SuperSonic68) alongside other collaborators using the 3D Sonic Games Development Kit. In fact Sega even responded positively to the fan build, and you can check out that interaction here. Also one last thing about the game, you can actually download it for yourself by following this link here.
5. The Stanley Parable
God this is such a super fun game, and the perfect type of game for players like Dan and Ross to play, because it presents so many potential opportunities and variables for them to encounter. As much as it was cool, and I’m sure they were honoured to be involved in some fashion, this wasn’t a full version of the game, it was a modified demo made specifically for them to play on Steam Train, but saying that it still had a lot to do, and a lot to enjoy, and displayed the same level of randomness, acerbic wit and openness that the full game possesses. Apparently Ross and Dan went into this one blind, and Barry actually set everything up for them. Also in a very meta fashion they even managed to slip in a “God dammit Ross” into the actual game.
6. Who’s Your Daddy
This game looks interesting, and basically involves two players, one playing the ‘Daddy’ the other playing a baby, and the baby is trying to kill itself, while the Daddy is trying to stop them. A lot of the humour in this game comes from them doing baby voices, although we also get to hear Brian talk about being a parent, all around it’s a fun and surprisingly memorable episode.
7. Little Inferno
This is another of my personal favourite games, I first played this back in 2012 the day before my interview for college, and I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up playing this all night, such good memories, and such a fun little experience this game is. This was good, partly just because I was eager to have them play a game that I personally really enjoy, but also because it’s genuinely a strong episode.
8. Default Dan
Having Dan play this game, is a prime example of the ‘sadistic’ side of Ross that is often mentioned on Game Grumps, because the game relies on a reverse mechanic, where things which are good in conventional platformers such as coins are bad, and vice versa. This one is also modded to have Dan’s head over the character sprite.
9. Shrek Forever After
As much as this game looks quite poor and it was apparently not well received because it was taken down for the Steam store before this episode actually went up on the channel, but despite that I enjoyed their playthrough. Also for Game Grumps historians, this is the first time the ‘Wolf Job’ meme is mentioned, Dan mentions it at 12:50, and started a long running inside joke/reference.
10. Plague Inc.
I’ve only played this on my phone, but it’s a decent enough game, certainly good enough that after watching them play it on Steam Train I was encouraged to redownload it and play it again. I think the best part of this was just watching them decide what you do. It also reminded me of the time they played Civilization V: Brave New World.
I would also like to direct fans to a lovely fan made piece of content, it’s a spooky intro to Steam Train and you can check it out here.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/