With so many thousands of games available on Steam, discovering what you want can be a serious pain in the arse and Valve are clearly aware of that with a new Steam Labs experiment.
Steam Labs Experiment 010: Browsing Steam is now available on an opt-in basis, which introduces a much broader set of ways to explore all the various games on Steam. Using some of the new tagging systems they built for other already rolled out features, it's added a ton of new areas to Steam.
It updates the main navigation bar on Steam to give you a quick menu for New & Noteworthy releases along with a huge Categories menu. Originally (and for anyone not testing it right now), the Categories menu was very simplistic and only offered a few basic tags to get you going. Now though, Valve has expanded it:
On the surface it doesn't seem like much but it's a huge change. Keep in mind that each of these categories now has a dedicated home, so lots of previously somewhat hidden niches and genres are suddenly getting surfaced with dedicated pages you can keep going back to. That's massive, and something that might even help developers. Think about it, how often are developers likely to stay in the newly released or top lists on the normal areas? Not long and not often either but they might have a better chance in their specialized areas. It's an important change for game discovery on Steam.
Does it work though? Well, browsing around these new sections sure does making it easier to surface a few gems that might otherwise get lost in the noise. That's part of the point isn't it. The big AAA/AA games don't need the help, it's all the others that do and this is ideal for those. Going to the "Mystery & Detective Games" for example in the Themes section, gives you something like this:
I consider that a pretty perfect match and a wonderful indie game that deserves more attention.
Head over to the Steam Labs to try it.