Summer 2014 Steam Sale Haul
Well it’s that time of year again folks. That magical seasonal phenomenon is over when the natural orbit of the Earth causes temperatures to rise and steam prices to fall, a thousand wallets crying out as they are gutted taking their natural place in the circle of capitalism. Steam sales are one of the few times I actually buy games anymore and are responsible for the shift from the gaming draughts of my youth to the modern gaming gluttony that takes place today. Games amass like cold war nuclear stockpiles in people’s steam libraries, well beyond the limits of any practical need. I already own more games than I could ever play in this life time and yet the compulsion for more hasn’t subsided in the least. This is what I managed to pull this summer:
• Risk of Rain $2.49
I remember seeing this on the Steam splash page back when it first came out and barely glanced over it a few times when it was on sale in the past. It wasn’t until I saw it featured on James Recommends that it peaked my interest.
It’s a pixel-art action-platformer roguelike that looks like it will be a good bit of fun for an afternoon. I always love having some roguelikes to jump back to when I’m in the mood for something quick and simple.
• Arkham Origins $7.49
I fell absolutely in love with Arkham Asylum when it came out my junior year of college. I played through the demo so many times that I just about milked everything I could out of the game by the time I actually got my hands on a full copy. When the series shifted from a metroidvania style to a more open world game with Arkham City, I was intrigued. I always find series that shift genres between entries to be really fascinating like the Riddick movies, the Alien movies, and the Alien Vs Predator video games. Unfortunately, the latest entry in the series, Arkham Origins, came off as a little uninspired when I was following the pre-release hype so I wound up passing up on it when it first came out. Still I am a fan of the series and I can’t wait to check out Origins now that the price has been substantially reduced.
• BattleBlock Theater $3.74
I first saw BattleBlock Theater when I was at Penny Arcade Expo. They had a massive booth set up for it and while I didn’t get to try it out, it none the less caught my eye. It’s the latest game released by The Behemoth, creators of Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers. Behemoth games always wind up being worth playing for, if for no other reason, the art style. They also proved their co-op chops with Castle Crashers, so I’m sure BattleBlock Theater will make for a fun afternoon of co-op with some friends.
• Slender: The Arrival $2.49
I have a confession to make. I have never played Slender Man. I’ve seen a hundred screaming let’s play videos, even Conan O’Brian’s, but I still haven’t tried it myself. With such an influential freeware release, I’m curious to see how this Canadian indie studio does with a full retail title and if the Slender Man style translates well to a more traditional experience.
• Betrayer $3.99
Betrayer is a fascinating concept. It’s a supernatural horror game that takes place along the coast of colonial Virginia. I picked this game up knowing very little about it but pre-revolution colonial America is a setting tackled so rarely by games I just had to check it out. The fact that I live in Virginia and am a little bit of an American history buff might also have influenced my decision to pick it up. I also think the red accented black and white art style looks rather striking.
• Game Dev Tycoon $3.99
I love sims and the idea of running a game studio seems like a natural fit for the genre and the medium. The game has a lot of similarities to another game that came out on mobile and I can’t really speak to the differences between either of them, really I just wanted a game developer sim. The developers are also famous for putting in one of the greatest anti-piracy measures ever.
• The Blackwell Legacy $.50
Adventure games were my favorite genre for a very long time. I grew up on the old Lucas Arts point and clicks like Day of the Tentacle and Sam and Max: Hit the Road and I love Tell Tale Games for bringing them back and modernizing the genre with The Walking Dead and Fables. These days I wind up stockpiling old-school style point and clicks without ever getting around to playing them. Blackwell Legacy is another log on the pile.
• Space Hulk $2.50
I was about 8 years old when I first discovered Warhammer figures and a stache of White Dwarf magazines under my cousin’s bed during a family trip. Ever since then I’ve been enamored by the Warhammer setting and models. I remember during one trip to a hobby shop as a kid I saw some people with a large tile map laid out playing through the classic exchange between Space Marines and Tyrannids and thought it looked amazing. Unfortunately, the game was out of publishing for a lot of my childhood (although it was rereleased a few years ago.) Last summer, a computer version of the classic board game was released and I look forward to finally being able to play the game I dreamed of when I was a kid, even if it is just against a computer.
• Super Amazing Wagon Adventure $1.01
Just look at this trailer. Someone finally made the Oregon Trailer into the absurd, ridiculously weird shooter we’ve all been playing it as ever since the first time we blew our entire expedition’s budget on bullets and guns.
• Noir Syndrome $2.37
Now here is a fascinating experiment. Someone is applying the roguelike formula to the adventure genre. Randomly generated murder mysteries? Sure, I’ll check that out.
• Transistor $14.99
Easily the most expensive thing I bought and it’s absolutely worth it. There’s not many games I would bother paying full price for these days but Transistor is definitely one of them. It’s the follow up game to the incredible Bastion and maintains the same tradition of smooth storytelling and amazing music. I saw this at Penny Arcade Expo also and thought the jumping between turn-based and real-time gameplay looked awesome. Easily the game I’m most excited to play.
• A New Beginning $1.89
A gorgeous adventure game from the makers of The Whispered World and Deponia. Adventure games have got to be the only thing German game studios are known for as far as I can see but they make them with a real reverence for the classic traditionally animated aesthetic.
Total Games: 12 Total Money Spent: $47.55
Not a bad haul, I didn’t wind up spending too much this year. I’m trying to not buy any more games until I wear down my backlog a bit though. So what did you pick up this year? What are you really excited about trying out? And most importantly, how many of those games have you actually played yet?