Steam’s Sale

I recently made the comment about the value of fifteen bucks worth of game. MMOs are one of the cheapest ways of gaming right now, and the most high-quality well-implemented MMOs in the world is World of Warcraft. There was City of Heroes, but alas, that beast has ridden off into the sunset. Fifteen dollars a month seems to me to be a reasonable low-end investment in videogame purchases. Now, one thing gamers love to do when confronted with any limitation, is find a way to wiggle around it. Give people a sum of money in an in-game market and they’re going to bust their butts to try and make the most of that cash.

Steam is right now having a sale – and I’m looking at it, trying to concoct ways to maximise a fifteen dollar purchase. Here are some packs I came up with:

  • Gun and Run Pack pack: Alien Breed Pack, Alpha Prime, Serious Sam 3. Total cost: 13.83. In case you forgot, Serious Sam: BFE was a Christmas 2011 release – effectively a game that’s barely a year old. It’s this generation graphics, it has a fun run-and-gun playstyle that is puzzle-free violence. You know, basically, if you ever played Duke Nukem 3D, Serious Sam 3 is what DN3D wanted to grow up into being, minus the tits. Along with it come the remakes of the Alien Breed games. Now, I won’t plant my flag hard on these games, but based on what I know of the company that made them, and that they cost two dollars, you have to remember that this means these games are offering you more enjoyment over an afternoon or so than you’d get out of a decent but not amazing cup of coffee, or a single McDouble.
  • Future Prospects pack: FTL, Frozen Synapse, Uplink. Total cost: 13.72. This parcel couples FTL, an enormous roguelike space simulator that turns whole months at a time into a sequence of failed delvings into the pits of the galaxy’s worst elements, with the simultaneous-turn-based strategy game Frozen Synapse, another one of those wonderful indie titles that made a weakness into an advantage (art assets are hard). Rounding it out however is the breathtaking paranoia simulator, Uplink, a game that plays with the user just as the user plays with it.
  • Brown Trouser Triple pack: Amnesia, Eversion, Penumbra Collector Pack. Total cost: 10.97. For less than the price of a large Big Mac meal, you’re going to have the critically acclaimed Amnesia, and in the process, you can scoop up the creator’s previous games, Penumbra, atmosphere soaked first-person not-quite-shooters, and then, along with it, you’ve enough small change to grab Eversion, for less than the cost of a chocolate sundae. I’ve already spoken about how great Eversion is.
  • Just Fucking Great Games Get Them Already You Ass pack: Bastion + Soundtrack, World of Goo. Total cost: 8.73. Theme? What fucking theme? Honestly, I kept using the Bastion soundtrack as an add-in on the other bundles, because it really is properly masterful. What makes me a little sad is that there is no other comparably important indie title that fits the similar world-shaping theme that can be put in this pack, but hey, get on that indie developers.

Now, you could ask why bother expressing this like this, and the answer is because I find playing around with tables in Excel really fun, and this was the first legitimate excuse I have had to do it in a few days. Don’t worry, uni starts up in a few weeks, and I’ll be able to get onto it then. Plus, this beats talking about any of real problems in my life. Take this advice, examine these games, and consider their virtues as a cheap, fun way to keep partaking in the culture.