So we’re about half way through the Steam summer sales, and I’m sure most of us are all feeling lighter for it – at least financially. This is pretty much the biggest sale event in the year for most self-respecting PC owners, and it’s a great time to pick up a whole host of games as they hit the daily, flash or community spotlights. Even some of the Chums who have yet to build their gaming rig have begun loading their Steam accounts with games they have no hope of playing yet.
Valve have done a great job highlighting a diverse range of games this year, from triple A blockbusters, indie smash hits, alpha-build games that haven’t even been finished to re-releases of classics we all remember fondly from our past. Even games that aren’t out yet are having their pre-order prices slashed. It’s a great sale so far, but with nearly every game in Steam’s mind-boggling catalogue at a reduced price, it’s easy to miss some of the best deals.
Below are my personal selection of surprises to be found outside of the spotlight, but please leave us your own recommendations in the comments if you find anything that shouldn’t be passed up. Happy hunting!
Savant: Ascent £0.79
Savant’s own description of ‘dodge-n-shoot gameplay’ does a pretty good job at letting you know what you’re in for, but if you’re still unsure of this platforming/shmup hybrid just check out the slick trailer. Challenging, fun and surprisingly deep, for under a pound this can’t be missed.
Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death £0.79
Marlow Briggs is a budget mashup of Uncharted and God of War, but you wouldn’t know this game was built for cheap thanks to the excellent work on display. Tongue firmly placed in cheek, Marlow Briggs is a homage to over the top popcorn pictures from the early nineties that never takes itself too seriously.
Enslaved: Oddysey to the West Premium Edition £3.74
Enslaved is hardly an unknown title, but that’s not to say it didn’t fly under most people’s radar. Ninja Theory’s take on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West giddily strays from its source material and carves out some excellent characters in Monkey and Trip, with the stellar acting and mo-cap we’ve come to expect from the house of Serkis. It doesn’t look like it’s being highlighted by Steam either, so don’t expect to see this go any cheaper. It bundles together the game and its excellent DLC; Piggy’s Perfect 10, so grab this right away and enjoy one of 2010’s most underrated gems.
Super House of Dead Ninjas £.1.24
Super House of Dead Ninjas is a lightning faced 2D slash’em’up, and features some of the most addictive gameplay I’ve encountered since my unhealthy obsession with Super Meat Boy. Your ninja’s goal is simple: Descend the seemingly endless tower whilst dicing your way through a mob of ever intensifying bad guys. It’s excellent combat, satisfying unlockables and breakneck speed ensure that just-one-more-run compulsion never lets go. You have been warned.
Bloodrayne: Betrayal £3.49
Betrayal is the merciful reincarnation of a series that used to carry some heft. After a couple of dud sequels and ever-dudder movies (though Chum’s own Alex Beech might disagree with that one) Bloodrayne needed some fresh blood, and that’s exactly what Betrayal provided. A hack’n’slash comparable to Devil May Cry and its intricately crafted brethren, Betrayal dared to stick the action on a 2D plane and came away all the better for it. It’s gorgeous art and wicked combat grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Here’s hoping it will drop in price further before the sales out, but if not don’t hesitate to grab this gem before it returns to full whack.
One Finger Death Punch £1.99
OFDP is worth its full asking price, but for the next five days you don’t even have to pay that. OFDP is an incredibly simple premise that takes a single idea and runs with it into unbelievably complex territory. With enemies running at you from both sides of the screen, you have to hit one of two buttons, to either dispatch a goon on your left or right. Whilst it begins as easily as you’d expect, this barrage of enemies – split up over a massive world map of quests to conquer and, more importantly, perfect – soon tasks you with a near insurmountable task that only those that have slipped into zen-like states of concentration will be able to best.