Summer Sale Steamroll: $25 for 5 Great Games
It’s the last day of the Steam summer sale. Don’t think you can afford to spend any more on games? Well, how about $25 for 5 great games you may have overlooked? See if you can stretch your wallet a bit further for these gems:
Lone Survivor: $6.50 (normally $10)
An homage to the Silent Hill series that puts the “survival” back in “survival horror” by tying the protagonist’s sanity to his daily routine in a zombie-filled world. Do you take time to keep yourself well-rested and fed, or do you pop pills to spend every waking moment searching for a way out? Your dwindling food and ammo stores send you further into the infected landscape, and the constant threat of running out of supplies causes as much dread as the monsters you face. Its low-res pixelated graphics amplify the grimy, claustrophobic feel, while the soundtrack of disturbing ambient noise makes returning to the soothing music of your safe haven even more of a relief. Recommended for anyone who’s a fan of Silent Hill 2 or psychological horror games.
SPAZ (Space Pirates and Zombies): $2.50 (normally $10)
A top-down space combat game where you steal tech, build ships, and blow up just about anyone provided the pay’s good enough. This game made me feel mercenary; switching sides from system to system, playing both sides against each other, and destroying space stations to steal their tech are profitable and encouraged. It’s also tough enough you’ll need to use every dirty trick in the book, plus careful fleet construction and tactics, to survive. The game took me 30+ hours to complete; luckily it tossed in two curveballs, making each third of the game play a bit differently. It dragged at points, but it was still fun and a lot of bang for the buck.
Waveform: $3.50 (normally $7)
Platforming with sine waves. Manipulate the amplitude and frequency of a light wave to collect photons, avoid dark matter, and use objects like mirrors and particle accelerators to your advantage. It took a few stages to get used to the mouse controls, but I was amazed at how quickly and accurately I could change the wavelength afterwards. The early game even lets you skip stages if you’re doing well enough, although the high unlock requirements for the final stages make it tough to finish the game without playing them anyway. This is an obscenely good, unique game for its price.
Dear Esther: $5 (normally $10)
It’s not a game, it’s a walk through haunting memories. Your path through a lonely, beautiful island is interspersed with narrations of a regretful man’s thoughts. The first half feels a bit dull, but once you enter the caves the graphics look amazing and the story begins to pick up steam. It’s only 2 hours long and requires a relaxed, melancholy mood to really appreciate, so save it for a slow evening when you have a few hours to spare.
Really Big Sky: $5 (normally $10)
A procedurally-generated space shooter in the vein of R-Type and Gradius, Really Big Sky has psychedelic graphics, a British narrator who sounds like he had enough drinks to loosen himself up, and persistent upgrades that let you start each game a bit stronger than before. This is my guilty pleasure of the bunch, the game I pop out when I just want to have some fun for 10 minutes and finish with a stupid grin on my face. Recommended for anyone that enjoys side-scrolling shooters with a wry sense of humor.
I hope you enjoyed the sale; I’ll be back next week with more bite-sized impressions of recent indie releases on Steam, plus my take on Foreign Legion: Multi Massacre from last week. (Hint: You didn’t miss anything special.)