The RPS Bargain Bucket: Indie Inundation

By RPS on March 21st, 2009 at 5:09 pm.


It’s that time again: the time when SavyGamer’s magnificent LewieP guides you in the direction of the best bargains. Ladies & Gentleman, please head calmly clickwards for all the necessary links to an amazingly cheap array of indie games. And watch out, it gets Steamy down there.


Multiwinia/Darwinia – £6.02/€10.04/$10.04
Introversion are one of my favorite UK developers. They do everything that gamers wish developers did more of, and seemingly did it years before anyone else had realised it was a good idea. Several of their games are going cheap on Steam right now, but my personal best pick is the Multiwinia/Darwinia package for only £6.02, which is a third off the regular Steam price. Darwinia is a brilliant, original single player RTS, and Multiwinia is a brilliant, original multiplayer RTS. Here’s my review of Multiwinia, and try the demos here. Also reduced are: Uplink/Darwinia – £4.01/€6.69/$10.04 DEFCON – £4.01/€6.69/$6.69

Defense Grid: The Awakening – £9.37/€12.72/$13.39
Excellent tower defence game. It has a story, told through a one sided dialogue with an ancient computer, that gets a few laughs from time to time. There is a nice range of weapons available, and they all feel unique enough. The last level ramps up difficulty a lot, I’m still working on it months after first getting it. But I’ve done alright on the leaderboards for a few other levels. Shed loads of replayability. Jim’s opinion of it here, and try the demo here.

Space Giraffe – £13/€14.08/$17.99
Jeff Minter’s game about shooting and bullets and Giraffes is pretty divisive. I’ve not quite been brave enough to take the plunge with this one, but I keep redownloading the 360 demo, so maybe that’s a sign of something. You might end up loving it, you might end up hating it, but regardless, it kind of demands to be played. Try the demo here.

MDK 1+2 – £3.09/€3.31/$4.49 each (Apply code “ACTION” for 25% off)
Insane sci-fi action games, back from when acronyms didn’t need to mean anything. Very cool, and very funny. It’s about 40% platformer, 60% third person shooter. The first one was developed by Shiny Entertainment, and the second by Bioware, which is odd enough in itself. You get to jump and glide quite a lot, from memory.

Empire:
Total War
– £17.99/€31.81
(Sorry USA folk, they won’t ship outside of Europe) I don’t think Sega gets Steam. The company that pioneered free online multiplayer on a console years before Xbox live charged for the same is not the same company that charges £39.99 for a game on Steam that is available for around half that on the high street. Shopto have dropped the price to 24 euros (around £17.99) now too. Empire: Total War is one of those games that you can put the serial into Steam to add it to your account too. Tim’s opinion of it here, and try the demo here.

Bargain of the Week Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – £1.50/€2.50/$2.50Oddworld: Abe’sExoddus – £1.50/€2.50/$2.50or £2.25/€3.75/$3.75 for both. Cheaper than either a pint, or some rubbish DLC, and for your money you get two brilliant 2D puzzle platformers. The Oddworld games have pretty sick sense of humour, and have wonderfully cerebral puzzles. Lots of trail and error, lots of frustration, and lots of eureka moments. I love them, and with a little fiddling, you can get a gamepad to work great with it. It’s a shame the excellent Strangers Wrath never got a PC port.

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50 Comments »

  1. bansama says:

    The indie sale on Steam took a lot of money this weekend. Picked up a few of the newer games such as Mevo and the Grooveriders and Larva Mortus. I’d also recommend Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble which is only $8.99 or something silly.

  2. Tworak says:

    I paid like $20 for Defense Grid: The Awakening. Good game.

  3. Chaz says:

    Personally I didn’t like Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath much, I got a bit bored with it after a couple of hours.

  4. CheapArseGamer says:

    Pro tip!

    You can get Defense Grid for half off at Direct2Drive ($9.99) then activate the key with Steam.

  5. Ging says:

    I’m pretty tempted by both the abe set and the uplink / darwinia set (I already own uplink, but I’ve misplaced the cd case that had the fancy shmancy paper based drm on it – at £2 I don’t mind replacing that copy with one that has steam drm instead).

  6. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Must resist…

    I’ve just spent lots of money on an external backup HDD, and a number of books. I do not need to spend money on Indie games. But ‘The Path’ is only £6.52 and you can pre-order Zeno Clash for £11.24.

    But I shall resist, as I already have a fair backlog of games built up. I might relent if they actually make Braid available, at the moment it is listed in the sale but can’t actually be purchased yet, at least in the UK.

  7. hydra9 says:

    Big ol’ recommend of Caster from me. Only £3.59. It’s a short but brilliant superpowered 3rd person action game that RPS wrote about here. It’s episodic, but the author is working hard on episode 2 right now, and once you’ve bought the game, you get all upcoming episodes for free.

  8. LewieP says:

    It was really hard to narrow it down this week, there are, as you guys have already pointed out in the comics, a tonne of great games on Steam at very reasonable prices, especially with this discount too.

  9. LewieP says:

    *comments, brainfart.

  10. jalf says:

    The ETW offer is €24 as far as I can see, not €31.

  11. karthik says:

    I always thought MDK stood for Max, Dr, Kurt.

    How did I get to that?
    Also, Kurt Hector never wanted to be a hero.

  12. Bob Arctor says:

    I loved MDK 1 back in the day. First sniper rifle ever!

    I am tempted by DEFCON out of interest, but I get the impression it’s something that was interesting novelty but not something you’ll play that much. I’ve still not played Uplink beyond the demo, tut.

    Annoyed Empire is cheap. I spent £30 on it and it doesn’t pissing work, CTD every time.

  13. Mike says:

    Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble! is just £6 now. Gogogo.

  14. Will Tomas says:

    Are MDK or MDK 2 worth playing now? I never owned them back in the day, but remember the box art for some reason. Are they too graphically out-dated to see why they were brilliant, or would they be worth it?

  15. suibhne says:

    Haven’t played MDK/MDK2 since the early years, but they were tons of unmitigated fun at the time.

  16. Schadenfreude says:

    “I loved MDK 1 back in the day. First sniper rifle ever!”

    Outlaws actually beat it by about two months with its scoped rifle (according to Wikipedia’s recorded release dates), but MDK’s was the more fun to use.

  17. MrTambourineMan says:

    To hell with steam’s logic 1$==1€, I won’t buy games that way if they’re the last damn provider of games in the damn universe. (BTW: I do use steam, just not for purchasing games ;) )

  18. Will Tomas says:

    Speaking of acronyms not needing to mean anything, those days weren’t over until just recently – the recently-defunct British kids’ comic The DFC had the same approach…

  19. JonFitt says:

    How annoying to have Braid on the list, but not have it available. C’mon Blow, how long does it take to port a game back to PC?!

  20. Pags says:

    Are MDK or MDK 2 worth playing now?

    Yep, they’re highly refined slices of action and still a whole lot of fun to play. MDK 2 was really inventive too, and probably holds up to the ravages of time a lot better.

  21. Derek K. says:

    Hello.

    Follow me.

    Wait.

    Follow me.

    Wait.

    Follow me.

    Wait.

    Hello.

    I love Abe. I’d buy it simply for the “Gamespeak” piece.

  22. Okami says:

    I want on a little Steam spending spree today and bought The Path, Mevo and the Grooveriders and Caster. I also preordered Zeno Clash.

    This might have something to do with the fact that I’m hungover and feeling totally miserable and spending money on indie games is somehow making me feel happy.

  23. Okami says:

    OK, add the Oddworld Pack to that list.

  24. Po0py says:

    Peggle is still £2.55 over at popcap.com if anyone is interested. Whilst I can’t say it is addictive as I’ve heard others say it’s still a nice little time waster.

    Also, I know it’s not on sale but I’ve always thought that Deus Ex:GOTY edition on Steam for £6 is worth a shot.

  25. Heliocentric says:

    I’m pondering my purchases before i spend money i’ll on titles i’d be wiser waiting to play due to being a busy bee. So the lovely empire total war is bad because it would conscript me into spreading my asian empire to the american coasts. Uplink however lovely suffers from the campaign too epic-itus. That game i want to digest in one paranoid flowing week. Now the path and defense grid fit into my world. One is short and wierd enough to stay in my memory over spread play sessions. The other so feral and basic i can play it in half hour week seperated chunks. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

  26. Cedge says:

    Buying Oddworld is of utmost importance, especially at this price. The developers have directly stated that if sales via Steam are healthy enough to warrant it, that they will investigate the possibility of going back and porting both Munch’s Odyssey and Stranger’s Wrath to Windows. Buy buy buy!

    @karthik:
    There is actually quite a bit of mythos surrounding MDK’s title. Different rumors and claims conflict with each other, though, so it’s all quite unclear.

    The first possibility is mentioned in the manual for MDK1, where is refer’s to Kurt’s mission in that game as “Mission: Deliver Kindness.” Also of note is the readme file included with the demo of MDK1, which states that it simply stands for whatever they need it to stand for on any given day. The readme file was written on Mother’s Day, and thus, for that day, it stood for “Mother’s Day Kisses.”

    In interviews, different Shiny staff members would claim that it stood for different things, including My Dog Ken, Million Dollar KO; Maim Death Kill; Massive Dollops of Ketchup, My Diary something beginning with K, the aforementioned Mother’s Day Kisses, and, of course, Max, Dr. Hawkins, Kurt.

    The “Making of MDK” booklet claims that “MDK” was originally simply the game’s codename, and was completely meaningless, and that it just stuck.

    The installation program for the PC version had backgrounds containing many different possibly meanings for it, including some of the ones already mentioned, as well as Murder, Death, Kill. The installer for MDK2 is similar, however, it has Murder, Death, Kill specifically highlighted, apart from all the others, which would seem to hint that this is the true meaning. An ad campaign for the game also presented a bunch of different possible meanings for the acronym, including “Madonna Dates Kylie?”

    In an interview with PC Format, Dave Perry (at least, I’m pretty sure it was Dave Perry) claimed that they initially actually wanted to call it Murder, Death, Kill, but changed it to MDK after the British rating authorities told them that the spelled-out title was too violent, and would qualify the game for a higher age rating. Similarly, in a fairly recent interview with RetroGamer, Dave Perry again says that the original, intended title was Murder Death Kill, but this time he says that the reason they changed it to the acronym was because the toy company that was contracted to make figures based on the game didn’t want to print these “violent” words on them, resulting in the change to the ambiguous “MDK.”

    Supposedly, an early concept video for the game displays it’s logo as Murder Death Kill, with the M, D, and K all enlarged.

  27. Cedge says:

    So, like I said, there are quite a few different versions of the story. Dave Perry’s explanations are pretty believable and realistic, but aren’t the most fun out of the lot.

    Still, with all the contradictions, I like to think that there is no one true answer.

  28. Cedge says:

    Oh, and apologies for the triple post, but here is the concept video I mentioned:

  29. Hypocee says:

    Broken Defense Grid review link.

  30. chesh says:

    I spent $50some on Steam because of this, and now that I see just how cheap the Oddworld games are I guess I’ll be spending another $5. The Maw, Everyday Shooter (holy crap how did I not play this until now?), Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble, The Graveyard, The Path, and preordered Zeno Clash. Hells yeah.

  31. Caiman says:

    MDK2 remains one of my top games ever. Awesome technology for the time, and it was just a great game on all levels. The original was good too, but those on rails “sliding” sections were very frustrating and ultimately prevented me from finishing it.

  32. Mathieu says:

    Penguins Arena is 20% off this weekend too:
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/11280/

  33. LewieP says:

    @Hypocee
    Well, I guess I pasted the wrong link.

    Here it is.

  34. Frank says:

    No one else bought Mr Robot? 1/3 off

  35. hydra9 says:

    @Frank:
    I tried the demo a while ago. It looks nice, but I didn’t really enjoy it.

  36. jamscones says:

    Thirteen quid for Space Giraffe?

    NO

  37. Cycle says:

    “The original was good too, but those on rails “sliding” sections were very frustrating and ultimately prevented me from finishing it.”

    Really? Those parts were easy as pie. I don’t even remember a way of dying in those sections!

    The first game was one of the first third person shooters, but is still surprisingly playable today. I prefer it over the second for various reasons, mainly due to the damn tedious Dr bits of the second game, plus the first was just a more cohesive experience. Better soundtrack, too.

  38. undead dolphin hacker says:

    If we buy Caster on Steam, do we get all the later episodes for free? Or does that require purchasing from his website?

  39. CheapArseGamer says:

    @Frank
    I bought Mr. Robot when it was $3.99 on Impulse a couple of weeks ago. Fun game.

    http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php?topic=32193.0

  40. LewieP says:

    @Cycle

    Speaking of the soundtrack. Free download here.

    They include it on gog too, but incase you already have MDK and would want the soundtrack.

  41. Nahkatakkimies says:

    Goddamn Steam.

    Defcon 6,69€ and Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble! 6,69€. And I already bought Zeno Clash and Oddworld pack just now.

  42. Matzerath says:

    It must be interesting for the Oddworld people to still be receiving residual checks after all these years. Not a lot of Playstation 1 developers can experience such delayed joy, I’m sure.
    (Steam would make a mint if they financed the port for ‘Shadow of the Colossus’.)
    (I want a cut now, too.)

  43. Arnulf says:

    …just bought Defense Grid and am waiting for the download to finish…

  44. Tei says:

    MDK was special, is special. More games sould have this stylish geniality.

  45. ChampionHyena says:

    @Cedge

    Seriously? Windows ports for Munch and Stranger? Where on Earth did you hear that?

    I want–no, I NEED this to be true. If you are lying to me, then I swear by the power of Whitey Jesus that I will exact retribution too horrid to imagine.

  46. malkav11 says:

    Munch’s Oddysee is kind of disappointing, to be honest. Stranger’s Wrath is brilliant, though.

  47. Brad Root says:

    MDK is one of the best games ever. Hysterical and tons of fun, definitely Shiny at their very best. Someone needs to give us Messiah back.

  48. woppyce says:

    @CheapArseGamer: Thanks for the tip!

  49. MarvintheParanoidAndroid says:

    I already have the CDs for the Oddworld games somewhere, but at that price, I’m going to buy the pack on Steam just for convenience and the guarantee that they’ll finally work properly on Vista. Also picking up Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, I think.

    MDK 2 is brilliant, if you haven’t played it, do so!