The RPS Bargain Bucket: Serious Indie

By Lewie Procter on February 27th, 2010 at 10:00 am.


This week’s bucket is early, because I am away in Birmingham seeing a bunch of friends I have not seen in FAR TOO LONG (XxX) this weekend, so you have even more time to consider these impulse purchases. As always, more of this kind of thing can be found at SavyGamer.co.uk.

Serious Sam HD – £5.99/€7.49/$7.49
The “H” stands for “HELL OF A LOT OF”, and the “D” stands for “DEATH INDUCED BY BULLETS”. This is the remake of the first encounter, and it now has a lot more pixels than it used to have. The four pack is also available at an even better discount, so if you have three friends you can share the saving. Or if you have no friends, you have a great way to meet some new ones. I’d recommend running down the street screaming “I WILL GIVE YOU SERIOUS SAM HD FOR SERIOUSLY CHEAP IF YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND” until either you have a band of four people, or have been arrested. I can’t seem to find a PC demo, but there is one on the Xbox three hundred and sixty. RPS coverage here.

Some Majesco games – £10.52/€11.76/$15.96
At GOG, you can get all of their Majesco games (Psychonauts, BloodRayne, BloodRayne 2 and Advent Rising) with 50% off, or if you don’t want all four, you can get them individually with 30% off. I bloody love Psychonauts, although I did just get that on Steam for even less than this a while back, after playing it on a console. It’s a brilliant game, although a flawed platformer. It does that nasty trick of making you laugh most of the time, so you aren’t quite prepared for the little pockets of tragedy dotted around the game, like shards of glass hidden in a delicious ice cream. How are the rest of the selection?

Batman: Arkham Asylum – 75% off
Games for Windows Live is bullshit. It is impossible to find out what price they are selling their games for in the UK without first installing the client. The client which I have zero intention to install. Great job there Microsoft. If you want to tempt people to your rather shitty service, and intend to use promotional prices on games to do so, perhaps telling people those prices before they install your client might be a good idea. Anyway, this is a good game where you play as Batman, and get to punch dudes and stuff. From what I can tell (which is not a lot) this is only available in the UK and USA, but maybe elsewhere too. I think Valve can sleep easy for the time being. You can get the client here, or you can wait a little while and get it for a similar price from a competent outlet. Wot Alec thinks can be found right here, and demo here.

Supreme Commander Gold – £4.95/€19.95/$14.95
That mythical beast, an offer that is better for people in the UK than anywhere else, sorry everyone else. This is the original game, and the Forged Alliance expansion.
Mr Meer said lovely things about the original game and the expansion over on Eurogamer: “Built on a solid foundation of what made l’il army games so compelling in the very first place – that is, WAR! – then pumped up with ungodly sci-fi steroids, it feels like a definitive statement. In some booming, oh-so-macho voice it inarguably intones ‘This. Is. How. It’s. Done.’”

Dawn of War 2 – For £5. Clearly gearing up for the imminent expandalone, which will also add new multiplayer units to this original game.

Deal of the week
Best of Indie Bundle, Volume 3 – £19.70/€22.05/$29.95
It’a cheapest (by a matter of a few pennies) to get it from D2D USA, so that is what I have linked to. This bundle includes:
World of Goo
Puzzlegeddon
Gish
The Maw
Braid
Cogs
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
Osmos
Machinarium
Crayon Physics Deluxe

As wallet friendly these kind of bundles are, and as wonderful as some of these games are, I am a little bit concerned. I can’t help but think that this kind of mega discount might be contributing to the situation where some gamers have disdain for any indie developer that has the audacity to charge more than $9.99 for their game. Still, if you have somehow managed to avoid most of these games so far, this is a fantastic selection of games.

Also of note:
Hammerfight – £2.49/€3.49/$4.99
SpellForce series – 75% off
Project Aftermath – £2.29/€3.69/$4.99

For more delightful cheap games, head over to SavyGamer.

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99 Comments »

  1. Gareth says:

    Already got a few of the games in the indie bundle, but might pick it up regardless to finish the collection off =) Really loved Crayon Physics and World of Goo, and seen good things about most of the other titles there too, very nice set.

  2. Lambchops says:

    That indie pack is rather lovely. The only games in it that I don’t already own are Osmos and Puzzlegeddon. The only one that I didn’t really take to was Crayon Physics (fun for a while but ultimately flawed by being able to use the same few tactics to beat near enough every level). If you are missing three or four of those games it’s well worth buying.

    also don’t you have to install all that Games for Windows live nonsense to play Batman anyway regardless of where you bought it from? I got it off Steam a while back and had to put up with its nonsense (not allowing me to log in the first time I played it and therefore not being able to save my progress).

  3. Zealot says:

    Osmos is awesome but it’s also a pain in the buttock :|

  4. abhishek says:

    The indie pack is easily worth the price. I paid 30$ for Braid and Machinarium alone when they were released and I felt that it was money well spent. And now one can get all those lovely extra games. It’s a great pack, and anyone interested in indie games should pick it up. Heck, even if you’re not interested in indie games, this is the perfect pack to get started.

  5. Dante says:

    Birmingham is awesome.

    That is all.

    • Lambchops says:

      The place with the most annoying accent in the UK? Awesome? I’m sure there must be a circle of hell where the torment is to listent to someone with a thick Brummie accent for days on end!

      (NB This opinion may be slightly coloured by the only guy in my old school who had a Birmingham accent being a complete and utter knob)

    • Ice-Fyre says:

      You poor sod going Birmingham, always remember going through there on bus and wishing it didn’t have to stop there! Its like a giant cesspit tbh

    • Wulf says:

      I remember Birmingham, I went there on a school trip once.

      …it smelled funny. :<

    • Spork says:

      I agree with Dante, I was there for 3 years and miss it. Way better than what I’ve experienced of London.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Spork comparing Birmingham to London is like comparing one pile of shit to a larger & more offensive pile of shit.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Except that in london you can actually do something other than get fucked-up and fall in a puddle.
      Although to some extent i agree. There are very few cities in England left that i actually enjoy spending time in – but maybe thats just latent misanthropy shining though.

      Who knows?

    • FunkyBadger says:

      lambchop: there speaks a man who’s never been to Liverpool.

      Or Manchester.

      Or Glasgow.

    • mpk says:

      @ FunkyBadger

      Belfast mate. Seriously. As a Glaswegian, I can honestly say that a thick Belfast accent is almost impenetrable to the average – and by average I mean someone not from Norn Irn – human being.

  6. Heliosicle says:

    YES, I’ve been wanting DoW2 for ageessss

  7. Mac says:

    Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC) – pre-order price promise £9.99 delivered @ Amazon.co.uk
    Also, Batman: Arkham Asylum is £8.75 in the UK on GFWL – I appreciate that GFWL on the PC is a balls ache – but i’m unsure as to your advice “or you can wait a little while and get it for a similar price from a competent outlet” – if you buy Batman: Arkham Asylum on the PC, whether retail or digital download from anywhere, you will need the GFWL client to play it – so you may aswell take advantage of this good price from Microsoft (for a change) if you want the game.

    • Paul B says:

      Thanks for the tip-off re: Star Wars. I reckon I can always cancel my order between now and October 31 if I change my mind. At £9.99, though, seems too tempting not to put a pre-order in.

    • Mr_Day says:

      Just a heads up – Amazon are no longer accepting pre orders on Old Republic now, with a “email me when this is available” in place instead.

      I made a pre order for it when I first saw your comment (thanks for that, by the way) but I reckon I’ll be receiving an email apologetically telling me they are unable to fill my order – which is what happened last time they made a similar mistake. Fallout 3, I think it was.

  8. Schaulustiger says:

    Hammerfight is easily worth this price. It has some flaws but in general it’s an intuitive and well implemented idea. Plus, it has huge hammers.

    • Heliosicle says:

      I totally agree, its really fun

    • Bhazor says:

      Thirded.

      It takes a lot of tweaking to get the controls feeling right, especially if you use a wrist rest with your mouse, but totally worth it for the first time you smash a guy and he explodes in one hit. Especially satisfying is when they’re pinned to the ground and you actually kill him by slamming his buddy on top of him and he lands sword first.

      Most satisfying biffing game I’ve played on PC in a good long while. Though I’m still jealous we won’t be getting Melty Blood or BlazBlue. Civ and Dragon Age are all well and good but sometimes you just wanna punch a guy until he falls over. And in the game!!!

    • Rhygadon says:

      Bhazor — what sort of control tweaking are you referring to? Something in the options, or in your mouse setup?

      I really really wanted to like Hammerfall, but I played all the way through the demo and the controls never stopped feeling jerky and awkward. Plus of course, it didn’t help that there was no explanation of what anything did, which hurts a lot when the interface and gameplay are both so non-traditional. (That shop!!)

      I can believe that, with practice, aiming the weapons becomes easier. But do the movements required to control your ship ever become less wrist-strain-inducing? If so, how?

    • Lambchops says:

      I’m with Rhygadon on this one. I wanted to like it but the constant furious circular motion required for fighting had my wrist crying out in dire warning of repetitive strain injury!

      A nice enough idea but I just never really found myself enjoying it.

    • Petethegoat says:

      More Hammerfight love here too.
      The combat is just so satisfying, I love being able to push someone up against a rock and then smash their face in.
      Or you can disarm people and play pacifist (sort of).

      Highly recommended!

    • lhzr says:

      regarding hammerfight, does anyone know which one these was first?
      http://www.bored.com/game/play/150743/Arcanorum.html

    • Bhazor says:

      Reply to Rhygadon and Lambchop

      Well when you get the mouse sensitivity right you can just use sweeps rather than circles but yeah it’s not a game to play for an hour at a time. It’s got plenty of other problems a Hud that takes up a large portion of the screen which you can get lost behind, slowdown, unintuitive weapon combining (I still haven’t worked out to use gems), speech bubbles blocking the action, wonky difficulty curve (offset somewhat by the ability to skip levels), not being able to replay old levels, nonsensical story, bad engrish translations (Prepare for the art of fight) and a few glitches that will see you get caught on the geometry and unable to move.
      But at £2.50 its hard to complain especially when it works and you get the finesse and can block your opponents momentum with a nasty little jab, thrn shooting them at point blank with your musket and twunting them across the arena with your croquet mallet as coins and fireworks rain down.

      According to tigsource.com Hammerfall has improved since the demo though I haven’t played the demo myself so I can’t comment.
      http://tigsource.com/articles/2009/10/30/hammerfight

  9. flonflon says:

    Will DOWII be steam compatible ?

  10. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    No love for Eufloria? Come on:
    http://www.impulsedriven.com/eufloria

    14USD…not much of a sale, but got me thinking…I’m probably gettin’ it

  11. Psychopomp says:

    Spellforce is far better than it sounds. It’s what I’d imagine a (good) RTS MMO playing like, without the grinding.

    • Nova says:

      Yes but don’t even think about getting the second part.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Pomp? Are you serious, I have a hard time believeing anyone found the game anything other that a grindfest. I’m okay if you say “you are doing it wrong” but whats the right way?

      And is #2 really worse?

    • Heliocentric says:

      I’m not being sarcastic by the way, i want to know how anyone could think well of the game. I mean, did you play in long?

    • archonsod says:

      The main problem I had with the first is the RTS segment pretty much boiled down to a game of tower defence, since the AI always sent it’s units to the same location in the same quantities.

      The second is much better imho. It leans a little further on the RPG part and is a lot more open than the first. Of course, you then get the problem of having to backtrack six maps to deliver a note, but you can’t have everything I suppose.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Helio

      I got about halfway through the first one, I’d imagine, and I didn’t seem to have to grind for anything anymore than I would in the average RTS. This was a long time ago, though.

      @Arch

      Aye, they’re far from perfect.

  12. Clockwork Peanut says:

    Trying to buy SupCom Gold from the D2D UK site and keep getting this: “Error: Supreme Commander Gold is Country restricted on your IP”, despite the fact I live in the UK, anyone else got this problem?

  13. Matzerath says:

    Isn’t Arkham Asylum on sale at Gamer’sGate right now?

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Yeah, but it’s cheaper from GFWL, which you have to install to play the game anyway regardless of where you bought it.

    • Vinraith says:

      @invisiblejesus

      You can’t play it in offline mode like you could RF:G? Plus, any hope of neutralizing GfWL’s intrusion with an xlive.dll replacement is pretty much shot to hell if you actually bought the game through GfWL, isn’t it?

      If one were concerned about GfWL issues (and as someone that’s lost considerable game time to that idiot system’s save encryption I think everyone should be concerned) I’d think you’d be better off owning it through an independent distribution system so you could mitigate the effects of GfWL more easily.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      No idea about any of that, I’ve never bought a game from GFWL before. I’ve never heard of there being any differences between a GFWL version of a GFWL game and a version gotten from another online retailer, but if anyone has more info on it I’m sure it’d be welcome. My roomate already has Batman for PS3, so my interest in buying another copy is pretty limited.

  14. Dextro says:

    I actually went ahead and got Batman AA on GFWL here in Portugal since the sale arrived here as well (12.50USD/12.50€, gotta love the shaft they constantly give us hum?) but if you really don’t want to give Microsoft money you can always go get the same game for 19.95€ at Gamersgate.com

  15. Mr_Day says:

    GOG are doing a special on Majesco stuff, which includes Psychonauts, until monday:

    http://www.gog.com/en/promo/majesco

    And Impulse has Evochron Legends for £11.48, also until Monday:

    http://www.impulsedriven.com/evochron

    • Bhazor says:

      What is it with Psychonauts recently? This is the fourth time I’ve seen it on sale for less than £3.

    • Mr_Day says:

      I am not complaining, I got a version that works for a quid off Steam. Do I win extra points for having the game twice?

    • Bhazor says:

      If you include retail versions I’ve got five copies.
      One on Xbox (new).
      One on Xbox (used, bought for a friend who already had it)
      One boxed PC.
      One on GoG and one on Steam.

      You know the strange thing? I’m not even much of a fan.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Not just strange, but daft too.

    • Psychopomp says:

      I would assume it has to do with Brutal Legend coming out

  16. Alexander Norris says:

    “SupCom Gold: £4.95. Also available in Euros! Pay in euros by purchasing this product on D2D EU! 39.95€.”

  17. jalf says:

    I can’t help but think that this kind of mega discount might be contributing to the situation where some gamers have disdain for any indie developer that has the audacity to charge more than $9.99 for their game

    Eh, might just be me, but I’d rather avoid condescending messages in the bargain bucket posts about what a bad person I am for appreciating bargains… Please?

    Apart from that, I fail to see how it is worse for indie games as a whole if I take $10 and spend it on 4 indie games, than if I take the same amount of money and spend it on a single one. It’s not like I’m going to magically spend more money just because the games cost more. Or that I’ll spend less money if they’re cheap. The cheaper they are, the more games I’m able to buy. Which is hardly a bad thing for anyone.

    • Heliocentric says:

      You might not like how he says it but he’s not far off.

      No way in hell i’m buying 1 indie game for $20 or $30 when there are AA->AAA games and whole collections of indie games for the same and less.

      Not because of a sense of entitlement, just a limited budget. I only have so many fun bucks, you need to be at the price point I’m comfortable with or happy to get non of my money.

    • UK_John says:

      Sadly, I agree.

      Remember – despite the hype any game gets: The later the release, the lower the price, the worse the actual sales….!

    • ManaTree says:

      Wrong. As a general statement, this is wrong.

      You can have much higher profits from lower prices. You just have to do them right.

  18. Gareth says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    regarding hammerfight, does anyone know which one these was first?
    http://www.bored.com/game/play/150743/Arcanorum.html

    Apparently, the two had no idea about each other. As far as I can see, Hammerfight came first though.

    • The Innocent says:

      And yet they look completely identical, down to the little gem lanterns dangling beneath the flying machines.

  19. slaine says:

    In yet another example of discriminatory pricing, Arkham Asylum is coming up as being $23 in Australia when it should really be around AUD14 at today’s exchange rates. FU GFWL. What is the justification for this discriminatory pricing for a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

    Fail and refuse to buy.

  20. Sarlix says:

    Anyone know if SupCom or DOW2 require GFWL? I’ve so far managed to avoid it..

    • Colthor says:

      @Sarlix:
      Neither Supreme Commander or Forged Alliance require GFWL. Dawn of War II does.

  21. Heliocentric says:

    Spellforce 1 is a terrible turd of a game with a few clever ideas buried in it. Don’t waste even the smallest amount of change no it.

    No idea about #2.

    • Dominic White says:

      Y’wha? Spellforce was pretty much what I wanted Warcraft 3 to be, but then Blizzard dissapointed me by making it Starcraft with levelling heroes.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Clearly i’m “doing it wrong” then. What class did you play?

  22. WCG says:

    Mount&Blade is only $5 at Stardock this weekend. That’s so cheap I’m tempted to buy it again! :)

    http://www.impulsedriven.com/mountblade

  23. bill says:

    I might risk installing GFWL if i knew beforehand how much the game would be, what language GFWL would be in, what language the game would be in, and a few other things. gah… stupid un-internationalized internet. They should make a global one.

    • Mac says:

      Not much of a risk – install it, if you don;t like what you see, uninstall it – simple as

    • Dominic White says:

      But didn’t you hear the latest slashdot paranoia? It’s a rootkit virus that will set our PC on fire! Just uttering its name three times can cause it to install itself on your machine.

      Run! Run for the hills!

    • bill says:

      @Mac.
      You would say that, you’re a mac! You don’t know what it’s like to try and get rid of software on windows. Especially microsoft software!

    • Vinraith says:

      @Mac

      Dominic’s mockery aside, I’ve noticed that games with GfWL integration are able to automatically log themselves into my GfWL account even though I uninstalled the GfWL client on which that information was saved. Clearly there are some remnants, including my account credentials. Offline accounts are no longer accessible as a result, which is why I’ve taken to using xlive.dll replacements on the rare occasion I find myself dealing with a GfWL game.

  24. Carra says:

    My favourite PC magazine was happy to see that Direct2Drive now offers Euros! My first thought was “right, now they can ask double the price to us Europeans”. I wish it was true, we pay four times the price… I’ve seen the Supreme Commander package on impulse for about 10 pounds, wish I had bought it then.

    As for the indie games. Great package but I already have six of them :)

  25. itsallcrap says:

    Off the subject of Indie games, I just the “THQ Ultimate box set” (Titan Quest, TQ:Immortal Throne, Company Of Heroes, COH: Opposing Fronts, STALKER.: Shadow of Chernoby, Frontlines:Fuel of War, Supreme Commander, SC: Forged Alliance, Warhammer: 40K: Dawn of War – Dark Crusade ) for £14.99 at GAME.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s ridiculously good value for money.

  26. Gareth says:

    It’s not indie, and I don’t know how long it’s been like this, but Star Wars: The Old Republic is £9.99 with free shipping from Amazon.co.uk for pre-order. A long way off, but that’s a pretty good price.

  27. Thiago says:

    You can buy Dawn of War II from the THQ e-shop even if you’re not in the UK. I payed using Paypal and received a key in my e-mail, which I then registered on Steam.

  28. The Innocent says:

    Most of the games in the indie pack are good, but I’m wary of Pieces Interactive, the group that made Puzzlegeddon. I purchased the game from them back before it was being sold on any of the big online retailers, only to find that a couple months and a big reformat later I could no longer download the game from the service they had used. A couple emails later and still no reply, which makes them pretty much the only indie developer to NOT live up to the standards that I have come to expect from indies.

    This pack being through D2D wouldn’t have that problem, of course. And the game is enjoyable enough.

  29. Katsumot says:

    The only people who don’t like Birmingham are people who’ve never been or people who smell.

    /proud brummie

    • Heliocentric says:

      I don’t have an opinion on the place. But I am in possession of a sense of smell, is Birmingham really that stinky?

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      My memories of birmingham include fire, screaming and being chased down the street by smackheads.
      But it is a hell of a lot more pleasant than sheffield, ill give you that.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      And people from the Black Country.

      Birmingham smells. ;-P

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Lemons: Sheffield >> Birmingham. Provable scientific fact, that.

  30. Pantsmansoy says:

    For North American consumers, Steam is selling King Arthur: The Role Playing Wargame for $29 with the DLC. I bought it last weekend for $42 and have been loving it so far.

    • Mac says:

      £24.45 on the UK store – still too expensive – should be sub £20 including expansions IMO

  31. Potajito says:

    Spellforce 1 is great, is Spellforce 2 the one that is crap.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Can you, or anyone explain why spellforce has any merit? I’ve played it until the end but out of stubborness rather than enjoyment and i can’t see any reason for it to exist in the same world as any modern rts.

  32. malkav11 says:

    You would think D2D’s indie bundles would avoid having so much overlap, so that people who had previously purchased one would be able to get a whole new parcel of indie excellence. Sadly, not only do I already own most of these indie games (and not want the couple that remain), but I own some of them on D2D from their previous bundle.

    • tapanister says:

      Mate, think of this sale package as the way to sell those games to everyone left not having them. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t own any of these games, but now, voila, I have them all. So, in my books it’s a hell of a bundle.

  33. leeder_krenon says:

    angry about gfwl, angry about ubisoft. such an angry man! GRR, COMPUTER GAMES

  34. clive dunn says:

    I’m was born in Birmingham and all my family are from Brum but i will concede that the place is mostly a confusing dump. There are nice bits as with any city (Mosley) and for some reason i find Spaghetti junction a fascinating thing. Wish they hadn’t torn down the old Bullring, for all it’s faults it housed a lot of very fond childhood memories.

  35. Carra says:

    Oh, dawn of war 2 can be registered with steam which makes it even better :)

    • Vinraith says:

      @Carra

      Not so much “can be” (which is a nice added backup) as “must be” (which is a fundamental limitation on how you can use the game).

  36. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    Somehow my brain formed ‘spelljammer’ out of that last paragraph.
    Damn i wish there was a halfway decent spelljammer game

    • Vinraith says:

      @Lemon scented apocalypse

      Now there’s something I’d buy without hesitation. I ran several Spelljammer PnP games back in the day, I always liked that weird-ass setting.

    • Gnarl says:

      @Lemon scented apocalypse
      I never thought there would be two others. I can’t even persuade anyone to even play the tabletop version though, so I doubt it’s popularity.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Giff were Spelljamer, right? Hippo’s with flintlocks. What’s not to like?

    • malkav11 says:

      Some people have been referring to the free Russian MMO Allods as being Spelljammer-esque. I couldn’t say for sure, having neither played Allods nor indeed Spelljammer.

  37. bill says:

    want to reply to a post further up, but it won’t let me…

  38. John Peat says:

    You might be amused to note that even WITH the GFWL client (which you’re going to have to install at some point because some game will force you into it sooner or later) it’s STILL hard to see what anything costs.

    The shop pages are curiously devoid of prices – some games actually aren’t apparently for sale (only demo) such as DOW2 and some are even free (tho this isn’t really shouted about).

    It’s hard to know how they could do such a bad job of something already done far better by other people isn’t it?

    On the upside, Batman:AA is a stone-cold bargain for £8.75 – seriously it’s a lovely title for that sort of cash…

  39. hoff says:

    Best of Indie Bundle, Volume 3 looks like all the indie superstars in one neat package. Machinarium, Braid and World of Goo, Crayon Physics, Osmos and Aaaa! look pretty good as well. If you don’t have them yet, it’s rather recommendable I’d say!

  40. rxtx says:

    Advent Rising was actually a decent little game. It had the problem of trying to be too cinematic, but if you look past that its enjoyable enough

  41. RandomOne says:

    Wait now I’m confused how they expected to get 134.50$ for this pack to begin with. I would’ve thought you could buy all of them separately for around 100$, and because I always wait for sales I’m pretty sure I would come pretty close to 50$ buying them all individually.