Hello consumers! Would you like to buy a stack of games for better prices than what you might usually get them for? You have quite likely come to the right place then, for this is the Bargain Bucket, a metaphorical bucket full of literal bargains. Not just any bargains though, this is a handpicked selection of the finest digital entertainment around. If this selection isn’t enough, you can find me curating the best deals throughout the week over at SavyGamer.co.uk.
PixelJunk Shooter – £3.59
Apply coupon “GFDOCT20UK”. Registers on Steam.
Another PixelJunk game escapes the clutches of The Circle, The Cross, The Triangle and The Square. This is my favourite of all of them, and my only hesitation on recommending the PC version is that it controlled really well with a controller, and I can’t immediately imagine a better/as good control scheme with keyboard and mouse. Certainly not saying it’s impossible, but if you don’t have a controller with two analogue sticks, it might be worth waiting and seeing how well pull it off before plopping down your cash. This is an excellent price considering it just got announced yesterday and it is supposed to be six quid. It’s a colourful, systemic shmup, with destructible environments, and some quite thinky puzzles. Like all the PixelJunk games, it’s utterly beautiful. Two and a half thumbs up from me.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – £4.78/€5.65/$7.66
Registers on Steam.
Who would have thought rebooting a game from the 90s could actually work out well for everyone involved, if you successfully manage to balances retaining what people loved about it, whilst giving it more graphics and other such modern niceties. Here’s wot Alec thought:
It’s a game about slowly moving your frontline forwards, meticulously ordering a squad of six1 from cover to cover and making a stream of tactical decisions in order to overcome an enemy that always, always outnumbers them. You’re directing a SWAT team that needs to stick relatively close together (not too close mind, unless watching a grenade liquidate four people at once turns you on), carefully clean out an area and move on, not the spread-out search and destroy agents of 1993. It’s faster and more furious than its 90s ancestor, but it is no less strategic for it.
Mirror’s Edge – £3.74/€2.49/$4.99
Like running and jumping in real life, except less clumsy and more BEAUTIFUL COLOURS. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I utterly fucking love this game, despite being quite aware of all of it’s flaws. A common criticism that is levelled at it is that it shouldn’t have any combat, but I can’t get behind that. It should have combat, but it should be entirely optional. You should be able to run away from every scenario, even if doing so is much harder. The feeling of having a gun, throwing it on the floor and deciding to run away is far more powerful than not having that choice in the first place. Although I will say that there isn’t quite as much forced combat as many people seem to think there is. This section in particular is one of the bits I’ve heard most complaints about being forced to fight in. I just think it needs to be better designed to signpost the non-combat solutions, and give you more non-direct/lethal ways of dealing with enemies. I want to shoot near someone to scare them off, I want to throw a gun at someone to knock them unconscious, I want to have some sort of momentum based melee combat, where I can knock someone on their arse and keep running. The only Mirror’s Edge 2 footage we’ve seen so far focussed on shooting, but lets cross all of our digits in hope that this isn’t an indication of the direction the game is going in.
Race the Sun – £3.12/€3.69/$5
Will register on Steam at some point in the future when it is released on Steam.
Delightful minimalist endless runner, although you’re flying rather than running, but I don’t think “endless flyer” is a genre. You have to go left or right when there is an obstacle in front of you, and you have to go straight on when there isn’t an obstacle in front of you. That may sound pretty simple, and that’s because it is, but it’s the superb presentation and feel of the controls that elevates this to being better than some silly game you play on your phone whilst waiting for a bus. Particularly nice is the daily challenge setup, where each day you get a new level to play on, so there’s always a shot at doing well on the leaderboards, and you get something slightly new to play each day. I’ve not made anything with it myself yet, but it’s also got a pretty solid level editor. It’s kind of hard, but if you can survive to the later areas, some pretty special stuff starts happening, so definitely stick at it.
Deal of the week
Tower of Guns – £3.51/€4.15/$5.62
TOWER OF GUNS. I can’t get enough of this game. Even though it’s just over half finished (“56% complete”, to be precise), it has properly got under my skin. I think it’s the best FPS I’ve played all year, and I can’t think of any FPS I’ve enjoyed that has been quite this fast since before id designed their games around using an Xbox 360 controller. I remember musing to myself around about the time that The Binding Of Isaac came out, that someone should totally take the structure, and apply it to a Doom-esque FPS. This is pretty much that, although it’s perhaps more Quake inspired. It’s a somewhat roguish FPS, where you can beat the game in an hour or two, or die trying. The enemies are amazing, obviously designed around not having particularly complex AI, but still representing an interesting challenge. Who doesn’t want to have a shoot out with a MASSIVE CANNON? The environments are at times astonishing, with huge rooms that are wide, tall, and full of hazards and interesting nooks and crannies (be on the look out for secrets). The upgrade system is amazing, where you’ll often get hilarious or ridiculously powerful combinations (I was using the rapid fire gun the other day, and then got the rapid fire mod), and it seems to not put any unnecessary cap on things, so you can basically keep upgrading your speed until it’s actually too fast, or stack double jump on top of double jump on top of double jump. You can’t stop moving, and every session something different happens. It’s quite funny, it’s got mad graphics, and each new build I’ve played has been a marked step up in polish and content. Buy this game.
Also of note:
Oknytt, Jamsouls, The Curse of Nordic Cove, Bret Airborne, Millennium: A New Hope & FromPulse – £2.42/€2.86/$3.88
Build a bundle 7
Interplay promo at GOG
XCOM: Enemy Within – £13.50. Apply coupon “GMG25-J2566-L2GHZ”. Registers on Steam.
Pop along to SavyGamer.co.uk for all your discounted gaming needs.