The RPS Bargain Bucket: Llama Time No See

By Cassandra Khaw on January 4th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Good whatever-time-frame-you-are-currently-residing-in, ladies and genteel beings. The new year just rolled in and I’ve got a question for you: how many of you out there are still mistakenly penciling ’2013′ into your important documents? While most of us may have already made our purchases for the year in that last Steam-powered avalanche of discounts, there’s always room for new games. Maybe, your pay came in late. Maybe, you found 200 bucks on the pavement after some late-night festivities. Maybe, you just want more games. Whatever the case, we’ve got you covered.

The Humble Weekly Sale
$6/£3.65/€4.41

At this point of time, knowledge of the Humble Bundle and its subsidiaries  is as much a part of the Internet as cats are. Good bargains, by and large, abound. That said, this week’s Humble Weekly Sale is an absolute delight — at least if you enjoy point & click adventure games. Which I do. For just $6, you’ll be able to pick up Samorost 2, Machinarium, Lume, Windosill, Shelter and Botanicula. All very indie and all exceedingly pretty. Of the lot, I’m particularly smitten with Lume and Shelter. The former’s not exactly the height of humorous wordplay but it’s lush with roof-cracking production values. As for Shelter, well, it involves you playing Mama Badger, a role both heartbreaking and hilariously frustrating.

Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection
$6.79/£3.74/€4.99

Have you played Planescape: Torment? What? No? We can’t be friends, then. Not even Internet acquaintences. Requisite bad jokes aside, this really is an excellent opportunity to partake in some classic Dungeons & Dragons action. The Master Collection isn’t necessarily the end-all of CRPGs but it certainly is festooned with goodness. The Baldur Gate franchise and all of its expansions? Planescape: Torment? Icewind Dale-related madness? Game on!

Dose Dupla 2014
R$29.99/$12.58-ish

Every now and then, mention of Nuuvem bobs up into view. I’m personally a tad leery of recommending anything I can’t access without Google Translate’s assistance but this Dose Dupla 2014 thing is a bit too delicious to resist. The idea here is simple: pick any two games from their list and pay only R $29.90 which roughly translates to ’bout $12.58. Not a bad deal given that stuff like Bioshock Infinite and the Ultimate Edition of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow are up for grabs. In theory, this bargain is only accessible to those living in South America but the Internet suggests that this is a geographical requirement many have happily ignored.

Hunter: The Vigil
Free

By the time you read this, this offer may be gone so click on the link like a discount-maddened American on Black Friday, for god’s sake. Click! I’m a huge fan of the universe that White Wolf designed over the years, so much so that I could once quote the primary source books from memory. While Hunter: The Vigil is certainly less impressive than, say, Mage: The Ascension (which was free for download but a day ago), it’s something I still enjoy. There’s a certain weird pleasure associated with being a nigh-powerless human being standing strong against forces beyond mortal reckoning, after all.

Skulls of the Shogun
$3.74/€3.49/£2.99

Did you say “I want a slick, turn-based strategy game inspired by Advance Wars and thronging with undead samurai that break the fourth wall?” Of course, you did. Everyone wants cadaverous, East Asian-inspired armies in their library of games. Skulls of the Shogun is magnificent in its simplicity. The writing is sharp, the humor slick and the combat, though minimalist in its approach, happily engaging. I’m particularly enamoured of how the game doesn’t restrict you to a grid-based movement system and how you upgrade troops by cannibalizing the still chatty skulls of your enemies.

Also of note:

Trine 2: Complete Story - $1.99/€1.46/£1.21
Trine 2: Complete Story costs less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You should pick it up, if you haven’t already. Seriously.

Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition  - $7.49/£6.24
Because you needed an excuse to rip the vertebrae from questionably dressed opponents.  Not available to Germans, sadly. (Bonus 25% voucher: GMG25-0YUM5-VKMVU)

Blood of the Cybermen  - Free for those located in the UK
So, BBC apparently made a whole bunch of Doctor Who adventure games. I honestly can’t tell if that makes me happy or sad.

Noticed some price discrepancies?  Don’t hesitate to smack me over the head about it in the comments.  Run a digital distribution site or have knowledge of an upcoming bargain? Send an e-mail! Want to submit a photo of a plushie in a bucket for next week’s header image? E-mail those too! Because smoke signals just don’t jive with this day and age.

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76 Comments »

  1. po says:

    If you’re going to mention llamas…

  2. TWChristine says:

    I vote for a “Staring Eyes” tag!

  3. Stardreamer says:

    Nuuvem is fine for the moderately intrepid. I bought Marvel Super-Heroes for roughly £13 two weeks before its official UK launch. Banged the key into Steam and off I went!

    • StranaMente says:

      It’s worth highlighting that the best option is to pick steamworks game only, ’cause I heard their servers are crap and downloading directly may take forever. That said I bought Saints Row 4 not too long ago there and went ok.

      • Premium User Badge

        Tom De Roeck says:

        Actually, I bought AssFlag there on christmas, worked perfectly. Uplay only.

  4. tobecooper says:

    Probably worth pointing out that Doctor Who games are free only for residents of the UK.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Humbug. I didn’t realize that Hola had me set to the UK when I found that. Thank you for the catch!

    • RiffRaff says:

      you can get the entire season of doctor who cheap on the groupees holiday bundle, they activate on steam too.

      • Convolvulus says:

        To clarify, they aren’t on Steam right now but have been approved, and Groupees will distribute keys after release.

  5. Premium User Badge

    AngelTear says:

    I don’t care about games, I only want to know in what direction I need to throw my money to get that llama :D

    EDIT:

    Dear Cassandra,
    I always knew journalism could be more than just reporting news, but now you’ve proven it for me. You have given my life a new purpose. That purpose is: getting that llama plushie. When I grow up I want to be just like you: I want to have the best, cutest plushies and show them to people and make them understand what that strange feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction in their lives was about all along.
    Thank you.

  6. Geebs says:

    One of the odd things about the Skulls of the Shogun saga of windows 8 exclusivity causing alleged poor sales, is that it is terrible. I’m genuinely surprised that the devs never realised that was the reason nobody wanted to buy their game. If I get a sudden urge to click on one thing and then click on another thing, Minesweeper is much more entertaining

  7. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    ….that’s the third or possibly fourth time I’ve bought the D&D games in different places, at different times just because I lost the original CD’s over time, and I can’t for the life of me remember what the other site i got them off was.

    The worst bit being, I don’t even feel bad about it, every time. Curse you Cassandra.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Trine 2 isn’t a must play if you had your fill already of the first game.

    It’s pretty and the gameplay is grand but it’s just more of the same; and a little way in I kind of realised that I didn’t need more of it.

    If you’d not played either I’d just dive in straight at the second one, as there’s a few extra ideas and refinements (I don’t know because I didn’t get there but I’d imagine they’d also have a less naff final couple of levels than in the first game). Definitely a great game and your mileage may vary with how long you remain enamoured of the concept. Also it’s worth noting I never played it co-op and that might keep the fun factor high enough to persevere with.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Playing it coop makes a big difference indeed, and not just for the “fun factor” of playing with people. It changes the dynamic of the game slightly, since you now have to make all players go through. Compared to this, the solo mode feels like “cheating”, since you just take whatever is most convenient to go further, and it is less interesting as a result. You can’t just grapple with the thief and be done, you have to find a combination allowing all to go further, so that gives more to think about and play, actually.

    • fish99 says:

      I think if you loved the first one, and have had a suitable break since playing it, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t love the 2nd one, and it’s much prettier. My only real complaint with Trine 2 was it wasn’t quite challenging enough, but they addressed that with the DLC (Goblin Menace?) which was much tougher and offered much more variety of scenery.

    • Jalan says:

      One major difference (which they conveniently addressed in the actual dialogue) between the second and first game is the removal of an inventory system. That arguably ripped away the pseudo-RPG vibe the first game gave off, which for me was one of the big factors that helped sell me on liking the game at all.

      As a result both games kind of fall on different sides of the fence. While the core is essentially the same (3 adventurers, etc.) the mechanics were changed enough between the first and second that they both feel like separate games. Hopefully a third outing proves to be the sweet spot, should Frozenbyte opt to make it.

  9. Stirbelwurm says:

    Hmpf, looks like Mortal Kombat is not available in germany. Well, this kinda sucks …

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      *grumble grumble* I switched to Hola and saw no price tag. Assumed my browser freaked out on me. I’ll update.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      yeah, we get fucked again because every single adult has to be “protected” from stuff that is not suitable for children… *sigh*

      maybe it’s possible to buy it via vpn? I’ll give it a try.

      • PsychoWedge says:

        Via vpn (best uk vpn, but use whatever you want, I guess) I can add the game to my basket and proceed to payment without problem, using my normal long-ago-created-german-ip GMG account.

        • HadToLogin says:

          You must watch out with censored-in-Germany-games keys. Keys bought outside of Germany MIGHT not work in Germany.

    • KDR_11k says:

      What do you expect, Mortal Kombat always goes on the index.

  10. PopeRatzo says:

    What’s a “pencil”?

    • The Random One says:

      It’s a primitive substitute for a finger necessary for using ancient smartphones.

  11. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    Damn, I have a plushie but no bucket. Now I’m filled with an unnamed dread at the notion that I’ve been living an otherwise ordinary adult life with no bucket to my name.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I had a plushie and a bucket, but my plushie fell in the bucket which had some moldy water in it. So if you do buy a bucket, make sure not to have moldy water in it or you end up with moldy water smelling plushies.

  12. tetracycloide says:

    Some good stuff available here: https://groupees.com/hh
    I’ve heard good things about driftmoon and avernum. Was surprised to find it absent from the list.

    • bill says:

      How does their pricing scheme work? These bundles are all very confusing…

      Anyone tried QUBE? looks interesting. Gateways got a great review from one of the RPS guys. It also has the full set of Dr Who Adventures (although the first of those didn’t get such a great review here, if I remember)

      PS/ All for charity though?

      • KDR_11k says:

        QUBE is decent, not mind-blowing (it’s no Antichamber) but does the job. Apparently the story was removed at some point in development, you can still see the amputated stubs.

      • Jalan says:

        QUBE is a game that will (excluding the existence of its DLC) take up at most an hour of a player’s time to finish. It’s a keen little puzzler but length is not its strong suit (especially if you were to compare it against the likes of similarly short puzzlers like Portal).

        Also their pricing scheme for build-a-bundles typically follow a 2 game 1USD minimum unless they lower it themselves to something like 50 cents and a 1 game minimum (which it is at currently). If you select more than the minimum number of games then the price just scales up accordingly.

      • tetracycloide says:

        It confused me at first too. So the way it seems to work is it gives a list if things, you pick which ones you want, and based on the things you picked it gives you a minimum and a suggested donation.

      • dE says:

        Alright, time for clarity:

        Groupees generally does two types of bundles.
        1) Build your own bundle style
        2) Classic Humble Bundle Style (occasionally with a higher price for a higher tier)

        The first type generally means you are presented a list of games, music, comics and books. Here you chose which items go into your bundle. For each option you select, the minimum price increases. If you pick all options (at the moment) for example, the bundle costs a minimum of 8.50$. If you just pick two options, it’s a minimum of 1$. Basically, each item costs 0.50$ at the moment but that can change over time. You can increase the amount you want to pay manually, although you don’t get complete control over the distribution.
        Then there’s usually some sort of unlockable Bonus. Generally, if x amount of bundles were sold, whereas x is arbitrarily set, a bonus is unlocked. Everyone that bought the bundle gets all the Bonus Items that were unlocked, no questions asked. This makes for some funny instances where you get DLC for a game you don’t have. Previously, groupees occasionally moved the goalpost closer, when it seemed like the bonus items weren’t going to be unlocked. This time, they introduced an additional tier at 45.000 bundles, doesn’t look like they’ll meet their 100.000 bundle goal though, which might be a first.

        The second style is your classic Humble Bundle kinda deal. You pay a minimum price and get all games in a bundle. Occasionally there are additional tiers for which you need to pay a higher minimum price. These too come with their own sets of Bonus Items, that work the same way as the first type.

        In Short:
        Variant 1: Buy individual games to make a bundle.
        Variant 2: Buy a bundle wholesale.
        Both get Bonus items that unlock with amount of bundles sold.

        • Jalan says:

          It’s actually not the first time a bundle effort by Groupees has failed to meet a goal. I just think that setting the mark at 100k was ridiculously high, especially at a time when holiday spending is in full swing.

    • kalirion says:

      Nothing suprising about that, groupees is generally absent from this list.

  13. WhatKateDoes says:

    Mortal Kombat is blighted by Games for Windows Live clawing dead tendrils – I couldnt get the thing to work at all when I bagged (effectively free) in a previous Humble Bundle :/

    • Premium User Badge

      Bugamn says:

      The Mortal Kombat that was distributed in the Humble Bundle was the Mortal Kombat Kollection, which includes the three first games, instead of the latest game.

    • LordOfPain says:

      Wrong Mortal Kombat there. That’s the Kollection. This is the newest one (Komplete).

  14. DXN says:

    CUTEST.

  15. Blackcompany says:

    Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol is currently $0.99 on Green Man Gaming. Not sure how long this will last, but its a nice little turn based strategy game, and a steal at that price.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Both Ace Patrol games are 80p on GOG, I presume for today only (encore sale type thing). I’d second the recommendation, they’re really fun and remarkably addictive little things.

      Skydrift is also on sale for 1.79 – it’s not a particularly lengthy game, but worth the price IMO.

      And the Darkness 2 is £4 – what’s the general consensus on that one?

      (Think the 25% off coupon applies to all… never been clear why they don’t just reduce the price by another 25%, if they put the coupon code on the main page?)

      EDIT: also the X-Com expansion for £7.50.

      • HadToLogin says:

        They don’t reduce price by another 25% because they know there are people who won’t use that voucher.

        As for Darkness 2 – not that bad. Had terrible FOV at release, but I heard they put some option to change it a bit.

  16. melvar says:

    .

  17. The Random One says:

    An interesting thing is that this is the fourth or fifth Dose Dupla and the price for two games for all previous ones was R$20,00. I’m not sure what’s so amazing about this one that it’s ten brazilbucks more expensive.

    €: Also, Just Cause 2 is for US$2.99 on Gamersgate’s daily deal, in case you missed the numerous previous sales in which it was even cheaper and want to play the multiplayer mod.

  18. Flappybat says:

    Lego Marvel is £9.37 on Green Man Gaming with the 25% discount added to their 50% discount. It just came out in November.

  19. viniciusfernandesbarros says:

    my buddy’s step-aunt makes $82/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $18010 just working on the computer for a few hours. read this…http://www.dub30.com

  20. RanDomino says:

    If you get the Dungeons and Dragons collection, Temple of Elemental Evil is great but make sure you get the Circle of Eight modpack-slash-unofficial patch.
    I haven’t actually finished TOEE as I enjoyed the open world phase but ironically got really bored in the temple itself. It’s a huge slog, since the fights are easy enough but require a ton of pre-fight buffing, and if you do it in the wrong order then it falls apart etc… really needed/s some kind of macro functionality.

  21. Shooop says:

    I would buy Trine 2 if only I had anyone else to play the damn thing with. Seriously.

    • fish99 says:

      I loved it single player. Such a stunningly beautiful game.

      • Premium User Badge

        RobF says:

        Same here. Enjoyed it thoroughly on my lonesomes.

        • Maritz says:

          Me too. What a charming game, looks gorgeous, with a great soundtrack to boot. Really, having to play in on one’s lonesome shouldn’t put anyone off.

  22. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Kentucky Route Zero is on sale on Steam now and it’s sooooooooooooo worth buying. It’s the RPS GOTY!

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      Just when I thought I was out of the sales period… they pull me back in.

    • Jac says:

      Tbh don’t really know anything about it beyond rps rate it. Thanks for the tip – have purchased for a tenner on that basis so heres hoping

  23. BigDadGamer says:

    I am covered by a mountain of steam games from the last few sales, but the Humble Bundles always look so tempting too. I must have an addiction to buying cheap games I’ll never get to play.

  24. Juan Carlo says:

    That humble bundle is one of the rare one’s that’s arguably overpriced at the pay the average price. Most of the games have been available in previous bundles or for dirt cheap in the past (or even, in the case of Lume, free).

  25. Whelp says:

    “Free for those located in the UK”

    Or for everyone else. Using a proxy server isn’t rocket science.