The RPS Bargain Bucket

Spend! Spend like your very life depends on it! But no, not on heroin and oversized black t-shirts. Spend on these cut-priced videogames, thoughtfully found once again by Savygamer‘s coin-conserving champion LewieP. You’ll note a couple of long-term RPS favourites are lurking amongst this week’s splendid bargains – including the most joyous news that the excellent Defense Grid: The Awakening finally falls below $10…

Helldorado – £12.99/€14.95/$14.95
I’m not to sure what exactly I am basing this recommendation on. I think it’s a combination of funky name, interesting setting, and badass, albeit slightly dated looking, screenshots. It’s a Wild West Tactical Action Strategy game, with 3 (count ’em) difficulty settings. I gather it’s a pseudo-sequel to the Desperado games. I can only seem to find the demo in German, which is a little odd. Let us know what you guys think about this one…

Peggle Complete – £6.99/€9.98/$9.98
[Peggle! PEGGLE! – excited RPS Hivemind] This includes Peggle Deluxe and Peggle Nights. Peggle is a very interesting game to me. It’s a mostly passive experience. You click on your mouse and get drip fed audiovisual rewards at a fairly constant rate. High level play can be ridiculously involved and you are never quite able to decide what proportion of how successful you are is down to luck, and how much is down to skill. I’ve spent a bunch of time with the recent 360 and DS version of Peggle, and I am confident in saying that the PC version is the one to get. Demo here, and you can get the halflife themed Peggle Extreme for free on steam. [PEGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGLE!]

Defense Grid: The Awakening – £6.79/€7.55/$9.95
I posted this a few weeks ago, and now it is even cheaper. It’s a pretty great Tower Defence game, I’m still yet to beat the final level (it is so much harder than the rest of the game), but have really enjoyed it. At this low price it’s a must have if you are a fan of the genre. Jim’s opinion of it here, and try the demo here.

Second Sight + Messiah – £8.17/€9.09/$11.98
I absolutely loved Second Sight on the Gamecube. The shooting controls are a little lacking, but it is worth it to play a game gives you so many opportunities to feel like you are outsmarting it. The narrative is far cleverer than it initially seems. If anyone tries to spoil the ending for you, punch them in the face. I’d like to think this and Timesplitters are what Free Radical will be remembered for, not Haze. Never played Messiah myself, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. GOG have a bunch of games on promotion this weekend too, this was just my favourite pick.

Deal of the week
Ghost Master – £1.49/€2.49/$2.49
Puzzley Dungeon Keeper-esque game [GRAAAAH. It’s fun, but it sure ain’t DK – Over-defensive Alec]. You’re in command of a a range of ghosts, and have to scare some pansy humans away from a big house. It’s a fantastic combination of unique and dirt cheap, that you probably shouldn’t pass up on.


  1. RiptoR says:

    I reviewed helldorado for, and gave it somewhere around 70-75 if I remember correctly. Learningcurve is pretty steep and the gameplay isn’t really refreshing, but if you liked the Desperado games then you’ll certainly like this.

  2. Markoff Chaney says:

    Messiah was fantastic too. I enjoyed it more than second sight, though they both had similaresque mechanics. Not sure how she’d hold up now, but this makes me want to dig the silvers out… Great deal on Peggle as well.

  3. Henrik J says:

    Ghost Master is more than worth the money. Go get it!

  4. Stense says:

    Go Peggle go Peggle go! As I believe Vanilla Ice once rapped.

    Tis a grand game.

  5. LewieP says:

    It is a little bit like DK…

    Although to be fair it is a long long time since I played DK.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    Defence grid was $9.99 on direct2drive a few weeks ago, oddly as a steam product key. But yes it is the right price. I can recommend second sight. Even dying in that game was rewarded with plot.

  7. Seniath says:

    I have a boxed version of Ghost Master on the shelf next to me, yet am still sorely tempted to buy it on Steam.

    What does this say about me?

  8. LewieP says:

    Also – If you like the idea of Peggle, but don’t want to go all in on the pack, Playfirst have a half price sale on (just use coupon “APRILFRIENDS” to get (I think) anything from there for half price. Here’s a list of games they have that you might want to consider:

    Peggle Deluxe
    Emerald City Confidential
    Bookworm Adventures
    Chessmaster Challenge
    Plus seemingly hundreds of Diner Dash clones.

    All their games have demos too.

  9. Nutkins Victory Otter says:

    >not on heroin and oversized black t-shirts.
    That is incredibly eerie. And while we’re on the topic YES MOTHER[LOVING – Pretend Ed] GHOST MASTER!!

    Aside from Nethack, this is probably the game that I’ve had installed on my system for the longest and, if I had such a list, it’s musical score would be somewhere near the top… maybe even, while I’m caught in the hyperbole, THE TOP.

    I am off to play it through again, while you, yes YOU sitting there saying “I AM IMMUNE TO HYPE”, are going to spend the best £1.50 you’ll ever spend this year.

    Except you won’t. And I pity you for it. You hear that? A heroin addict pities you.


  10. Smurfy says:

    I hope we get the RPS opinion on Braid soon. I think it’s incredible.

  11. Weylund says:

    Smurfy: they thought Goo was the best thing since human bodies were (finally!) allowed by Mother Nature to excrete solid waste and not just die writhing in horrible pain during the digestive process, and The Path was “not bad, really”. Seeing as Braid falls nicely between these two in terms of artsy and bestest-gameplay-evar, I think the RPS-opino-meter would settle squarely on the awrrrrsome.

  12. Carra says:

    Bought the Giants + Sacrifice combo. Been wanting to play sacrifice for a while now :)

  13. psyk says:

    Hobo tycoon sounds like it would be a good game.

  14. Rob says:


    Interesting, I just brought the same combo, but in my case it was because I’d never gotten around to Giants

  15. Krondonian says:

    Ordered Far Cry 2, with the Fortune Pack thingy off for £10, thanks to LewieP.

    Struggled to decide between it and Left 4 Dead at Asda for £14. Lots of shooting with guns either way, really.

  16. Chalkster says:

    By your powers combined, you will be more powerful than we can possibly imagine.

  17. Gorgeras says:

    Messiah was actually critically and commercially panned on release.

    I liked it, most people I know played it like it. Controlling Bob felt amazing. The problem was the obvious rush job, meaning the AI and level design wasn’t as it should have been. Like Sacrifice, it’s a Shiny game that should have seen many excellent sequels.

  18. bob arctor says:

    It was hilarious, taking people over, confusing them, the harpoon gun, etc. The ending was utter shite though.

    I didn’t get on with the demo of Ghost Master, don’t even think I’d get £1.50 worth out of it. Shame as I liked the idea and initial hype.

  19. Tom Armitage says:

    Re Second Sight:

    The narrative is far cleverer than it initially seems. If anyone tries to spoil the ending for you, punch them in the face. I’d like to think this and Timesplitters are what Free Radical will be remembered for, not Haze.

    Yes, yes, yes. Forgive it the occasional genericness and the at-times ropey combat, and love it for the brilliance of the plot, and the character design – the “big eyes” really pay off when it comes to the animation, which takes that Timesplittersy art style and makes it serious and empathetic.

    Also, the sniper rifle is pretty darn good as they go.

    When the narrative did that thing it does at the ending, I gasped a little – for once, the story had outsmarted me; I thought it was less interesting than it made out, and actually, it’s much cleverer than it sets you up to believe.

    No idea if the PC port is any cop, but it’s a game a lot more people need to play, because it is really jolly fine.

  20. Explosive Coot says:

    Thanks for pointing out Second Sight – I’d never heard of it before, but it sounds like the style of game that’d be right up my alley. I really enjoyed Messiah back in the day, although I worry the visuals might not have held up too well over time – to me early 3D stuff is a lot less playable now than anything 2D.

  21. Vinraith says:

    Anyone know how Playgreenhouse’s content control works? Is it phone home at start like Steam? Something less intrusive like Impulse? Limited install like Direct to Drive? Or totally free like GOG?

  22. Z says:

    There’s a patch available for ghostmaster which allows you to keep all the ghosts you’ve unlocked when you revisit missions. It also allows you to run the game without starting Steam.

    Fun little game.

  23. Jubaal says:

    Decided to purchase Ghostmaster as at that price it is rude not to! Seems pretty original and fun to me.

  24. Surgeon says:

    I bought Freespace + Expansion and Freespace 2 from GOG on special last night.
    I think it was about $8.99
    An absolute bargain.

  25. Morberis says:

    Defense Grid at $10? DONE

    After playing it though I’m glad I picked it up for $10 instead of $20. It’s fun but not $20 fun.

  26. Colthor says:

    It’s limited installs (an unspecified number, 3-5 is guessed, reset after an email to support), ‘phone-home on install.

    It’s put me off – Steam or Impulse I’d’ve happily bought it for that.

  27. yutt says:

    @Gravatar Vinraith

    Limited phone home installs, basically like SecuROM. It’s their dirty secret. I’d buy from anywhere else. Impulse and GOG are DRM free, and Steam is more convenient. There is absolutely no reason to use Greenhouse if you can avoid it.

  28. Vinraith says:

    Thanks Colthor and yutt, that’s exactly what I wanted to know. I’ll avoid them.

  29. Heliocentric says:

    Green house is only on my rss feed because they offer demo’s. Their drm is bs.

    One thing not on this list. Direct to drive has the maw for £3.50

  30. Matzerath says:

    Ghostmaster is a classic, and is hours of ghost-based coed terrifying, and the Steam version also includes the bonus level that supplies closure to a game that was expected to have many sequels.
    I bought Helldorado on a whim, and it’s actually really fun. Your playable team is the most horrendous collection of embarrassing stereotypes you may ever encounter, but the new system for setting up multiple character actions in advance ( with a cinematic view!) is very cool. You have to enjoy lots of sneaking, though. Also, and most importanty, the game ships with a two year old version of Physx, and was running ungodly slow until I installed the SECOND TO LAST Physx driver from Nvidia’s site(I have an ATI card, mind you). Now it runs beautifully. So if you already have Physx, for God’s sake don’t let Helldorado reinstall it.
    That’s all I have to say on this matter. Thank you.

  31. DigitalSignalX says:

    Never seen the valve edition of peggle, a unicorn with dual mini-guns, life is good!

  32. Bremze says:

    I liked Ghost Master better than DK.


  33. dadioflex says:

    I got tempted by Darkstar One for three quid, as part of the Strategy First sale on Steam. I played the demo back in the day and wasn’t entirely convinced but three quid? pfft.

  34. Pavel says:

    Hmmm, in the last two days I bought 11 games on GOG and 7 games in retail.

    What does that say about me?

  35. dishwasherlove says:

    @Pavel, you need to get out more?

    I prefer the Giants / Sacrifice GoG double pack myself :)

  36. Albides says:

    I’m quite surprised Steam didn’t do an Easter sale. I was waiting all week for some good bargains.

    About the closest thing they had was the Strategy First spring thank you sale, still running but not mentioned directly in the article.

  37. Pavel says:

    dishwasherlove – yeah I definitely do.Though I do not play any of those games anyway, since right now I devote my playtime to GTA 4 v1.0.3 : ).But I just like having all those games installed, knowing I can click on any of those 78 icons and play whatever I want……

    link to

  38. MetalCircus says:

    Messiah is such a great game and I never understood the critical panning it recieved. It was full of little charms, and my god, how unique it was! especially at the time. Sorry to use a cliche, but, they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

    That said, its not holding up very well after all these years, graphically, but it’s so full of colour and delight you won’t mind. everyone should play it.

  39. Alex says:

    Messiah was a game I really wanted to like. It came free with some piece of hardware (I can’t remember if it was with my geforce 2 or my 3 button logitech mouse), so I would have been happy with any amount of fun.

    It was a buggy mess, though. NPCs’ models would distort and pop as they moved around, and I’d get shot at no matter who I possessed. I never got more than ten or fifteen monutes into the game. :(

  40. PC Monster says:

    Hmm. Not much on the go for me this weekend. Far Cry 2, tho…

  41. SnubSnob says:

    Daikatana is such a great game and I never understood the critical panning it recieved. It was full of little charms, and my god, how unique it was! especially at the time. Sorry to use a cliche, but, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

    That said, its not holding up very well after all these years, graphically, but it’s so full of colour and delight you won’t mind. everyone should play it.

  42. Schaulustiger says:

    Can anyone please tell if it’s possible to obtain a copy of Defense Grid for less than 10€? Been searching for a while now, finding nothing besides and I don’t want to buy there after reading about their crappy DRM methods.

    Want to play this game (read the RPS article a few days ago), but I find 19€ a bit overprized for such a game.

  43. Ben says:

    Just purchased Ghost Master, and it runs at about 5 fps on medium settings on my q6600, 8800gt system. Odd.

  44. Heliocentric says:

    You know how when you watch a helicopters rotors when they go so fast it looks like it isn’t moving? Thats what is happening in ghost master.

  45. Steven Hutton says:

    So I’m (I think) half way though Second Sigh. Holy Cow. I remember reading a 7/10 review (a pretty negative seven) of this game when it came out (around the same time as Psy Ops if I remember rightly) which put me off buying it. I wish I could remember who’s review that was so I could track them down and deliver my patented ball punch. Like mother-fucking KA POW! Right in the nuts!
    It’s just really, really good. I’m really glad I took the recommendation.

  46. LewieP says:

    Glad you are enjoying it.

  47. Matzerath says:

    Well I can see how someone would have low expectations for a game called ‘Second Sigh’. It sounds kinda blah. Is it the sequel to ‘Sigh?’

  48. Harbour Master says:

    Has anyone here tried Second Sight on the *PC*? I picked it up yesterday and really having to wrestle with the controls. The camera seems to be all over the place and I end up walking myself into a firefight just to be able to see what’s around me.

  49. jonfitt says:

    Have there been any Peggle tournaments? I think high stakes Peggle would be brilliant.

  50. lemming says:

    @ jonfitt Ive just got back from i36, and yes, for the first time this year there was a Peggle tournament. I wasnt involved but I mooched past a few times, it seemed to go on for a really long time…