The RPS Bargain Bucket: Fisticuffs

Those precious pennies you need for food and soap? There are better destinies for them. Specifically, this slew of flashing-pixel-based bargains compiled for us by Savygamer‘s patriarch of the piggybank, LewieP. Management, army-smashing and face-pounding take the spotlight this week…

Kudos 2 – £5.99/€5.99/$5.99
RPS comment-regular Cliffski’s life-simulation strategy game. You get to manage the life of a single character from the age of 20 to 30. Think The Sims, but turn based, and a bit more like a proper game. It has low system requirements, a pretty cool 2D interface, and NO DRM WHATSOEVER AT ALL. Demo here.

Football Manager 2009 – £14.99/€30/$14.99 (Wow, Europe are really getting screwed there)
A successful combination of both the tedium of football and the monotony of databases. A hell of a lot of people like this game – in fact, for a large number of my mates this is the only game worth playing. It apparently has “Uniloc 5 machine activation limit”, bad Sega! When was the last time you remember a game having “3D!” written on the box as a selling point? Well, it is a weekend special, and a fairly good price, I guess. Demo here.

Immortal Defense – £3.50/$4.99 (Sorry Euro folk, it seems Direct2Drive do not want your money)
Pretty indie Tower Defence game. It has bright lights, a story, an enjoyable soundtrack, and a level editor. If you’ve played Defense Grid to death, maybe give this a go next.

Stronghold Bundle – £8.11/€9.17/$11.98
Never played these castle-centric strategy/management games, but they are apparently good, old and cheap, which works for me. Also, they’ve been known to outsell GTA games in germany. FACT.

Deal of the week
Zeno Clash – £6.95/$9.95 (Sorry Euro folk, it seems Direct2Drive do not want your money)
I really hope this game plays as good as it looks. Although this is bought from Direct2Drive, they will give you a serial number for you to plug into Steam. Great for anyone (like me) who missed out on the Steam 50% off deal. It’s a first person shooter that looks nothing like any other first person shooters. It looks like Dr Seuss on a bad trip meets The Neverhood. With fish guns. I’ll be severely disappointed if it is all style and no substance. Trailer here and RPS coverage here. [We’ll have exciting, opinion-based coverage of ZC within the next few days, by the way.]


  1. Frosty840 says:

    I’m quite impressed that whichever RPSer wrote this even remembers The Neverhood. Presumably the rememberer is question is John, but still…

  2. Frosty840 says:

    Hmm… just reread that. Sounds too dismissive of the great Mr. Walker.
    Just thinking that it would be less impressive for Britain’s Greatest Adventure Games Reviewer to remember an Adventure game than it would have been for anyone else to remember it.

    Thinking seems to take far too much effort these days, I’m sure they’re putting something in the water…

  3. Alec Meer says:

    LewieP wrote it, but I can reassure you that I remember the Neverhood. I’ll bet John does too.

  4. Senethro says:

    I don’t get it. How can you pay D2D a small amount of money but still get served by Steam? Its madness!

  5. Flappybat says:

    I wonder if that now everyone is jumping on the price cut bandwagon that the sales benefit is wearing thin.

    I bought about six games on sale this month, no more!

  6. LewieP says:

    It was me who remembers The Neverhood :).

    Also of note (but only to people in the UK) this week, I just got a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 for £2.10 from PC World. They are down to £5 at Staples, and are £34.24 at PC World. Once you apply their price match promise, it gets reduced to £2.10. For this to work, you will need to have both a PC World and a Staples within 30 miles of each other, both with it in stock, but luckilly I live near somewhere with both of them a minute away from each other (Teeside Park).

  7. The_B says:

    Heh. In Lincoln they’re literally next to each other. Well, almost. There’s a Pets at Home in between, but unless I get confused and come home with a Cordless RumbleHamster, it should work…

  8. Garu says:

    Hmmm, very tough call on Zeno Clash. On the one hand, it looks to have great art style and an interesting setting. On the other, I am highly skeptical of first person melee combat and don’t like preordering.

    But, then again, $10 is awfully cheap.

  9. c-Row says:

    Football Manager 2009 – £14.99/€30/$14.99 (Wow, Europe are really getting screwed there)

    In all necessary seriousness – WTF?!

  10. shinygerbil says:

    +1 for Immortal Defense. Wonderful soundtrack, excellent aesthetics. Beautifully crafted. Not to mention, it’s a good example of a TD game, and therefore addictive as hell.

    Football manager is also roughly as addictive as this fictional place we call “hell”. Try as I might, I just can’t replicate Martin O’Neill. :(

  11. bansama says:

    For those of us in countries where Football Manager 2009 is not sold, we get Universe at War for $9.99 (or 50% off) instead as the weekend deal on Steam.

    It’s also nice to see that GamersGate dropped the price of Kudos 2 to $5.99 — initially they had it at $7.99 (as advertised via Twitter as well) but the banner stated the lower price.

    Also not mentioned, but Kane and Lynch is also 50% off on GamersGate.

  12. John says:

    How is Kudos 2?

    There is more to Immortal Defense than just Tower Defense, although that is fun. The story is just terrific.

  13. qrter says:

    Zeno Clash does look very promising. It’s only €12 (pre-order) on Steam for us mainlanders anyway, that won’t break the bank.

  14. Mythrilfan says:

    We *are* getting screwed over with Footy Manager, but not by that much (unless they differentiate between various parts of Europe). It goes for 22,49€ here.

  15. Howard says:

    Has anyone actually played Zeno Clash? I am very intrigued by this but I think we’ve all been burned by “unique” looking FPSs before.

  16. Andrew Dunn says:

    Stronghold for that price is definitely worth a punt. The first game is especially good (and there’s a wealth of custom scenarios available to download for it in various places around the internet).

  17. bansama says:

    How is Kudos 2?

    Well worth the price. I paid full price for it and enjoyed it a lot. Grab the demo and try it out for yourself.

    Has anyone actually played Zeno Clash?

    None of us normal folk I expect, seeing as it isn’t released for a few more days yet.

  18. LewieP says:


    That is curious. It seems different places in Europe have different prices, even with the same currency. France is €30, Germany is €22.49, Spain is €17.49.

  19. Frosty840 says:

    Hmm… Leicester also has a Staples and a PC World right next to each other (the inner-city PC World, not the one at Fosse Park, though I suppose they’re both with 30 miles of the Staples…) Worth a look.

  20. Rei Onryou says:

    @LewieP: Buy up all their stock, put it on eBay. So long as you don’t tell anyone else about the deal, you’ll make a bundle. Oh wait…

  21. Jim Rossignol says:

    All of RPS have been playing Zeno Clash. Verdict next week.

  22. LewieP says:

    @Rei Onryou
    I already bought two, and they were not happy with that. One for me, and one for my Mum.

    It’s perfect timing too, since I have just got a telly at the foot of my bed, and the appropriate wires to hook it up to my PC. A wireless controller will be very handy.

    For anyone who does get one, apparently you can use this to make your PC thing it is a 360 pad, for easy compatibility with most modern games. It also comes with 2 free Duracell batteries, which wouldn’t cost much less than £2.10 on their own!

  23. yhancik says:

    Stronghold was (and still is) really great.

    It’s been for years my favourite strategy-of-that-kind game <3

    (I even use the MonthyPython’sHolyGrailESQUE “A MMMessage, Lord” as a new mail notification in Thunderbird :p)

  24. fulis says:

    well Jim, buy or no buy for 9,99$?

  25. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Uhm…you mean euros, not the inavailabilty, right? I’m more than happy with dollars or quids, european currency smells…
    link to
    This product is available worldwide.
    +there is a preorder sale on Stalin VS Martians over at Gamersgate AND 50% off Codemasters games at Gamesplanet…

  26. Tei says:

    I have to mail that guy, Paul Eres, and tell him I have buy his game. (:

    He seems the author this other thing:
    link to

    From: Paul Eres
    To: Tei
    Date: Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:42 PM
    Subject: Re: Immortal Defense for $5

    Thanks, I hope so too. Good luck clearing your credit too!


    On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 5:40 PM, Tei wrote:
    > Yea, probably.
    > Hope you have good sales!.. good luck with the game!.
    > My credit card is burning now, so no sales from me, but I will have a
    > eye on your game :-)
    > bye!

  27. redpanda says:

    The weirdest thing is FM2009 is 19.95€ in retail stores, here in the euro-zone (well.. In Spain, at least)

  28. Oak says:

    Stronghold and Crusader are both great. Bonus points if you enjoy turtling.

  29. Dominic White says:

    Another good semi-bargain (although not limited to this weekend) is the recent re-release of Sword of The Stars, now including both expansions. 30 Euros/Dollars.

    Get it on Steam here:
    link to

    Yes, the game wasn’t great at launch. However, the devs didn’t stop caring, and it’s now excellent. The two expansion each add a bunch of major gameplay mechanics, as well as a new race each, and there’s been about fifty patches, some adding whole new features as well as tuning AI and mashing bugs.

    For those who haven’t played it, think Total War in Space (relatively light turnbased strategic/empire level stuff, detailed realtime tactical combat with custom-built ships) with a dash of Master of Orion (lots of options, plenty of random elements, and some cosmic-scale threats that will pressure every empire on the map).

    RPS should do a piece about it now that it’s ‘complete’ (the developers have stated as much – outside squashing bugs, the game is now finalized). It’s pretty much a different game to what was released to lukewarm praise a few years back.

  30. Dominic White says:

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention one of SoTS’s biggest perks – you can play whole campaigns multiplayer, empire management and all. It works surprisingly well.

    And seconding that question for Tim: For those of us who haven’t made a decision on Zeno Clash either way, should we put our $10 now or not? Yay or Nay – your full thoughts can wait til’ next week!

  31. nakke says:

    Seems like they lowered FM2009 to 22,49 €. Of course, that is still twice as much as in the united states of american dollars.

  32. Nuahaun says:

    I would just like to chime in and second all the praise that others have given Immortal Defense. It’s one of my favorite all-time games, and the only one that drove me to proselytize for it on the RPS forums. There’s a generous demo you can download from the game’s website to see if it’s worth your $5.

  33. Guto says:

    Always good to read any mention of Neverhood, easily one of the greatest games ever.

    I’ve always been a big fan of Football Manager, since the CM times, but this new version is really bad, they tried to be realistic and in the end they just took away all the fun from the game.

  34. Lucas says:

    Already downloading Stronghold. I bought the bundle yesterday when I saw it. My brother has been recommending this for a while. The later games in the series don’t seem to have a strong following.

  35. Matzerath says:

    I was pondering Immortal Defense — I think indeed that will be my weekend contribution to the Indy game industry, while I wait in fearful anticipation for Zeno Clash (caught the early deal!).
    I would also mention that the free and possibly litigious Worms-clone ‘Hedgewars’ is really quite a lot of fun, though needful of more online players (with decent connections). They’ve added several weapons of their own devising, including the amazing gumball gun, which shoots a couple hundred colorful gumballs bouncing all over and then exploding in a beautifully chaotic display. A late game bonus weapon, of course.

  36. Tei says:

    About Immortal Defense: Seems long, has lots of “maps” and a editor to make more. It has nice ideas, and a mix of arcade mixed with it. Has a history, long history, seems nice and maybe fun. Its probably made with a *maker. Its probably the type of game peopel have on the laptop for quick interesting gamming.

  37. runcrash says:

    I just picked up Zeno Clash from Direct2Drive. I’m looking forward to playing it in a few days. FYI, you don’t get a code to add it to Steam when you buy it, as far as I can see. If you want it on Steam, buy it on Steam.

  38. LewieP says:

    From the listing on direct2drive:
    “The DRM system for this product is Steam.”
    Which, unless I am mistaken, means that when it comes out, you’ll get a serial which you can put into steam.

  39. runcrash says:

    Yeah looks like you are right, I guess I assumed they would give me a key right away and I would preload it on Steam. That’s not the case.

  40. Sciere says:

    As pointed out above, “Sorry Euro folk, it seems Direct2Drive do not want your money” is rather misleading – Europeans get to pay in dollar (no tax added!) and that makes it even more of a steal for Zeno Clash for instance.

  41. LewieP says:

    Yeah, sorry, when I saw that they had a USA and a UK site, but no European site, I assumed that they wouldn’t sell to customers outside of those countries. Seems I was mistaken.

  42. Paul Moloney says:

    Reading this article, I am finally convinced for the need for a European Union Rapid Reaction Force, in order to kick games publishers’ butts.


  43. Devan says:

    Thanks for the thrifty tips, RPS

  44. MeestaNob! says:

    Re Football Manager 2009 – despite what the Steam page says, isn’t the 5 machine limit only for those with retail CDs who choose not to attach to a Steam account?

  45. bansama says:

    Re Football Manager 2009 – despite what the Steam page says, isn’t the 5 machine limit only for those with retail CDs who choose not to attach to a Steam account?

    Most likely not. If it’s on the product page for the Steam version, then it’s most likely included in the Steam version — check the Steam forums someone is bound to complaining about it =)

  46. Dave says:

    Kudos 2 is surprisingly entertaining. It’s got that “one… more… turn!” thing going for it.

  47. Matzerath says:

    Immortal Defense is, indeed, very cool!

  48. Kommissar Nicko says:

    @cliffski: Discount on Democracy 2 and I’m your huckleberry.

  49. Radiant says:

    Thoroughly useful article.
    Well played Lewis P!

  50. Stromko says:

    That’s not really a special deal on Stronghold. It’s been on Gametap for a year or so for one thing (multiple editions: Crusader, Stronghold Deluxe, and Stronghold Extreme), and that’s a few bucks a month. I’m sure Stronghold’s been available various places for about 10 bucks or less for a long while.

    Seeing as ten bucks is enough for lots of (new) indie games and various amazing weekend deals (like the ones I’ve seen here), it just doesn’t seem that great. If you’ve never played Stronghold and you think a castle-building game might be your type of game, however, it’s a definite must-play any way you can get your hands on it. 10$ for convenience (and permanent ownership unlike Gametap) might be worthwhile in that case.