The RPS Bargain Bucket: Bundling

I’d have liked to include Red Faction: Guerrilla in this weeks bargain bucket, because it’s a ton of fun, but THQ’s insane international pricing policies on Steam have kept it out. Instead we’ve got a wide selection of games from all over the globe, and in all different genres. Let the bargains being! For more ways to get the most electronic entertainment for your money, head to SavyGamer.co.uk.

Ground Control Pack – £5.15/€5.63/$8.38
Commencing countdown, engines on. Jim did a nice retrospective of the first game here, where he said things like “This exquisitely unassuming game first trundled onto my PC in June 2000 and ever since I’ve been waiting for a worthy successor,” and “While other RTS games had half the screen covered in their ornate interface packaging, Ground Control had a translucent map and a couple of floating buttons for your units. It was a game that made the most of the clarity of its simple, beautiful terrain.” This bundle is the first game and its expansion, and the special edition of the sequel, although of note to any UK RPSers who prefer their games on discs, mysteriously-stocked electronics emporium CEX have got them (in very limited stock) for 50p and 80p respectively.

Sword of the Stars: Ultimate Collection – £9.95/€9.95/$9.95
For your money here you get the original SOTS, and the two expansions Born of Blood and A Murder of Crows, although Argos Naval Yard is conspicuous by its absence (that’ll set you back another 6.99 of your currencies). This has been on sale a bunch of times in recent memory, but never with both these expansions, and never quite this affordably. Space 4X is the order of the day, and you get to kill other space ships with lasers. Demo here.

Blackwell Bundle – £16.89/€18.45/$27.50
When John told us wot he thought of the most recent of this brainy point’n’click adventure series, The Blackwell Convergence, one of the minor complaints he had was about pricing. He said “A bundle of all three at around $30 would be a sensible offer, and one I’d fully recommend.” Well, Wadjet Eye Games have put together a super-sensible bundle of the three games for $27.50. These are games of supernatural dectectivery, and if you enjoyed The Shivah when it was given away for free on Yom Kippur, then you’ll enjoy these, as they’re made by the same bloke. Note for Britishers – if I told the web site I was in the UK I got charged VAT. If I told it I was in another country, and paid via paypal, I didn’t get charged VAT. Make of that what you will. Demo’s here, here and here.

Twin Sector – £15.74/€20.99
Gasp – a game that is available in the UK and Europe, but not in America… Let’s add it to the list, along with Vib Ribbon and Doshin the Giant. First person puzzle ’em up in the mold of Portal, except not as good in most of important ways. That said, there are very few games out there that are as good as Portal (scroll down a little bit for one of them), and John saw enough good in this to (not) give it a score of 6: “It’s a muddled bag of some splendid ideas and some fun glove action. But it irritates too often, whether it’s by glitching, crashing or ruining yet another fun puzzle with a sodding Tracer.” Chopping some cash off the price must certainly go some way to alleviating those irritations. Demo here.

Deal of the week
World of Goo – $Whatever you want
I eagerly await hearing how the ‘pay whatever you want’ experiment went with World of Goo. I don’t think that there has ever been an example of such a high profile, universally-loved game following that pricing strategy. If you don’t own it already, then please stop reading now, and go get. If you have already got it, then buy it for your relatives, buy it for your colleagues, buy it for your pets, buy it for your friends and buy it for your enemies. By what I can only assume is witchcraft, World of Goo manages to contain everything that’s wonderful about indie games. It is subversive, it is inventive, it is polished and it is fun for all ages. 2D Boy, I love you.

Also of note:
50% off COH: Tales of Valor
50% off Beyond the Spirit’s Eye
55.8% off anything with Gordon Freeman in it

If that lot’s not enough for you, do check out SavyGamer.co.uk for constantly-updated bargains across all formats.

58 Comments

  1. Mac says:

    A bit of a MEH weekend for deals IMO

  2. Chobes says:

    I totally plan to buy the Blackwell bundle just because I loved the Shivah (even though the voice acting the demo was kind of a put off; I guess I can just turn it off if it annoys me too much), but it seems odd to have it in the Bargain Bucket. I always figured the point of these postings was to announce good deals going on for a limited time, and I’m pretty sure the bundle is $30ish for the rest of eternity (knock on wood).

  3. tka says:

    SOTS: Ultimate Collection is excellent.

    • Heliocentric says:

      To really get the best out of SOTS you need to either have a group to play multiplayer with or play progressive mode.

      Progressive mode is like the 4X version of sliders, desperately battling in one universe before gathering your forces and fleeing to the next. Everytime advancing in threats and technology level as you try and keep your head above water.

    • Vinraith says:

      Progressive mode is neat, certainly, but it’s not like the normal single player game isn’t a fantastic 4X space game as well. The AI is strong, the events and non-player threats keep you on your toes, it’s honestly one of the best 4X games out there in SP IMO.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    You kick off about Red faction then link to COH: Tales of Valor’s £=$=€ ? I know Sword of the Stars did the same thing, but eh, its worth it.

    • LewieP says:

      Yeah, those are bad too, but no way near as bad as the RFG example. If I never linked to anything with bad international pricing, these buckets would be pretty anaemic, but I think it is right to make a example of the very worst offenders.

  5. Sacred_flame101 says:

    you can get the first ground control free legally from here:link to fileplanet.com

  6. teo says:

    Dammit, I’d pick up Red Faction if they gave a fair price

    • LewieP says:

      My advice: If you know anyone in the USA that could do it for you, you paypal them the $30, and get them to buy it for you.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Sadly, I do not know anyone in the US. Given the comments by the RPS lot, RF:G is something I’d love to pick up – if only THQ weren’t trying to rip my limbs off and cram them down my throat in the process of my buying it.

    • Heliocentric says:

      My mobile phones ip is some european country, thusly i just got tales of valo(u)r for $15 instead of £15. So i could likely do the same with red faction. Need to use pay pal to stop impulse identifying my nation from my card.

  7. Optimaximal says:

    Funny how L4D2 is in the Freeman 55.8% offer…

    • CaptainHairy says:

      I’m pretty sure it’s not, that their site’s search function is just a bit broken. It seems to be picking up everything by Valve, rather than just the HL series. The way that they announced that thing still makes me giggle though. Kanye will get ‘not funny’ at some point, but for me that time is not now.

    • LewieP says:

      It’s because the description says “from the makers of Half-Life”

    • DarkNoghri says:

      If you look at the price, L4D2 isn’t on the sale, that sale price is the preorder one that’s been up for a few weeks now.

  8. Tei says:

    TOR is a tool for anonymatization. With it your IP is the one of the “exit node”, and most nodes are on USA.

    link to torproject.org

    With this tool you can buy stuff on USA from anywhere in the world. It also help break trough some zealot firewalls.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      How does Tor work with regards to the Steam Store, though? I presume you need to set it up to anonymise your browser traffic then use your browser to visit the store rather than just using the Steam store from inside Steam (since I doubt you can anonymise the traffic to/from the Steam client)?

    • Carra says:

      Last time I tried to buy from the USA steam store it didn’t accept my European credit card. Maybe with paypal & a proxy.

      It sure does limit the amount of impulsive buys.

  9. invisiblejesus says:

    Anyone know anything about what kind of DRM I could expect on SotS?

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    Hmm, I *think* SotS is DRM free.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      And do you know offhand if Gamersgate slaps their own DRM on it? I haven’t done business with them before, I don’t know if they add their own like Direct2Drive does or not.

    • Rostock says:

      It varies from game to game… I don’t think GamersGate adds any DRM at all, it’s up to the publishers. I’ve bought three games from them and Hearts of Iron 3 (made by Paradox, who owns GamersGate) is DRM-less I think. Men of War has some kind of DRM I think.

    • Vinraith says:

      Gamersgate puts a login check on the installer, to make sure the person installing it is the person that’s supposed to have access to the game. That’s it.

  11. SirKicksalot says:

    The Half-Life offer is fucking amazing. You can get the complete HL2 experience for only 7.4 €!

  12. Crescend says:

    World of Goo for 2 dollars :D. Awesome, I’ve been wondering for months whether I’m gonna buy the game.

  13. EX-Machina says:

    The only DRM that gamersgate uses is the authentication check it does with it’s downloader exe. But if you copy the setup.exe while installing after downloading the game once, then run that exe, you’ll never have to reauthenticate with the gamersgate servers. Then, the only DRM that will be in the game is whatever the publishers put in it.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      OK, and that’s not going to install anything on my machine that I can’t remove later? I don’t mean to come off as paranoid, and I actually don’t mind an authentication check, I just don’t want crap installed on my machine that I can’t remove later if it causes me problems.

    • Vinraith says:

      There are no secret instalations and no nonsense. Honestly, Gamersgate is the next best thing to GoG.

  14. bill says:

    every post i’ve seen about World of Goo is for $2 or less. 90% of them are for 0.01$.
    I really hope they aren’t gonna get hit with all the transaction charges, as i have a bad feeling they’ll be losing money.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      They have it set up so that you’re “donating” to them through Paypal, which I don’t think costs anything. In any case, I’m pretty sure Paypal only takes a share of the transaction, not a flat fee, so I don’t think they can get stuck paying more than they made. They aren’t stupid guys, I doubt all the 1 cent purchases are coming as a surprise to them.

  15. PHeMoX says:

    It’s crazy with Steam… I want those Dollar prices back. I would buy three times as many games then, as I generally like Steam a lot.

    It’s stupid that even with a ‘weekend special’ price, the game isn’t even as cheap as the US version would be.

  16. TCM says:

    Picked up Sword of the Stars, because I am a sucker for 4X, and especially so for cheap 4X.

  17. realsch says:

    SOTS has been nagging me for so long. I love space games, I love 4x and SOTS is about the only recent one I don’t own I think. Is it worth it to buy without knowing a lot of people to play it online with (say, one or two) ?

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s very solid in single player and co-op, and also has the absolutely marvelous progressive mode which is single-player only I believe. The AI is quite good, and it’s a fantastic game. If you’re a fan of space 4X, definitely pick it up at this ridiculously low price.

  18. noom says:

    Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is atm (probably UK only… haven’t checked)

    • noom says:

      Goddammit. HTML fail. Shoulda said “£17.99 on play.com” as the linkage.

  19. Kynes says:

    Not sure about your strange UK currencies, but it’s worth noting that gamersgate is pushing Painkiller with the Overdose expansion for 5 american dollars.

  20. mgl says:

    I paid $5 for WoG yesterday. Figured that was fair, since I missed it for that price on a Steam weekend sale some months back, and more goes to 2D Boy this way.

  21. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    If there was a list showing who paid how much for it, people would probably pay loads of money for it, to show their muscles, I mean their wallets.

  22. drewski says:

    $10 for WoG from me.

    [/smug superiority]

  23. Vinraith says:

    Hmm, not a very good weekend set of bargains for me, but everyone that doesn’t own it should buy SotS at that price (and then pick up Argos Naval Yard for the pittance it costs). It’s an absolutely brilliant game, probably the best thing I’ve bought this year thus far.

  24. LewieP says:

    Anyone in the UK yet to pick up Fallout 3, now is the time:

    Fallout 3, GOTY Edition – £17.48 delivered

  25. TooNu says:

    I also paid $2 for WOG. I have little resources for games after buying 2 copies of Champions online, 1 copy of Blood Bowl and maintaining 2 EvE online Subscriptions. $2 to people who ask “what would you pay?” is plenty. I have played it through chapter 1 though, it’s quite something.

  26. Gotem says:

    Sam and Max season two is at $19.95 from link to telltalegames.com for thsoe interested in some adventure gaming

  27. SmuglyRighteous says:

    I forked over $1 for WoG for my mum. I had paid full price for it when it came out, didn’t “feel right” about just copying the install file from my USB thumbdrive, so I donated.

  28. biscotti says:

    I used Tor to grab those free EA games last week off the UK EA store while I was in Spain. I also used it to check out Steam et al. You’re right, you need to connect to Steam through your web browser and you need to use Paypal but it works a treat for me. I wrote a brief guide on how to do it if interested.

    I fully appreciate that it might be bad form to post such information on a high profile gaming blog. I don’t know the legality of it. Anyway, delete as necessary Senors Adminos.

    • biscotti says:

      that was a reply to Alexander Norris by the by.

    • Tei says:

      Neato, Mr biscotti. I think I will use that, but not to get a better price, but to buy games that are not available on my region.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      That’s an incredibly useful post which I’ve now sent to half a dozen of my acquaintances. Thanks very much for that.

  29. Alex Hayter says:

    Let the bargains being indeed! Dropped 99 cents for gooeyness.

  30. Driadan says:

    About the 50% thq’s dawn of war in steam, It is cheaper getting the DoW platinum + soulstorm + DoW 2 separately than the full pack, about 5€ cheaper

  31. jRides says:

    On the back cover of the new PCGamer (UK variant) there is a code to get 30% off all Mastertronic’s PC games – from http://www.mastertronic.com. It might be a subscriber offer only come to think of it, but maybe have a look when the new PCG hits the shelves in the next day or two – unless your a suscriber ofc.

    Deus Ex Complete, Thief collection or Hitman collection for £6.84 each, to give some examples ( I have no idea if thats a good deal or not really, youre buying the box, but some you can download for the same price).

    • jRides says:

      Oh I lied, I see the Hitman collection, (like the Commandos Collection and Conflict collections) are £10.26 – 4-5 games in those I suppose, unlike Thief, Deus ex, Broken sword and unreal stuff that only seems to pack three games.

      Still a good bargain I suppose.

  32. Gremmi says:

    I tried that tor thing to buy Riddick on Steam (available in the US, not available at all elsewhere for some reason), but even though I chose Paypal, and went through a PP account that has a US address, the Steam website kept on saying ‘YOUR ADDRESS IS NOT FROM THE COUNTRY YOU ARE PURCHASING FROM’, regardless of what I set both the Steam and PP address to.

    Was on a US tor server thingy too. Oh well. Shall see if I can just send the money to a ‘merican friend and have it gifted, I suppose.