The RPS Bargain Bucket: Multi-Winners

Some older classics and some more recent indie funtimes make up this week’s bargain bucket, and I get silly and passionate towards the end. The two advent calendars from Gamesgate and D2D are still underway too, with a new deals every 24 hours til Christmas. Some great pre-Christmas discounts are available all over the place at the minute, so be sure to keep a keen eye on SavyGamer.

CounterStrike: Source – £3.50/€5/$5
I would have said that anyone who would want this would have it by now, but it would seem I’d have been wrong, as it has stormed right to the top of the Steam chart. I guess it has the selling points of being both a game with guns, and also supporting dedicated servers. For those not in the know, this is a very competitive, fast paced, team FPS that launched back with Half Life 2, based on what was originally a HL1 mod. I played it quite a lot in years gone by, and I was OK. I die very quickly whenever I decide to play it again now though. It takes me a few hours to get back into it, but I’m never as good as I used to be. It’s cheap, maybe gift it to people who don’t yet have it. I know people who play COD on consoles that might get a kick out of it.

Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus – £3.06/$4.99
A pair of cinematic platformers that are on the funny side of disgusting. These games have you taking control of an unlikely hero, who ends up saving the day via puzzle platforming. Some neat tricks they have up their sleeves are the gamespeak system – using a few button presses to communicate with other characters, the ability to possess enemy characters, and some very pretty animation. The two latter games in the series are getting a PC port at some point too.

Multiwinia: Survival of the flattest – £4.44/€4.95/$4.95
This is indie pioneers Introversion’s take on the multiplayer centric RTS. Anything can happen. Well, not really anything, but things can get pretty crazy. It’s as solidly put together as it is fun to play, it has excellent resolution support, and Alt tabs with no problems. Here’s my review, RPS coverage here, and demo here.

AI War + Gratuitous Space Battles – £24.55/$39.99
Arcen and Positech team up to show why indie developers are cooler than the big publishers. In a move similar to packaging Rock Band with Guitar Hero, these two games, which are technically in direct competition with each other, pair up to offer a discount when bought together. It’s a shame the discount is only by about £2. Still, this is a perma-offer, so no need to make a quick call of judgement. Aiwar demo here, RPS coverage here. GSB demo here, RPS coverage here.

Deal of the week
Samorost 2 -£1.99/€1.99/$2.49
There’s lots of good reasons to buy Samorost 2. Maybe you just finished Machinarium and enjoyed the charming little world it invited you into. Maybe you played the first Samorost, and loved just how off the wall the puzzles and presentation were, just bursting with character. Perhaps you like the gorgeous artwork of Machinarium, but struggle with the idea of paying a whole £12.50 on something that is essentially a flash game, however pretty it is. Maybe you think that playing a game that you might just fall in love with, and remember fondly forever, is worth the price of a pint.

It’s an indie game doing what indie games do well, and it does it with breathtaking style. Forget the nonsense about downloadable content, DRM, bugs, derivative design and Games for sodding windows live. Samorost 2, and everything Amanita Design has created, reminds me that sometimes games contain real beauty.

Hell, if you are on the fence, email me and I’ll gift it to the first three. Try some of their other games here.

Also of note:
Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 – £3.49/€4.99/$4.99
Pirates of the Burning Sea -£2/€2.50/$5
Dreamkiller – £20.99/€16.49/$22.49

GamersGate Advent Calender
Direct2Drive Advent Calender – USA/UK

Bonus: Best deal if it were December 2007, Bioshock for £19.99 at Impulse, and they are not even getting a functioning link.

[Jim says: My book is now out in Europe and the UK in paperback, too.]


  1. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I wish games publishers would stop making bundles of 1 x Game I Want only available at a reduced price with 1 x Game I Already Have. Had GSB for ages, quite fancy AI War. Got Multiwinia along with Darwinia in a recent sale but haven’t played it yet (although I did Darwinia in very short order as I couldn’t stop playing it).

    Any RPS Multiwinia fiends who can tell me what they like about it?

  2. Andrew Dunn says:

    Red Orchestra for that price is a proper bargain, all who want a traumatisingly brutal online FPS should buy it.

    • HidesHisEyes says:

      Absolutely. Seriously, buy this game. It’s multiplayer that can get so good it feels like something scripted.

      Crawling over piles of bodies, grabbing a downed officer’s revolver because the alternative is a bolt action rifle, only for it to be shot out of your hand by an enemy as you crawl for safety and cry… I’ve never played a multiplayer game as good, if only it had the community to support some kind of modern mod…

    • MadMatty says:

      Second that- just bought two copies for my friends

    • Jakkar says:

      Heavenly awesome wunderbar.

      Just wish it had higher player limits and more advertising to secure a larger community – it gets pretty quiet between sales, and defaults to most servers running tank battles for crazy middle-aged men with laaarge moustaches to pop each other at 700m and discuss armour thickness and deflection angles.

    • Jimmy says:

      I have been mostly playing the Darkest Hour mod for Red Orchestra. There is a good community and it draws a good balance between realism and playability. It is basically Medal of Honour with Arma 2 one shot one kill. It lacks many features, but on the other hand, it makes it easier to just join in on a game. The learning curve is minimal, and the craic, mighty.

      Bring on RO2. It is talked off but no date yet.

  3. St4ud3 says:

    Unbelievable. Impulse given actually has gotten the currency conversation right and the games cost exactly the same in GBP,€ and $. I am inclined to buy something from them just because of that :)

    • Phinor says:

      Worth nothing that most titles are only available in North America, such as the Bioshock mentioned… very few titles actually have the equal pricing that are available worldwide.

    • Fede says:

      Impulse has always had it, but starting from next year probably things will change, as people preferred to have all games available to all regions rather than the same price everywhere (which was Impulse’s policy)

  4. HexagonalBolts says:

    The world would be a better place if people focused on the ‘real beauty’ rather than the ‘downloadable content, DRM, bugs, derivative design and Games for sodding windows live’ in every aspect of their lives.

    • monkehhh says:


    • Wulf says:

      I’m a total sap, for all though I found the commentary rather off-putting, I actually enjoyed the video. But everyone should have moments like that though, where you just stop and look at something, take it in, and realise how amazing it is.

      At least, everyone should have moments like that.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Interesting how you call yourself a sap, whereas I would just describe you as human. Sometimes people seem to be too afraid of feelings and letting them be known. But better to be called a sap than to feel nothing at all.

  5. Carra says:

    No big budget cheapies this week.

    I’ll check out the Samorost 2 game.

  6. LewieP says:

    All three copies have been snaffled now, I’m heading out for lunch now, but will gift them later.

    • darth_careful says:

      LewieP says: December 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm All three copies have been snaffled now, I’m heading out for lunch now, but will gift them later.

      And I snaffled one of them! Cheers Lewie!

      Oh, and Space Rangers 2 is well worth it. Sort of a fun, 2D Elite.

    • Carra says:

      I won, I won! If I like I’ll see to buy the prequel.

    • Carra says:

      Since the prequel appears to be free I’ll see to pick up Machinarium, been wanting to try that one out for a while :)

  7. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    The Saboteur for 25 quids, 29 quids delivered that was the deal of the week (from GAME), considering how much fun I will have with it. They are asking like 40 quids for it in my country, they can go die in fire

  8. abhishek says:

    Picked up Samorost 2. At that price, how can you not? I was blown away by Machinarium, so really glad I can play more from the same developers. In case you didn’t know, Samorost 1 is free and can be played at their website – link to

    Question about Samorost 2 for the folks are have it… Is there any way to play it without fullscreen? For games like this, I prefer to play it in a window so that I can have other work going on while playing.

  9. archonsod says:

    If you’re willing to download the ImpulseNow client you can get Space Rangers 2 for $1.99. They’re doing a daily deal via the client to encourage people to test it (it’s in beta) and apparently they get “better deals than the publishers would allow publicly”.

    Majesty 2 is seven quid on GamersGate, which is about the right price range for it imho.

    Deal of the week though would have been Rome : Total War gold for two quid on D2D yesterday and M2 Total War for two quid off Steam as their midweek madness.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Note that you need anyway to install Impulse to download Space Rangers 2, but it’s not really a big issue.

      Direct link to SR2 promotion : link to (coupon code is SR2199, in fact, simply)

      About Majesty 2, I bought mine on direct2drive, and I noticed this morning that the serial they gave me works to activate it on impulse (probably because it’s a game with Impulse GOO), so I have the latest version, and I’ll get my patches correctly, unlike with the D2D version.

    • Carra says:

      Majesty 2 is a must buy at that price.

  10. Lambchops says:

    Also worth noting this week is that you can get the first episode of Sam and Max Seson 2 for free at, link to

    So it appears there will be a new season of Sam and max as well.

  11. Talorc says:

    Realms of Arkania is 25% off at GOG

    link to

    Been on my wishlist for ages, just snaffled them

    • Vinraith says:

      @Talorc: Are the Realms of Arkania games any good? I know they’re based on the same PnP system as Drakensang.

  12. Shadrach says:

    Mare Nostrum mod for Red Orchestra is out in a new huge patch this weekend, so a good reason to get RO if you don’t have it :)
    link to

  13. James G says:

    Left4dead 2 is currently £19.99 in store. On mobile at moment so can’t easily check online price.

  14. Weylund says:

    I picked up L4D2 at on sale for $30-ish. Neither here nor there, just gloating.

    As for GSB + AI War… make it slightly cheaper and I’ll buy it, but I’m happy to see that package going. Very cool. They don’t seem to be competing that heavily, though, or am I missing the point? Actually it seems a bit like selling Battletech to people who’ve just bought Succession Wars.

    • Weylund says:

      On an entirely separate note, Hard Rain is one of the best gaming experiences ever devised by man.

      That is all.

    • Scalene says:

      Totally agree with this, Hard Rain is a gem.

    • LewieP says:

      They are in competition in the sense that they are both strategy games with lots of spaceships, and gamers only have so much time and money.

  15. malkav11 says:

    Left 4 Dead 2 also appears to be $40 at Target atm, for us American types.

    Course, I got my copy for $30 on Amazon on “Cyber Monday”, so I’m set already.

  16. Metal_Circus says:

    RO is a great game – not played in yonks mind you but there’s some special moments contained within it. Working as a team can really pay off aswell, nothing like a well oiled team in RO. It really captures the gritty reality of war as well, which is surprising considering it’s an online FPS

  17. Jugglenaut says:

    So which is better, RO or CS:S? I doubt I’ll get either, but I’m curious as to which would come better recommended.

    • Weylund says:

      I would highly recommend RO. CSS is fine, but RO is a near-masterpiece. If you can get it cheaply it’s well worth it – just give it time and learn the ropes before judging it. The free expansion Darkest Hour is also quite excellent.

    • MD says:

      The answer TOTALLY depends on your own personal preferences. I know that could be said about any pair of games, but in this case it’s particularly true.

  18. Blather Blob says:

    @archonsod: Is December 12th annual Space Rangers 2 day at Impulse?

    I’m thinking of getting this for a friend, but does it still include the reboot expansion? The $4 offer did, and I don’t see any alternative bundle on their site that might have instead been on sale last year, but I also don’t see anything on their Space Rangers 2 page saying that it does include Reboot. Also the page says it’s version 1.3, but my copy says it’s 2.0 when I load it up.

    • Blather Blob says:

      Nevermind. Just realised that I got “Space Rangers 2 Complete” which isn’t on sale, and isn’t linked to on any of the Space Rangers 2 pages, but can be searched for.

      (oh sure, now reply works properly)

  19. yutt says:

    Publishers control regional pricing, online retailers do not.
    Publishers control regional pricing, online retailers do not.
    Publishers control regional pricing, online retailers do not.

    Do you people understand yet?

    Publishers control regional pricing, online retailers do not.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Unless you are an indie dev. Then the platform holder will have a strong influence on price.

  20. leeder_krenon says:

    i picked up red orchestra as i am interested in the setting, but i tend to suck at this kind of game. where should i look to play it, there seemed to be a lot of servers up but i got in a game and didn’t really know what was going on… everyone seemed to be driving tanks around.

    • Weylund says:

      Just hop into big pub matches. If the game’s on sale there’ll be tons of newbies there. A particularly fine place to hop is Major Viper’s Danzig server. Great place to learn to play – get your butt kicked until you figure things out, but fast-paced so there’s no real downtime.

    • Weylund says:

      Oh, and take the “worst” class – rifleman. You’ll get a bolt-action rifle which a) generally has unlimited slots, meaning you’re not taking anything away from players who know what they’re doing, b) is a perfect weapon to learn RO with, and c) once you get halfway decent with it is a powerful and precise weapon for long- to medium-range firefights.

    • leeder_krenon says:

      thanks Weylund, i was playing as rifleman but rarely encountered any enemy infantry! i’ll keep an eye out for that server tomorrow.

    • leeder_krenon says:

      great advice – i even got some kills! heh. still feel a bit out of my depth but i loved the tension, coming face to face with an enemy rifleman and seeing who can reload the quickest is fun!

  21. Torgen says:

    I was trying to pay for RO with PayPal, but Steam still wants my name, address and phone number (which I gave them), AND after clicking paypal, it demands I pay by credit card through paypal instead of my paypal balance.

    Screw them.

    • Backov says:

      This appears to be a new thing that Steam does – I tried to buy a game a while back when it was on sale, and had the Paypal balance but it insisted I add a credit card anyway.

      Very annoying.

  22. Paco says:

    I picked up CS:S since it was the only Valve game I lacked and because of the content for Garry’s Mod and I will play it off course but not like mad, I’m not a big CS fan, but maybe in those times when I need to shoot something :p

  23. Skoul says:

    Impulse has the remake of Defender of the Crown on sale for 1.99$. I have no Idea if its any good so if anyone has tried it please speak up.

    Its part of their new “you-only-get-this-offer-if-you´ll-have-annoying-ads-popping-out-of-your-systemtray deal” but you lucky punters can just put in DOTC199 in the coupon field.

    Not a very secret code when you think about it ;)

  24. Casimir's Blake says:

    Ahh absolutely nothing worth bothering with this week, personally. Roll on Call of Pripyat!

  25. MadMatty says:

    hope the Red Orchestra community gets bigger… need more cannonfodder!
    .Its a bit old (2006) so i get awesome framerates :))

    and also: MW2 fans : 25 vs 25 man matches? muhahahHAHAHAHA

  26. Skoul says:

    Don´t bother with the Defender of the Crown offer – Gamespot gave it a 2 and it has some terrible user-reviews as well. Not that you always should trust Gamespot but still..

  27. Davee says:

    I can only say that I recommend RO – sale or no sale. ‘Tis been my favourite even before it was a game (it used to be a UT2k4 mod). A bit less players nowadays, but the 50-player servers are always crowded/full on weekends or evenings. It might be fairly aged, but it still looks darn good (I have yet to see more epic first person reload animations) and runs very nicley!
    I think the main reason I like it so much is that it’s the most immersive multiplayer-shooter I can think of – just wait until you see five of your teammates get obliterated into bloody chunks by enemy arty while you’re charging across a field, getting shot at by an MG42… Not to mention seeing a Panther-tank coming at you at full speed.
    And oh, you get the Darkest Hour mod for free (of course), so you can fight on the western front too!

    • leeder_krenon says:

      pfft, the western front. who would want to play a side show? ;-)

  28. Gnarrrrrrr says:

    @ Vinraith:

    If you’re into oldschool RPGs without those fancy Fantasy-Stuff like DnD then you’d sure like it. It’s PNP-System Das Schwarze Auge (Black Eye in English?) could take some time to get into, as it’s far more complex than it actually is in Drakensang.

  29. Krikey! says:

    Yea the RoA games are great.

  30. BobFlanagan says:

    RoA games are hardcore almost to the point of masochism. I loved the character creation (soooo many skills and subsets, stats to juggle) but my characters kept dying from illness or because it was too cold and they didn’t have winter clothing, etc.

    To quote Chris Avellone (as Morte) from the Torment vision statement “It’s a game, not a thirst simulator” section:

    “The best part about Ultima 7 was that you’re guys were always hungry. There’s nothing like spoon-feeding your companions to make you feel like a hero. Hellloooo, fun!”

    • Vinraith says:

      Speaking as someone that misses RPG’s that required you to actually budget money and weight/space for food, it sounds exactly like my kind of game.

    • Gnarrrrrrr says:

      Food and Water are not to difficult to handle in RoA, but those fights can get tough if you skilled your party wrong.

      Plus there several occasions where you can get stuck forever and thus ruining the whole game, which is one of those all too common design choices of ye old days i really hate.

  31. BobFlanagan says:

    Yeah, it would appeal to simulationists or those that like that extra game systems layer.

    It wasn’t for me though, as I don’t like to manage that type of fine detail (hence the snarky Avellone quote I added). Hell, playing Tetris with the Diablo 2 inventory is enough of a chore for me.

  32. Gnarrrrrrr says:

    And I think several abandonware sites out there still have it online; maybe try that first if you don’t mind fiddeling with DosBox.

  33. LewieP says:

    Rumour has it that there might be an Amanita Design bundle including Samorost 2 and Machinarium, plus their soundtracks, for cheap available soon.

  34. Gnarrrrrrr says:

    I started playing Red Orchestra (+ Darkest Hour) and totally love it. Even getting some kills now and then. My Steam-Nick is letterman, if anyone wants to spice up their gaming experience / annoy other players to hell with some uber-nerdy rps-reference jokes.

    Btw. as i expected there are many germans playing this game and also some rather weird (read right wing) clans (eg. arische-kämpfer-clan / aryan-warriors-clan) fun as hell when they yell at me in german and think i dont understand a word.