The RPS Bargain Bucket

Cheap week this week – a minimum spend of £15.21 will get you everything featured. I’m poorly so I am going to crawl back into bed now, but I couldn’t let you lot go without your roundup of the best special offers this fine weekend. Those of you who are of the Apple persuasion might want to keep an eye on the Steam Mac watchlist, where I am keeping track of which games are available for the Mac version of Steam. Make sure to keep an eye on for cheap games throughout the week.

Gratuitous Space Battles – £8.95/€9.95/$11.45
Big flashy space warfare! It’s all in the name see. There’s a Space Cruiser full of RPS coverage here. The regular version is available at a discount, but you can also get the “Complete Bundle” for £12.92/€14.92/$17.42, which comes with all three expansions too, The Tribe, The Order and The Swarm. Grab the demo here and follow the development here.

Tropico 3 – £5/€7.50/$7.50
Here’s wot Jim thinked, “Tropico 3 meanwhile makes you mindful that people react to the world around them, and may push back if they get pushed. People don’t want to live in shanty towns, and tourists won’t want to visit an island that is ugly, or which has nothing for them to do. People in Tropico 3 are also influenced by other forces – rivals for your control of the island, such as rebels – so you need to convince them that your way of doing things is best. Consequently you end up seeing Tropico 3 as a kind of cultural management game, where the environment and politics directly impacts on the most important factor, the people, rather than an infrastructural game.” Sounds worth a pop for a fiver, and the Steam version comes with a couple of extra maps and things too.

Sleep is Death – Whatever you want
Alec said “Crucial: at no point during this story did I feel as though I was playing against/with another player. It was always me and the game. A game as omniscient and omnipotent as any other, and a collection places and characters rather than a single voice challenging, encouraging or hectoring me.”, and then talked a bit more about it here. You get to decide your price, as long as it is $1.75 or more, and that gets you two licenses.

Some games for a penny on a likely doomed service.
I am deeply sceptical of Green Man Gaming. It is a DD service that you can trade games back in when you are done with them. There has to be some complicated maths going on for that kind of infrastructure to work, and they are not being open about the system at all. The whole thing is undermined because whilst trade ins work at a retail level, here you can only trade games back in to the same place you bought them, meaning they don’t need to compete on price for trade ins. I would encourage you to be cautious before you invest heavily in the service, but at least for the launch period they have some decent offers of various games for a penny, including Darwinia, Uplink, NecroVisioN: Lost Company, World of Goo and some old tat. See them here.

Deal of the week
Portal – Free
Valve show us yet again that they are a real class act. To coincide with the launch of the Mac flavoured version of Steam, they are giving away Portal. It’s certainly crafty, I can’t think of any other proper game that is more likely to get the new Mac audience hooked onto Valve’s output, and excited for the Portal sequel. This offer is available until the 24th of may (Valve time), but just to clarify, that doesn’t just mean it is free to play until then. If you get it for free now, it is yours to keep forever. It is added to your Steam account and you can redownload it as many times as you want, just like you’d paid for it. You just have to make sure you add it to you account before the 24th. I beat it in 89 minutes the other day, I dare you to try and best that. Be sure to keep an eye out for other special offers as they try to promote their new Steam Play initiative.

Also of note:
Steam Play Indie Pack: And Yet It Moves, Galcon Fusion, Machinarium, Osmos, World of Goo – £14.99/€18.99/$19.99
Quantz – £2.40/€2.70/$3
Torchlight – £7.49/€7.99/$9.99
Rome: Total War [Gold Edition] – £1.72/€2.02/£2.50
Bob came in Pieces – £2.98/€3.50/$4.33
Sam & Max series 3 + Tales of Monkey Island – £19.99/€29.99/$29.99
Flotilla – 50% off
Shooter Promo at gog
Still got a few hours left of the Humble Indie Bundle too

Head to for more cheap games.

This week’s image by Winfred van Heerebeek. No, we’re not sure what the bee things are either. Please do send us more BB images, readers. 600×200, no copyright violation or filth.


  1. OctaneHugo says:

    After your purchase something on GMG it conveniently informs you that to play your purchase you need to download their client, “Capsule”. So if you don’t feel like downloading a special client to pay 1 cent purchases, don’t.

    • cqdemal says:

      Capsule doesn’t even tell you the download speed. Luckily, I chose to get Uplink, so the 30MB download is pretty painless.

    • BarneyL says:

      Also for those who are interested in Portal the bastards also force you to download a special client.
      I don’t understand all the hate Green Man Gaming is getting, it’s a download service, it sells games at similar prices to all the others but there is a chance you can get some money back when you’re bored with your game and you want another.
      Why is Lewie so determined to put the concept down when he’s fine with Steam\D2D’s re-sale value of £0 on it’s games?
      For those who are a little less closed minded there are some other good deals up there:
      Trine – £4.99 (trade in value £2.99)
      The Void – £6.99 (trade in value £4.99)
      VVVVVV – £7.99 (trade in value £4.99)

      All worth the price even if you don’t get a penny back…

    • cqdemal says:

      Oh, wow. The Void. I just got Splinter Cell: Conviction (no flame, please – it only costs £14.80 where I live) and the last thing I need is another item on next month’s credit card bill.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Actually once you’ve downloaded and activated the games you buy from green man gaming you can play them without having capsule running. So in that regard its better than Steam.

  2. Samuel Bigos says:

    The Humble Indie Bundle still has 7 hours remaining as well.

    • Ricc says:

      Also, when they did the NS2 + Overgrowth bundle, they said it would have been a good idea to extend the offer, because so many people were buying last minute. So, I’d fully expect them to extend the Humble Indie Bundle. :)

    • Samuel Bigos says:

      Well they already did that once, not sure if they can keep extending it over and over.

  3. Carra says:

    Tropico 3 is a nice game and definately worth getting at that price.

    • leeder_krenon says:

      i had a pootle around with Tropico last night but i never seem to get to grips with spinning all the plates that these games seem to want. a distinct lack of patience on my part.

    • RedFred says:

      Especially since the expansion is coming out very, very soon.

  4. Heliosicle says:

    Got tropico, tempted to buy flotilla, but I’ve had bad expiriences with GG

    • Snall says:

      Hey man, how did GG diss you? I actually couldn’t get STALKER 2 (AKA whatever it was called) to work and they refunded me. (This may be because I had bought like 6-7 games before that with no problems though).

    • Heliosicle says:

      Purchasing problems and my Mass Effect 1 key was a duplicate. They gave me a new one a week later but it wasn’t the best service.

      They really favour dedicated customers, I wish Steam would do the same, because if I’d spent the same amount of money there as I had on GG I could get 80% off on all their deals..

    • MWoody says:

      Yeah, I’ve had issues with GG as well. One of the big ones is noscript: the checkout process likes to bounce you around to a bunch of different sites like Verified by Visa (bleah!), and if you don’t ALREADY have said site set to allow scripting, it will error out and then… Well, you’re fucked. At least the sale automatically cancels itself after a period of time, if you’ve failed to pay.

      I only put up with Gamersgate’s shit when they have foreign games that no one else does like The Void, Men of War, Star Rangers 2, etc. (all before they were available elsewhere, of course).

    • Vinraith says:

      Gamersgate is my favorite digital retailer outside of GOG (and obviously GOG doesn’t have newer games). Their customer service is the best of the lot, in my experience, and their clientless install system is about as light as it gets outside of DRM-free. Add to that 5% store credit back on every purchase and a written guarantee to provide you new key codes as needed should the publisher of a game limit installations and I just can’t see anything to complain about.

    • Vinraith says:


      The checkout system bounces you to whatever payment service you ask it to bounce you to (out of a diversity of options). Some of those payment options use verified by Visa, yes. PayPal doesn’t, as I recall, if it’s that much of a problem for you.

    • MWoody says:

      Yeah, but Paypal presents a huge number of its own problems. If you’re stupid enough to give them a checking account number and do a direct transfer like they tell you to do every five seconds, you have no way to reverse a charge. If you use it to do a credit card transaction, it adds another level of customer service obfuscation and you risk angering the almighty Ebay if you dare to reverse a charge.

      GG has tons of options, and they all pale in comparison to a proper, real online store.

    • DrazharLn says:

      I’m concerned, I don’t mind buying flotilla from either GG or Impulse (I won’t buy from steam if I can get the game DRM free(ish) for the same price), but if I buy from GG, will BlendoGames get as much cash.

      I like to support my indie developers, and I value their work at more than the price of the drinks I had last night.

    • Vinraith says:


      If your main concern is maximizing your contribution to the developer, your best bet is always buying directly from them. Flotilla is $10 direct from Blendo, and I’m sure they get to keep virtually all of that.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      I thought Flotilla was fun, but you should definitely try the demo first. The game does not get much more deep or interesting than the demo, and I found the “you have seven months to live” excruciatingly limiting.

  5. JuJuCam says:

    Awesome been waiting for a deal on Tropico 3! Didn’t think it’d be quite that low, though, but I’m happy.

  6. Snall says:

    Shout out to GamersGate, I buy stuff all the time there and just noticed I’ve been getting free blue coins (Their currency if u wanna give money to ppl so they can buy a game) for each purchase I made, so I grabbed Flotilla for free. <3

  7. Blackberries says:

    Crumbs, there goes another fiver. I’d been shooting Tropico 3 furtive glances from across the room for some time now, but was never quite convinced of dropping £15-20 on it. I grabbed the demo, but only on my laptop, which could only run it in ugly mode and meant I had to try to control it with a trackpad. Gave up after a few minutes.

    Barely needed to think about it when I saw it thus discounted, however. Now to file it away for eighteen months til I get round to playing it.

  8. Oak says:

    Call of Juarez 2: Electric Boogaloo is $10 for anyone lucky enough to live in the US or, failing that, Canada. Easily the best cowboy-themed first-person-shooter of 2009.

    • Bullwinkle says:

      How is the control system on CoJ2? I wanted to like the first one, but I found the weapon handling too clunky.

    • Clovis says:

      I didn’t have any problem with it. I really enjoyed the game. Nothing special, but a good time.

  9. Leelad says:

    <3 Cliffski


  10. slaine says:

    Just wanted to note that the gamersgate US site has Flotilla for a bit cheaper at USD4.95 than the UK site (which works out to be about 50p cheaper).

    Not a huge difference, but this is the bargain bucket thread so every bit counts, right?

    • Kid A says:

      A lot of people’s banks (Lloyds TSB do this to me, at least) charge a £1 currency exchange fee even on online purchases, though. So it might well end up being more expensive for some people.

  11. Grunt says:

    Bought Painkiller Black from the GoG FPS sale. Dumb shooty fun, but well worth the £4 I paid for it purely for the ability to nail enemies to walls with the stake-launcher. Also for getting your buttocks handed to you by ‘Shadow of the Collosus’ sized bosses.

    I now have Portal, thank you, Valve, so in the spirit of getting something wonderful and unique for free choose to forgo my usual moans about being tied to the cursed Steam client. I also echo comments made above that those that blithely accept (or worse, tongue-bathe) Steam have no bloody right to complain about mere download clients offered by companies such as Green Man Gaming.

  12. Heliocentric says:

    I’d buy the void from gmg but i can’t have any faith they will still be in business in 6 months. That and had the void for half that (america only) on a sale a while ago.

  13. dingo says:

    Gamersgate has a “Space game” themed deal running. Flotilla and Space Battles are part of it.
    There are some other nice games as well (Evochron series for example) discounted.

    Note: Since I heard people having issues with Gamersgate + their credit cards I used Paypal for the purchases I did with them so far and no problem yet.

  14. Krondonian says:

    Not sure why they’re not on here, but I noticed on savygamer Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was £15 and Bioshock 2 £12 , which might interest people. Just waiting for BC2 in the post now.

    link to

  15. Heliocentric says:

    The bucket has tended to be digital only, i don’t think this is by design though.

  16. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I’m actually tempted to get Postal 2 Complete, even thou I finished both the original game and the expansion (man had I a lot of not poitically correct fun!)….but the extras look good and my discs are long gone….

  17. theSeekerr says:

    @Krondonian – Because all the deals in the bucket are Direct Download deals – those are both retail deals, and largely useless to anyone not in the UK (the other 99.1% of the world)

    • Krondonian says:

      I have never actually noticed that all deals were digital before.

      Although to be fair, there tends to be a fair few region restricted things on each week, and there is a large percentage of the world without internet, bringing the applicable world total percentage down significantly.

      Anyway, interesting for UKers.

  18. laikapants says:

    Tropico 3 is brilliant. I was initially dubious as I somehow came away with mixed feelings after playing the demo in December. Then I snapped out of it 3 hours (and 3 successful elections) later completely enthralled with the game.

  19. Vinraith says:

    Tropico 3’s very promising expansion, Absolute Power, is out on Gamersgate and Direct2Drive. It doesn’t seem to have turned up anywhere else, and I assume Steam’s usual “Steam games require Steam expansions and vice versa” rule applies, so that’s probably something to be aware of. It hasn’t turned up at retail yet, either, which is what I’m still hoping for, myself.

    • Clovis says:

      Tropico 3 really needs an expansion. The only real complaint about the game is that is almost exactly like the original Tropico. Some new building and stuff would be nice.

    • archonsod says:

      Yeah, Steam version only works with Steam, GG version works with the GG or retail box.

      Expansion is incredibly good by the way :P

    • Vinraith says:


      Steam expansion only works with Steam base game, D2D expansion only works with D2D base game, but you’re saying the Gamersgate version works with the retail box as well as the Gamersgate version of the base game? That’s brilliant, I suppose I’ll just buy it from good old Gamersgate then. Thanks!

  20. ic4ruz says:

    I agree with your comment Barney.

    GMG is just like steam + you can enjoy more games + The client doesnt have to be running after you have activated the game.

    Its almost like many want the service to fail and I find that kind of sad.

    Many have very limited money to spend on games and to be able to trade them in to get more games is fantastic. (I am a poor student ):

  21. Vinraith says:

    Direct2Drive has “Bob Came in Pieces” for $5, DRM Free. Worth it?

    • Mr Labbes says:

      A very charming game. Go get it if you like puzzles.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Its 3 to 4 times more enjoyable if you get a controller and use x-padder. Keyboard claw is not fun.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @Vinraith: The coupon “COMRADEUS20” seems to give you 20% off at Direct2Drive, making Bob Came In Pieces total $3.96, or Rome Total War $2.00. It’s supposed to expire sometime today, though. The UK site has COMRADEUK20, and the .eu site has COMRADEEU20, which also might still be working.

      But before deciding, take note that D2D doesn’t list any Bob Came In Pieces patches on their patches page, and list the main download as being version 1.0. Having a patchable version seems important, since the developer keeps releasing free content. On the other hand, being DRM-free the developer-provided patches might work, especially since they seem to link to a download on gamersgate as a generic patch (so all DD versions might be the same — on the other hand, GG includes Securom with their version of BCIP, so maybe the developer’s patches are only for non-DRM-Free versions).

    • Clovis says:

      Just finished Bob and I didn’t feel like bothering with Xpadder. I wish the game just let you use a controller. Having said that, I really didn’t have any trouble with the keyboard. I’ll also echo that it’s a pretty good game.

  22. Fuuuuuuu says:

    Dammit another $7.50 gone. Still debating Gratuitous…(thought Cliffski doesn’t do sales?)

    Also, can Americaners sign up for that Green Man thing?

    Thanks, in advance.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      On the payment screen it gives you a whole range of countries to choose from so I think so.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      On the payment screen it gives you a whole range of countries to choose from so I think so.

  23. Premium User Badge

    DollarOfReactivity says:

    I would recommend taking your time on your first Portal play-through. Turn on the subtitles, read the graffiti, and soak in that rich environmental goodness!

    • Clovis says:

      I recommend running through it real fast or whatever. I mean, what kinda’ gamer doesn’t play Portal at least twice ;-)

  24. John Peat says:

    I see Lewie remains partisan and immune to suggestions he should STOP BEING SO FUCKING NEGATIVE about GMG – esp when he has nothing buy his ‘feelings’ to work on here…

    If a game is cheap there – it’s cheap there. The trade-in is a bonus, nothing to do with the Bargain nature of this place (or Lewie’s site where he also ignores people who question his attitude to this).

    It’s SavyGamer not ChavvyGamer :)

  25. Vinraith says:

    This is where I’m supposed to write “reply system fail” or the like, but in reality I strongly suspect I just didn’t hit the damn reply button…

  26. Oak says:

    It controls just fine, but I admittedly haven’t spent more than an hour or so with the original and am not sure what you mean by clunky. I found the gunplay (and choice of weapons) very satisfying; there’s even an iron sights feature, which I understand is quite the thing these days.

    • Oak says:

      I’ve got a bone to pick with this reply system.

      That was in response to Bullwinkle up above.

  27. Mistabashi says:

    Replies don’t seem to work unless you’ve already posted a comment during your current browser ‘session’. So if you have to actually enter your details your reply will appear as a new post, but if your details are already entered (eg you’ve made a post previously and haven’t cleared your browser cache since) then it’ll work properly as a reply. I wonder if the RPS HiveMind has a drone capable of fixing this, as it’s surely the only thing that stands between it and world domination™.

    • Vinraith says:

      It wouldn’t be an issue for registered users, then, so clearly the best solution is just to log in. .

    • RedFred says:

      I’m registered and I still get problems. Am I missing something?

  28. geldonyetich says:

    If Gratuitous Space Battles will repeat the same deal on Steam (and I manage to find a few bucks to rub together in time) they might just have themselves a sale.

    I really want that Sam & Max Series 3 + Monkey Island bundle, but I’m completely broke at the moment. All the more reason to want to land a job, I suppose.

  29. bill says:

    GMG seems like a reasonable idea. But the reason I didn’t try it is that it’s all very unclear. They have very little information about how anything works, what clients are needed, what DRM they use, etc..
    A decent FAQ would be much more useful.

    I heard the DRM is Securom, but i’m not sure on the flavour.

  30. bill says:

    PS/ Is it wierd that I really want to grab portal off Steam even though (a) I don’t have a mac, and (b) I already have it.

    It’s like a lot of people downloaded the mac and linux versions of the Humble Indie Bundle games, even though they don’t use either system. I feel like there is a tiny chance I might want it in the future, and I don’t want to be kicking myself.

    OK. It’s weird.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Chill the hell out, if you own portal on steam you own it on both platforms.

      If you own postal i can’t help you.

  31. Willy359 says:

    Eighty-nine minutes? Are you being self-depricating or something? My personal Portal speedrun time in in sub-40 minute territory. According to Speed Demos Archive, the absolute record to beat is 13 minutes, six seconds. You are clearly not thinking with enough portals.

  32. Heliocentric says:

    I still remember jeff green taking about 40 hours to complete portal… The shame the shame.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      My first playthru was like…8 hours, I ain’t no speedrunner (I spent 90 hours on Mercenaries 2, some 20 hours on Fable etc.)

  33. Rich says:

    I think I’ll be willing to risk 2 of Her Majesty’s pence for Darwinia and Uplink from a service that may or may not last.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Oh the horrors! It’s not like many download services of indie developers don’t have expiring download links..

      I have many games on STEAM…and guess what, all of them are re-downloadable and I’ll probably never play them again

  34. RogB says:

    well GMG offers are cheap enough and I was planning on picking them all up, but as soon as I saw that it installed -another- client, I uninstalled it. even for a penny, I dont want another client cluttering up my system.

    • BarneyL says:

      You only need the client to download and activate a game. After that they can be run without it.
      The client also doesn’t load itself every time you boot up.

  35. ha! says:

    My portal speed-run record was 37 minutes, including my horrible load times. And this was my first (and last) try at a “speed-run.”

    I love portal and am now making as many people as I can play it.

  36. Wulf says:

    Hmm… does GMG allow you to keep the downloaded files or does it download and install from within Capsule? If (hypothetically speaking) GMG went bust soonish, that would mean that I’d have no way to back up the game. If they leave the installer on the drive though so that can be backed up, then no problem. Anyone tried them?

  37. Balazs Szemes says:

    I use four (Steam, Impulse, GamersGate, GOG) digital download services (not counting EA horribleness for Dragon Age) and all have some distinctive advantages.

    In case of GamersGate they discontinued their client rougly a year age, so when you buy a game, you download a small installer exe, which downloads the content for the game then launches the installer. So you may install all GMG games where you want (and it doesn’t have to be the same drive). You launch the games as they were a retail one – so with their separate exe-s. There is no client like in Steam or Impulse.

    @Wulf: you may keep the downloaded content on your harddisk as long as you want. In fact, when you finish the install, the installer asks whether you a) want to remove local content b) restart the installer c) exit (and keep the install files). The games usually come with their distinctive DRM, which is listed on each game separately.

    The installer exe doesn’t do much, however it allows for the download to pause, resume, etc. It is running only during install. They even do not handle automatic patching, you need to download and run patches manually, though they usually have them on GMG, so at least one does not need to check each game’s site separately.

    Btw GMG is owned by Paradox, the publisher, so I don’t think they are in direct danger of shutting down. At least I hope not, I have there a number of titles :)

    Now I don’t say that GMG is better than the others, it is different. In fact I don’t really see a difference that matters.

    • Vinraith says:


      Acronyms are a tricky business. Wulf isn’t talking about Gamersgate, he’s talking about Green Man Games.

  38. Rich says:

    FYI, a lot of those 1p games aren’t 1p any more.
    Darwinia still is, but Uplink and World of Goo are £6.

  39. Ricc says:

    I was surprised to see that, according the GMG I’m getting £3 trade-in value for NecroVision: Lost Company, that was on sale for 1p over the weekend. Is this happening for the other games, too? (Just got that one.) Also, is this how all of their deals will work?