The RPS Bargain Bucket: Underflowing

For every time of plenty, there must be a time of famine. The digital crops aren’t bearing much fruit this week, so I hope you stored away some games from previous sales, or you’ll not have much to play this weekend. The deal of the week is still very special, but aside from that you’ve got a small discount on an already cheap game, a series of games that have been discounted to less previously, and a game that realistically they couldn’t charge much more for even if they wanted to. For more deals on all formats throughout the week, make sure to regularly check

Swords and Soldiers HD – £4.89/€6.99/$6.99
Apply coupon “sinterklaas”.
Here you’re buying direct from the developers, but you’ll get a code to register the game on Steam (not sure if that’s optional or mandatory). Alec told us wot he thinks of this the other day. He said:

It really is a tug of war rather than a battle of wits, though. Or perhaps it’s more like an arm wrestle between two people in funny hats. Key is that it’s very determined to keep its players involved and optimistic for as long as possible, rather than leave anyone feeling overwhelmed and outgunned.

Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People – £6.31/€7.42/$9.95
Hello, my name is John Walker and Lewie has said I’m allowed to write in his column. I like Strong Bad. He is funny. He has boxing gloves for hands! That’s funny! They are funny games and I like them. This is easy. Of all the Telltale games, some are good and some are bad. These ones are good. They make me laugh and have good puzzles. I like them. It is good that they are cheap because then if you have less money you can buy them and play them and they are fun. You should do that. Thanks to Lewie for letting me have a go!

Shadowrun – 75p/$0.99/80 MS Points.
Included purely by virtue of there not being very much on sale this weekend? I’ll let you be the judge of that. I’ve tried to get my head around the regional availability/pricing, but can’t seem to get an answer for how much it costs in Euros, nor whether it is available in Eurozone at all. At release, Shadowrun was lots of different things to lots of different people. A worrying misuse of a treasured license, a new era of Microsoft throwing it’s weight behind crossplatform gaming, a seemingly pointless reason to “upgrade” to Vista, and if you believe Kieron’s review, too expensive. Here we are are, three and a bit years later. The game is a lot cheaper, GFWL is now rubbish and free instead of rubbish and expensive, many more people have DX10 compatible operating systems and Microsoft have become as apathetic about crossplatform multiplayer as everyone else. Now that the dust has settled, is there still a fun PC game to be had here?

Deal of the week
The Longest Journey – £3.16/€3.72/$4.99
GOG have got four Adventure games at 50% off this weekend, the others being: The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, Sanitarium and Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive. I think Mr Walker likes this one a bit, here he is on protagonist April:

April is not a simple character, a template onto which we may impose ourselves to experience a world. She has issues with her father, trouble letting people get too close, and a propensity to run away rather than face difficulty. She is a complex and broken human being, thrown into a situation too big to understand, and arguably destroyed by it. She’s a person.

Read his full Retrospective here, why it made him here, and Kieron did a Making of here.

In addition to these discounts this weekend, for the entire advent period, GamersGate, Impluse and Telltale games have got a new deal every 24 hours. You can find them here:
GamersGate Advent Calender
30 days of Telltale
25 days of Christmas

Also of note:
The Positech Winter Bundle is still available for £4.81/€4.89/$5.99

Remember to head to for all your cheap games needs.


  1. Ziv says:

    It’s actually good that there’s nothing new this week; Less load on me, I want to finish meat boy and maybe start deus ex finally.

  2. TWeaK says:

    Wasn’t Steam supposed to be doing a 30 days of Christmas sale thing? I thought that’s what they were doing before, then it just stopped.

    • dalziel86 says:

      That was more in the order of being an extended Black Friday sale. It actually seemed pretty low-key to me, for a Steam sale. I expect the real discounts to show up with the Christmas sale.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      That was just the Thanksgiving sale…. a warmup if you will. I really hope the continue with the gift packs in future sales, that was a great idea.

      I just started playing Lara Croft: Guardian of Light. Loads of fun. Also, very late on the bandwagon, I’m playing L4D2 with friends, fantastic. My FPS skills have clearly deteriorated since my days of Quake 2, UT and CS though.

    • qrter says:

      The Steam Christmas sale is in the last week of the year, isn’t it?

    • Martha Stuart says:

      all i gotta say is there cyber monday sale was WEAK!!!!!!!! You here me steam gods? It was WEAK!!!!!!!

  3. dalziel86 says:

    I’m hesitant to even pay that much for Shadowrun on account of it’s a multiplayer-only game and I have no way of discerning if anyone still actually plays it.

    • meeper says:

      echo this

    • DrGonzo says:

      I got it, haven’t tried it yet, but if I find it fun and active I will make a forum post about it probably.

    • terry says:

      It has bots, but you’re right to be skeptical, there were a whole 4 servers when I checked earlier.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well, that’s still more popular than Blacklight Tango Down. I got about a weekend of playing on that. Now there seems to be no one playing it ever.

    • terry says:

      Entertainingly, the RSS feed for GFWL shows Blacklight as an upcoming sale, so you might find some players yet (although probably not).

  4. Flint says:

    The Longest Journey retrospective promises a Dreamfall retrospective. What’s the chances of the hivemindian gods ever granting us that?

  5. abhishek says:

    Yea my wallet is very thankful this week… Been playing the games I got in this last Steam sale, and now I’m not inclined to spend anymore until the big Steam christmas sale.

  6. Navagon says:

    Gamersgate also have a fairly large sale going on in addition to the one 1C game a day. They’re also offering buy 4 get the cheapest free.

  7. Samuel Erikson says:

    GfW also has Viva Piñata for $0.99 (in the US, at least) through the Marketplace client.

    • Jhoosier says:

      I vaguely remember good things being said about Viva Pinata on RPS, and for $.99 I’m willing to gamble on it. As it downloads I’m singing the title to the tune of “Viva Las Vegas”.

  8. Eclipse says:

    sadly Shadowrun is not available in EU, I’m a fan of Shadowrun but that game transposition got really under the radar, so I guess it’s not a great game

    • Nick says:

      Its not, its a pointless waste of a great license.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It is available in the EU. Maybe not in all of it, but I’ve bought it. If you liked Counter Strike it seems to be an interesting spin on that idea. Very good potential, nowhere near as bad as people made out, but not particularly great either. Yet to try out the PC version though to see what the port is like.

  9. Eclipse says:

    On Games for Windows – EU Market:

    – Fable – The Lost Chapters at 9.99 EUR
    – World of Goo 75% off (4.99 EUR)

    • Eclipse says:

      uhm, seems like the Fable price is the normal one, even if there’s that “only for today” crap on the main page… there’s no % nor the starting price so it’s not in sale.

  10. Christian says:

    Ok, Microsoft, WTF?

    Quote from the smallprint on the Shadowrun-page:

    “[..]To function properly, DRM downloads certain data and files to your computer, which may or may not be uninstalled when you uninstall the software.[..]”

    So. They can’t tell me if they will be installing something permanently on my computer? Well, I for one can tell them that they’re not getting any money from me..

    • Eclipse says:

      there isn’t something that’s “permanently” installed, it’s not a rootkit

    • Christian says:

      Yeah, I know. But I’d still expect them to know (or rather tell me) what’s being installed and not just say “well, maybe if you’re lucky..”. We’re not talking about something like PunkBuster here, that’s clearly some 3rd-party-software needed for other games…it’s about some DRM-software that just stays there wihtout any use and isn’t uninstalled. Or maybe it is..who knows?

      Also, there are people that *do* consider GFWL to be a rootkit…

    • mwoody says:

      So lets say you install a game that requires DirectX. You later uninstall the game. Would you assume it would uninstall DirectX with it? What about the VC++ redistributable?

      There are all sorts of things that games install that they don’t uninstall, usually because other games use it and they have no way of knowing if every single game that needs it is gone.

  11. iLag says:

    I can confirm that Viva Pinata is 0,99 €. Bought!

    • DrGonzo says:

      That game is truly horrific. I’m not sure what’s meant to be good about it at all. I remember my girlfriend trying the demo, we agreed it was the most irritating game ever produced by man. It does have some cute animations, but everything good in it is counter-acted by the worst voice overs that have ever been recorded in the history of man.

    • iLag says:

      really? oh well, 0,99 €, not much of a loss. maybe my son will love it, then. and happy Sinterklaas to you all.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Viva Pinata is a wonderful game, perhaps the single best game on the Xbox 360. I am not sure how good the port is, however for $1 I can’t say no.

    • valru says:

      Viva Pinata is one the hidden gems of the current console generation. Its a surprisingly deep simulation rap’d up in cute and adorable graphics. Easily one of Rares best.

    • Oak says:

      The port would clearly like you to be using an Xbox controller, but is otherwise inoffensive.

    • Tei says:

      Viva piñata is a brear sims game. Recomiended!

    • MarkN says:

      I can only comment on the 360 version of Viva Pinata, but I loved it. However, as with John’s beef with Just Cause 2, the game gets in the way of the fun. Happily, the longer you play it for the better it gets.

      When the game begins you’re constantly interrupted by a barrage of cutscenes, fights, invading sour pinatas, and achievement notifications, and all you want to do is be left alone to work out what’s going on. However over time the flood of new stuff slows down, and so do the cutscenes. You can find items that get rid of the sours and other pests. You learn to keep incompatible pinatas apart. Once that’s all out of the way, you end up with a rather charming little garden management game that’s really quite lovely (at least until you start getting cynical and start a zebra production plant to try to lure the lions in…).

      And if you don’t think quackberries and macaraccoons are ace there’s a good chance you’re dead inside.

  12. Evil Otto says:

    Apply coupon ‘sinterklaas’
    Are the devs of swords and soldiers Dutch?
    Anyways, I’m off to celebrate Sinterklaas. While actually I should be celebrating it tomorrow. Whatever.

  13. dadioflex says:

    Have you blackballed Impulse? ;) Brad is an asshole but…

    They’re doing a deal a day for the first 14 days of December, although the Graxia deal from earlier doesn’t appear to be a deal anymore and I can’t see a new one. This weeks “regular” sale items are virtually identical to last weeks, although Fortis at a couple of quid for an old school top down shooter might be worth a punt.

  14. Benjamin L. says:

    Just as well things are a bit thin, Super Meat Boy needs some beating.

  15. noobnob says:

    Good, good. It’s better this way, already spent over 40 dollars in the thanksgiving sale…I have to prepare myself to not spend much, because in two weeks the real deals will be out.

  16. squareking says:

    The Longest Journey and Sanitarium are worth a run-through, if none of ye have done so.

  17. Ricc says:

    Oh, please don’t buy today’s game from the GamersGate Advent Calender. Vivisector is a hilariously broken game, completely unplayable*. That is all. :)

    *I got it as a freebie in a bundle.

  18. Tacroy says:

    Shadowrun the FPS was actually a pretty good game on its own (I only have it because it could be gotten for cheap :)) but they massacred the Shadowrun name. If they’d called it anything else – just changed the name, mind you, and nothing else – it would have been great. As it is, pretty good game + destroying a venerable name = bad.

    • oatish says:

      Shadow Run is a fundamentally alright shooter. I had some kicks with it and I found some of the magic abilities to be really fresh. I mean every game has a “Tree of Life” health deployable but why haven’t we seen more teleport?

  19. Demiath says:

    Don’t agree with the “sales drought” narrative at all, at least not from where I am. The GamersGate’s Holiday sale is pretty massive – both in terms of titles and in terms of the size of the price reductions – and one of the best that (often underwhelming) site has produced to my knowledge.

  20. 8-bit says:

    Charming, I finally have a few quid to spend and there is nothing I want :( already have the longest journey (fancy limited edition too) and strongbad. I guess on the gamersgate sale Lylian: Episode One and the lunar pack look kind of interesting so has anyone played them or should I just take a risk?

  21. Noterist says:

    Must be the calm before the storm. Steam are gonna screw us all with their winter sales and Lewie’s gonna have his work cut out for him.

    I remember being quite excited about Shadowrun. The developers apparently came at it with a “what would happen if we gave every player different hacks” mindset when thinking about powers. Alas I did not upgrade to Vista for a long long time so never tried it.

  22. Mr Booger says:

    It’s worth mentioning that every Europa Universalis game is 70& off at Gamersgate.

  23. Little Tohya says:

    How is Sacred 2?

  24. Hulk Handsome says:

    I actually really liked Shadowrun (360 version), it’s one of the better team-based shooters I’ve played. Too bad no one seems to play it any more.

  25. ordteapot says:

    The bargain bucket is just branching out into other markets. Hivemind studies show that RPS readers wear between 2 and 3 pieces of clothing at least 50% of the time!

  26. humble says:

    Pandora Directive is still my favourite adventure game of all time. If anyone is in doubt whether to get it, do so! Oh what I would give to see this series rejuvenated!

  27. Tusque d'Ivoire says:

    How good is that on sale for 2.50 at GetGames!?

  28. matt j says:

    Who is this John Walker chap, I like the cut of his job.

  29. MrBRAD! says:

    NecroVision on Gamersgate for like $3ish @ 70% off.

  30. Arkatect says:

    Journeyman Project!? Talk about a blast from the past.

  31. kablam says:

    what happened to