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Bargain Bucket: All Tomorrow's Bargains

This week, Lewie’s at ATP, so he’s drafted the B Team of Will Templeton and Tony Heugh to fill in. Frankly, we’re disgusted that he’s shirked his RPS duties for music, of all things. It’s unprecedented for anyone who’s ever written for RPS, and we think it’s despicable. Luckily, we’re here to pick up the slack. No, we’re not jealous.
The Machine – £4.25/€5.08/$6.71
Apply coupon “RPS-MACHINE15” in the Impulse client (coupon expires December 31st)
A cute little block-em-up puzzler, The Machine is what you’d get if you made a Rube Goldberg machine out of Lego – with a limited set of parts, each level has you building a machine for a very specific purpose, combining planning and logic. Along with the thirty included levels, you can make and share your own. Which means it has infinity levels. Right?

Amnesia: The Dark Descent – £6.49/€7.75/$10.25
Amnesia will scare you rigid, if you like that sort of thing. Extremely atmospheric and highly recommended. It’s featured in the Bucket before for slightly more money than today (and I hope you appreciate that I resisted the urge to make a joke about forgetting that it had, too), so now you get to feel like a chump if you spent the extra ten pence. Which is nice.

Droplitz – £2/€2.39/$3.16
Droplitz has been out for a while, but it’s a really decent puzzle game and for this price I snatched it up. Part Downfall, part Hexic, it delivers equal measure of frustration and challenge – a pretty much ideal situation for a puzzle game. Moving tiles into various configurations allows the flow to be redirected into different buckets – it’s a game about efficiency, and it had me hooked from the first game I tried. Well, second. The ridiculous failure that was my first game doesn’t count.

Alpha Protocol – £3.96/€4.73/$6.26
Apply coupon: RUDOLPH
Perhaps a deeply-flawed game, but at this price I’d say it’s worth taking the risk. John cautiously recommended it back when he gave his opinion:

I say [buy it]. But go in knowing how flawed it is. With the additional proviso that the bugs mentioned in my previous article are extremely serious. I played the game using a 360 controller, and I’m pretty convinced it would have been impossible without one, certainly pre-patch.

It’s not a game about being a spy. It’s a game about being an international mercenary, who single-handedly cleans out cities of their baddies, while sometimes placing a bug. It’s not a brilliant game, but it’s one packed with imagination and inspired ideas.

Back to the Future: The Game – £10.80/€12.91/$17.08
Apply coupon: RUDOLPH
This is the whole series of five episodes for a saving of about a fiver – at Telltale’s website, the series is $24.99, or roughly £15.80/€18.89. Bear in mind, though, that Telltale also throw in Puzzle Agent and a disc copy of the BTTF series along with that (for which you need only pay postage and packing), which may smooth out some of the price difference. If you’re unsure about committing to a whole series, you can still preorder the first episode for free here.

GamersGate have a buy 4, pay for 3 deal on across all their games, including those already on sale. The discount applies automatically on checkout. Here are our four recommendations, but have a browse around and see what tickles your fancy:

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale – £6.48/€7.73/$10.23
What seems at first to be a whimsical if slight parody of JRPGs is actually a challenging, expansive and compulsive RPG in its own right. You can read Alec’s thoughts on it here.

Europa Universalis series
Historically meticulous strategy series from back when armies politely waited their turn, they range from £0.60/€0.90/$0.89 for the first game to £7.55/$8.39/€8.39 for the third with two expansions. I’m told the third in the series is the one to try, just be aware that the ‘Complete’ edition is inaccurately named – it doesn’t contain the most recent expansion pack (or, unsurprisingly, the one that’s yet to be released).

Mecho Wars – £0.89/€0.99/$0.99
Single player strategy game that owes an awful lot to Nintendo’s Advance Wars but has some nice touches like day/night cycles affecting gameplay. The tiny price gets you the PC and Mac version, but it might be worth buying in a separate transaction to the other four to avoid this being the free game.

Bioshock – £3.74/$4.99/€4.99
If you haven’t played this, would you kindly do so now? You have no excuse, and will feel Ken Levine’s hypnotic staring eyes otherwise.

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

Telltale are doing a daily promotion where they sprinkle a few deals throughout the month and then fill every other day with a 50% off everything sale. Keep an eye on it for deals on games and merch, but be wary of jumping in at 50% off – chances are that closer to Christmas, the game you bought at half price will be on a specific deal for that day.

With it being the Christmas season, there are deals all over the place, and not just at the weekend. While we do our best to round up everything worthwhile for the Bargain Bucket, around this time of year there are a lot of deals that only happen during the week – for instance, you may have missed the excellent AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity on Steam for two of your best pounds. In order to keep as up-to-date as possible, make sure you’re checking, where you can find cheap games on the regular.

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