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.


  1. dsvoid says:

    Dat oinventory item.

    Who is credited for making the picture this week?

  2. a.nye.123 says:

    Steam is having a sort of hidden sale at the moment – the ‘Treasure Hunt’ objectives seem to have big discounts on the games they refer to.

    • Giant, fussy whingebag says:

      Not always, but the Droplitz discount is an example of such. AaaaA…etc. and Chime were other good ones for cheap on the back of this treasure hunt thing. But New Vegas had a treasure hunt ‘challenge’ without a discount.

    • Vandelay says:

      It did have discount, it was £29.99 instead of £34.99. It may have been a shit discount, but it was a discount.

      I’m quite surprised RPS haven’t covered the ‘Treasure Hunt’, when they did cover the Thanksgiving deals. It really is a genius publicity stunt for so many Steam games.

    • Xocrates says:

      I’m pretty sure that there wasn’t a discount in mainland Europe for New Vegas

    • WiPa says:

      My buddy lives in the Netherlands and he bought it for 14% off.

  3. John Peat says:

    The Machine – if it’s HALF as much fun as this video, it’s worth the cash surely???

    • Decimae says:

      I won the game at indiegames, and the game itself wasn’t actually funny. The video conatined more funnyness then the whole game. It isn’t a bad puzzler however, but don’t go buy it on anticipation of a game full of fun.

    • Andy says:

      Personally I think it’s a great game and well worth it with that discount! There’s quite a few custom made levels now too…

  4. Diziet says:

    Hmm that needs to be on newvegasnexus as apparel.

  5. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    This time last year I was at ATP… fuck you, Lewie. (not really, love yoooooooou)

    • noom says:

      Man… I don’t know why I’m not there this year. Been for 3 out of the last 4 Nightmare Before Christmas fests :(

      My ears still hurt from seeing Lightning Bolt and MBV.

    • realmenhuntinpacks says:

      Word. LB don’t get a huge amount of spins round mine, but live they are a true force of nature. When I saw them Afri Rampo joined them onstage. Nuuuuts.

  6. Eukatheude says:

    Glad to know RPS listens to GY!BE.

    • Stu says:

      Ah no, that was last weekend; this weekend’s ATP is curated by indie bedwetters Belle & Sebastian.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    Nice line-up at ATP, as usual. I think that after 9 festivals this year, I’ve had enough of them. Now, I already have bought 4 tickets for festivals in 2011…

    About the bargains, I think I’ll take Alpha Protocol.

  8. RogB says:

    recettear is one of my favourite games this year. perfect lunchtime at work / sitting in front of the tv game.

  9. iLag says:

    what about that “Empire & Napoleon Complete-with-all-DLC” bundle that GreenManGaming and Direct2Drive are selling at the moment for around 17€? buy it now or wait? (also: will I get any enjoyment from those games if I plan on autoresolving the majority of battles? also: do I need those games when I already own Medieval 2 and Rome?)

    • AlexW says:

      Worth mentioning, the 20% discount code works on it too.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @iLag: In the states, the GMG price of $16.66 is better than the D2D price, even after the D2D coupon ($19.99). No matter which you get it registers on Steam, so if you do decide to get it the only point about the two services to consider is to go for whichever is cheapest for you.

  10. iLag says:

    by the way, as a word of caution: Mecho Wars is from the same guy who made Eternity’s Child. anyone remember this nightmare of a game? it’s without a doubt the worst game that I have ever bought. ever. but the thought of a turn-based strategy game that looks a little bit like Advance Wars is just too tempting…

    • Stompywitch says:

      He does come across as a bit of an arse, but is Mecho Wars any good?

    • DrGonzo says:

      He is a great artist though. That’s one of the reasons Eternity’s whatever was such a disapointment. But his arrogance is a little off putting, to be fair to him though, he does seems to have a group of fans who think he is the next Jesus. That may have gone to his head somewhat.

    • Frank says:

      I only realized it was him after I bought it and went to their website for keyboard & mouse controls, a tutorial or some mention of the error I came across (it doesn’t install on Window 64-bit without some tweaking).

  11. 运动鞋批发 says:

    nice site,thank you for your efforts

  12. Faldrath says:

    I’ll have to disagree and say that the game to have in the Europa Universalis series right now is For the Glory – which is basically an enhanced Europa Universalis 2. And EU2 was much better than EU3.

  13. TJF588 says:

    and it had me hooked from the first game I tried. Well, second. The ridiculous failure that was my first game doesn’t count.

    Pretty much the same here. Tried it when I got it (during the 80% discount on Steam), and it didn’t click. However, when I was going for the Treasure Hunt event objective, I was suddenly doing well at it, and I got the swing of the gameplay. Easily met the objective score. Now I kinda wish I got it for our spankin’ new PS3 when it was half off, though I think a mouse has an advantage here.

  14. LostSoviet says:

    There is a bargain bucket impostor out there! One that is filled with deals, yes, but not affiliated with RPS.

    I speak of Green Man Gaming’s deal aggregation device – link to

    Who holds the bucket, or more precisely its naming rights? Might we see an EDGE-like word copyright battle?

  15. Mark Raymond says:

    Mafia II is at £13.99 from Steam for the next 26 hours.

    • Phinor says:

      Sadly it’s 33.49€ in the €urostore (over twice the UK price). Anyone in the UK willing to gift me a £13.39 copy of Mafia 2 if I gift them a fair sum of British pounds through Paypal in return?

    • Mark Raymond says:

      No probs. If you send £13.99 my way via PayPal, I can gift a copy to you. If you have Twitter, send me a DM of your e-mail address and I’ll send an invoice.

    • Mark says:

      Btw, it’s @MCRayRay.

    • Phinor says:

      I do have a twitter account though I have not actually used it for anything but to follow few people. Have to figure this stuff out, I guess you need to follow me for me to be able to DM you :)

    • Phinor says:

      Thanks again Mark. I probably would have spent another six months waiting for the € price to drop to a reasonable level but now I’m already installing it.

    • Mark says:

      No probs. :)

  16. Blather Blob says:

    The Direct2Drive coupon is “HOHOHO” in the states, just in case anyone doesn’t notice their giant banner on all their pages. It takes 20% off anything, even sale prices, so it’s worth keeping in mind. Nothing jumps out for me personally, but if you’ve don’t yet have Chronicles of Riddick it’s only $4 after the coupon. Has limited activation DRM, but that’s the case no matter where you get it. And on the upside, it means the patch for the boxed version works just fine.

    They also have pre-orders of The Witcher 2, DRM-Free, for $36 after the coupon, which kind of takes the wind out of GOG’s sails.

  17. Graham says:

    Darksiders is $16 (for Americans at least), on Direct2Drive after the hohoho code. I don’t own the game, but I will in a second…

  18. Robomutt says:

    ” Rube Goldberg?” tsk… We say “Heath Robinson” in Engerland. Enough!

    Also All Tomorrow’s Parties are happening tonight?
    Shit. Now I know that I won’t see tomorrow.

  19. Kirrus says:

    Who made today’s image? It’s awesome :D

  20. Shadrach says:

    With todays image I thought Fallout Vegas was on sale… what a disappointment, its still bloody expensive…

  21. Lambchops says:

    VVVVVV is 3 quid on GetGamesGo, if you still haven’t got round to buying it yet.

  22. Jimbo says:

    Alpha Protocol is a steal at the price. It is unquestionably rough, but it’s still one of this year’s diamonds imo. Just don’t try and play it like it’s Gears of War – you won’t have any fun that way at all.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Agreed. I’m really enjoying it, picked it up in a Steam sale a while back. The actual game is quite easy, whether you play it stealthy or actiony. But I’ve found that the best parts are the dialogue and emails. It makes so much more sense to be a spy who is manipulating people. In Mass Effect my character just comes across as a bit mental.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Which is terrific fun and also hilarious if you imagine you’re also the Doom guy.

    • Deston says:

      RPS convinced me to get Alpha Protocol a couple of months back. During development I was following it closely and was really interested, then when it launched there was such a tidal wave of negativity it put me off.

      Man am I glad I picked it up in the recent Steam sale – it’s bloody brilliant! Yeah it’s buggy and the boss fights are a little corny, but the whole spy RPG concept is fucking awesome, and there’s so much choice and a lot of unexpected twists and betrayals in the plot, and the game is just downright fun to play.

      Basically my line to friends on AP is – the name is pretty apt, it could be an alpha/beta release of a superb game. If you’ve ever participated in betas of games or even general software and put up with the odd issue that usually entails, you’ll be fine. Go buy it now.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’ve played through AP 1.5 times now, and the only bugs I’ve encountered are rare, amusing and graphical. A couple of times, enemies have gotten their feet stuck in the floor when ragdolling, causing them to spasm around randomly, and sometimes my character will hold his gun a bit wonky, although it doesn’t affect my actual aim.

      Either I’m wildly lucky, or the bugs have been wildly overstated.

    • bill says:

      Is it true that it’s basically a combat/stealth Jack-Bauer-a-thon, or does it have some spying involved?

  23. Kio says:

    link to

    £9.99 digital download, not familiar with the site though, installs onto steam.

  24. ShadowNate says:

    GOG has the first three Broken Sword games (the first being the new Director’s Cut and remastered version) on sale for $7.20 .

    • Carra says:

      I’m also missing these in the list.

      I can definitely recommend these games to all adventure lovers.

  25. Soci says:

    Amnesia is cheaper on Direct2drive than on Steam (in the US) if you use the 20% code. I picked up Darksiders and Amnesia.

  26. Jamstar says:

    I just wanted to say that I’m in the US and I bought Europa Universalis III Complete via GamersGate. After the exchange rates, my card was charged $11.95, not $8.39. It’s still over 60% off the Steam price of $29.99, but I just thought I’d let you know.

    Also, please pray for me. I’m a TW vet (back to Medieval’s release and played Shogun about the same time) and even I’ve been scared of what I’ve heard about EU.

    • malkav11 says:

      After exchange rates? Why wouldn’t you just use the American site?

    • Jamstar says:

      HA! Oh, I’ve been laughing at myself here for a good 5 minutes now. I’ve only used Steam and GoG before this, and I followed the link here on RPS, so I figured it was a UK/European site. I don’t care. The laugh and the lesson was worth the $3.

      Thanks malkav. I’m a laughing fool.

    • malkav11 says:

      I think Gamersgate is based in Sweden (it’s owned by Paradox Interactive), but they do still have a US version of their site.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @Jamstar: If it makes you feel any better, many banks do charge extra “foreign currency fees” at GamersGate, even on the US .com site, and even if paying through PayPal. Of course it’s usually more like $1 than $3.

    • Jamstar says:

      The main source of my confusion was the fact that I saw the site was Sweden-based, but when I registered an account, the site allowed me to choose the United States and Illinois as my region, but then didn’t change any currencies or anything. So I figured that was the end of it. As I said, $3 is not that big of a deal. I still think I’ll get more enjoyment out of the game than a $12 lunch. Now I know.

      @Blather – Thanks for the heads up. Now I won’t be confused if I get a foreign currency fee at the end of the month. :)

  27. mwoody says:

    Remember that “1 in 5 games is free” deal on Direct2Drive? It’s disappeared. And I mean really disappeared – despite the sale originally listing a December 30th (31st?) end date, it has just vanished. Connecting to the old sale page redirects to home, and – this is the one that gets me – they’ve deleted the entry from the D2D blog announcing the sale.

    In its place is the aforementioned 20% off coupon, which amounts to the same savings from the store’s perspective, but it’s just bizarre to see them disavow all knowledge of any previous promotion. I guess it didn’t go as well as they’d hoped, which is strange: 20% off doesn’t excite me at all, but my gambling spirit makes that 1-in-5-free thing sorely tempting.

    In fact… I wonder if they ran afoul of gambling laws in certain locations? Or perhaps people were trying to claim games didn’t work and get refunds if they missed the free chance…

    • LostSoviet says:

      It’s much more likely they realized their mistake: one in five ORDERS, rather that titles, was being given away free. If you happened to order $200 worth of stuff (like their “complete” Atari collection, which is currently 50% off but still above $200, even after the -20% coupon) and lucked out, they were losing much more than they expected.

      Or, alternatively, they realized they were giving away data for both the purchase frequency and the amount of orders placed. The original RPS article on it pointed out that this was the first time any sort of solid data for digital distribution was available.

    • mwoody says:

      Giving away 1 in 5 games and giving away 1 in 5 orders are exactly the same thing from their point of view, assuming returns aren’t allowed and the user has no way to guess which order will be free.

  28. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    If you fancy getting yourself any Telltale merchandise, get it on one of the 50% off days, as it applies to that too, and helps mitigate the fairly hefty shipping charges.

  29. Hybrid says:

    Picked up Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Installed it… and have yet to play it.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Me too. I loved the demo, bought it ages ago. Then every time I go to play it, I remember how scary the demo was and change my mind. I really shouldn’t have bought it, it’s probably fantastic, but I find it really quite unpleasant.

    • Hybrid says:

      I’m currently working my way through Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth to hopefully build up a slight immunity to scary scary things… but I seriously doubt even after completing it that I’ll be able to play Amnesia at any time other than daylight. Hell, the F.E.A.R. demo scared the crap outta me, but then again, I was the only person in the house, wearing headphones, and with my back to an open door. Never doing THAT again. Still, it’s good to see Amnesia take the top seller spot on Steams sales chart.

  30. sinister agent says:

    I can vouch for Europa Tediousnamealis 3, for what it’s worth. Bought it a week or two ago, and it is rather dangerously compulsive once you get over the rather overwhelming start.

    Pro tip: Don’t try to understand every detail. You only need to know that you’re making a little money (or breaking even) every year and that you’re getting a decent supply of merchants/diplomats. The rest will come over time – I’ve still no idea about a good 40% of the stats mean or how to change them, but as most of them seem either positive or unimportant, I’ll worry about them later.

    Same goes for the politics sliders – just pick one that sounds good at the start and worry about the details later.

    Oh, and start as a middling power. A massively powerful one will mean you have too much to keep track of, while a tiny one will mean you’ve nothing to do at all but sit there and hope nobody sees you.

  31. geldonyetich says:

    > 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.

    And Nintendo’s Advance wars was an awful lot like the PC’s Battle Isle series, so I look at Mechowars on the PC platform as representing that as opposed to an upgrade of a Nintendo game.

    Granted, Battle Isle was based off a Turbo Graphix 16 game, or perhaps they were both based off of some paper-based strategy game.

    • iLag says:

      it’s more than just the genre. the interface is looking quite a lot like Advance Wars’ interface. plus, being a mobile game and all, there’s no real fullscreen mode, so not only does it play like a certain handheld game, it looks and feels alike. the comparison to Advance Wars is definitely justified.
      (ah, those Battle Isle games… good old days.)

    • Delusibeta says:

      Actually, Advance Wars is just the western name for the Famicom Wars series (oh, all right, Nintendo Wars. Although they seem to have abandoned the “Game Boy Wars” label for the Japanese names since the DS versions). Yes, the series originated on the NES (admittedly Japan-only) and the original Famicom Wars predates Military Madness by about a year. So, yeah.

  32. Urthman says:

    My deal of the week was the free Bejeweled Blitz demo. Instead of the usual 60 minutes total, this demo lets you play the game 10 times (or 10 minutes) every day.

    I would have paid $20 extra for a version of Bejeweled that only lets me play 10 minutes a day.

    Thanks, John Walker or whoever it was who mentioned it in the Bejeweled 3 post.

  33. theunshaven says:

    LewieP had this up earlier this week: Puppy Games, the folks who made Revenge of the Titans, have a sale up at the moment where their other three games are bundled together for $6.97 USD.

    Considering each game retails for $19.95 it’s a big saving. I personally think Ultratron and Titans Attack are too basic to pay full price for, but Droid Assault is a delight and worth buying the sale bundle for at that price on its own. Droid Assault is retro arcade shooty with surprisingly deep tactical elements, and as a bonus it’s like playing a demon or computer-virus taking over the enemy and making them your pawns.

    All the games have demos, so folks can try before they buy.

    Sale available in a banner at the bottom of this page: link to

    – The Unshaven.

    • iLag says:

      plus, they still have Revenge of the Titans for 50% off until its release… which is very soon, I think.

    • theunshaven says:

      That is true, and Revenge of the Titans is well worth it.

      – The Unshaven.

  34. Frank says:

    “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.”

    What on earth are you talking about?

    • Will Templeton says:

      GamersGate’s deal is buy four, get the cheapest free. If you buy Mecho Wars as part of this, you don’t save as much as you would if you got a more expensive game and then bought Mecho Wars separately for a pittance.

    • Frank says:

      Thanks, B-Teamer!

  35. Bascule42 says:

    Is savvygamer working ok for everyone else?

  36. Lukasz says:

    Alpha Protocol is amazing game. at that price… it’s a robbery of the decade.

    go get it!

  37. drewski says:

    Evil Genius on Steam today (well, actually NOW because it’ll probably be over soon) for US$2.50 or Euromonies/Britcash equivalent isn’t too bad, for what it’s worth.

  38. Morello says:

    Nope, looks like there is some kind of exploit on the site – Avast! alerted me and didn’t let me connect, and now the site’s listed by Google as an attack page.

  39. lurkalisk says:

    Being unfamiliar with this festival, and being rather familiar with both the Gibson book and the Velvet Underground song, seeing that ATP site yielded one of the most confusing 2 seconds I’ve experienced in awhile.

  40. pimorte says:


    Famicom Wars was first – it came out in 1988. Advance Wars is a sequel in the series.

  41. thebigJ_A says:

    If you get EU3, you need to get the Heir to the Throne eexpansion, which you have to get seperate from the Complete edition. Man, such a good game.

    Wicked complicated, though. There’s a pretty solid tutorial of the basics here: link to Too bad he never finished, but it’s enough to get you started.

    And the Divine Wind expansion is soon. Man, I don’t have time for this.

  42. Frank says:

    Has Savygamer’s website been compromised? Google and ESET antivirus seem to agree that it is: I visited via chrome and google’s search engine and got a warning; when I went in anyway, ESET caught several…somethings…. “multiple threats.”

    • Ricky says:

      It appears to be so, yes. Yesterday avast was screaming at me when I went to it and today firefox calls it a ‘reported attack page’ and doesn’t load it by default. Maybe a yucky advert in the system or something?

    • bill says:

      ads seem to be the main attack vector for dodgy online stuff these days. I’m a little surprised none of the advertising networks seems to be able to stop it.

      Still, it’s nice to know that things like Avast CAN actually detect these things. I always have a sneaking suspicion that my PC might be getting infected and i’d never know.

    • Film11 says:

      Getting flagged as bad for me too. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon! Although perhaps not if Lewie’s at ATP…

  43. doktorfisch says:

    savygames giving me a malware warning on Chrome.. wth?

  44. NightKid says:

    Apparently, Direct2Drive US is currently holding a sale for THQ games which can be registered on Steam.

    Check out this thread for more info on them deals : link to