The RPS Bargain Bucket: Simple Pleasures

I’m a little late in posting this Bargain Bucket today. It’s actually Ed McMillen’s fault, I was up past my bedtime last night, playing none other than The Binding of Isaac (as featured in this week’s Bargain Bucket). I might sneak some more in now, actually. There’s plenty of other games on offer this weekend, you won’t want to miss some of these deals. You can always find even more cheap games, on all formats, over at Here’s this week’s download roundup:

Transformers: War for Cybertron – £5/€7.50/$7.50
I defer to Alec for this one:

It is, however, a deeply ordinary third-person shooter in the all-too-modern mould and, if you’re immune to the charms of quarter-century old plastic toys, you will probably sneer at it. If you’re not – well, you’ve bought it already, haven’t you? Yes, to compound my regular use of cliche in this piece, I’m finishing on an If You Like This Sort Of Thing You’ll Like This Sort Of Thing line. However, the reason this game exists is precisely to serve that line of thinking.

The Binding of Isaac – £3.59/€4.49/$4.49
Or get it with the soundtrack for £4.48/€5.38/$5.38. This is only a saving of 10%, but since only cost a bit of spare change to begin with, it’s fantastic value. Comrade Smith was rather enamoured with this one:

In many ways, it’s a small game. There’s never more than one-screen in play for one thing but every screen has something to offer, whether an ecstatic discovery or a terrible way to die. That’s fundamentally all I ask from a game – fill my screen with something interactive and interesting. It’s a very rare moment when Isaac isn’t doing that. As I was playing, I kept thinking how unlikely it was that this thing exists, in all its deliberate depravity and simple pleasures. I’m extremely glad that it does.

Me too.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars: The Directors Cut – Free
There’s not much longer left on this deal, I think it ends some time today, so stop reading this and go and get it. You don’t need to download it straight away, you just need to add it to your account, and then it will be waiting (DRM free) for you to download at your convenience. This Directors Cut is the one that our very own John Walker worked on, he was responsible for the new hint system. Even if you played the original, it’s worth trying this new version just to see that.

The good Prince of Persia’s for cheap.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – £1.98/€3.18/$3.98
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within – £1.98/€3.18/$3.98
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, PC/Mac – £1.98/€3.18/$3.98
Ok, the one from 2008, and The Forgotten Subtitle are reduced too, but I don’t particularly think they’re worth your time. Not anywhere near as much as the Sands of Time Trilogy. It’s pioneering use of rewind instead of forcing you to repeat things every time you slip up gives the game a gorgeous flow: it’s a shame that in more recent games they forgot a lot of what made that rewind mechanic fun. It’s debatable whether the Sands of Time or The Two Thrones is the high point of the series. The Two thrones definitely had some nice new ideas, but it had quite a few ropey sections too. For two quid a pop, all three are worth getting, I reckon.

Deal of the week
Frozen Synapse & TRAUMA – Pay What You Want
Crikey, I didn’t see that coming. Here’s the next promotion from the wonderful Humble Indie Bundle lot, and this time it’s Mode 7’s Frozen Synapse taking the centre stage. For whatever price you see fit, you get a DRM free copy of Frozen Synapse. It also comes with a code to register it on Steam, Direct2Drive, and/or Desura, and like all Humble games, it’s playable on PC, Mac and Linux. They have also added TRAUMA as a bonus game, and if you spend more than the average on the bundle (current average is $4.65), they will throw in a free copy of the Frozenbyte bundle, including Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Splot preorder and Jack Claw [Prototype]. These guys are pretty much kings when it comes to offering fantastic value PC gaming, even if you own most of the games mentioned so far, you should chuck them some spare change because they are doing a good thing: and I bet they have more surprises planned for this bundle too. You’ve got another 11 days to think about it, here’s Alec’s review of Frozen Synapse.

Also of note:
Blood Bowl Legendary Edition – £6/€8/$8
The Oddboxx – £6.49/$7.49
Machinarium – £2.99/$4.49

Be sure to visit to find the best deals on games, all the time.


  1. RagingLion says:

    TRAUMA as well?! That’s probably just swung things for me. Even though I should probably start playing games rather than just buying them.

    • caddyB says:

      I have that problem as well.
      And music, too.

      There’s always something new, something exciting coming out before you’re done with what you already have.

    • gwathdring says:

      Oops. Replied to the wrong one.

  2. mwoody says:

    PoP 2008, I’d say, is worth the mention, if only for its terribly fascinating ending (pre-DLC).

    • Nova says:

      I was just about to say the same.
      The game sure has its issues mainly the grindy bossfights, but it has a good story and a nice chemistry between Elika and the Prince.
      As mwoody said the ending alone is almost worth playing it.

    • Jimbo says:

      PoP ’08 is the best one imo and one of my favourite games of this console gen. It helps that it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at too.

      The ending is extremely smart and contains one of the few gaming moments which I would be happy to use if asked to make a case for ‘games as art’.

    • johnpeat says:

      PoP 2008 – ‘the one with the scarf’ – was a load of fun – it’s a PoP game through and through, I cannot see why anyone would like the (now pretty clunky, tbh) earlier ones and not like it.

      It has puzzles, backtracking, slightly iffy and repetitive combat and more platforming that the platformingest platformer which ever platformed…

      SoT remains a joy if you slightly rose-tint it, but the 2 which follow it are pretty fucking nasty in the cold light of history – you could ignore them and have missed nothing (esp Warrior Within which is ‘the emo one’).

      Never played The Forgotten Subtitle but if it’s half-as-good as 2008 I probably should.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      I’d also recommend picking up the 2008 one. It does far more things right than it does wrong. I also read a good article somewhere about how it is one of the ideal games to get people into gaming, because it doesn’t punish the player heavily or rub their nose in it when they die. Also it looks incredible, which always helps.

      SoT still holds up pretty well because everything feels so smooth in that game. In fact I prefer the combat to that in Warrior Within because it is far simpler and constrained. WW has combos and special moves and whole loads of things to get your prince whirling around like one of those spinny trap things, but I felt the added depth actually took the charm out of the combat.
      Have Two Thrones but never played it because I abhor “you lose health over time” mechanics in all things.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m going to add my voice to the crowd supporting the 2008 game. It is certainly the best looking game in the series. The game was more repetitive than Sands of Time, but I think the platforming mechanics were more enjoyable even if they were not given as much of a varied life as those in sands of time. I liked the cinematic combat system, but think it needed more variety both among fights and among combat maneuvers and features to have really worked. I also agree that the whole never-dying thing could feel a bit silly and overly-forgiving.

      But damn did that game have a fantastic ending. Perfect blend of story and mechanics. One of the best in any game.

    • Urthman says:

      Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is superior to Sands of Time in every category except the story and voice acting (and maybe the chariot races — I didn’t mind those, but some people hated them).

      The difference in story is a huge difference. But the platforming is deeper and more fun, the level design is better, the combat is much, much better, and it even integrates platforming into the combat, allowing you to sneak up on enemies and use stealth instead of straight fighting. And stealth is always just an option. It’s not a separate “You have to use stealth to get past this level” thing. You can always just fight instead, and if you fail at stealth the game doesn’t force you to start over, you just have to fight the regular way, which is itself fun.

      Forgotten Sands is uneven. I don’t think the combat is as good as Two Thrones; the “knock hordes of enemies over like tenpins” is hilarious at first, great fun for a while, but gets repetitive before the end. They try this interesting thing where they’re trying model how fast and agile the Prince is by just making the enemies really slow and sluggish. It’s like all the combat is in bullet time or something.

      It has platforming sections that are as good as Sands of Time, especially once you get the ice powers, and the zooming leap/strike, but it’s uneven and ends up feeling like more of the same. And the story is rubbish. The final “boss level” is actually pretty inventive and fun.

    • djbriandamage says:

      You guys have convinced me to try POP 2008 again. I bought it for pennies and was turned off by whatsherface pulling my beans out of the fire every 2 seconds, but my annoyance left me asking myself what I’d have preferred in its place. Hopefully the game doesn’t remain as combat-heavy as the first hour or so.

    • Kotti says:

      PoP 08 was a massive disappointment. To me it was just a bad ripoff with all the great gameplay replaced with QTEs.

      Forgotten Subtitle was alright, even though the combat was crap compared to WW and TTT. I actually liked the platforming in that more than I did in SoT-trilogy, especially near the end.

    • johnpeat says:

      The thing with 2008 is that you have a ‘you can never die’ mechanic and that does – at least at first – tend to make you wonder why you’re bothering to play it (as it’s just a matter of trying again and again).

      As the game progresses tho, getting all the ‘souls’ and completing some of the more complex sections begins to make more sense – because she’ll save you but you need to restart the tricky section all-over-again.

      Previous PoPs would punish you for repeated failures by making you redo large sections of the game – but this is a BIG game, it doesn’t need to milk every area because there’s so much more to see.

      It makes it an ideal game for beginners because they’re not punished for mistakes too hard – the rewards for the more skilled gamer really come from achievements tho, where speed/beatin time limits/finding everything is what you need.

      I defy anyone to play 2008 and then go back to SoT or WW and not thing “whoa, this is ANTIQUE!”

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I was about to buy POP 2008 based on these recommendations, except: TAGES. I’m not going to spend money on bad DRM, even if it comes with a good game attached.

    • malkav11 says:

      Wait, what? Prince of Persia 2008 was released entirely DRM-free. Its lack of sales appears to be Ubisoft’s justification for swinging the other way into DRM madness.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I just followed the link to POP 2008 on GamersGate, and that’s what it says on the product page: “DRM:Tagés”.

      Edit: I was unaware that it was released DRM free originally, but many other reports confirm that. Was that only retail copies? Because there’s also corroboration that the download version included TAGES, e.g. link to

    • Kaldor says:

      I know it makes you a better person to like the old ones instead of the pretty and easy one, but I have yet to finish Sands of Time after almost 2 years, and I don’t feel particularly inclined to. I think the newer ones might actually provde a good time.
      I don’t say it’s bad, I just don’t see what’s the big deal about this game anyway. It’s very repetitive, for one, and why people even bother to mention its “storytelling” and “characters” is beyond me.

    • malkav11 says:

      Maybe. I’ve heard people report that the retail version of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has no DRM, whereas the copy I got from Steam very definitely still checks with uPlay on launch, something that Steam doesn’t list and which would have prevented me from purchasing the game if I’d known. But when I tried PoP 2008, it was on console, and I didn’t like it, so I never got the PC version.

    • Vinraith says:


      My retail copy of AC: Brotherhood checks with UPlay on launch as well, but if it can’t make a connection it offers an offline mode that works just fine. Try running your Steam copy with your network unplugged, there should be an offline option offered in the lower left of the Window. If there’s not, then the DRM is different.

  3. Createx says:

    I bought the 3 PoP for 5€ two years ago at retail.
    Yay :D One of the best buys of my life :)

  4. Chelardar says:

    The sands of time has a PC version?


  5. Sankis says:

    “It’s pioneering use”? Someone messed up :P

    • Hematite says:

      It’s pioneering use of the English language, get with the time’s man!

  6. ArtyFishal says:

    Does the bundled version of Frozen Synapse include 2 copies like the retail version?

    Also, I heartily recommend The Binding of Isaac. There is a lot of game there for a little money, and it is original, clever, quality stuff.

  7. DrGonzo says:

    The Humble Bundles little picture for Trauma is just brilliant!

  8. Tams80 says:

    From the Humble Bundles I must have several copies of some games. For instance, the Frozenbyte bundle yet again. I couldn’t pay a measly $4.00 for Frozen Synapse and TRAUMA even if I already have Frozen Synapse. It just would feel immoral.

    • johnpeat says:

      Morality is an entirely personal thing – but the developers wouldn’t have offered it if they weren’t happy for some people to exploit the system a bit.

      Sometimes it’s a good idea not to feel bad for other people unless you KNOW they want you to :)

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      At the very least youre promoting the game and paying for it.

    • Skabooga says:

      Morality is a good thing. I think it is splendid that you’re paying a higher value that you feel reflects the games’ worth rather than trying to take advantage of the system. So, yeah, thumbs up.

    • johnpeat says:

      The snag comes when people say “I can’t afford to pay as much as I think it’s worth and so I won’t buy it at all” – because that’s missing the point of the HB’s

      The idea is to raise money for the other causes – the benefit to the developer comes more from the publicity than the income (at least I imagine it does).

      That said, HBs sell a lot and a lot of small amounts is well worth having…

  9. AlexV says:

    I’ve enjoyed playing all the POP games so far, including the 2008 one. Forgotten Sands appears to still have the UbiDRM on it though, so I guess I’ll keep waiting on that one.

  10. buzzmong says:

    Bllloooood Booowwwwlll!


  11. abremms says:

    Worth noting that Dungeon Siege 3 is up on steam for 50% off ($24.99), in North America at any rate. If anyone was waiting for a sale like I was, here it is. Got the first two games bundled in for en extra 3$ too.

    • KauhuK says:

      Edited the original message away. Changed my mind.

    • sacred_flame101 says:

      Same price in Australia.

    • Sarre says:

      DSIII Is actually $19.99 on Amazon for the downloadable version – and I think it’s Steamworks so you have to activate it on Steam anyway.

      I’m waiting for $10 in an Xmas sale though, did NOT care for the demo very much…

    • KauhuK says:


      Game Downloads are only available to US customers
      We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Please continue shopping on the home page.

      There. I would buy games from there if only I could.

    • Colonel J says:

      Been thinking about maybe getting DS3 until I tried the demo on Steam last night. Very underwhelmed. Disappointing, I thought it would be better. Decided I’ve far too many better things to play in the next few months to warrant throwing any money at this one.

    • GeneralSalad says:


      You could try using a US proxy server though not sure if amazon requires the credit card to be from the same region as the purchase.

    • malkav11 says:

      I think Dungeon Siege III is significantly better than what I played of the demo. YMMV.

  12. frenz0rz says:


    But seriously, if anyone fancies giving Blood Bowl a go but worries they mind find it a little difficult, me and the chaps at Team SAO are currently teaching a few people the basics using live Xfire broadcasts and our Ventrilo server, with the hope of recruiting a few more people for our leagues. Anyone from RPS would be more than welcome im sure.

    Of course, theres also the rather nifty RPS Blood Bowl community as well, so dont forget those guys. I’m sure there’ll be somebody about to help you learn the basics if you just ask politely on the forums.

    So yeah, if anyone wants a hand or has any questions, drop me a comment on here or hit me up on Steam (“Frenz0rz”).


  13. godgoo says:

    I know it’s been mentioned elsewhere but I thought it’d be worth pointing out the The Witcher 2 is $29.99 this w/e.

  14. Skabooga says:

    When the Frozenbyte Bundle came out, I wasn’t particularly interested, and just walked on by. I was on the fence with the Frozen Synapse Bundle, but when I saw the Frozenbyte Bundle was added to it, I was thoroughly convinced. These HIB guys are too damn clever for my own good.

  15. yutt says:

    Transformers: War for Cybertron has 3 player coop through the entire campaign. For anyone who enjoys coop, I definitely recommend it.

    • Lamellama says:

      Thanks Mister, I like to play coops with my two little sisters and am always looking out for them.

      But it seems to be back to regular price now :(

  16. Barmazuz says:

    That’s it. NOW I WANT HOBO TYCOON.

  17. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    PoP 2008 has the worst combat ever. It also has one of the best, most thought provoking ending of any game I’ve ever played, and I’d recommend it on that basis alone.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      While the combat didn’t fit in with the acrobatic flow of the game as in the sands trilogy, I generally enjoyed it more in PoP08. I especially enjoyed it near the end when you hit some enemies who could change forms so their invulnerabilities kept changing. Even without that it had a nice block/counter/combo feel to it.

  18. hackl says:

    I think the best deal of this weekend popped up on Steam about two hours ago: indie RPG Avadon the Black Fortress, for 3,50€ (and probably for a similar price in your peculiar island currency).

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been meaning to pop my spiderweb cherry.

  19. BarneyL says:

    Also of possible interest on STEAM:
    The revised and re-released version of Fate of the World is available for £1.99 if you own the original version on steam.
    Avadon: The balck Fortress is the daily deal at £2.99 for all those old school RPG lovers.

    Also Lewie’s favourite download provider Green Man Gaming have the code SUMME-RBLOW-OUT25 which gives 25% of everything, making it the cheapest place to pick up a number of pre orders and recent releases (e.g. Dead Island, Batman and Football Manager are all at £22.47).

    • felisc says:

      Just picked up Avadon. I wanted to do so when it came out but … forgot about it.
      It looks like a brilliant game, can’t wait to start it.

  20. sabrage says:

    Why is War for Cybertron $30 for me? I was about to get it!

    Also, can anyone comment on this game’s multiplayer community? I heard it has BC2-style progression and classes

  21. mashakos says:

    I updated ddhack to work with the old oddworld games, but I had to cancel my hosting account :(
    If anyone would be willing to donate some hosting bandwidth for my build of ddhack, PM me in the forums.

    • hackl says:

      Can’t you just host it on Sourceforge? Or do they only allow you to host GPL licensed software?

  22. MythArcana says:

    And once again, the must-have hybrid Space Rangers 2 Reboot is still on sale for $9.99 at GamersGate.
    link to

    • Colonel J says:

      $2.50 at Beamdog last weekend. Worth keeping an eye on Beamdog. They have a lot of the usual old suspects in their promos as everyone else, but most of their catalogue comes back around on promo every month or so and there are some good bargains sometimes.

      Edit: But yeah, get SR2 it’s a gem.

  23. Jake says:

    Transformers: War for Cybertron – it’s not dissimilar to Space Marine except you can transform into a tank. Quite an underrated game I would say, especially as it has great co-op. I felt a bit shortchanged when I bought it full price as it is quite short, but if you can find it cheap and have a couple of friends it is worth a go.

    DISCLAIMER: I love Transformers.

    • johnpeat says:

      I tried the demo and it was AWFUL – the levels appears to be ‘corridors’ with invisible walls and few options as to how to proceed.

      The full game may be way better but the demo totally failed to sell the idea to me – and I’m not a Robot’s in Disguise fan at all…