Buy One Ship, Get Two Free

Death is alive again

Bargain King Lewie Procter alerts me to new that the new owners of Half-Life mod-gone-pro The Ship are offering a Christmas present to existing owners of the comedy assassination game. And yes, they do openly admit it’s also “a transparent attempt at some shameless marketing”, which makes it an even easier pill to swallow. Basically, if you’ve bought (or decide to buy) The Ship at any point between its release in 2006 and the end of the current Steam Winter sale, you’ll be gifted two bonus copies of the game to give to anyone of your choosing. If they then activate it, they too get a free bonus key to giftify to someone else. It’s like a chain letter, but with activation keys for an agreeable multiplayer videogame about silently murdering toffs on a 1920s cruise liner.

Of course, there are dual motives at play here: 1) for new owners Blazing Griffin to make a pile/heap/mountain of cash and 2) to kick-start The Ship’s multiplayer community again. With the game approaching six years old and having never truly made it past cult status, those servers have understandably been a little sleepy for a while. With all these free keys suddenly floating around, that could change – it’ll be fascinating to see what the Steam Sale Effect is on this old dear.

If you don’t already own it or know anyone who does and can gift it to you, it’s currently 50% off in the Winter Sale, which makes it £7.

Blazing Griffin, incidentally, picked up The Ship after original devs Outerlight went bust last year. They’re an indie studio based in Scotland (as I believe were Outerlight?) with only an iOS game to their name so far, but they have a secret project codenamed ‘FUll Steam Ahead’ in the making too. Now there’s a title that suggests additional shipping to my paranoid ears.


  1. Dana says:

    Wow, that actually sounds pretty awesome. I hope it will revive playerbase because this game is quite fun and original.

    Ill give away my keys on RPS, whenever Im going to get them :D

  2. psyk says:

    what’s the news on the forum coming back up

  3. TheLordHimself says:

    I love this game, one of the best IMO, it’s such a shame nobody plays it.

  4. Flukie says:

    Was waiting so long for a sale on this, my friend has it and I loved the HL1 mod.

    Hopefully he gives me a key, although he might trade them for another game.

    Also enjoyed Bloody Good Time, although The Ship did have a better balance and more polish.

  5. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Yes, Outerlight was also based in Edinburgh.

    How about an RPS weekend game session of The Ship?

  6. SiHy_ says:

    This looks fun! Totally stalking this page in the hopes of finding a rogue key.

    EDIT: Seems people are getting inventory items, not keys. If anyone’s come over all Xmas-y my Steam ID is the same as my RPS name: SiHy_

    Sigh, begging for games at Christmas. How did it come to this…?

  7. SEKCobra says:

    I don’t see any keys anywhere

    • Lewie Procter says:

      They said that they’re going to be being dished out at some point today.

    • SiHy_ says:

      So now we play the waiting game…

      Oh, this is boring. Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos!

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      Some people on the ship’s steam forum got their keys already. They had no idea what was going on.

      Also, anyone want to be a dear and gift me a spare copy, I really want to get my friends into this game, but my stupid Irish Laser Maestro card won’t work with steam. :( (I borrow a credit card when I buy games usually, something I don’t access to at present.)

      link to if anyone is feeling charitable.


  8. gyokzoli says:

    Ok, but why is there no info about this promotion on the Steam page?
    What if I don’t get the extra copies?

    • tenebrious says:

      gyokzoli we’ve asked Valve to put some info up on the Steam store page…

      You certainly won’t not get your keys!! :)

  9. Cerzi says:

    Looking forward to playing this some more, always enjoyed it back in the day but was always a pain finding servers with people playing.

  10. CMaster says:

    I liked it back when it was a F2P HL mod, although back then it depended a lot on everybody playing along – one random kill ’em all type could ruin the whole game. What’s the stand alone source version like? Any better than the fun but disappointing BGT?

    • Sweedums says:

      people can still just go crazy and kill anyone, but they will come bottom of the server and im fairly sure if you get killed by someone like that you don’t lose any weapons or money, and you remain in the round.

      also, most servers i used to play on had a kicking system for people who killed too many innocents.

      so basically, its not too much of a problem anymore really.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I might have a LANning coming up so this could be just the thing.

    As an aside, does anyone want a copy of Portal? I still seem to have one rattling around in my giftables.

  12. tenebrious says:

    So how cool is this :) FIRST RPS posting and seems everybody is just as excited as we are!! :)

    • SiHy_ says:

      Ooooh, are you one of the devs?? Yey! Famous people! Your game looks like a lot of fun!
      I think I speak for everyone else here when I say I hope you make a bajillion pounds off this deal and get to make many more!

    • IckyThump says:

      I don’t mean to be a bother, but I haven’t received my copies yet. I got the game years ago, if that makes any difference.

  13. Torgen says:

    I’ve always wanted to try this game, but never have because it requires random people from the internet to behave. If we get a RPS Cruise Lines group going, I’d *love* to try it out.

    EDIT: I have a spare Dogfighter key I’ll trade for a Ship key.

    • IckyThump says:

      I’ll take you up on that once (if?) I get my passes.

      I’ll also give away the other to whoever promises to actually play the game!

    • Torgen says:

      Excellent, thanks!

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      I hereby solemnly promise to play the game every day until death parts me with the ability to play it any longer.

      I remember trying it out at a lan years ago, loved it to bits. Would really love to get a shot to able to play it again. If it helps, if you gift me the game, I will make sure to gift-chain it around all my friends and beyond. (I pretty much can get my immediate friends to play anything with me – they trust me, after I weened them off console multiplayer shooters with superior pc alternatives. Zombie Panic Source, Vanilla Teamfortress 2, Battlefield 1942 etc.)

      link to

  14. hypercrisis says:

    I remember a lot of word about this game a while back, I was honestly surprised to see the devs still active.

  15. Natasha99 says:

    I have been playing this game since it came out. I love it. I’m so glad that multiplayer will be better as its also been a downfall in this game. LOVE the game!!!

  16. cosmicolor says:

    I’d give it a try if someone hands out a key to me. Kind of wanted to try this and Bloody Good Time but they just seemed too reliant on people behaving. Hopefully a game with RPS people would result in such behaviour :P

    my, uh, steam name is profjamesjoynt for the purposes of handing out things.

  17. elfbarf says:

    I received a gift copy from someone who received a gift copy from someone who actually purchased the game. It seems as if the chain ends here, I do not possess yet another copy.

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    • SiHy_ says:

      Top sex services?? Count me in!
      Wait, this isn’t my usual sex blog… I bet you’re not even human are you!?

  19. Bobby Oxygen says:

    I did a lot of volunteer testing on both the HL1 & Source version, and I think it’s great that they’re trying to build up the community in this fashion. Lack of populated servers was one of the reasons this cool little game got passed over by many. I don’t know if I’ll get any keys since I was given the game and didn’t buy it, but I’ll share them here if I do. I’ll be up for some high-seas murder and shenanigans regardless.

    Shame about Outerlight, they were good people :(

  20. ScorpionWasp says:

    I have a spare copy of The Binding of Isaac (game of the year hands down) or a -50% coupon for Monster Trucks Nitro (whatever that is, not my kinda thing) to trade for one of those keys!

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to play a game based on paranoia against other human players, but apparently developers shy from developing that sorta thing cuz it could, I dunno, break real life friendships or something? Humans are squeamish, silly things… but anyways, pretty please??? <:)

  21. CptSqweky says:

    I bought my copy back in ’07. I actually have CDs! But I don’t see anything yet. Maybe tomorrow? Anyone else gotten their gift keys yet?

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      I’m in the same boat, bought a boxed copy years ago, still waiting for my keys. I really want to get some friends into this!

  22. sopabuena says:

    That’s cool! If anyone has a spare copy I would be glad to have it: The steam sale has left me without funds to buy another game right now

  23. Cerzi says:

    I own The Ship but didn’t get any gift copies ;_;

  24. tenebrious says:

    Howzit All

    Just an update on the extra keys:

    We’re experiencing some technical difficulties, as I’m sure you’re all aware….but Valve are looking into why the keys are not going through and everybody will get their keys as soon as soon as possible.

    Apologies again for the delays!