The RPS Bargain Bucket: Shooting Stuff

It’s the first bargain bucket of 2012, and I think we’re back to business as usual. After the hustle and bustle of Christmas sales left, right and centre, it’s nice to return to normality. Maybe we’ll even have time to play all the games we bought last year. Just because there’s no big sales on doesn’t mean that there’s nothing of interest discounted this weekend though, read on for my roundup of the best PC deals. If you want regular updates of cheap games across all platforms, be sure to pop along to whenever you get a chance. Here’s the bargain bucket:

The Club – £3.49/$3.49
Brilliant messy run and gun shooter from sadly now defunct Bizarre Studios, this prompted that Kieron fella to say this back at release:

It’s basically a game with one good idea – which is all that a game really needs. But a game really needs to follow that idea to its full conclusion to sell it. Imagine Guitar Hero which only included tunes no-one knew, with no cheers or whatever. That’s basically, The Club. And while I get the urge to play it a few times, it’s not one which anyone should run out and throw down full price for.

Full price, probably not, but for this rather cheap price I’d say it’s worth a bit of anyone’s time. You might love it.

AI War Alien Bundle – £4.50/€5.75/$7.49
This is the complete AI War, the base game and all of the expansions. They should register on Steam, but you’ll also get a DRM free download from GamersGate. Here’s that Kieron fella summarising the game before chronicling the hivemind’s attempt to take it on:

The aim of the game… well, there’s two AI home-planets out there in the solar system. You have to locate and destroy both of them. The problem being, doing exactly that. It makes no pretense of being an symmetrical game, with the AIs acting more as hostile terrain. Push too hard, and it pushes back. Destroying almost any of its structures gets it increasingly angry, amping up its technology and similar. The trick is balancing the few. Well, the trick is many things, many of them we don’t know.

Super Meat Boy – £2.48/€3.48/$3.73
My game of 2010, by a comfortable margin. It’s hilarious, consistently challenging, and bursting with creativity. For my money, this 2D platformer still hasn’t been surpassed. Perhaps it’s won’t be until we get Ed & Tommy’s next game. I think this is the cheapest price it’s been available for (excluding when it got bundled up), so there’s no excuse for not giving this a try. You’ll probably want some kind of controller.

Borderlands – £1.99/$3.99
Coop centric sprawling shooter from Gearbox, here’s an extract from the RPS Verdict:

Jim: It’s genuinely entertaining, isn’t it?
Alec: Yeah, it makes that MMO/Diablo compulsion absolutely a virtue, in that you’re rewarded with something that has a visible and tactile rather than purely statistical improvement.
Jim: Which is a neat trick in itself, given that we’d all said how we were fed up with that stuff. It’s like the linear shooter – everyone says they’ve had enough, and then you get a Modern Warfare. In this case it’s a good shooter that does something else clever.
John: It’s a good shooter. That’s really significant. Name the last good shooter. It’s utterly beautiful to look at, you get stupidly powerful guns and after a few hours essentially infinite ammo, and you can just have a mad amount of fun running around shooting stuff.

Deal of the week
Fractal, Fun With Swarms, Max & The Magic Marker, Nuclear Dawn & Super Crossfire – £2.77/€3.36/$4.27 at time of writing
Disclaimer: I work for Indie Royale/
A bundle of five great games for roughly 56p each, Cracking deal. Here you get Nuclear Dawn, as liked by Comrade Griliopoulos, a nice little doodling platformer in the form of Max & The Magic Marker, colourful puzzle thing with lots of numbers flashing up on the screen: Fractal, and the PC/Mac debut of Super Crossfire from Radiangames. Crossfire started off as a XBLIG series, and I loved all of the early Radiangames releases. Recently Radiangames released Super Crossfire on iOS, and now the definitive version of Crossfire is available on PC. It’s a great looking game on all platforms, but the PC version is particularly nice looking. Mouse controls seem to be the most precise and responsive option too, especially once you’ve upgraded your ship’s speed. Super Crossfire is great on PC, and currently only available via Indie Royale. Fun With Swarms is this, looks fun!

Also of note:
Eufloria – £3.74/€4.24/$4.99

Remember to visit for the lowdown on all the cheapest games.


  1. sinister agent says:

    The Club is one of the most requested games I have when people come round to visit, as its multiplayer is a terrific laugh.

    However, that’s on the funsquare, because of course split screen multiplayer is vastly superior.

    Still a fun game though. I haven’t played Bulletstorm, but it strikes me as a sort of successor to the Club.

    • RobF says:

      Bulletstorm shares very little with The Club – it’s not realllly a score attack game despite giving you a score.

      If you want to find the true spiritual successor, you’ll find it in the Professor Genki rounds of Saints Row:The Third. Which was probably the last place I expected a tribute to The Club to turn up but yup, there it is.

  2. BarneyL says:

    Missing most of the best deals this week in my opinion. The Greenman Gaming sale has at present amongst other offers:

    Deus Ex HR for £7.49 (until 12 GMT Sunday)
    Beyond Good and Evil for £1.74
    All the recent Tomb Raider games discounted (e.g. Guardian of Light for £3)
    Half price on Lego Batman (£4.99) and Harry Potters (£7.47 and £9.99)
    Magicka will be 75% off from 12 GMT tomorrow

    In my experience GMG are putting up some of the best deals out there they undercut the Steam sale with Arkham CIty over the holidays which never made it on to Savy gamer and they tend to be the cheapest source of digital pre-orders.
    It might be worth adding them to the list of sites to check out while compiling the bargain bucket.

    • Mattressi says:

      I think GMG deals are purposely not put up (though I could be wrong). I remember Lewie had an issue with them, but I can’t remember what. In all likelihood it’s the same issue I have with them – the games you get can’t be played offline for more than 3 days (IIRC); after that you have to go back online otherwise the GMG client won’t let you play them. I like my games to be mine. Nowadays Steam’s offline mode works (for me at least), so I’ve got less of an issue with Steam. Plus if I get desperate for offline play, the keys Steam has for games are regular keys, so I can acquire the game through…other means and use the Steam key. GMG, however, uses keys that don’t seem to let you do that (yes, I tried; MoW seemed to work, but ARMA 2 certainly didn’t) because of their “trade in” feature, which means you’re stuck with having to go online every 3 days to play your offline SP games. Not an issue for most, but I don’t like it – I’m away without internet for some months of the year, usually.

      Plus their client sucks balls, at least here in Australia. I tried downloading ARMA 2 four times, each time it took a day or so downloading at 100 kb/s maximum (I get 1 Mb/s with Steam) and every single bloody download finished, then when I tried to install the game, it said it was corrupt. (And yes, I tried all the fixes, including manually extracting the game from the zip – which gave an error saying it was corrupt). I should stop now. And consider sleeping…

    • johnpeat says:

      Lewie’s original problem with GMG was that he didn’t think their trade-in system was any good – what the fuck that has to do with cheap games I’ve no idea, Space Marine for 7.50 earlier this week (15 on Steam in the sale) – Batman AC cheaper than anywhere else too!!

      With those games there’s no trade-in concept – all you’re buying is a Steam code which you pop-into your client and Robert is your Fathers rather odd Brother…

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Been tossing back and forth whether to get Lego Harry Potter Yrs1-4 for about a week now. I like the Lego games but not a HP fan by any stretch (never being interested to read/see any of the books/movies). Add onto that, Capsule which I’ve not used (having bought Steam games only from GMG) and I just can’t decide.

    • johnpeat says:

      I think the Lego games only work if you’re a fan of the content – otherwise they’re all basically the same game…

      I play Lego Star Wars and Batman because I like Star Wars and Batman – wheras I found the HP and Pirates games to be fairly dull.

      Horses for courses, of courses!!

    • Crimsoneer says:

      I actually got Space Marine from GMG this week for £2 by trading in all the free games I’d got from them in random deals they’d done over hte years…

    • Llewyn says:

      @johnpeat: AC isn’t a Steamworks game. They were cheap for it (although I think they only announced that on Facebook, so I missed it) but it did require the Capsule client to (incompletely) install it. There’s an awful lot of posts out there about people having problems with AC on Capsule; enough that I’d have been put off buying it even if I’d had the discount code.

    • johnpeat says:

      I’d not be surprised is the GFWL component is more likely the problem?? GFWL decided, unilaterally, that I couldn’t play ANY of my games last week – it varied between telling my my account is locked (it’s not – it works on another PC and on my 360) and then demanding endless updates…

      Then – out of the blue – it started working again yesterday – honestly, I wonder why MS even bother…

      p.s. a GFWL update before Christmas wiped a lot of people’s saved games too – I think it really is time we boycotted it totally (MS are, effectively, closing it down by degrees anyway)??

    • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

      Cutting out Steam-keyed game deals on your own site for whatever (probably daft) reason, Lewie? – absolutely fair enough.

      Leaving them out of the **RPS** Bargain Bucket? Well that’s just tantamount to bloodyridiculousness, man.

      Deus Ex + Dead Island (Steam activated) for a smidgen over 20 of Her Royal quids? Now THAT’S the kind of dealage you should be listing!

    • Mitchk says:

      Great shout on those deals Barney! The Steam Christmas price for Deus Ex just wasn’t cheap enough for my stingy self but this is perfect!

      I do think that with prices like these GMG should get the pat on the back it deserves…

    • Zeewolf says:

      Probably just an unfortunate oversight on his part, GMG are maybe easy to forget due to their size or whatever. I expect he’ll include them in future articles (and yeah, if that doesn’t happen something is kinda wrong).

    • bill says:

      I think he did start including them.

      I’ve only used them for one or two games, which they mostly gave me for free and then allowed me to trade in. But I wouldn’t warn against them. Their client is pretty basic (but improving over time) and they come across as pretty small (with the good and bad that that implies).

      They’ve always replied to any customer support emails very quickly. And when I mentioned that the price of Kings Bounty wasn’t convenient for me – they actually changed it for me (!).

      If you don’t have a permanent internet connection or worry about DRM in the distant future then they aren’t for you – but if you don’t mind the 3 day validation and are probably not going to replay the game anyway then they are great.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Plus they sell a lot of Steam-games cheaper than Steam does, and you don’t need their launcher or anything else for them. Just plop the code into Steam and that’s it.

    • Suits says:

      Would’ve liked DeusEx3 for that price, but missed it. Not even sure I could use their payment method though. However havent seen a price like that for € yet.

    • alundra says:

      Well, you guys are right, Steam’s prices this holiday sale were just pathetic compared to what Amazon. GMG and Get Games offered (and THQ store with SR3)

      And yes, the coverage of those deals (and current deals) found on RPS was piss poor, and there was barely a mention, if at all, of the free Sniper GW giveaway at GMG.

  3. Unaco says:

    That AI War bundle is great value (It’s a bundle bundle, as it’s for both PC and Mac), and a great game. It’s a really fresh, different take on the RTS genre, deep, complex, rewarding, but not finnicky and fiddly… there’s no real benefit to be had from micromanagement, you’re free to deal with the galaxy wide strategy and single system tactics. It’s well polished (still getting attention from the devs), crammed with content (which can be toggled on or off when you start a campaign, so don’t worry about trying to learn everything from the game and the 3 expansions in your first go). Arcen are also a great developer, and that combined with how much I rate AI War, I think they’re deserving of some Love.

    As KG says, it’s not a symmetrical game… if you can imagine certain AI vs Human conflicts from fiction, like the Legends of Dune series, it’s like that… a wholly ‘Alien’ opponent, happy to ignore you until you anger the sleeping beast. It does that very well… the AI does not play by your rules, does not play to your expectations or preconceptions. I can’t recommend this game highly enough.

  4. SirKicksalot says:

    People that liked Bulletstorm should check out The Club.

  5. lordcooper says:

    I only played The Club on consolebox, but it was incredibly dire.

  6. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I was told I’d enjoy The Club, but it had wonky mouselook that threw me right off and I couldn’t find how to change it. The game’s a nice idea but being unable to aim kind of killed it dead for me.

  7. TheTedinator says:

    Does the Royale bundle take American Express? All I see is MasterCard and Visa :(

    • Polysynchronicity says:

      Pay via Paypal. They accept American Express.

    • TheTedinator says:

      Yeah, I just hesitate to make a PayPal account. Haven’t heard good things.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Paypal is ok so long as you (a) aren’t relying on them as a vendor, (b) don’t load up your paypal account itself with a heap of cash, and (c) don’t rely on their transaction protection system for purchases/ebay auctions – there’s too many loopholes that will leave you high and dry.

  8. Fredie007 says:

    Also of note is the daily sale over at GreenManGaming, today it’s the newest Foot-o-ball Manager. And there’s some lowered prices for Paradox games and a weird Warner Bros sale that only let’s you buy multiple games at not so impressive discounts.

    Anyone able to convince me to add Crusader Kings to my already impressive backlog? Never played any of the Paradox grand strategy titles but I’ve been eyeing that one ever since Adam’s preview of the upcoming sequel.

  9. Moraven says:

    L.A. Noire Complete, Amazon Download $12.49

    Anno 2070 25% off at Impulse
    Sword of the Stars Complete $6.99 on Impulse. Good buy.

    Do not know outside NA prices.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      From what I can see from Australia:

      Amazon downloads are only available in US with US billing address (and no gifting available).
      Anno 2070 is NA and EMEA* US$47.69 ($25% off)
      SotS US$6.99

      *European Mainland Excluding Asia ??? – but I’m only guessing.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Also for Amazon U.S., Deus Ex Human Revolution download for $ 16.99

      Not quite as good as the Holiday pricing, but still great compared to where it’s selling at elsewhere, if you missed out on that, or if you miss the GMG sale.

  10. hnnnng says:

    Still nothing about Katawa Shoujo? Sometimes you confuse me, RPS.

  11. hosndosn says:

    I got the Indie Royale bundle for Nuclear Dawn mostly and wasn’t disappoint!

    It’s based on a Source mod, which means it looks and feels like a Source mod. But that’s okay with me. It’s certainly the most polished Source mod today, then. It also means Mac support.

    Basically, Natural Selection in more earthy environments. A top-down view for a “commander” who can build structures, research and give orders RTS-style. The rest of the team takes your typical TF style class loadouts (stealth, assault, heavy, support…). I’ve sunk some 6+ hours into it so far and really like it.

  12. Blackcompany says:

    What’s this? Ridiculous deals on Green Man Gaming? Don’t they know its no longer the 12th month of the year that just passed, but in fact the first month of the year that wasn’t here when all the good sales were? Madness, I tell you; or brilliance. Yes, maybe the latter – waiting until January to nab those gamers whose relatives just gave them money during last month’s holiday season.
    I shall have to check on this sale posthaste. Thanks to the community for pointing this out!

    • Mac says:

      Completely agree – thanks to the posts above for GMG.

      No thanks to Lewie – I guess the brown envelope isn’t big enough for him now he’s with Indie Royale … yawn!

  13. MythArcana says:

    AI War Alien Bundle is a steal in the $25 range, but for $7.50…if you don’t already own this product, then you better ask somebody ’cause you’re missing out on a massive crazy wonderland full of gaming goodness.

  14. bill says:

    Gah! The green man gaming Deus Ex deal ends in 4 hrs and 45 minutes. I finish work in 4 hours and it takes me 45 minutes to get home.


  15. TheGameSquid says:

    I don’t want to be that guy, but I’m pretty sure the developers of The Club were called Bizarre Creations, not Bizarre Studios.

  16. Max.I.Candy says:

    posted in wrong thread

  17. Axyl says:

    I know it’s off topic.. and pretty random in itself…

    but “Disclaimer: I work for Indie Royale/”

    I like this. Not the line itself.. but the fact that it’s there.
    Makes me smile at the seemingly automatic and default level integrity of RPS I suppose.

    Good show, chaps. :)


  18. kennycrown says:

    that’s on the funsquare, because of course split screen multiplayer is vastly superior.

    Still a fun game though. I haven’t played Bulletstorm, but it strikes me as a sort of successor to the Club.
    electronic components