The RPS Bargain Bucket: Strangely Effortless

Hello from the past! Yes, I’ve done that thing where I prepare the Bargain Bucket slightly ahead of schedule, because I’m actually on my way to Nottingham for GameCity as you read this. This means that I’ve only picked deals that I already knew about. It also means that if any major currencies have collapsed within 24 hours then some of the conversions I’ve quoted might be a bit off. What’s never a bit off though, is, a website about cheap games. Read on for this week’s bargain bucket:

Sim City 2000: Special Edition – £1.86/€2.29/$2.99
I owe this city-building masterpiece a great deal. Playing far too much of this game as a child is how I developed my highly systemising world-view that enables me to be good at doing things like closely monitoring the market for videogames in the UK. Here’s why it’s one of the games that made me:

SimCity 2000 instilled a few qualities in me which I know massively shaped me in my child and then adult life. I learnt the value of ‘gaming a system’, working out the underlying rules, and manipulating and pushing them for maximum personal benefit. I also gained an understanding of the value of iterative learning. I knew after my first failed attempt of creating a huge sprawling metropolis that I could do better next time. And I did.

More here.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane – £3.75
Registers on Steam.
Adam thought these things about Warlock:

In the end, its single-minded focus on conflict is a strength, provided it isn’t too much of a barrier for your personal enjoyment, allowing for a streamlined and strangely effortless game of conquering and conjuring. It’s a shame that you’ll most likely knit your brow over the lack of documentation rather than tough strategic choices, unsure as to whether a site is suitable for settling because it’s unclear how useful the terrain is, but as a relatively short and concentrated dose of strategy in a light-hearted and colourful world, it’s something I see myself returning to frequently. It doesn’t do a thousand things, as so many strategy games attempt to, but the few things that it does tackle, it mostly gets spot on.

Also, RPS verdict here.

Frozen Synapse x2 – £9.49/similar price in other currencies
Apply coupon “BUCKET”.
That’s the price for the “Regular Edition”, but the coupon will work on any of the others too if you want to add the DLC and/or soundtrack to your order. Here you get two copies of the game, and both come with a key to optionally register on Steam. Alec did this one for Eurogamer:

‘Commit’ is such a beautiful name for an End Turn button. Press it with trembling hand, for there’s no backing down afterwards. Watching the Outcome of a turn is up there with staring at the flickering television in a bookie’s office, ticket clenched into your sweaty paw as you pound imagined psychic energy into the horse you’ve bet everything on. This time. This time. It must go as planned.

AVSEQ, Blackwell Deception, Oil Rush, Reprisal & To the Moon – £3.35/€4.12/$5.36 at time of writing
All but Reprisal register on Steam.
Price will fluctuate over time, as explained here.
This bundle includes Jim’s game “AVSEQ”. Conflict! Tell you what. Don’t buy this bundle because it’s got Jim’s brilliant music game in it. Buy it because it’s got John’s sweetheart To The Moon in it. Or because it’s got Oil Rush, which Alec thought was decent. Or because it’s got the latest in the brilliant Blackwell series. Or because Reprisal looks ace.

Deal of the week
Hotline Miami – £4.21/€5.17/$6.74
Apply coupon “SQRLUVOC”.
Registers on Steam.
Can you hear it? A tsunami of blood, bullets, broken glass and broken bones is coming. It’s coming for you. No doubt when Hotline Miami is finally unleashed on the unsuspecting public, the cacophony of praise will only be matched by the screams of bloodlust. It may cost just £4.21 to preorder, but the real price is perhaps much more. Will you be able to return to your mundane reality after this? Hotline Miami is perhaps the definitive twenty-first century murder simulator. Put on your animal mask, and let’s get a little crazy.

Also of note:
Interplay games on GOG from $0.01 to $34.99 depending on how many you want.
Vizati – £1.32/similar price in other currencies
Jet Set Radio – £4.68/€5.75/$7.49. Apply coupon “SQRLUVOC”, registers on Steam.

I command you to visit


  1. xavdeman says:

    I can’t believe Amazon classified Hotline Miami as Video Games > Game Downloads > Casual Games. Little Johnny is gonna go cra-zee!

    • UmmonTL says:

      This brings up an interesting point, not many indie games seem to actually apply the ESRB rating to themselves. And I’d guess big stores like amazon can’t be bothered to check what kind of game it is so they probably just throw it into the casual game bucket.
      I mean as a gamer you probably know beforehand what kind of game you get and I don’t believe all that “games turn you evil” crap. But I can understand that parents want to know what they buy for their kids.

    • blankname says:

      And now to be boring: casual != for kids. In fact given all the free times kids have they’re probably the last group to be looking for casual games

    • hypercrisis says:

      It looks like a casual game to me. Simple gameplay, most likely enjoyed in small goes

  2. Mitchk says:

    It’s nice to wake up to the bucket!

  3. Amun says:

    BUYER BEWARE! The version of Sim City 2000 being sold on GOG is the DOS version! It’s much crappier (imo, I know someone will disagree) than the windows 95 version.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Just curious, in what way are they different? I’ve only ever played the DOS version.

      • Lemming says:

        Presumably, one needs DOSbox to run and the other will run in Windows a bit easier.

      • Archonsod says:

        The ‘Win 95’ version is presumably the Special Edition, which also included all of the expansions, the SCURK, bonus cities and scenarios and reworked some of the art and sound.

        • masidab5154 says:

          If it makes you feel better, I can’t get the code to work on Amazon.

  4. SiHy_ says:

    GOG has more than SimCity 2000 on offer, it’s definitely worth at least checking out what they’ve got on sale. Personally, I grabbed Theme Hospital and LBA so I don’t have to find the CDs. Time to burst some bloaty heads.

  5. phelix says:

    Hitman Absolution is £27 on GamersGame which is pretty neat, I think.

    • Lenderz says:

      I actually pre-ordered today on Greenman for £21 using the 20% off code on the front page.

  6. Shadowcat says:

    The Frozen Synapse coupon doesn’t work with just the expansion pack, sadly.

  7. Deadly Habit says:

    Indie Gala 10 just went up yesterday which has a nice selection Omegalodon , Praetorians, East India Company, Majesty 2, Lead And Gold, E.U.: Rome gold edition, Knights Of Honor, Elven Legacy and Hearts Of Iron II.

    • Didero says:

      Do people even still play Lead And Gold?
      Since it’s multiplayer only, it seems a bit of a waste to buy into a dead game.

      • DrGonzo says:

        Hardly anyone was playing shortly after release, so I doubt it has a community any more. Which is a shame really, it was a pretty good shooter.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Oh, it has a community of like ten people that play the same game mode and map over and over and over again. More power to ’em.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I think I still have a Steam gift token thing for that since the 2011 christmas watsit. The preceeding free weekend was sufficient to tell me not to bother activating, downloading and installing it.

        Mediocre game with no depth and no players even when on a free weekend.

  8. Film11 says:

    The entire AI War series (apart from the latest DLC released yesterday) is 75% off on Steam and probably other places. The latest DLC is only £3.50 odd as well. Get it. Do iiiiiiiiiit.

  9. dudesaidwot says:

    GG has AssBro for $7.50 and AssRev for $11.95.. that’s some cheap Ass!

    • The Random One says:

      Indeed. Anyone know if Ubi’s crazy DLC is still active for them? I’ll probably wait for a little longer and buy them for the toybox if they still do.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Heh. Ass.

  10. mbp says:

    The latest Indiegala looks somewhat better than usual at least if you are a strategy fan. I don’t think there is an indie game in the bunch however.

    • Carra says:

      I agree, it looks ace. It’s worth it for Hearts of Iron 3 and Europa Universalis: Rome alone. Besides those, I had a lot of fun with Majesty 2 and Praetorians is a decent strategy game.

      A must buy for any strategy fan.

  11. Chizu says:

    The Warlock sale ended the other day, pretty much the day you got it up on :v
    It’s back up to full price now.

  12. Risingson says:

    So much that is more interesting than the deals here: IndieGala 10 with the crazy ammount of strategy involved, the Sega sale at dotemu, the Interplay bundle, the other active bundles…

  13. Inigo 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.


    • lhzr says:

      just change your amazon address to a US one. for steam games you’ll get a steam code and for non-steam games you’ll be able to download what you buy from amazon, regardless of your location (without a vpn or other trouble).

      • dudesaidwot says:

        Use a *real* US address.. a fake one is likely to get you blocked.

  14. Persus-9 says:

    Indie Game Stand have Cardinal Quest on PWYW for the next 89 hours. That has been in quite a few bundles before so perhaps not their most exciting deal so far but from what I’ve read it is a good graphical roguelike. link to

    • mwoody says:

      It’s worth mentioning, too, that they have an ongoing deal-thing where if you pay $10 for a game, you get this game, the last game they sold, and the next game (a surprise). It’s a neat mechanic.

      I wish fewer game companies would pick the Red Cross to donate to, though. Maybe pick something like Stop Hunger Now, a personal favorite.

      • The Random One says:

        Agreed, but devs have been choosing some nice charities. I was afraid every single one was going to choose Child’s Play (which makes it an automatically no-buy for me). Cardinal Quest is the first one to choose a software-related thing IIRC, and I think one of the first games to go there did have the American Red Cross.

        • belgand says:

          Odd, this is the first time I’ve ever heard someone else criticize Child’s Play. I always thought I was the only one. Care to elaborate?

          • Persus-9 says:

            Now I want you both to elaborate. I can see they aren’t the most important charitable cause in the world but not buying something because it would give money to them suggests the thought that they are actively evil which seems rather surprising.

    • hypercrisis says:

      Cardinal Quest is probably one of the most mundane RLs i’ve come across, so the constant championing of it bewilders me

  15. Mentalepsy says:

    The SQRLUVOC code at Amazon is supposed to work for any digital download except XCOM and Borderlands 2. It’s 25% off.

    • mwoody says:

      Aye, and they’ve price matched the Steam sale on Sleeping Dogs. Altogether the game is about $20.

  16. YogSo says:

    Lots of deals at Green Man Gaming:

    Painkiller games (except the latest one, Hell & Damnation) – From 1,23 € to 2,49 €
    Metro 2033 – 2,49 €
    The Darkness II – 7,49 €
    Dead Island: GOTY – 9,99 €
    Darksiders – 4,99 €
    Darksiders II – 24,99 €
    Darksiders II Season Pass – 3,99 €
    F.E.A.R. 3 – 6,49 €

    And using the voucher GMG20-FXYD1-7WHP1 an additional 20% off those prices. All are Steam games, except the Painkiller series. There’s more info and deals here.

    • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

      Yes, GMG [and others] have some regular great deals that are *still* shunned by this slightly corroded bucket due to pram-toy hissy fits dating back to around 1928.

      Also, Dead Island Steam code is available without the DLC (which many an opinion describes as ‘ain’t that good’) for a rather splendid £4.99 at SimplyGames (Dead Island no DLC).

      (Personally tried it, and valid Steam code arrived in my inbox inside 10 mins of ordering.)

    • mentor07825 says:

      You’re amazing, I love you.


    • MSJ says:

      link to

      Referral link if you are new to GMG. It gives you $2 in credits.

  17. sriVer says:

    are you sure that hotline miami bought from registers on steam? because nothing on the page says that…

    • emotionengine says:

      As far as I know, Hotline Miami is a Steamworks game.

      • Infininja says:

        GOG is selling Hotline Miami, so that’s obviously DRM free. I don’t know about other places.

    • HothMonster says:

      Yes all copies except GOG unlock on steam. @hotlinemiami mentions the amazon specifically doing so in a tweet a couple days ago.

  18. Delusibeta says:

    FYI: Amazon has matched Steam’s Sleeping Dogs weekend deal, and the SQRLUVOC code works with that, bringing it down to about $18. Do note that aforementioned code is one use only.

  19. Tacroy says:

    Man, and I just preordered Hotline Miami from Steam yesterday night. Friggin Amazon and their friggin deals!

    It’s only $4 ish though, so I guess I don’t care that much.

  20. MythArcana says:

    AI War complete is going for something like $4 on Gleam. I’m not sure how the pre-order customers of Ancient Shadows get a good deal, but now the world gets everything for just pennies.

  21. cptgone says:

    Unity of Command: Stalingrad Campaign -25% @ Steam

  22. SkittleDiddler says:

    All of the Assassin’s Creed games are up to 75% off at Gamers Gate. If you have a Brotherhood Deluxe coupon code from when GG were doing a release promotion, it still works for that title too.

    And a note to those who are interested in picking up Rome Gold from the Indie Gala sale: it can have install issues with Vista and Win 7. I don’t know if the Steam version has that problem.

  23. Aldehyde says:

    So the amazon offer for Hotline Miami only seems to work in the US? Is this correct?

  24. alvysingerUK says:

    Sadly, the code for Hotline Miami doesn’t work. Keep getting a ‘Code not valid’ message, although I can pre-order fine with my US “address”.

    Any of you kind folk able to help?

  25. Delusibeta says:

    Apparently, the Amazon code has now expired, so any deals involving it are dead. Apparently tomorrow they’re going to start some Need For Speed-related deals (Burnout Paradise + Hot Pursuit 2010 for $8, anyone?)

  26. alvysingerUK says:

    Well that’s disappointing, cheers for the heads-up though.

  27. msarge says:

    Since the Hotline Miami deal is over on Amazon, does anybody know where the best place to buy the game is?

    • Kuschelwampe says:

      Hotline Miami is 7,64€ at GetGamesGo, with extra level and Steam. It’s also $8,99 at GOG with some minor extras.