Cheap And Fearful: Bundle Of The Damned

prepare for my cold embrace

Groupees have a bundle of Halloween gaming for your perusal. It’s actually more seasonal than the ongoing Indie Royale collection, primarily because this one contains a game called Manor of the Damned, which is exactly the sort of name Halloween entertainment should have. Psychological, nuanced horror is for every other day of the year. Disappointingly, Manor of the Damned is a retro ARPG rather than Realms of the Haunting for a new era. The standout is probably Cryostasis, which is an imaginative first-person chiller that will utilise its fancy ice effects and poor optimisation to bring your computer to its knees. Those can be yours for $1, but spend at least $4 and you’ll get more, as detailed below.

The games unlocked at the measly $4 tier are Anna (my thoughts here), audio-only adventure BlindSide and Post Mortem, which is the confusingly titled first entry in the Still Life series. I suppose it’s Still Life 1 and 2 that mucked up the nomenclature since they came later. For what it’s worth, I thought Still Life was pleasant enough for a violent murder mystery, although I didn’t enjoy it enough to play the prequel or sequel.

The bundle also contains music from the Midnight Syndicate, and some other horrifying bits and pieces.

As is now standard with bundles, the price is up to you and 20% of whatever you spend goes to UNICEF. It’s available for four days.

The best thing about researching the contents of the bundle was looking up the Midnight Syndicate and finding an endorsement from Twisted Sister’s frontman on their website. This is how he is credited: “Dee Snider (Twisted Sister, House of Hair, Celebrity Apprentice)”.


  1. povu says:

    ‘that will utilise its fancy ice effects and poor optimisation to bring your computer to its knees’

    It sure did for me on my HD4850 512MB.. Even on lowered settings. In 1280×1024.

    And that exceeded the recommended requirement by quite a bit. Maybe those with even newer cards get decent performance. Or maybe it was an ATI/driver thing.

    Shame because it’s an interesting game.

    • Useful Dave says:

      Really? My 4850 didn’t do too badly when I played it myself around middle-settings, maybe you were trying to use all the fancy-PhysX stuff which never goes quite well, as I remember that demo running terribly compared to the actual game.

      All in all though, I found Cryostasis a great experience aside from the unusual choice to leave out a pistol in the weapons line up and one craaaaazy end boss fight which wasn’t really foretold much. Or maybe I just enjoyed the chance to wander around a frozen nuclear icebreaker too much.

    • hypercrisis says:

      If I recall, the problem is CPU, and the game being single core aligned.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I had similar problems with Cryostasis, it was something to do with Shader Model 4 support. It was either fixed by drivers or a patch for the game at a later date though. Or it could be fixed by fiddling in the graphics menu.

  2. Maxheadroom says:

    Damn. all that whole article did was make me want to play Realms of the Haunting again

    (although the only 2 things i remember about it these days are collecting 7 snake statues to open a clock and reading somewhere that the 2 lead actors were getting it on behind the scenes)

  3. NothingFunny says:

    Looks like its time to give Cryostasis a try!

  4. Dirk Beefhammer says:

    will cryonstasis make my computer cry? I have gtx 550ti, core i5

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Cryostsasis makes all computers cry, but you’ll be finer than many with that rig.

  5. Ed123 says:

    Even on the off-chance you manage to get Cryostasis working properly (even with lots of fiddling it ran very poorly on my 570 & i5 2500K), what little I played of the game did not impress me. 1. walk into a room 2. monster appears 3. engage in clunky beat-em-up 4. restore heat energy 5. walk into next room etc. etc. Not exactly the most engaging experience, at least based on the couple of hours I played.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I got maybe 4 or 5 hours in and nothing had changed from that formula. Very atmospheric and cool looking, but they didn’t seem to do much with it. But maybe it picks up later.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      That was my experience, with the nice addition of not being able to get more than 20FPS despite spending hours fiddling with the settings. I gave up getting that glorified tech demo to work and traded it for LA Noire instead. GMG are good that way.

    • dskzero says:

      It takes a while to take off, but the last parts of the game are really striking, if a bit random. (The big bang recreation and the movie attack come to mind)

  6. Dirk Beefhammer says:

    tried the demo, it makes my computer cry stuttering low-res tears. also, it did not seem very fun.

    won’t buy this for a dollar.

  7. Fathom says:

    Cryostasis is a brilliant game:

  8. Exkaiser says:

    Hm, Rijin the Specpyre. I downloaded the demo off their site and to my surprise there was a nasty virus inside.

    I do hope that isn’t the case anymore.

  9. Basketballcop says:

    Just checked out the trailer for Cryostasis, which gave me the impression it’s all about having a scrap with the same old man in various frosty locations. Fistycuffs near some pipes; knock an old man off a dingy; spry old man under water fight: watch as he assumes the vampire bat posture!

    I really don’t know what to make of it.

    link to