The RPS Bargain Bucket: All Play

You came here looking for the cheap games, yes? Well you are in luck because that is what is here. I’ve been a little out of touch the past few days because it was sunny so I decided to escape the URBAN HEAT ISLAND that is our Nation’s capital, and went to hang out in the pub and by the beach in Brighton. But I have heard that there is some sort of sale on at the moment. Is there a sale on? I best check to find out.

FTL – £1.40/€1.62/$2.12
Apply coupon “Gooncave”. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
Probably the best Star Trek game. FTL is a roguelikelike about getting beaten and beaten and beaten into submission by obtuse game systems, until gradually you start to understand them. Over time, you slowly learn elegant strategies to increase your chances of survival, as you captain a ship and a ragtag crew in a quest to get from one side of the galaxy to the other, in order to deliver a message that will save the day. On the way, you need to managing the sometimes conflicting tasks of upgrading your ship with new equipment and weapons, repairing battle damage, keeping fuel in the tank, and keeping your crew alive. It’s ace, and it held me for over 200 hours whilst I unlocked everything. Astonishing value at this price.

Hotline Miami – £1.40/€1.62/$2.12
Apply coupon “Gooncave”. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.


The Walking Dead – £3.52/€4.07/$5.31
Apply coupon “Gooncave”. This is from Amazon US, so you’ll need to enter a US billing address. Registers on Steam.
Telltale’s Zombie Story-em-up for not very much money. Here’s wot John thought of the first episode:

As with the majority of zombie fiction, it doesn’t attempt to do anything original. It’s a small group of survivors, each with their own quirks, trying to defend temporarily safe locations, while arguing with each other. But as is the point of the genre, it’s not about the undead outside, but the nature of the humans still alive, and here it succeeds. Relationships, the danger of sharing too much in a tense situation, individual values, and the confusion of previous concerns in an utterly different world, all play out pretty well.

More here, and thoughts on subsequent episodes from Adam here and here.

Geneforge Saga, Avadon: The Black Fortress, Avernum: The Great Trials Trilogy, Avernum: First Trilogy – Pay What You Want
Registers on Steam. Pay more than the average price and also get Avernum: Escape from the Pit & Nethergate: Resurrection.
This is a hell of a lot of game. THhis humble weekly bundle is bursting at the seams with old school RPG goodness. Here’ John’s take on Avernum: Escape From The Pit:

Stats are pleasingly simple, but open to huge variation. Mages and Priests have a great arsenal of spells. Inventories are enormous, and there’s no weight restriction on anything you’re not actively equipping – and a junk bag lets you keep things uncluttered while still hoovering up loot to sell at the next town. Combat is frequent and turn-based. The lengthy descriptions and interesting conversations are detailed and often witty. It’s all there.

More here, and comerade Cobbett’s thoughts on Avadon: The Black Fortress here.

Deal of the week
The Steam Summer Sale
You know, Steam are still the fiercest animal in the jungle when it comes to putting on the most frequent and noteworthy discounts and sales, but their big annual sales are starting to all look a bit samey. This year’s Summer sale hasn’t featured very many headline grabbing discounts, and many of the discounts on hot games have been matched or beaten by their competitors recently. The first three games featured in the bargain bucket today are also in the Steam sale, but Amazon have managed to offer better prices. There’s still a huge selection of fantastic deals, and who knows what might come up between now and the end of the sale, but if you watch these things as closely as me, you might have also felt Steam has lost some of it’s edge. If you prefer browsing everything in the sale in one place, I’ve got this post on SavyGamer for you.

Also of note:
Rise of the Triad & The Apogee Throwback Pack – £8/similar price in other currencies. Apply coupon “GMG20-F202F-UI40F”.
The Cat Lady – Pay What You Want

Get all the gaming cheapness you need throughout the week over at


  1. Totally heterosexual says:

    I still have no clue what that header image is from.

    • Arvind says:

      I believe it is that infamous Gabriel Knight 3 mustache puzzle, but I could be wrong (also, I might have killed the brain cells involved in remembering that).

    • Aaax says:

      I always assumed it’s from some mod to GTA:San Andreas. Don’t know why.

  2. Voronwer says:

    If anyone’s interested, you can have my Steam key for Avadon: The Black Fortress as I already owned it:


  3. KingVrox says:

    Amazon is actually matching the price for a lot more of the Steam sales than just those ones. And the code “Gooncave” gives you a bit more off on all of them, as far as I can tell.

  4. Njordsk says:

    I’d rather give my money to steam/GMG/nuuvem or whatever than Amazon, even for a few more bucks actually.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Good point. I presume Valve/GMG etc. actually pay their taxes after all………………..

      • jezcentral says:

        For me, the reason is I don’t have to faff about with codes and fake addresses. I point my finger at the Steam app on my smartphone and a few seconds later I have yet another game in my Steam library.

        There are many reasons to buy games from Steam, and convenience has always been one of them.

        • nearly says:


          • Supahewok says:

            We’re using the internet definition of “always” here, which is: as far back as I care to remember for the purpose of this discussion.

    • Mattressi says:

      I’d rather give my money to just about any other online store. In fact, I much prefer Amazon. This is solely because here (in Australia) I have the choice of either paying between $70 and $90 USD (yes, the store is still in USD, not even AUD) for most new (non indie) games. Even when they’re old, they usually don’t go below $40 USD (sometimes $30 USD) until they’re on sale. Should I try to get around it using a proxy, I risk having my account locked when I stop using the proxy. With Amazon, though, all I need to do is write down the White House’s address and I’ve got extremely cheap games.

    • G_Man_007 says:

      For me, it’s more of a case of not trusting that one game bought from Amazon US and redeemed on my Steam account will not lead to me losing my account. The prices are bloody good on Amazon for reduced digital games, but there’s just so much uncertainty around it.

  5. JohnS says:

    For the record, I thought The Cat Lady was very good (though it’s not for everyone). Here’s what thought about it: link to

    • Javier says:

      The Cat Lady is a pretty decent adventure game. It has its flaws and pretty much like most adventure games these days it can be a bit too easy and straight-forward. But I recommend it quite strongly. I do have one warning though: it is extremely depressing. Seriously, don’t play it if you’re feeling down or susceptible.

  6. dimo2 says:

    It’s important to mention that the “gooncave” coupon code only works ONCE, so you can only use it for one deal.

  7. lomaxgnome says:

    The Gooncave coupon is good for 15% off but can only be used once per account. Amazon is price matching most of the Steam Sale base prices and many of the Steam Daily Deals but not flash deals. However, the coupon deal could end at any time, so you may want to use it sooner rather than later.

  8. Husa says:

    Does anyone know where I could find Dark Souls for less than15€?. I’m still a bit mad that people had to vote Hitman for the community choice. IMO Dark Souls was the only real option, lots of quality/gameplay vs. price + it’s a SONY title. It’s a wonder it’s on sale anyways.

    And I just found out that it was on flash sale and I didn’t notice :(

    • Scumbag says:

      It is a big name title. It’ll most likely be on a daily deal at some point.

    • Cytrom says:

      I’m not sure how are people able to play that game on PC… after i heard all the praise i bought it, even though I was aware that the PC port was garbage, but i also heard that mods fix most of that issue. Well in my case they didn’t.

      Had to hunt for some obscure version of GFWL to even manage to get it it to run at all (a game using gfwl is usually enough in itself to discourage me from touching that game… and this one cannot save without it btw, so its completely unplayable without it) because the version bundled in the steam download is not up to date because of the obvious lazyness of the developers of this shoddy port.

      Managed to set a sensible screen resolution so it does’t look like a low res blur, but the performance was completely unplayable no matter what i did, and the user interface is one of the worst and most lazily scrapped together thing I have ever encountered in a high budget game.
      Not to mention that the controls are totally broken with a logitech F710. (its kinda ironic that a game that pretty much NEEDS a controller, does’t properly support one of the best and most common controllers, that steam recommends too)

      I am not convinced that it is worth all the hassle to make it work properly (if it is even possible).
      Its on par with resident evil 4 on pc. (Yes there actually was a pc port, it was just so fucking terrible, that it did’t leave much mark in pc history.)

      • nrvsNRG says:

        Thats a shame, I Installed the 3 most important mods with no issue and no fuss.
        No probs with GFWL either (amazingly!…..but really its not that hard if its kept up to date and you already have a 360 profile ready to go).
        Maybe you just have’nt followed the instructions properly?

        Also your a fool (as is everybody else) if you’re not using a 360 pad for PC gaming, and I think you’ll find that it is actually more popular then the one you mention.

        From the Steam store page of Dark Souls – “Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) is strongly recommended”
        … “equivalent” what they mean is any other variation of the 360 pad e.g. the console version without the “Controller for Windows®” printed on the box, or the wireless version.

        FYI (and this is just a hint), when Steam say ” partial controller support” (on any game), what they actually mean is that the game will work 100% fine, tried and tested on a 360 pad, but any other pad is untested or that game cant guarantee any other model will work.

      • dE says:

        Given the amount of beef you have with the game and the hyperbole (RE4? Seriously? The DS port isn’t even remotely as fucked up as that one was, it’s not even as bad as SR2), I feel safe to extrapolate an answer to your question:
        No, it’s not worth it for you. You wouldn’t enjoy it anyways, since you’ve already set it up to be the worst possible game in human history right from the start.

      • fish99 says:

        I didn’t have a single problem with it. 5 minutes to install the resolution mod and I was good to go. No framerate problems, runs a lot better than the console version.

        Honestly I wouldn’t buy a pad that wasn’t a 360 pad, since there’s support for it built directly into DirectX via Xinput and a lot of devs are too lazy to support general direct input controllers.

    • excel_excel says:

      It will definitely be on daily deal at least once during the summer sale. I’m surprised it didn’t get the community vote though, its a STEAL at that price.
      Also, its a Namco Bandai published game, although its spiritual predecessor Demon’s Souls was published by Sony in Japan. Of course From Software developed both titles :P

  9. therighttoarmbears says:

    Anybody played StarDrive? I do enjoy me some explore-the-universe-’em-up, but haven’t played any “4x” games in a very long time. Will this require scads of time I don’t have, or can I just do it a little bit and have a bit of fun?

    • dE says:

      You can automate a lot of things so you don’t have to mess with every small detail but especially shipdesign is a rather time consuming deal. That said, 4X games in general don’t fit well with “play in little doses”.

  10. MeestaNob says:

    The growing negativity towards each Steam sale is proportional to the number of people that have almost everything they could ever possibly want.

    I imagine you’ll find that people who are new to Steam or those who don’t LIVE on their gaming pc every day find the sales fantastic value.

    Just a comment to stem the tide of tall poppy syndrome that has crept into talk back threads of recent…

    • jrodman says:

      I disagree. I think there’s legitimately fewer great games on offer in the later sales. They seem to be focused more on only the relatively recent games.

      Unless you’re quite interested in the various greenlight titles. In which case the numbers could well swing the other way.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      Yes, and not only that, but the places you hear the complaints of “it’s not like it used to be” tend to be the places where people already hear about all the various sales during the year, have access to other sites like Green Man Gaming, and have a point of comparison. Much of that competition didn’t exist in the past, and wouldn’t exist at all if not for the Steam Sale. But for many people, the Steam Sale, is THE pc games sale, bar none, and you’ll never hear them complain about past years gone by.

      However, I will say the sales aren’t as “fun” as they used to be. I enjoy the cards this year, but compared to the treasure hunts and coal and similar events, the sale is less entertaining than in the past. But the sale itself is pretty much the same as it ever was. Though it does annoy me to see games on my wishlist at 66% off when in the past they have been 75%…

    • yoggesothothe says:

      I think part of it is that when there are so many good games to be had for less than $5 (or whatever equivalent), paying $15 for a 5 month old AAA game seems less amazing.

      The novelty and mild incredulity of such drastic price drops on such recent games have worn off, so we look more to the actual value now instead of attaching perceived value proportional to the discount.

      I would say that habituation has just made us better at objective assessment. We realize that there are many games we will probably never play, even if they are crazy cheap and relatively highly regarded, which reduces the urge to buy them.

    • dE says:

      I reckon it’s a mixture of “We don’t do metagames with tangible rewards anymore” and “We don’t do as many crazy 90%s with previous 50% cuts as we did in the past”. It’s still great deals, mind you, just not as crazy as the early sales were.

      • malkav11 says:

        Having a giant Steam library which already contains most of the games being sold, and having DLC not uncommonly not discounted when the game is, doesn’t help, though.

        Mostly I miss the treasure hunts, though. I don’t care if they reward games the way the winter sale with the coal did, or even the cool little bits of bespoke DLC the one summer sale rewarded, I just liked having a reason to pick up games I owned but hadn’t played or hadn’t played in a while and go through and achieve some particular targetted accomplishment. The Steam cards thing just requires playing the game at all, which is less interesting, and since it’s literally impossible to complete any of the badges without trading or buying cards off the marketplace, it would be just as easy to just buy my way to badges. If I wanted to spend real money on completely pointless virtual goods, that is. Which I do not. (I did sell enough duplicate cards to complete the Skyrim set, though, what the hell.)

  11. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Can’t really think of a reason why Valve allows itself to be undercut this way during a sale. Could it be that other online distributors offering Steam keys, means some of that money eventually ends up back on Valve?

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Valve are sitting on the top of the pile, so they have absolutely no motivation to offer better sales. I was hoping the last couple years of better competitor prices would force them to do something a bit different with the Summer Sale this go-around, but alas.

      On the plus side, I’ve managed to pull almost $20 of credit from the trading card system during the sale, and that’s allowed me to pick up some excellent titles. And there are still the flash deals too.

  12. Tayh says:

    When they say “Registers on steam”, do they mean “requires steam drm” or simply “will work with steam”?

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Will work with steam.

    • Vinraith says:

      It depends on the game, unfortunately. Without further clarification there’s no way to know, which game were you looking at?

      • Tayh says:

        The Walking Dead.
        Still requires steam, bleh.
        Not used to looking at amazon, so I didn’t know where to look.

        • Vinraith says:

          With any Amazon game it’ll explicitly say either “game download” (in which case it’s something you download directly from Amazon) or “game code” in which case it will specify that it’s a code for some other service (usually Steam, though IIRC they sell Origin codes as well). I believe Walking Dead requires Steam no matter where you get it from.

  13. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Started FTL today and getting a bit bored. Not that the fact I’m constantly losing towards sector 7 or 8, but that the game has very little variety.

    Progression in the game seems like an endless repetition of the same combat choices. Enemy variety comes almost entirely in the shape of whether their ship has a teleport bay or not. I’m even robbed of the opportunity to fully explore the sectors and I feel like I’m playing a racing game. Then comes the final boss and I just can’t help but feel the game broke its own rules in order to give me the only enemy worth fighting against. Whatever happened before was some necessary grinding to reach the one enemy that I can have a bit of fun with.

    Can’t say I like this game. I’m struggling to understand its “strategic depth”. Can’t find it anywhere.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Yeah, I played it about a dozen times, faced the end boss three times, and haven’t felt any inclination to fire the game up since. Like you say, the game is one long and barely varied grind towards that one boss fight. I previously described it as the world’s worst checkpoint save. Some people absolutely love it, but it’s not for me, and I’d say it’s not for you either.

    • Nogo says:

      It’s a $10 indie game. Try different strategies or go for unlocks.

      Although, I recall that you’re usually a bit of a wet paper bag, so maybe it’s best to cut your losses on this one.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Arguably the most overrated game of the last 18 months. It’s hard to see where this game spent its Kickstarter squillions.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      TL:DR – Hard games are hard.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      The depth comes from figuring out how to maximize sectors, use resource management, and get to the final boss with a loadout that will be strong enough to kill it. Getting to the final boss is largely about enjoying and optimizing the trip. Heck, I got there on the very first try (on easy of course), and then I got absolutely decimated as I had just been running through the sectors as fast as possible. Is there 100 hours of gameplay there for everyone? Of course not, unless you like unlocking every little ship achievement and detail. But it can have 20 hours of very compelling play for most anyone who wants it. And it has absolutely amazing emergent moments, as I’m sure you’ve read about many times by now.

  14. Shadowcat says:

    link to
    link to

    GOG’s current sale on games under the Atari banner is note-worthy, as Atari is evidentially in trouble, and GOG isn’t certain whether they’ll be able to keep the games in their catalogue.

    65% off some fantastic titles. If there’s anything you don’t want to risk not being able to get later, buy ’em now.

  15. Sparkalade says:

    The vanilla game is rather unbalanced but there is fun to be had here via mods. You can disable the fleet and thus FTL to their hearts content. Other mods remove some of the tedium but may detract from the rougelike-likeness of it all.

    Playing it as the best Star Trek game never made helps too.