The RPS Bargain Bucket: Sierra Adventures

Sierra Adventures? Serious adventures? Get it? Get — I’m tired and need more coffee.  With the year beginning to  boil towards the inevitable frenzy of conventions and hyped-up announcements, it’s nice to be able to simply drink in the quiet for a little while and reminisce over the years gone by.  I’m genuinely amazed at how many memories ‘s Winter Quest Fest is evoking.  For good or for bad, these games shaped my childhood. I wonder what kids will be saying in another twenty years? Will it be Minecraft? Bioshock Infinite? Gone Home? Will Twine games be that thing that people wax nostalgic over? Who knows. I’m interested in finding out. On an unrelated note, this week’s Bargain Bucket plushie photo was actually submitted by a community member! A point of interest: MadKatrina’s tentacular friend wasn’t bought from a store, it was brought to life by her own hands. Isn’t that awesome? I think it’s awesome.

King’s Quest 4-5-6
$3.99 /£2.95/€2.43 
Samus Aran was probably a lot of people’s first female protagonist but Princess Rosella was mine. I found King’s Quest IV uncomfortable for a lot of reasons, the most basic of which being a sense of terrified empathy — which little girl could stand the idea of letting a father die? Anyway, King’s Quest V was tonally similar, with King Graham racing to save his family. And King’s Quest VI? A traditional tale of boy-meets-girl-boy-sails-off-to-save girl set in a world inspired by the Arabian Nights and other such settings. Lovely games, all of which will set your teeth on edge with their puzzles. Enjoy.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
$2.39 /£1.46/€1.77 

Ah, the glory days of the adventure games. When bouffants were common and long coats were stylish. Do you remember those? (If mullets ever make a come back, I’m going to set things on fire.) Moving on, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father was a moody, mysterious tale filled with voodoo, pretty women, excellent writing and paying the devil his due. (So to speak.) Have I mentioned the excellent writing? Because even if kids these days might not have a clue as to who Jane Jensen is, it’s impossible to ignore the fact she did excellent work in the last hours of the 1900’s. I remember losing hours to simple conversation, stuff that did nothing to advance the plot but did everything to enhance my affection for the game.

.. I promise no one’s going to judge if you decide to break out the Anne Rice books after this.

Quest for Glory 1-5
$3.99 /£2.95/€2.43 

I loved the Quest for Glory series. Sierra-style humour and comedic wit? RPG elements? Epic quests? A sense of personal freedom even while the developers were gently driving up towards the adventurer’s climax. There’s a reason as to why I look back onto the 90’s with such fondness. The Quest for Glory franchise, in spite of sometimes seeming like a footnote in pop-culture’s collective memories, was amazing. The best part about the current offer, asides from the reasonable price tag, is probably the fact you can immediate migrate your character from one game to another without waiting for Sierra to, you know, release the next iteration in the series.

Still, if it seems too pricey for you, there’s always Heroine’s Quest which is, as far as I can tell, completely honkin’ free and allows you to be a free-wheeling blonde terror instead.

Tower Wars
$1.24 /£0.76/€0.92 

In stark contrast to the other games we’ve been talking about, Tower Wars is, to put it nicely, bereft of any plot outside of the one you instil in it. I have a soft spot for tower defense games which require you to build your own amazes and an even bigger weakness for anything utilizing a steampunk aesthetic. Tower Wars has both. What makes the game really grand is the fact it allows you for full-scale assaults against (and with) your friends. A 3vs3 conflict built of mangled robot bodies and smoking artillery is a surprisingly good way of spending an afternoon.

Indie Gala January bundle
At least $5.19 /£3.16/€3.84 to catch ’em all.

Deadly Premonition was, and always has been, a bit of a hot mess. People both loved and hated it. (Any game that requires you to remember to shave is, I think, guaranteed to be unique.) If you’ve been curious about sampling this cult classic but have found yourself unable to actually go ahead with the purchase, this might be your excuse right now. If you pay more than $5.19, you’ll be able to acquire not only this polarizing psychological-horror games but also a whole string of other delights. Pamper your eyes with the not-quite-fun-but-giddily-beautiful Ballpoint Universe. Help the residents of Two Brothers on their quest to find colour in their monochromatic world.  Test your competence at roguelikes with Tales of Maj’Eyal. And tell me if the rest of the games are equally as darling.

Also of note 

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – $2.49 /£1.99/€2.49
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is, unless I’m mistaken, the first co-op experience in the franchise. I’m not Ms. Croft’s largest fan but those who are keep telling me this is excellent

Kane And Lynch 2: Dog Days – $1.99 /£1.21/€2.49
Tis the little brother to the game that set a hundred tongues a-wagging, it is. If being a bastard floats your boat, Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is going for a silly 80% right now.

The Humble Weekly Sale: Bohemia InteractivePay as you will, champ!
This week’s Humble Weekly Sale may be of interest to those looking to fill out their stable of Bohemia Interactive games.

 As always, send me tips, leads and plushie photos. Similarly, I’m always happy to make corrections as and where needed so don’t hesitate to (gently) bludgeon me in the comments. 


  1. Prolar Bear says:

    “And tell me if the rest of the games are equally as darling

    Might be a typo or I’m just dumb.

  2. Grey Poupon says:

    It’s not strange to see DayZ there if you read the accompanying text. That and look at how the DayZ image isn’t even under any of the “price brackets”.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Fair enough! In retrospect, I suppose it was structured that way as a sort of, ‘See! You need Arma II: Operation Arrowhead to play DayZ!’ kind of thing. I admit this was me submitting to peer grumbling. I shall correct. *hangs head*

      • The Random One says:

        Also, I vividly recall the DayZ image was actually under the ‘pay above the average’ bracked when the bundle went live, and was changed when people complained.

        • slerbal says:

          It was definitely in the BTA section – something I am glad they corrected

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    As possibly first British person here, I feel obliged to state that this morning’s bargain bucket will almost certainly leave us (s)quids In

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Also a request to the fantastic knitting skills of Mad Katrina…. please can you knit us a Horace? He can be non infinite Horace, if thats ok? I just want a Horace.


      • MadKatrina says:

        Now there’s an idea…

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Hurray! :)

        • dangermouse76 says:

          I feel a 3D printer project coming on………hows does one print an infinite Horace ?

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            There’s a few emerging theories from RPS commenters :) You could just make two bits of him, head / front paws, and midriff – then sandwich his midriff section between two facing mirrors, and view the whole setup so his face part appears to be in front of his infinite midriff. Or there’s the make two bits (bear butt and front) and include velcro / sticky suckers / magnets so you can stick the two bits of him on the other sides of the room method. Or make two parts, but manufacture thousands of intermediate midriff sections that people can “collect” and add to make an ever increasing Horace.

          • Anthile says:

            Biting his own tail. Ursoboros.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            As long as you can still see his cute bear (note spelling) bewtocks with little between-tock tail :)

          • dangermouse76 says:

            I like the front end back end opposite walls theory. How about the head end on the ground in London and the tail on the ground at it’s antipode ( The Antipodes Islands no less ) with a body passing existentially through the magnetic core of the earth; thus placing the body at all places at all times. Via magnetic distortion fields !
            A quantum of Horace……

      • Cassandra Khaw says:

        I am both proud and slightly concerned by the fact I’m instigated a cult of plushies in RPS.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          I think its something latent in the gaming brain. A couple of decades ago and gaming was about cute fluffy kiwi birds freeing their sibling cute fluffy kiwi birds, big doe eyed massive headed plumbers jumping over super cute mushroom things, whatever the hell those things in Bubble Bobble were, tiny cute lemmings that went “eeep!” when they blew up …. then ten years later its all bald headed space marines going “URRRRR THE TRAUMA”.

          Its about time the more fluffy side of gaming got an airing and gamers were free to admit their need for adorable (without needing to go FOOTBALL FOOTBALL BEER M4 OPTICS PACK DROP after to reassure assembled company of their toughness). Somebody needs to be at the fluffy tip of the plushie spear guiding us back to the days of “d’awwwwww” :)


          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            ( . .)

          • Arren says:

            Great point! Folk disinterested in plushies are mouth-breathing macho meat-heads in denial of their “need for adorable”. Each and every one.

            ::critical eyeroll::

            Bless your adorable little heart.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Hi Arren

            I think you maybe read that differently to how I intended it. It was meant in very much a light hearted way, not a criticism towards anyone or a particular way of thinking. I actually had a scene in my head from some comedy show where two guys hugged, then felt embarrassed and had to talk about american football :)

            Anyways, no harm no foul

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Ta for the bunneh Dances to Podcasts

        • raggnarok says:

          you really want me to d’awww forever don’t you?

        • Dezmiatu says:

          I believe the cult is fine so long as at some point you give the diggle plush some love.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      As an Asian person who mostly writes for US outlets writing the Bargain Bucket for a UK site, I have but this to say: bwah? o_o

      • thedosbox says:

        I have but this to say: bwah? o_o

        quids in = make a profit/leave me better off than before.

        Separately, I must admit to be being mildly disturbed by that (awesome) cephalopod.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Ssh, don’t let on.


        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Tow-may-tow, tow-mahh-tow
          Alooo-minnum, elevator, truck
          Popsicle, ice lolly, snowcone
          Really I don’t give a fffff…lying cell phone

          • Gap Gen says:

            HOT DANGS.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

          • TWChristine says:

            It’s kind of sad that in the beginning when the dog started barking I thought it’d be funny if she went “SHIIUT UP DAWG!”…and then she did. I can’t help the fact that my family is from the South. :(

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            That there is the very finest in cute art artists, Natalie Dee. I don’t know if she really talks like that but she can draw a mean Circle Cat

          • Golden Pantaloons says:

            Natalie Dee is the only person I’ve ever bought an internet T-shirt from. I absolutely love her work.

      • slerbal says:

        We British often refer to our good old Pound Sterling as a “quid”, now ‘scuse me a moment squire, I got to go sweep some chimneys roight now with me Cockney elbows

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Indeed, after the Inventor of Sterling, Sir Barton Sudbury-Quidlington, who is a real person that really existed.

  4. dangermouse76 says:

    Company of heroes for any who Haven’t tried it is excellent and worth a go.
    link to

    And only £2.37, got if free with my first graphics card….. sheds small tear.
    Great action / strategy game one of the few where I felt like I was turning the tide of battle in game.

  5. InternetBatman says:

    I’m not a Tomb Raider fan (never played most of them), but Guardian of Light is a really, really solid game. It’s well worth it at that price.

    • Baines says:

      If you have an Xbox 360 and a Gold subscription, I believe it is the current free game as well. (Xbox Gold subscribers get two free games per month.)

      • Contrafibularity says:

        Correction: Xbox Gold subscribers pay for two games a month. Free implies no moneys changes hands, but subscription tricks people into thinking they get stuff for free (rather like the “free phone”, “free texts” or “free broadband” with mobile subscriptions).

        • Gargenville says:

          XBL Gold ran for more than six years without giving you games, and the subscription didn’t get any more expensive once it started doing so. If you were paying for Live Gold anyway, these are free games. Of course the fact they can dip into the subscription fees to license these games without hiking up the price means XBL Gold has always had a profit margin wider than the Mississippi flood plains but that’s been rather obvious from the start.

  6. Scumbag says:

    Kane & Lynch 2 is not a game that I’d advise per se, but the way the plot unravels is rather interesting.

    • trout says:

      i liked it! as an aside, i thought this review ( link to ) summed up why it was good, and also, why it received such a critical drubbing

      • Ross Angus says:

        Good article, which articulated most of what I felt about Dog Days. I picked up both games after an offhand comment in the Crate & Crowbar podcast. I think the mood of both games is utterly unique.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Review convinced me to buy the game for $2.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      It isn’t a particularly great game and the plot ultimately goes too far off the rails as it attempts to be as grimdark as possible, but at the same time the franchise was always a laudable attempt at a couple of leading men who were absolute shits – there should be more characters in videogames who are genuinely morally bankrupt – and the atmosphere was extraordinary. I really felt sorry for people who got motion sickness or whatever off the fake-Youtube visual filters the game used because I thought with that and the recreation of dingy Shanghai backstreets and the superb audio design it was one of the most brilliantly distinctive games I’d ever come across. Still do think that way. (Yes, the actual level design was rubbish, the parts you played – room after room of nothing but chest-high walls – but still, inhabiting that world for the few hours it took to beat the game was fantastically horrible.)

      • slerbal says:

        It was interesting playing a protagonist who I actively wanted to die. It made endless respawns almost bearable as I repeatedly sent the evil bastards through hell. Every time the Chinese killed one of Kane and Lynch I gave a little cheer. Even the torture scenes were bearable as K&L really, really deserved everything they got. Despite all that I played it through to the end. :)

        Weak level design, annoying fake video artefacts but somehow compelling. Still I think I would have enjoyed playing the Chinese cops more.

      • Scumbag says:

        I did like most of the story in the game, and when it punched it did so in a hard way e.g. when they get tortured and the aftermath (personal opinion obviously) the problem mainly came with it just flying off the deep end of silly at times. Once you escape being tortured the fact you take on squad upon squad of riot police naked was kinda hilarious and broke whatever atmosphere the game had.

        Just thought after watching some Mirror’s Edge via the Occulus Rift; would Kane and Lynch 2 work due to its odd wobble cam style on the Rift?

  7. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Salephalopod (:

  8. AngelTear says:

    I picked up The first Gabriel Knight during the GOG Xmas sale, and the voiceovers are actually pretty weird. Especially the narrator’s: I mean her voice is pretty good, it feels very “gipsy” in a good way, but sometimes it does not achieve the feeling of mysteriousness I think they were going for, you just notice how incredibly slow she’s speaking.

    Also, some puzzles are incredibly obtuse/obscure/luck based more than anything. I mean, there’s so many things to click on the screen, and so many different mouse functions (8 I think?); I had to use a guide just to get through the first day.

    Still, the good writing is definitely there. For now, I especially like how the protagonist is a totally sexist womanizer, but the woman who runs his bookshop calls him out on that and keeps her head up “against” him.

    • Turkey says:

      Yeah, the writing is excellent. Jane always did a ton of research in history and myths to ground the story, so the GK series are some of the only games from my childhood that actually taught me anything.

      • malkav11 says:

        There’s really good attention to detail. I was lucky enough to get to visit Neuschwanstein after playing The Beast Within and although obviously the game takes liberties with the history and makes some changes to what’s in the castle on that basis, it’s still remarkably accurate. (My parents laughed at me for going “wow, this is just like in this videogame I played” but, well, it was.)

  9. Cessan says:

    Plush Octopus is amazing!

    • MadKatrina says:

      Thank you Cessan,

      I cannot take responsibility for the design of the Octopus however. It is an amazing pattern by Hansi Singh, I simply followed the instructions. So she deserves most of the praise.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Can I wrap its tentacles around my head and wear the squid on my face?

        I would like that.

        EDIT: Whooo saw your blog. Loving the little turtle thing at the top :)

  10. LimEJET says:

    Kerbal Space Program is on sale on Green Man Gaming for £14, and there’s a coupon code that knocks 25% off of that as well.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I can’t give these developers or the game enough praise.

      If you like sand box games, space sims (non combat) and failing spectacularly in an explosion, then this is a game for you.

      If you want a focused SP experience, I’d say wait out until Single Player mode is developed and the missions added. But even now, purchasing early might be an idea.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I am having plenty of fun with SCIENCE as-is. Why would I need someone giving me missions when there’s all those planets out there just dripping with unexplored research value to turn into bigger explosions rockets?

      • Fonzcorp says:

        So agree

  11. Axyl says:

    Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is actually only £1.50 if you use the code “GMG25-0YUM5-VKMVU”

  12. Commander Gun says:

    As a huge fan of the point and click adventure genre, i feel obliged to tell you that Gabrial Knight: Sins of a fathers is, to this date, the best that ever happened to me. It is a mature adventure game with excellent voice overs and a very good, horror-esque story. Granted though, there is some pixel hunting going on and sometimes you just need that one little thing done before you advance to the next day. But still, this game is super!

    Also a shout-out to the Kings Quest fans that might have missed the remakes. It is no coincidence that the bundle starts with episode 4, as the 1st three episodes are completely remade (see: link to Especially episode 2 is very good :)

  13. jfrisby says:

    Why no actual feature on Heroine’s Quest? It’s brilliant!

    • Towercap says:

      OMG, it’s out! Thank you, bargain bucket, for alerting me — I would’ve missed it otherwise. Been waiting for some time and second the call for a feature.

  14. LionsPhil says:

    [ Restore ] [ Restart ] [ Quit ]

  15. frogulox says:

    “If mullets ever make a come back, I’m going to set things on fire.”

    Maybe don’t venture to Australia anytime soon.

  16. Martel says:

    Octodad helping with today’s Bucket?

  17. therighttoarmbears says:

    Quick experiential post regarding Tower Wars: it’s fun, and (in my opinion) worth the $1.24 (or what appears to be a paltry sum in other currencies). Tower defense mixed with tower offense, and balancing timing your offense with your defense against your opponents’ moves seems to be wherein lies the fun. I am rubbish at maze-design tower defense games and have not played multiplayer or coop at all yet (have only put in a couple hours), but even the lowly levels of their AI opponents seem bastard-hard to me. Well worth less than the cost of a bottle of water if that sounds like your sort of thing.

  18. Fonzcorp says:

    Cool sea creature.
    Cool bargains.
    (s)quid pro quo
    I’m horrible at this BTW. (>_>)

  19. malkav11 says:

    Worth noting, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is currently being remade by Jensen & co. It’s not gonna have Tim Curry, though, so while it might avoid some of the more protracted wander-around-and-poke-at-everything-in-the-forlorn-hope-that-the-story-will-progress sequences I encountered in my time with the original (which is still great), the original will still have at least one thing to recommend it.

  20. dsch says:

    The Secret World for $10 on Steam. Anyone know what it’s like now?

  21. kud13 says:

    Do the Humble Bundle Games require Steam?

    I’m not anti-steam per se, but my net connection’s far from stellar, so I always prefer to have a DRM-free installer on a hard drive to being tethered to Steam. And whenever a game I have on Steam makes a jump onto GOG or some other DRM-free medium for cheap, I tend to double-purchase it purely for the convenience.

  22. Universal Quitter says:

    I think the reason Porpentine would make fun of some of the titles as he was advertising them is because every week there’s another Kane & Lynch or some similar shit-fest.

    I like Cassandra, but the tip-toeing around bad titles might get to me, eventually.

    • DrLeoWollman says:

      I think you mean Lewie. Porpentine does the Live Free, Play Hard roundup.

    • Gargenville says:

      I don’t like Kane & Lynch but if you think similar games come along on a weekly basis you must’ve dismissed it based solely on the location of the camera and the presence of chest-high cover, because the only thing that resembles the Dog Days experience is Hotline Miami.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      What the other commentors said.

      But, on the topic of Kane & Lynch 2? I’m not a fan. I’m also fascinated with the fact it features characters I wanted dead. Unsympathetic bastards, poor situations, the kind of grit that doesn’t make you heroic but just a little sick. Some people think it’s interesting in spite of its flaws, others think it’s loathsome and unpolished. So, it didn’t feel right to call it a right bastard of a game you shouldn’t touch with a ten-feet pole? I’ll also admit I’m actively trying to recommend, at the very least, interesting games — not just those which are super-duper cheap.

      … that said, I promise I will be grumpier as needed.

      • malkav11 says:

        I think those elements are a lot of what’s interesting about Kane and Lynch (2, in particular). I feel like there are quite a few games out there that have you doing pretty unfortunate things as what are really pretty morally reprehensible characters in the grand scheme of things, but they’re pitched so that you feel good about doing them and identify with the characters; and there are a lot of games that are about a power fantasy experience. But Kane and Lynch features despicable grubby men doing despicable grubby things and getting deeper and deeper in the shit the more they try to scramble out of it, especially in 2. It’s something all but unique in the gaming space and I applaud that.

        That said, they’re neither of them particularly great -games-, although I think they get a bit more flak for their design than is really deserved. They’re perfectly playable.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          Exactly – Kane and Lynch 2 gives you characters doing what characters in shooters do. But unlike other shooters they don’t try to make the mass murder heroic and the player character doing it anything but what a mass murderer would be: Completely broken. Both Kane and Lynch are terrible people, doing terrible things and terrible things happen to them because there’s nothing good that could happen to them. And it’s not glorified – it’s portrayed as exactly what it is.

          The gameplay even supports it – it’s possibly the most realistic shooter, because when people get shot they DIE. They fall down and possibly wiggle around a bit in agony. They don’t get back up. And the guns aren’t high powered assault rifles, it’s what some shitty mooks in a bad neighbourhood would have access to: pistols, shotguns. An UZI feels like a superweapon because on the scale of a gangfight, it practically is.
          Also, everyone sprays bullets everywhere, because they’re mooks who don’t have training – and only a small percentage of the population shoots to kill on top of that.

          Very, very few shooters have the guts to combine gameplay and story to this degree. Usually they just ignore the gameplay – see Uncharted or Tomb Raider trying to play their main characters as everymen, when in actual fact they’ve killed LITERALLY hundreds of people by the end of the game.

  23. Bobka says:

    I didn’t even glance at the article but I WANT THAT SQUID.