The RPS Bargain Bucket: Cats in Planes

This week has been a bit of a blur for me albeit in an awesome way. It’s not every day you’re startled into remembering that a beloved book series is being adapted for the television. (The Strain is squee, guys. Squee.) I can’t abide by the kind of vampires that have slowly crept into media these days. Flashy, sparkly things built for lust rather than terror. Ugh. Needless to say, the vampires in del Toro’s show are anything but sexy. Anyway, here’s this week’s conglomeration of bargains! Enjoy. (And tell me about your favourite horror movies in the comments.) The evil skeleton bunny is courtesy of lemming!

Three Dollar Treasures
Like anyone born in the ’80s, I have a soft spot for Sid Meiers’ games. Obviously, there is a decent selection of them over at GoG this weekend. The other games seem equally fascinating. Bloodnet is a “cyberpunk gothic” that has me charmed with its retro daydreams of the future. Vampires and aliens and big, old-school leather jackets? Sure. I’ll bite. Similarly, Darklands invites exploration with its promise of adventure in 15th century Germany. More importantly, it has a kick-ass character generation system. Instead of rolling for attributes, you provide a back story. The only one that makes me twitch is Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender. The title says it all, really. Someone please tell me it’s less crass than it sounds.

Anodyne is weird, beautiful and yet serene. It drips the blood of games from our childhood, a nostalgic experience that frequently turns horrific. The writing is skillful, the narrative thoughtful. More than anything, Anodyne is a reminder that personal games can be excellent. I’ve always wished that Anodyne would get more attention than it did. And since it’s on discount, I’m going to thrust it in your faces with the textual approximate of a meaningful look. (Read Adam’s Wot I Think for a better idea of what’s going on here.)

Batman Bundle
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, Batman! Seriously, this bundle is just Batman. The Caped Crusader from morning till Dark Knight. It’s just him, and his batarang, and whomever else he is battling in that given situation. Amazon’s Batman Mega Bundle isn’t something I’d describe as the bees’ knees, but it does include two Game of the Year versions. And punching. Lots of punching from a brooding, pointy-eared protagonist. Enjoy.

Borderlands 2: Game of the Year
Google Translate would like me to believe that this is the definitive version of Borderlands 2 for Mac users. Unless my memory serves me incorrectly, this is not the cheapest the game has gone for. Nonetheless, if you missed the previous discounts, have an overwhelming need to pick up Gearbox’s sci-fi shoot-em-all, and access to the site, this is a good opportunity to snag it. You could also wait for the next sales. In case you were wondering, I loved the core Borderlands 2 game. Madly. Deeply. Truly. However, the DLCs, generally speaking, did not impress me much. (Sorry, guys.)

Also of note:

IndieGala Encore Bundle – $1/£0.60/€0.73
This IndieGala bundle makes me happy in a way I can barely explain. I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that it’s practically giving these games away for free. Lume? Tobe’s Vertical Adventure? The Cat Lady? For a dollar? Sure! Quick, go grab them before the organizers come to their senses. (Or the bonus period runs out.)

Beatbuddy – $5.03/£3.00/€3.69
Each time I see Beatbuddy on sale, I feel obligated to remind the world that this a delightful game. Sure, it might not haunt your dreams and conversations forever but not every game is supposed to do that. I think the music is stunning and anything that seeks to cultivate more rhythm in the world is A-Okay in my book.

Rockstar Bundle
3 games for $15.00/£12.20/€15.00, 4 games for $18.00/£14.64/€18.00, 5 games for $20.00/£16.26/€20.00
I think I’m running out of words for Rockstar games. They go on discount so often it’s beginning to feel like a sitcom’s laugh track. Grousing aside, Gamersgate’s Rockstar bundle allows you to put together a package tailored to your specific needs. Want all the Grand Theft Auto games? Sure. Go for it. Would you prefer one from each franchise? Do as you will! It’s all the same to them.

Combat Cats – $2.49/£1.48/€1.82
Um. Cats. In planes. With smiling faces. Sure, it’s Bejeweled with a splash of RPG, but there are cats in planes, damn it.

P.S: The Bucket demands more guest plushies!


  1. trjp says:

    Even tho I have no particular love (or hate) for cats – Combat Cats looks more appealing than I’d like to admit

    Anyone actually PLAYED it? :)

    If it were Combat Cocker-Spaniels I’d have risked-it of course ;0

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I’d have bought it instantly if it was Combat Wombat.

    • kalirion says:

      If you’re interested in Combat Cats, get it for $1 in this bundle for the next 8 hours: link to

      $1 tier:
      Combat Cats
      Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi
      Age of Fear
      Litil Divil
      iBomber Attack

      $3 tier:
      Age of Fear 2

      While you’re there, check out the $1 min Russian bundle: link to

      Etherlords 1&2
      7,62 High Calibre
      Parkan 2
      Railyard: Match-3 Evolved
      Planet Alcatraz (unlocks in 140 more sales)

      • Shadowcat says:

        Nosferatu is pretty awesome if you look past the flaws (of which there are many, but the developers did several unusual and impressive things — most notably implementing semi-random 3D architecture in a first-person game — so there’s good reason to cut it some slack). The atmosphere is really excellent, too. It’s well worth a try.

    • WearyAmoeba says:

      I’m proud to say that I played it all the way through. What you see is what you get and you get: an awesome match 3 sort of thing with a meta game of cats blowing stuff up. What’s not to like. It was lots of fun. Played it on mobile though, can’t speak for the port.

  2. Eight Rooks says:

    Ewww, The Strain. Rarely have I been quite so disappointed by a work of fiction. :( I’m pleased you’re happy it’s getting picked up for TV, Cassandra, honest – I’m quite excited to see how Wayward Pines turns out and that’s far from a great series IMO, so I know the feeling when anything’s set to hit the small screen that you’ve got an attachment to. Still. Really should have liked Del Toro working with vampires again but I just didn’t enjoy the first book at all.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      The books aren’t amazing, and that third book makes me cringe with its Hollywood ending. But, I’m in love with the concept that del Toro presented in the books. The vampires from that series are awesome.

    • malkav11 says:

      Well, if you didn’t care for the first book, for god’s sake don’t read the others because it’s all downhill from there. Personally I dug what they did in that first book and the second was a crushing disappointment.

    • Lemming says:

      I enjoyed the first two books, but yeah I didn’t like the ending much (although I liked the mythos explanation for things in it).

  3. JoeTom86 says:

    Truly Madly Deeply, surely?

    Or am I inferring a 90s pop reference where none was intended?

  4. trjp says:

    Oh yeah – the TV series thing – has any book EVER been improved by being made into a TV series? I think not.

    Even Movies struggle to be improved by TV – Fargo isn’t bad but it isn’t the movie – maybe MASH and probably Buffy?

    Books tho – I can’t think of a TV series which didn’t , at the very least, dumb-them-down a bit

    It’s the classic problem – pictures are always better in your head than on a screen.

    • Janek says:

      Hannibal is pretty great, though it’s very much “based on” rather than a straight conversion.

      Other than that, yeah, kind of struggling.

    • malkav11 says:

      Fargo isn’t trying to be the movie, though. It’s doing its own thing with a deep and abiding love for the movie inspiring it. And doing a damn good job. That it’s not -actually- a Coen Bros movie, well…without the Coens involved, did you really expect that?

      As for book to TV series – sure, you often lose something in the transition, but I find the result is usually more faithful than book to movie conversions, simply because the series has more room to breathe and it’s nearly impossible to convert even a regular length 300-ish page novel to a maybe 120-150 minute movie without wholesale pruning. Much less some of the 800-1100 page monstrosities that get tapped. (Whether more faithful is better depends, of course, on the book and the respective talent involved in the conversion process. But I tend to prefer it.) That said, I don’t recall it even happening all that often.

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      Band of Brothers is an amazing television series adapted from a book. Is it better than the book? I can’t answer that because I never read it, but I imagine it did the book quite a bit of justice as both are based on real life experiences.

    • Lemming says:

      In the case of the Strain, it was pitched as TV series and Del Toro was then advised to make it a book first. So, it’s a TV series of a book of a TV series.

    • Muzman says:

      The French series of Les Miserables is probably the best adaptation full stop and honestly the book is pretty windy but YMMV.
      I’d say the TV series they made out of Longitude actually improved on the book by drawing out the parallel to the life of the guy who restored Harrison’s clocks.
      The Alec Guinness Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is at least very faithful. And Smiley’s People actually has a couple of touches the book doesn’t that I really like.
      I seem to remember the 05′ ish version of Bleak House being very good, although I’m not a major Dickens afcionado.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      True Blood is much better than the books it is based on. That’s probably the only exception I can think of.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I haven’t read any of the books, but the series is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Without spoiling anything, are the books much different than the tv-series? Is it worth it to read the books after watching all seasons?

        I’ve watched all of the Twilight movies and can say that I enjoyed all of them, even if mostly in a hilaribad way. I don’t think I could bear to read the books, though, what with all their mentions of Edward’s “dazzling eyes” and similar stuff that I’ve heard is quite frequent. Right before the credits of the last movie you get to see the last page of the last book and it confirmed my suspicions about how the book is written.

        • malkav11 says:

          There are significant changes pretty much from moment one, including pretty nearly everything about Tara, who in the books was Sookie’s cousin and had a minor supporting role rather than being a major part of the ensemble cast. I don’t think Lafayette had nearly as big a role either. Also, the books are first person narrative through Sookie’s eyes, so any scene that doesn’t involve her is at best inference and likely wholly original to the series.

    • bhauck says:

      I know I’m not likely to find many compatriots on this site, but I really liked the first few seasons of Gossip Girl while never getting the sense the books were for me, and Vampire Diaries continues to be pretty good show (as long as you’re cool with non-sparkly-but-still-lusty vampires) based on a book series I’ve never heard referred to positively. There are definitely people who prefer Game of Thrones to the Ice and Fire books (I’ve read all the books and then realized I hated them, I watched one episode of the show and realized I hated it). Both Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire evolved out of books, though the books were nonfiction and well-received in their own right. Orange is the New Black is based on another nonfiction book.

      For movies, I’m not sure how Buffy can be “maybe,” since it was a terrible movie and a wonderful tv show. As mentioned by Janek above, Hannibal fits somewhat in both categories, and is phenomenal. Isn’t Les Revenants based on a French movie?

      • malkav11 says:

        Les Revenants is a French TV series. I don’t think there’s a movie origin involved.

        • HadToLogin says:

          “The Returned (French: Les Revenants) is a French supernatural drama television series created by Fabrice Gobert, based on the 2004 French film They Came Back (in French titled Les Revenants) directed by Robin Campillo” – after wiki.

    • Frank says:

      Veronica Mars is better than the book based on it… oh wait, I did that wrong.

    • fish99 says:

      You could argue Bladerunner is a superior experience to reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The two are so very different though it’s hard to compare them fairly. The film just took some concepts from the book which were most easily adapted to film, then took the basic premise and characters, but it has a hugely different feel and the events and motivations of the characters are quite a bit different.

      The book is a superior work of imagination, and you wouldn’t have Bladerunner without it, but the film is powerful and moving.

  5. welverin says:

    “P.S: The Bucket demands more guest plushies!”

    I’d accommodate you, but I lack a bucket to place them it for the picture .

    • Noburu says:

      “P.S: The Bucket demands more guest plushies!”

      CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Now i just have to remember later that i have accepted said challenge and submit a picture.

      So likely Ill just for forget about it like i do every other little thing :P

    • Lemming says:

      I lacked a bucket too, which is why I went to the shop and bought one for a quid!

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Cassandra describes your plushie as an “evil skeleton bunny”, but is it really evil? I think it’s a bit unfair to assume that all skeleton bunnies are evil.

        As to my favorite horror movies, I’d say The Shining is quite creepy and that woman in room 237 scared me when I was younger. While we’re talking about Guillermo del Toro, I find his movie The Devil’s Backbone to be very atmospheric as well as Pan’s Labyrinth. They’re quite different from American horror movies and therefore better, because the less predictable the more horrifying it is.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          He strikes me as wanting to be evil, but everyone just keeps picking him up and going AWWWWLOOKA DA WIDDLE BUNNEH, then putting him down and patting him on the head as he considers their deaths.

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Mr Lemming. You have lovely skirting boards.

    • Lemming says:

      What can I say, I run a tight ship. Although are they still skirting boards if they are halfway up the wall? I have no idea, honestly.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Heh oh yeah I see now. I was looking at it on mobile earlier, my little S3 makes things look different. I will rephrase.
        Mr Lemming. Your picture rails look smashing.
        That might be wrong too. My decorative molding knowledge is… limited

  7. SuddenSight says:

    I love Anodyne death, and I strongly recommend to anyone.

    But I should point out 9.99 is the standard price, not a bargain.

    It goes on sale fairly often. I think it’s worth the standard price, but if you are willing to wait a few months it will probably go on sale sometime this year.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      …. Did that thing just stop having a bargain just as this went online somehow? T____T

    • lomaxgnome says:

      It’s really weird, pretty short, and frequently bundled. Definitely not worth $10.

  8. tobecooper says:

    BL2 GoTY is like 10 dollas, so I suspect you got confused by the Brazilian Real thingy, Cassandra.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      Edit: Fixed. Also, I apparently screwed up at copying and pasting my own notes. D: Thanks for the pointer!

    • HadToLogin says:

      Should be noted: they might require some Brazilian address from you. Or even Brazilian proxy.

      At least their sale 2k “2 games for around €8” had those requirements.

  9. Colonel J says:

    Origin code for Battlefield 4 Standard Edition for £14 from Amazon UK.

    Cue “EA / BF4 suck” ranting, but it you want it I think that’s the cheapest it’s been for UK purchase.

  10. Hulk Handsome says:

    It’s been a long, LONG time since I played Rex Nebular, but I remember it being a mostly harmless “adult” game, with more gore than sex (there was only one sex scene and a shot of some boobs at the start).

    I actually remember it being a fairly well designed adventure game, with some pretty inventive and entertaining puzzles.

    A worrying amount of love went into the death scenes. You can probably find a compilation on youtube somewhere.

    But as I said, it’s been a long time since I played it. There is a very good chance I would find it a lot more sexist now that I’m an adult, and the whole gender bender thing (a device in the game used to help with procreation after all men were wiped out in a gender war) would probably rub me the wrong way a lot more now that I have quite a few transgender friends.

    • Premium User Badge

      Buzko says:

      Logged in to say pretty much the same thing as Hulk Handsome about Rex Nebular. I liked it a lot, but that was over 20 years ago so it may push some LGBTI buttons that I wasn’t aware of at the time. I remember the hero being a macho idiot, but he gets smacked around if he tries to act that way.

      It’s very much in the old Sierra “grab everything that moves, then click everything on everything” vein, but the puzzles are usually pretty fair. The exception being the one where, if you don’t grab a thing at the very beginning, you die at the very end. I had, so I didn’t mind, and the game did allow a significant amount of backtracking, but I remember thinking that it could have ended badly.

      As for horror movies, I loved [REC], The Descent and Candyman. All of them have inferior sequels which are best avoided. From Dusk Till Dawn was a hoot, and the original Evil Dead trilogy showed that sometimes sequels are better. See also: Black Sheep, Young Frankenstein and of course Shaun of the Dead.

  11. haradaya says:

    Note that the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas version you get off Gamersgate is a version 3 that can’t be modded or patched to be moddable. Pretty much ruining it.

  12. Lemming says:

    Really looking forward to The Strain TV series having read the books, Cassandra (and the Constantine one). Penny Dreadful is proving to be quite moreish as well, at the moment.

    Favourite horror movies are numerous, but a few highlights would be Poltergeist, The Thing, Alien, Dusk Till Dawn, The Devil’s Backbone, The Orphanage, Mama, Woman in Black, Lost Boys, The Fly, but I like horror in general as long as they aren’t slashers (which I find really dull, tbh).

  13. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    The Indie Gala bundles is beckoning me, but I want to gather people’s opinions on:

    The Cat Lady and
    Strategic War in Europe

    Because those are the only two games I’m interested in, I think. I know it’s really cheap, but my backlog is quite large and I really shouldn’t be adding to it — unless they’re worth adding, of course.

    • drygear says:

      I loved The Cat Lady and remember wishing it got more recognition. I actually sent John Walker an email about it because I thought he might like to check it out.
      I don’t remember much in the way of specifics, but don’t take that as a knock against the game.
      I think I appreciated how well done it was as a portrayal of someone with depression. It goes to some dark places but it didn’t feel forced for the most of it. If it ever offers glimpses of hope it never seems unearned or too easy, either.
      I should play it again.

  14. quietone says:

    I consider “horror” movies as those that scare the bejeebers out of me, even if some of them do not show a single monster or gore scene. Is that correct?
    In that sense, my favorite ones are: The shinning, John Carpenter’s The Prince of Darkness, La Gioconda está triste (“The Gioconda lost her smile”, a Spanish movie) and Michelangelo Antonioni´s Blow Up.

  15. Baines says:

    Is that $2.50 Combat Cats the same Combat Cats that is currently in the Groupees Horror Bundle? Which has around seven games, including Combat Cats, in its $1 tier?

  16. Chronos1985 says:

    I want that plushie. Where can one get this? Anyone? Anyone…

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Thats Jack, he’s a Skelanimal. I can’t see him available on the Skelanimals site and Amazon are out of stock BECAUSE HE IS TOO ADORABLE. Frustrated nurturing urges are quite painful arent they :(

      EDIT:link to

    • shimeril says:

      I just ordered one of these via eBay Australia – which saved me the huge USPS postal costs. $57 to mail a plushie to Australia? Seriously? Anyway, moral of the story is don’t show your wife the Bargain Bucket any more – it gets expensive.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Yeah even the skelanimals site itself says the USPS international shipping costs are ridiculous.

  17. nrvsNRG says:

    Just noticed Need For Speed: The Run @ Kinguin for £2.64.
    I have no idea how good it is. Its metacritic is 69, but at that price it doesnt really matter I suppose.

  18. Foosnark says:

    Bloodnet was a terrible, horrible, unredeemably bad, awful, hideous, un-fun game-shaped object.

  19. Armante says:

    Capsule is now on Steam and 20% off at $3.99

    It got a rather good write up on RPS a while back link to

  20. thebigJ_A says:

    The only Rockstar game I want is Red Dead Redemption. That game was great… why oh why won’t the put it on PC?

    • HadToLogin says:

      Well, there are two answers:
      a) it cost too much
      b) they hate PCs.

      In next month we’ll learn if b is true, when GTA4 will or won’t work in multiplayer.

    • malkav11 says:

      RDR’s development was apparently kind of a clusterfuck and it isn’t in any fit state to be brought to PC, from what I’ve heard.

      • fish99 says:

        Thing is though – the 360 version works fine and runs DX9 (or pretty close), so whatever state it’s in, it wouldn’t be that much work to port it and it would surely run at least as well as the 360 version on modern hardware. I doubt there’s any technical reason – if R* wanted RDR on PC they have the resources to make it happen.

        It could be that GTA4 didn’t sell well enough on PC so they lost money on porting it. It almost always comes down to money in the end. Maybe they just didn’t have a team free to make it with getting the Max Payne IP and GTAV in production.

        Have to say I’ll be gutted if we never see GTAV on PC. It’s a great game on console but FFS I wanna play it with decent framerates, AA, AF and in a nice resolution. If it never comes to PC I’d buy a PS4 to be able to play a decent version.

  21. nitehawk says:

    I’m tired of these motherfucking cats on this motherfucking plane.