The RPS Bargain Bucket: So Peculiar

Steam is having their annual summer sales, which means a conglomeration of flash deals and bargains that will no longer exist by the time you read this. Grumble grumble. Similarly, we have reducing prices like crazy and ShinyLoot, BundleStars, and a cast of smaller names filling out whatever space is left. In light of that, Bargain Bucket will only be tangentially focused on games this week. (Unnamed plushie is courtesy of Norbert. I may be terrified of it.)

Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World
While I wouldn’t call Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World a spectacular game, I’m more than willing to label it as “charming.” This short point & click adventure is like a drunken mix between Monkey Island and Futurama. It’s a bit too wobbly to be genuinely memorable, and some of the jokes don’t work out. Additionally, few of the puzzles are likely to engineer triumphant ah-hahs. Still, all that really doesn’t matter when the game itself is free, does it? Go on, then. Enjoy some sci-fi adventuring on the developers’ account.

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition
Has it really been a decade since Gaiman released American Gods? It’s a sprawling, gorgeous book that plays out like a road trip into a fevered dream. Ancient gods and new deities shift and pull at the local populace, embroiled in their own theological politics. There are monsters, ghosts, and creatures that are never fully explained. Forget vulgar displays of magic, American Gods’ is that inexplicable flicker at the corner of your eye – the one that makes you wonder if the grin in the window was real. A word of caution: American Gods is a slow boil, one almost detached from the maelstrom it hints at. It’s also really, really blooming cheap. Go buy it as soon as you can, as this is a one-day only deal.

Aftershock Bundle
It really does seem like BundleStars might be getting progressively better at coming up with ways to take your money. The Aftershock Bundle is, by and large, actually an intriguing assortment of titles. For one, it features Harvester: a messy, malevolent, and utterly insane chimera made up of the bleeding, the battered, and the sexually depraved. (I said “intriguing,” not “spectacular.”) It also features System Shock 2, which I loved ferociously. SHODAN is the kind of A.I no woman can easily forget. As an added bonus, there are also Wizardry 6,7, and 8. (I’m mildly curious about the other games in the collection, too.)

The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Wrecker’s debut fantasy novel is wonderfully, satisfyingly domestic. No, like. Seriously. Much of the book is laser-focused on the golem Chava and the jinni Ahmad. It explores their attempts at understanding New York City, their interactions with those around them, their small triumphs, their trivial heartbreak. Instead of dragging you into this huge, sprawling quest to save the world, The Golem and the Jinni examines what it means to be human. The ending to the book was surprisingly heartbreaking. TLDR: 10/10. Would rant about again. (Also, very cheap. Get it before the offer ends.)

Also of note
Spacechem – Free
Honestly. Spacechem. Free. Do we really need to go into explicit detail? Because free Spacechem is absolutely fantastic.

Payday: The Heist – $1.49/£0.87/€1.09
I never played the original Payday. I have, however, spent far too many hours screaming at my friends about their inability to move stealthily in the second game. I strongly suspect that the sequel may be somewhat better than the first, but a four-player heist ’em out for $1.49 sounds like an elegant deal to me.

The Humble Dynamite Bundle – Pay $15/£8.81/€10.99 for it all
Well, this is positively dynamite. A quick disclaimer: I haven’t read a single comic within this particular bundle. However, I’m interested to do so. It looks like a riot of parodies, weird wonders, spin-offs from excellent literature, and .. Vampirella. (Who may or may not qualify as parody. I can’t tell.) The 36-issue Wheel of Time collection looks especially tempting to me.

NOS4A2 – $1.99/£1.17/€1.46
Christmas isn’t always a clean, immaculate affair. If anything, it’s a little bit creepy – a fat man all slathered in red squirming down your chimney? That’s creepy. Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son, and an author I’ve loved ever since I picked up his debut novel. Unlike his father, Hill’s writing feels lighter, sharper. It’s a bit more MTV in tone, as opposed to ponderously intricate. NOS4A2 is a weird, unique title that follows a ferocious female protagonist, even as she wheels in and out of trouble. Outside of the fantastical bits, NOS4A2 deals with some surprisingly real issues. I won’t spoil it, but I think you should pick it up. Especially at its current price point. (If you enjoy this, you should really pick up Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls.)

P.S: Steam is having a sale.


  1. Shieldmaiden says:

    Looks like the American Gods deal is gone already. :(

    • armchaircowboys says:

      It’s 42 friggin’ cents more.. surely that’s not worth a sad face? :P

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I just got it. Region restrictions, maybe?

    • AngoraFish says:

      Still appearing to me. Terribly average book though (yes, I’m an uncultured minority).

      Requires a Kindle (or an ebook converter).

      • grodit says:

        wow, you are very brave to say that out loud. Well, you can’t discuss about taste I guess?

      • InternetBatman says:

        I believe you can get a free kindle reader app for all devices.

  2. KDR_11k says:

    Note that free SpaceChem requires a facebook account so antisocial nerds won’t be able to get it easily. OTOH we probably all bought the game already.

    • AngelTear says:

      I didn’t have spacechem, and I don’t have a FB account D:

      • Scumbag says:

        make a fake one named bumble ramplepants

        • LionsPhil says:

          Agreeing to their terms and conditions gives Facebook permission to fill in any blanks and inaccuracies in your (marketing) profile from data from other sources.

          • Scumbag says:

            I’m sure I’ve made a couple of puppet accounts for myself. I used a couple of side email addresses and gave myself names in Russian and Japanese to throw things slightly.

          • rexx.sabotage says:

            Fakebook accounts are jolly good fun! the wild abandon with which people disclose their personal information makes for a stupefyingly delightful venue in which to conduct LVL99 trollings.

    • dE says:

      You mistyped sane privacy aware people.

      • joa says:

        Or people who have an overinflated sense of how important their personal data is?

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          No, dE had it right. You shouldn’t be so dismissive of privacy concerns.

        • MkMax says:

          i love how everyone is all “i have nothing to hide” … until someone tells them googling their name points to several drunken pics, an amateur porn video, their history in porntube and other embarrassing drunken tweets, emails and text messages… then they suddenly join the “paranoid weirdos”

          • Rikard Peterson says:

            I think the better option is to not drink alcohol, and avoid porn. The most embarrassing thing you’ll find by googling my name is probably some RPS comments.

          • InternetBatman says:

            That is a horrible option. If you don’t have fun, people will be able to find no information about you having fun.

          • joa says:

            If you’re stupid enough to make such things available on Google then that’s your own problem.

            Facebook are offering a service with high operating costs for free. If they didn’t tap into all the user data they have at their fingers then they would be moronic. It’s all done for profit, not for stealing your identity or telling your friends embarrassing secrets.

          • Rikard Peterson says:

            @InternetBatman: Oh, you can find evidence of me having fun. What I said was that I try to act in a way that don’t have to be ashamed about later. I take responsibility for my actions. (But we’re getting a bit off topic now…)

          • joa says:

            Well every healthy male watches porn, and everyone is a bit embarrassed by what they do when drunk. That’s nothing really to be ashamed of. The problem is more that employers will use that information as a negative against hiring you. My point was simply that it’s your responsibility to keep that information private, not anybody else’s.

          • Muzman says:

            And where does users responsibly asking the service providers to be responsible and at least tell about what might happen to their stuff fall into that? And maybe en masse making said service provider alter said service.

          • The Random One says:

            “everyone is a bit embarrassed by what they do when drunk. ”

            I’m not, since I don’t drink.

          • derbefrier says:

            makes me glad i was past my party phase before social media got popular.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I do drink and I’m neither ashamed nor lack responsibility for my actions. It’s fairly ridiculous to be proud of abstinence of any sort; not doing something you disagree with is the least you could possibly do.

  3. Spacewalk says:

    Down down prices are down.

  4. Oozo says:

    Is that plushie an official “Uncle Bonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives” merchandise product? (I would like to live in a world where Weerasethakul’s movies get official merchandise plushies.)

  5. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    1.- Harvester is good, and completetly unique. Of course it is buggy, but it was one of the adventures that went where others didn’t want to go, and it is part of my favourite surrealistic sick pack of titles with Dark Seed 2 (its twin adventure game), Sanitarium and Phantasmagoria 2.

    2.- There is a Frogwares humble bundle! Woohoo! *crickets* *crickets* . Yes, that was kind of ironic.

    3,- Never understood the hype and the love behind System Shock 2, a game so obviously inferior in everything to its first part.

    • Shadowcat says:

      The two System Shock games are so different that the preference usually comes down to which one you played first. Personally I consider the first game superior, but the sequel still comes out very favourably when compared with most games; so on its own merits the hype is warranted.

      It’s also available for purchase, which I’m sure you’ll agree gives it something of an edge over the original in Bargain Bucket reports :)

      The only problem is if people have the impression that the original game isn’t worth their time; because regardless of which way around you rank the two of them, System Shock is incredible.

    • Baines says:

      Nearly everything in the Frogwares Humble Bundle has been in a bundle before. And Magrunner, a $9 tier game, was free on GOG a few days ago.

  6. NailBombed says:

    NOS4A2 (or NOS4R2, as it’s called over this side of the pond) is definitely a great read. Hill’s writing style is not dissimilar to his dad, but has enough bite and post-modernity to keep out of the staleness that sometimes accompanies King’s works. Still I feel Joe HIll’s Locke And Key is his best work.

    • Turkey says:

      Are his books generally better than Horns? It’s the only book of his that I’ve read, and I ended up feeling a little lukewarm on it.

      • malkav11 says:

        It’s probably his weakest so far, although I still really liked it.

        • MykulJaxin says:

          I agree that Horns is probably his weakest. I want to second the Locke & Key recommendation. I work at a library to put myself through school and am constantly working from the shadows to get the guy in charge of the comics section to buy stuff. He’s started buying some really interesting things of late without my input, and I saw he had bought all 6 volumes of L&K and took them all home. I’d heard of it, but never read any of it before. I couldn’t stop reading until I finished, which isn’t normal for me (I frequently take home comics, start them and lose interest quickly). So that was good. NOS4A2 had some really good ideas but some perplexing character choices. Also, Heart Shaped Box genuinely scared me and kept me up for a night, which has never happened to me before.

          TL;DR Locke and Key is good, Heart Shaped Box is scary

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            If you’re interested in disturbing scares, you may want to check out Jack Ketchum. That man has written some of the most unsettling “human horror” fiction I’ve ever read. The Lost and The Girl Next Door are particularly effective.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      NOS4A2 (or NOS4R2, as it’s called over this side of the pond)

      Oh, Jesus, I thought you were making a joke about British pronunciation, but that’s actually true. How astoundingly absurd. Do people actually manage to wedge an “R” into “atu” so hard that it sounds more like “R2” than “A2”?

  7. MkMax says:

    the steam sale is a dud this year

    too many devs have refused to mark down their games (using the %discount exclusively to drop the price) meaning that 80% off games can be more than 10 bucks

    nobody seems to make “complete editions” anymore or even include dlcs in the discounts meaning a lot of games have dlcs more expensive than the actual games

    also i could swear that ive seen some games cheaper on the xmas sale and the game i wanted to most, goddamn dark souls, has not removed gwfl and is still “unavailable in my country”… meh, MEH i say

    • thedosbox says:

      the steam sale is a dud this year. too many devs have refused to mark down their games (using the %discount exclusively to drop the price) meaning that 80% off games can be more than 10 bucks


    • iridescence says:

      I’ve spent quite a lot this time and could have spent more if my backlog wasn’t so out of control (I’m sure Far Cry 3 will start looking at me with those puppy eyes again if it goes on daily sale again). I guess it’s just down to a bunch of games I was at least mildly interested in being finally discounted enough for me to pull the trigger.

    • Jalan says:

      Some deals are definitely not as good as they have been previously. Others have been though.

      I agree though that the GOTY and “complete” editions are starting to get a little blurred on definitions. Tomb Raider is an example, where if you buy the GOTY edition you can no longer buy the Survival edition – the Survival edition content later being made available in the GOTY edition EXCEPT for a select few pieces and in some cases again as separate DLC. Another offender is Borderlands 2, which has about 30 different DLC pieces, a mere fraction of which are in its GOTY for some baffling reason. And of course there’s Saint’s Row IV, which has as yet to move its ass on collecting its mountain of DLC into one “complete” package.

      Deals are great, but fuck it all some things just give me the grumps.

      • AngelTear says:

        I wanted to buy Saints Row IV, but the lack of a bundle put me off as well. Luckily, I’ve found out they are in fact doing the complete package as with SR3, it’s coming out in July. I guess I’ll get during another sale =)

        On the other hand, if you don’t have SR3, the mega-bundle with SR2,3 and 4 and all the DLCs ever is an extremely good bargain.

        • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

          Me too. I had it added to my cart a few times, but didn’t know which DLC were good or even necessary, so I held off. I also saw they’re doing a complete package of it, so, like you, I’ll be waiting until next sale.

          • welverin says:

            The season pass will cover everything worthwhile, the rest are costumes or weapons and easily ignorable.

            Even the story ones wouldn’t be a huge loss.

        • drinniol says:

          The mega-bundle was just a few bucks more – less than buying the DLC and you got the previous 3 games as well. My only buy in this sale.

      • Shuck says:

        GOG actually has better prices on some games. The world has turned upside down.

        • Baines says:

          Steam’s been beaten on prices by Amazon, Gamersgate, Green Man Gaming, and even sometimes GOG for a while.

          These days, Steam’s “great” deals are the same deals that publishers allow on other stores. The difference is that other stores are more likely to go a bit beyond, like GMG’s discount codes, Amazon’s deals, or Gamersgate’s pricing mistakes. And yes, it has reached a point where Steam during a holiday sales is being outpriced by even GOG.

          • Shuck says:

            Maybe it’s just because there’s more overlap between their two catalogs now, but I don’t remember seeing so many games that were so significantly cheaper on GOG during sales. The Steam sale does seem a bit anemic, but part of that may have to do with what’s on the front page. There seem to be bundles/collections on Steam that might be fairly cheap, for example, but I can’t seem to find them except by accident.

          • Jalan says:

            Until Steam starts taxing every section of the world it sells to, it is not being beaten by Amazon (which does tax everyone). Some may argue that a “few bits” more tacked onto an already good price is not a big issue, but if you’re the type who specifically buys based on said deals then it matters quite a bit.

            GMG dropped the ball this year on their summer sale as well and have in general made a lot of questionable moves in the past few months. Some of their prices were good but the remainder were far from it. I think their decision to try and cram Playfire down their consumers throats has made them tighten up the purse strings a bit when it comes to besting the “Steam machine” on sales. Their voucher discounts have had a set limit before becoming usable and often don’t allow use of credit in conjunction which makes the whole Playfire reward scheme seem like a joke.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            @Jalan: Amazon has been price matching Steam pretty consistently throughout the Summer Sale, and I’ve yet to see a tax attached to any of the digital games purchases I’ve made there so far. Weirdly enough, I bought an MP3 album from them today and they added a tax to that right before the purchase was finalized, so consider me totally confused as to how they regulate their tax scheme.

          • MkMax says:

            yeah but Amazon requires an US address, which i dont have, if i have to go into dodgy things like putting a fake one or using a random real one available online i might as well sail the Caribbean

            gmg used to have very very good deals, they havent this year, other than the voucher things are rarely discounted

    • welverin says:

      The fact that the DLC for Skyrim is more expensive than the Legendary Edition is rather aggravating and they don’t discount it as heavily, nor have they lowered the price on it.

      • malkav11 says:

        It really bothers me when people don’t treat DLC the same as the base game (at least with due respect for their relative release dates). Skyrim’s DLC should not still be $20 a piece for two and $5 for the third, making the DLC roughly two and a half times more expensive than the original game for far less content. And it certainly shouldn’t be getting less of a discount off that too high base price than the base game because even if they were 75% off they’d still cost over double the base game and only slightly undercut the Legendary Edition bundle.

        And FFS, if they’re going to make the LE cheaper than just buying the DLC piecemeal, the extra copy of Skyrim should absolutely be a separate giftable copy for people that already own the game. I know Steam never does that, but it’s ridiculous.

        • welverin says:

          What’s odd is this is a semi recent phenomenon and mostly just Skyrim that it applies to, I’ve seen other games not have discounted dlc when they go on sale, but that’s more an exception. With Skyrim the dlc always has a lesser discount.

          At least it’s still better than the PS Store, dlc almost never goes on sale there.

          • Baines says:

            DLC normally doesn’t see price drops. That’s why you end up with collections that cost less than the DLC alone.

            That is true even with Skyrim. Even if the DLC had the same discount as Legendary, Legendary would *still* be cheaper. Legendary’s regular price is $40, while the DLC’s regular price is $45.

          • malkav11 says:

            It’s not just Skyrim, though they’ve been particularly insulting about it. Borderlands 2 did it for ages, which was frustrating because I never want to pay full price for DLC but they kept doing sales only on the main game, which I’d preordered. Serves me right for supporting them, I guess. And of course Bioware’s DLC has never been lowered in price by one iota, even by bundling, for their last three games. I’m sure there are others.

            It’s dumb. I don’t begrudge selling additional content for a game I enjoy, especially if it’s real, significant, and singleplayer/coop content. But it should be fairly priced and commensurate with the fact that it is generally no more than a fraction of the content included in the base game. Failing to lower the price over time and failing to concurrently discount DLC (at least, to the degree that one would discount a game of its age) really doesn’t count as fair pricing. (DLC bundles don’t really get you off the hook either but at least they’re something.)

      • doho7744 says:

        What makes it worse is that I got the Elder Scrolls Anthology off Amazon for $20. That is the same price for just the DLC, and I got physical copies of all the games w/ all DLC. WTF is dat about?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I am quite pleased with getting Wolfenstein: TNO at a more morally correct £17.49.

    • kalirion says:

      Dud? I wouldn’t say that – already spent over $60 of my hard earned Card Monies(tm).

      And some devs are putting their games on the deepest discounts yet: the Puppy Games Ultrabundle is 90% off for $2.50, even cheaper than it was during their Humble Weekly deal last year.

      • MkMax says:

        true, i cant deny that, but most of the BEST deals available have either been available before or in a humble bundle (which are usually even better deals), the rest are mostly indies (and thats why i spent more in indies than AAA this year)

    • Frank says:

      Nah. For $25, I’m very happy with Dishonored and the Civ V extras. Civ V was unequivocally “complete”, which is nice (since I already paid them $50 for the preorder way back when). Dishonored is just a “GOTY”, but wow is that game good so I won’t mind buying more of it.

      I have less problem buying scenarios/missions (like DXHR and Dishonored released) than bugfixes and missing-mechanic-fillers (as in Civ V), but, eh, if a game I like is sucessful enough to get either, I’m happy.

  8. Faxanadu says:

    RPS! Quick! Ironfell MMO is doing a reboot and introducing some new features, July 2nd! Do some coverage!

    I’m probably not going to play it though. :D I have too many fancier games to play. But I just love Ironfell to bits, it’s such a funny pocket-game. Not to mention how brutally unfair it can be sometimes. (If a player decides to wipe you out, he can and he will if he has the resources. And you either get help or you die!)

  9. Dare_Wreck says:

    Just a word of caution about that Humble comic bundle – the Wheel of Time collection is actually 35. SEPARATE. DOWNLOADS. WTF Humble and Dynamite folks? Couldn’t you stick it every issue into a single zip file or something?

  10. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I mentioned this in a different thread, but the game I’ve seen Adam tout many times, Depths of Fear :: Knossos, is currently $2.03 (or £1.19, if the conversion tool works) on Steam. I don’t think it’s going to go much lower, but you never know, I guess.

    Also, Urban Trial Freestyle is a surprisingly competent Trials clone, but it’s much, much cheaper. I nabbed it for $1, also on Steam.

  11. Vesuvius says:

    Cassandra- the Captain Brawe deal ended two days ago when their kickstarter ended. It says as much on the page you link to, and the download links are dead.

  12. The Random One says:

    I don’t know whose bright idea it was to use red lightbulbs as eyes for toys, but I suspect it was someone who had come across a very large quantity of tiny red lightbulbs they couldn’t find a way to sell. I once saw a little toy dog that walked, barked and its little red eyes lit up. It looked like a zombie dog toy.

    E: Also, if we’re branching out to books now, I’d be glad to know about DRM. I’ve never bought any books over Amazon and I understand there are both DRM-free and DRM-locked versions of files for kindle. Does Amazon sell them both? If not, is there any way of knowing which kind I’m buying?

    • drinniol says:

      Red LEDs are the cheapest, by a significant margin IIRC.

    • MkMax says:

      i doubt you could find any color that is not creepy, yellow or green would be just as demonic, the more expensive blue ones or even rgb ones would range between demonic and demonic robooverlords

  13. Muzman says:

    No staring eyes tag?

    • iniudan says:

      Agree with you, it need the tag, that monkey is staring directly into your soul with eye like that.

  14. CookPassBabtridge says:

    So this might be a really arse thing to say, but now its all nearly over, how much did everyone spend on the steam sale?

    Stuff was definitely not as deeply discounted this year and I also bought more, I think 11 games in total, and spent £120 ($204 / €149). About £11 per game. Not great compared to previous years but there were a few recent releases in there.