The RPS Bargain Bucket: Death by Fluff

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and I can write about the most incredibly fluffy present I’ve ever received in my life if I want to, damn it. A close friend and ex-colleague mailed me this a few weeks ago and allowed me to open it pre-emptively, to make up for a dreadful week. This is what I found. If it was any fluffier, I’d weaponize that lamb and turn it against curmudgeons everywhere. It would rule households. Worlds. But, well, it didn’t quite hit the bar. Poor Fritz. As always, however, here is a bucket of discounts to tide you over till the next week. Have a good one!

The Ship
Murder and mayhem on the high seas. Why, it’s everything you asked for and more. Also, cheap. And mostly deceased, from what some people are saying. But even though its star has long since sailed, it looks like there are still people hoping to get new passengers aboard The Ship. All right, I’m done with the nautical references. At all of a dollar (or so?), The Ship is going for rather cheap right now. Those looking to purchase it should note that it comes with two extra “activations,” which you can use to compel others to play with you.

Five Nights at Freddy’s
Five Nights at Freddy’s has seen a remarkable amount of hype as of late, and for good reason. It is a killer horror game. Like, “kill you with heart-stopping levels of panic” kind of horror, to be precise. In case you missed our first report on this, the general premise here is that you’re a security guard tasked with watching a dinky little restaurant as the hours tick to dawn. Unfortunately, there’s a catch. The animatronic performers want you dead, you only have a finite amount of electricity to work with, and a dearth of caution is almost always synonymous with things jumping at your face. Can you survive the evening? (TLDR: “RWAGLWRWAGHERHF – ” Personal gibberish level may vary.)

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
I’m terrible at Metroidvanias. I have a tendency to forget where I’m going and to crash into spikes when attempting to flee boulders Which is unfortunate, because I absolutely adore Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, one of the first games I ever checked out in my career as a games journalist. Filled with a menagerie of organic-looking threats and hard black silhouettes that transform into wide-eyed nightmares, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet won’t win best of breed, but it’s certainly one of the better little-ship-hurtling-through-terrifying-planet games out there.

In the cluttered landscape of action RPGs, the Torchlight franchise stands out foremost in my thoughts. Possibly because it can be so absurdly adorable, at times. (I enjoy cute things. Can you tell?) But mostly because it is such a slick, shameless celebration of the genre. Visual effects are plentiful, loot is everywhere, and difficult narratives are eschewed in favor of more pew pew. Torchlight makes it incredibly easy to just slip into a meditative state where there’s nothing in the world but mashing buttons and flashy attacks. The Torchlight Pack comes with both titles in the series.

Also of note:

Quest for Glory 1 -5 – $3.99/£2.40/€3.04
So good, so silly, so beautifully self-aware. If you weren’t lucky enough to grow up with the entire Quest of Glory series, now is an excellent time to correct that oversight. A delectable blend of genres, the Quest of Glory games come with witty dialogue, clever pacing, and a remarkably good understanding as to what players really want to do in a digital world. I highly recommend it, on the off-chance you haven’t played it fifty times over already. (Side note: there’s a ‘Last Chance’ sales also currently going on. Some titles are being discontinued, and this will be the last time you can get those for cheap. At least, on Gog.)

Overlord pack – $2.99/£2.24/€2.83
“This is game that won’t win awards but is solid in all departments,” says a Gamersgate commentor. It’s an accurate depiction of the Overlord franchise, which seems to try, just a little, to be an edgier successor the Dungeon Keeper legacy. (All familial ties are secretly metaphorical. I think.) Like anything else in the world, the series has no shortage of faults but it is charming enough to make the right person want to forgive its inadequacies. We seemed partial to its devilish charms when it was first released. You might be too.

Video Game Bundle 4.0
I rarely read non-fiction titles, a side effect, I think, of spending so much time writing non-fiction myself. The news cycle is totally exhausting, guys. However, even though I curl my stubby little nose at historical tomes, it’s impossible not to appreciate the wealth of research and prose present within the latest Videe Game Bundle. The fourth in the series, it features writing analysis about energy mechanics, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario Brothers and more. There’s even a gorgeous music album, so get it while it’s hot.


  1. thedosbox says:

    Happy Birthday Cass! Thanks for brightening up the bucket with plushies o/

    Also, GOG are discounting some games they’ll be removing from sale soon:

    link to

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I linked it. U____U

      • thedosbox says:

        So embarrassed now (at realizing I’m one of “those” people who skim).

    • Gap Gen says:

      Any idea why? It’s not like they can run out of stock.

      • SuddenSight says:

        True, but they can totally lose the rights.

      • gnodab says:

        From what I gathered, it’s because GOG kept their word and refused to implement regional pricing.
        Awesome as usual, even if the new site layout is an abomination ;)

        • Csirke says:

          Soooo as far as I can tell, that’s not the complete truth. First of all, GOG now has introduced “regional pricing”, that is, everyone can get their price in their local currency, it will still be a relatively round number, but it will as close to the USD price as possible. It seems some publishers have their own rules on what the regional pricing can be, for example Frictional games has the same price globally, except sales tax, so in effect they will have a higher price wherever the sales tax is higher:
          link to
          For Nordic games, they have some sort of promise to their other retailers on what kind of fair pricing they can have, and these new GOG rules conflict with it:
          link to
          So to me it seems that with this new “kinda regional pricing” GOG introduced some new rules that can easily conflict with publishers own rules, that’s why those games are being taken down. Not exactly because the evil publishers wanted to push bad regional pricing on them.

    • Aiming Dave says:

      The original Red Faction for $2! Totally worth the 10-20 hours of gameplay (even with one of the worst-voice-acted death scenes in gaming history).

      • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

        To utter another recommendation: the Aquanox games might also not be available in such a nice package all too soon. good stuff!

    • BooleanBob says:

      At that price, I’d consider Freedom Force vs the Third Reich an absolutely essential purchase. Irrational-made strategy-RPG-brawler with clever writing, Nazi-biffing and high-camp superhero parody goodtimes? What more could you possibly want?!

  2. KareBox says:

    Picked up Arma 3 this morning £12.50
    Saw it here: link to

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I have never seen that website before. *secrets it awaaaaaaaay!*


      I spent a long time starting at that URL and wondering what a hotuk was.

  3. Gap Gen says:

    Remember that LAMs were weapons in Deus Ex, although alas less fluffy (also happy birthday!)

    • LionsPhil says:

      A bomb’s a bad choice for close-range combat.

      (Happy Birthday!)

      • gnodab says:

        A bomb.
        A bomb!

      • Geebs says:

        One of the important life lessons I learned from Deus Ex is that legs are pretty much optional.

      • Gap Gen says:

        They were also ladders if you placed them on walls and jumped on them one by one.

        • LionsPhil says:

          A ladder’s a bad choice for close-range combat.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Watch any Jackie Chan film.

            EDIT: Thread is incomplete without leaving this here: link to

          • LionsPhil says:

            We’re still waiting for a game that can do improvisational weapons with even a fraction of that imagination.

            (Press X to plea that you don’t want any trouble.)

          • Gap Gen says:

            I gather Sleeping Dogs tried somewhat to do that.

          • Jalan says:

            Beat ’em ups tend to try it but get limited most of the time (for what ever reason is applicable).

            Jet Li: Rise to Honor was something where a lot of weapon variation could have been present and executed well in tandem with the gameplay overall but it just wasn’t where it needed to be.

            Likewise, a game like Dynamite Cop had absolutely ludicrous weapons to use but opted not to differentiate from the standard gameplay formula for the type of game it was.

  4. MasterBoo says:

    I remember being very hyped for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet but actually very disappointed when it came. It was rather bland and felt like an Aquaria clone without all the beauty of Aquaria.

    On another note, Invisible Inc. is still on 20% discount. While it’s Early Access and it’s one of the best games I’ve played in the last years.

    • Targaff says:

      I got it in a bundle but didn’t install it in the end because it was hooked into GFWL. Maybe I’ll give it a go now they’ve cleaned out all the crap.

  5. dethtoll says:

    That is the cutest sheep I’ve ever seen.

  6. Jorum says:

    Overlord games are definitely worth it for that price if haven’t played them. The game play can be kinda repetitive, but nice range of environments and enemies and the goblins and the ragtag weapons and hats they pick up are engaging.

    • bill says:

      I enjoyed Overlord 1 up to a point. It’s basically Pikmin with goblins. It has a sense of fun and a nice vibe.

      But I never finished it because the grindyness just got too much. I think there was a very long mission in the forest, and I don’t remember there being any quicksaves. So I messed something up near the end because I got impatient, and then I lost most of my goblins, and then I was faced with either spending ages building them all up again, or restarting the whole level. I could’t really face either.

  7. Mollusc Infestation says:

    The ship isn’t quite dead yet. There’s usually at least one or two servers with a couple of people on them. You need to use steam’s server browser to see them though, since some alleged patch from many years ago broke the ingame server browser.

  8. Melody says:

    I have a question about Five Nights at Freddy’s, and I wonder if someone who has picked it up can answer. I was fairly interested, it looks like a nice idea, and genuinely frightening… the first couple of times.
    Just from watching how it plays, it seems to me like it may get old and repetitive really fast, mostly because you may stop feeling immersed in the narrative and therefore stop being scared, and you start seeing only the game systems, the optimal strategy, min-maxing your electricity consumption etc. without the actual world and context around them. Is that true? Does that actually happen?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      The Lets Plays I have seen certainly suggest that. Markiplier, JackSepticEye, Raedwulfgamer – all went through the hyperactive OH MAI GOD OH NO NON NO phase, and about 6 videos later, its all military precision and barely paying attention to that horrible terrifying THING from 80 days around the world staring at you

    • Wedge says:

      Considering the game design, that seems totally natural. It’s not as if there is anything “scary” that can happen in the game, as far as I can tell the only time you see anything other than a still image is the lose condition. And as the gameplay requires more precision in your management as the difficulty goes up, it’s obvious that’s where the focus would need to go. Making what is functionally a tower defense/resource management sim combined with a horror themed atmosphere seems totally at odds to me. They were clearly smart in the impulse buy pricing of the product though, knowing it’s the initial impact of the game that makes the sales. I may not have any interest in it, but it seems a textbook example of a keenly and efficiently designed product for the “modern” gaming audience.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        I’d agree with that. To me it looked like an impulse buy that would languish next to hotline miami in my steam backlog. I think I’ve finally got wise to myself.

  9. Ross Angus says:

    link to

    Indie Royale has Hex Cells in it, John loved it:

    link to

    Current minimum £1.80 for 9 known games:
    Doctor Who: The Adventure Games for: Win – Steam only
    Galactic Arms Race for: Win- Steam only
    Oil Rush for: Win, Mac, Linux – Steam, Desura. DRM key
    QuestRun for: Win, Mac – Steam Win, Mac, Linux – Desura, DRM free
    Pressured for: Win – Steam, Desura, DRM free
    Infinity Wars for: Win, Mac – client and redeem key for additional items
    Gravity Badgers for: Win, Mac, Linux – Steam, Desura, DRM free
    Hexcells Plus for: Win, Mac, Linux – Win, Desura, DRM free
    LEVEL 22, Gary’s Misadventures

    • Didero says:

      Oh, thanks for pointing this out, I was kind of hoping I could get my hands on Hexcells for cheap(er).

      After playing it for a bit, I feel both dumb and smart at the same time. Iz gud game!

      • Ross Angus says:

        I’m frightened of puzzle games. What if they’ll secretly recruit me to MI5?

        • Didero says:

          Well, either you don’t get recruited into MI5, or you become a secret agent. Sounds win-win to me.
          (I would not last long as a secret agent, but it would look good on my CV)

  10. malkav11 says:

    You really don’t need the original Torchlight at this point. Torchlight II is massively superior in every way.

    • Gilead says:

      I feel like I should have enjoyed Torchlight 2 more than I did. The first Torchlight was a really nice, focused experience that set me up to look forward to the sequel. I liked pretty much everything about it.

      And then Torchlight 2 came out, I played through the first couple of acts and just…stopped. It was all fine, there was nothing wrong with it, and I appreciated the useful animal companions and that they actually allowed offline play, and there were a bunch of improvements over the first game…but I just couldn’t get the motivation to continue.

      • welverin says:

        Too much? I know it’s a lot bigger, and I find myself sighing/groaning every time I read a preview of an upcoming game and the developer prattles on about how much it is than the previous game, completely ignorant of the fact that isn’t necessarily a good thing and often turns out to be a bad thing.

    • kalirion says:

      What about the infinite dungeon of Torchlight 1? I don’t recall anything similar in TL2, though it’s been a while since I played it.

      • malkav11 says:

        Once you beat the campaign you can generate random maps, as far as I know infinitely. But if you need a single ever delving dungeon for some reason, I’m fairly sure someone will have modded one in. Speaking of mods, I was a big fan of SynergiesMOD. Multiple new classes, a bunch of quality of life improvements, amped up opposition and a bunch of new dungeon content. When I say amped up opposition, though, I don’t mean “made masochistically hard for the weird, tiny minority that seems to drive a lot of major overhaul mods”, but more “there’s more stuff to murder in an orgy of satisfying violence”, as by default enemy counts feel a little sparse to me in TL2 (not to mention a bunch of other games in the genre).

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Unless you’re still waiting for Torchlight 2 to get its’ Mac port. *pokes Runic*

  11. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Happy (early) birthday, Cass!

    Any help appreciated for the following decisions. I’ve had my eye on Zeus +Poseidon for ages, but Pharoah + Cleopatra looks great too, as does Caesar III. Which game and interface holds up the best for someone who hasn’t played any of them before?

    Also, I’m having a terrible time deciding on Rise of Nations or Age of Mythology. Not interested in multiplayer, really.

    • SuddenSight says:

      I played a bunch of Pharaoh back in the day. Definitely my favorite of the Sierra city-builders. I was never a fan of the rudimentary warfare/diplomacy systems which were more pronounced in the Greek/Roman buliders, but I loved the frequent monument-construction scenarios in Pharaoh. It’s just very satisfying to see a towering structure slowly take shape over your city.

      As for Rise of Nations versus Age of Mythology, it depends a *lot* on how you play. AoM has the best story of any Ensemble Studios game (though it won’t compare favorably to Warcraft III or Starcraft 2, which are more modern and better written). The gameplay is also fast paced and rewards fast clicking + lots of micromanagement.

      RoN has a more complicated campaign, but it quickly lost impact to me. They were basically a series of skirmish scenarios, except you can start with bonus resources. I had more fun playing the actual skirmish game, which is the closest to a real-time Civilization game I’ve ever played. Micromanagement is less important, good resource management and understanding the complex upgrade paths and which wonders should be built is much more important. On the downside, even on fast speeds the game can be rather slow (1-2 hours, versus ~30 mins for AoM) and individual battles often have very little impact.

      • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

        Thanks for the thorough response. Pharaoh looks like the one I’ll get, but still undecided on RoN and AoM. I’m generally not a fast clicker, although a great story is enticing, and quicker games is nice, too. But real-time Civ sounds amazing.

        Aah, I’ll probably have to get them both eventually and just try one for now. Thanks again.

        • Bugamn says:

          For me Age of Mythology worked better than Rise of Nations too. Also, in how many games can you command Minotaurs to face Sphynxes?

  12. gwathdring says:

    Ack! It’s so cute! :D

    Also happy birthday!

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Happy birthday! May your buckets be plenty and your plushies be fluffy!

  14. rittenhaus says:

    Best wishes on your birthday. May the fluff be with you!

  15. says:

    It’s past midnight, so happy birthday! May your plushies be fluffy and cozy the whole year!

  16. TRS-80 says:

    Happy birthday!

    Everyone should get in on The Ship deal, it’s a great LAN game. Actually, can we lament the dearth of new good LAN games? Whenever my friends get together, we play games like it’s 2003, not because the games were better per se, but because there’s just nothing else out there.

  17. CookPassBabtridge says:


  18. pertusaria says:

    Happy birthday, Cassandra! Hope there are many plushies in your future. Thanks for all the good game write-ups! :-)

  19. ssh83 says:

    Actually… the only thing i want to buy here is that lamb. :D