The RPS Bargain Bucket: Vat Is Going On?

And once again, we’re back, with the new year rolling along like the inexorable vehicle of Death that it is, bringing us all closer to – fuggit. I’m a terrible pessimist. Hello again! And welcome back. Predictably, I’m terrified of VAT and how it factors into the calculation of video games. Some people tell me the distribution platforms will take care of things themselves. Others say no. Will they? Won’t they? I’m choosing to go with the former, at least for now. (Tell me if the prices are wrong. Please? Yes. Yes. Picture a sadface if you do not.) This week’s plushie is from Vesperan, and it lacks the all-important bucket. I’m going to pretend it’s hiding just below camera level, however. That goat thing is that cute.

Tropico 4
Were you feeling the urge to play as a benevolent dictator? Or, perhaps, were you experiencing the compulsion to be a tyrannical El Presidente. I won’t judge, either way. We were varying degrees of fond in our Wot I Think. Rob Zachny called it the “kind of theme park it has you build for tourists,” noting that it was a nice vacation spot but the illusion wore thin after a while. Not grand praise, but certainly flattering enough to warrant a dollar, don’t you think? (The standard code is apparently applicable, but most people don’t seem to be having much success.)

Worms Ultimate Mayhem
A collection of worms? Ew, ew. Ick. No. Wait. Oh, you meant Worms Ultimate Mayhem, the souped-up, re-vamped, high-definition return to Worms 3D and Worms 4: Mayhem? Well, okay then. I think. Worms is a classic strategy franchise, one that your parents probably loved. (Or you, if you’re of the right age. But I’m convinced everyone on the Internet are teenagers these days.)

Trine: Enchanted Edition
I’ve always liked Trine, even if I’ve never found it exceptional. It’s a striking side-scroller, which wheels out puzzles and action at a decent rate. There’s co-op too, and although that isn’t particularly rare, it’s always nice to have. Why do I keep championing it every other month or so? I don’t know! Maybe, I’m just be secretly still infatuated with fairy tales. Either way, this is the well-shod version, polished, stuffed into a glittery cocktail dress and given Jimmy Choos.

Massive Chalice
I know, I know. Early Access, cynicism, and all that. But I really like Massive Chalice. It’s like a simpler XCom, with a heavy dose of eugenics, and the opportunity to pretend you’re an immortal monarch who can’t understand why everyone keeps spawning useless kids. The voice acting and the writing are both also pretty swell, which is why I’m happily condoning the purchase. I like it. Even if its current state of development, I’ve enjoyed it tremendously and suspect more than a few of you might too.

Also of note:

Dungeons of the Endless: Crystal Edition – $7.99/£5.28/€6.74
There’s something strangely hypnotic about Dungeons of the Endless’ odd mix of tower defense, RPG, and FTL-ness. It has a wicked sense of humor, although that’s rarely in the forefront. The item descriptions are totally rad, and deserve at least a few solid once-overs. Multiplayer is a lot of fun, once you’ve figured out the rhythm of the game. Unfortunately, I stopped messing with it for an age because of its disastrous ‘if you disconnect, you lose all ability to reconnect with that level of progress’ glitch. That said, this remains a lovely little game and you might find yourself indeed enjoying the pretty Crystal Edition, which comes with a host of nice add-ons.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – Premium Edition – $4.84/£3.19/€4.08
Sexy Trip? Excuse me while I make a disapproving frown. That ’80s sci-fi get-up is definitely not the best thing I’ve seen on the Internet. (Sexy Robot Trip? Really? Bleh.) Nonetheless, Enslaved has always been a source of vague fascination, especially given that it’s a retelling of one of my favorite Chinese myths. There are things that could be done way better, but it’s going pretty cheap right now, so there’s that!


  1. Frosty Grin says:

    Wot is vat?
    Baby don’t hurt me
    Don’t hurt me no more.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I missed you guys.

      • thedosbox says:

        Vat is a glorious title. Not so sure about the precedent of plushies without buckets, but the cute overrides all objections.

    • unimural says:

      You can have three wishes, if you don’t take too long.

      • Kefren says:

        If I had 3 wishes I’d wish for five, so I could breathe underwater and still be alive.

        • Bracknellexile says:

          If I had five wishes, I’d wish for six. I’d have a flat in the city and a house in the sticks.

          Love that song! :)

          • Palindrome says:

            If I had six wishes I’d wish for seven. No I’ll go the whole hog; give me a hundred and eleven wishes…

            That’s over a decade old……….

    • ninjapirate says:

      I don’t know why you’re not there, I give you my love, but you don’t care.

      • Rizlar says:

        Whoa-oah-ooooh oooh
        Oooooah ooah
        I’ve forgotten my tax return.

    • Mac says:

      Hang on a second – prices are increasing due to VAT now being added. We have been fed for years the lie that prices are higher in the UK due to exchange rates and local taxes (i.e. VAT) …

      So now we are being fleeced even more for something we have supposedly being paying, but which has never been passed on historically.


      • Beanbee says:

        Don’t forget National Insurance Contributions, Business rates, corporate taxes etc. etc.

        They would also have an indirect effect upon the price of a game, though mostly in the pre-internet age.

        • Cinek says:

          Someone did maths while ago and it came out that none of these are enough to justify price difference. Corporations simply earn more money from clients in Europe and (much more in) Australia than they do in the US.
          And at the end of a day we still get worse customer service that the US clients :/

  2. melnificent says:

    Double fine early access, that sounds like a recipe for success disaster again.

    • tehfish says:

      it’s finished enough for them to release it as a completed game now if they wanted to, very happy with how this one is going. :)

      • eggy toast says:

        It’s finished enough to release as done, and don’t worry they will do just that!

    • Blackcompany says:

      I can vouch for this as well. Massive Chalice is utterly playable as it is now. And they just added more content – including Hybrid Classes – with their newest update to boot.

      So yeah they have made some mistakes…but this game is so far not among them.

      • Vandelay says:

        How many classes are in it now? I recall it first coming into early access and there only being 3 or maybe even only 2. Seemed really limited.

        Looked like a great game if there was the variety in unit type though.

        • Crafter says:

          The soon to be released patch (announced and teamstreamed before christmas but it was not yet QA ready) will add hybrid classes.
          This is why there are only 3 classes : they can be combined into major + minor classes in order to create various associations.
          With this system, there will be 9 classes (3 pure, 6 hybrids), which should be enough.
          The hybrids also don’t just get skills from both base classes, but also new ones based on the combined capacities of the 2 base classes.

          • welverin says:

            And why they cut one of the base classes really early on, the number of combinations would have resulted it more work than they could handle.

    • Yachmenev says:

      Did you read what Cassandra wrote about the game here?

      • melnificent says:

        Yes I did, and it makes me want to get it. But double fine really burnt me with space base and broken age. I feel giving them money for another unfinished game is just throwing good money after bad.

        • welverin says:

          Then wait, it’s safer and it’s not like there won’t be more sales later.

          Mind you the situation with this is quite different from the two you mention. Double Fine has released other games in the mean time, so it’s not like there’s some trend that can actually be pointed to.

  3. drumcan says:

    Dungeon of the Endless is a fantastic game, but multiplayer is utterly broken. They’re working on it, but for now it’s honestly a singleplayer only game. It’s still absolutely worth the price though.

    • Cassandra Khaw says:

      I protest! It’s still a GREAT multiplayer game when it’s not glitching you to obliteration. *grumble*

      • drumcan says:

        Agreed! It’s just that it’s done that to me every time I’ve tried to play multiplayer, and usually about 7 floors in when everyone had gotten invested in the run.

        I love all the things they do to encourage players working together though, what with research and resources not being shared. It’ll be amazing once it actually works.

        • Napalm Sushi says:

          I greatly wish shared resources was an option though. My friends and I play as a tight-knit team over Teamspeak anyway, so it’s a bit annoying that the vast majority of our conversation when playing consists of:

          “Does anyone have 17 industry?”
          “I need 2 science.”
          “Can someone give me 10 food?”

  4. Oozo says:

    That little fellow looks like a miniature Alpine ibex, which, while technically being a goat, is one of the most majestic ones. Cuddos for putting it in its natural habitat, though (and also for it being adorable).

  5. Col says:

    Humble has a massive sale on the Saints Row franchise, including SR4 for $5:

    link to

  6. Frosty Grin says:

    If you’re in the mood for anime enemy elimination, take a good look at Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst, which is part of Anime Weekend Sale on Steam. It’s a very good epic fighting game with a strong storyline – and quite obscure from the traditional PC gamer perspective. Even if you don’t know anything about Naruto, it’s not a problem – there’s a lot of exposition. The game’s anime visuals look great, especially if you turn on the supersampling option in the launcher. So if you’d like something unusual, I highly recommend it.

  7. d32 says:

    Massive chalice (or rather MASSIVE CHALICE) asks for 20,99€ from me. I guess it’s that strange VAT thing, or general unfairness of life. Or both.

  8. Scurra says:

    The stupid new EU VAT rules have put me out of business. Well, that’s not strictly true: if I wanted to avoid the inconvenience and expense, I could always just take my business to Amazon – the very people that the new law was designed to target (oh, and lose what little money I was making by having to give them a huge cut.). Unfortunately, they’re just fine, whereas those of us who are microbusinesses (not even “small” businesses) have been effectively killed. Way to go. Yes, it was a cock-up, and not a conspiracy. But it’s still indefensible.

  9. Crafter says:

    If you have a soft spot for XCOM, Massive Chalice is an easy recommandation.
    The focus is on extremely compact units with multiple roles (as well for your units than for the enemies) and it makes the game pretty fun to play to.
    The units are reasonably original too, which does not hurt at all.
    The writing is great, even though the menace would immensely benefit for some real exposition (why do they invade, what are they, …).
    Losing your soldiers is always a big part of XCOM (and XCOM likes) and MC handles this a bit differently with its generation spanning story. It still hurts to lose an unit, especially a high level one but you know that it is inevitable. My first unit death has been heartbreaking, killed by an allied fire (the alchemists have very dangerous attacks, for everyone) and the voice over perfectly covered it. I think that I will still remember that moment in several years, which is a great achievement for any game.
    The game could use a little bit more content and that’s exactly what the oncoming patch is bringing with hybrid classes.

    • Elderwandy says:

      Speaking of strategy games
      Frozen synapse giveaway! i got an extra copy because of the two for one deal they had running
      post your steam username (or email if you trust me enough) in the comments below. first come first served

      • says:

        No, don’t send me, it’s not my cup of tea, but I do want to say thank you for your generosity! Things like this are a proof RPS community is greatest and humanity can sometimes be really wonderful! You be proud of yourself!
        Right, on with the show – People, FREE GAME here!!

      • jorygriffis says:

        It seems the RPS community is too selfless to take you up on your offer! I would love to take it, though.

        My steam UserID is Capn_Nacho and my display name is Jory.

        • Elderwandy says:

          Have fun i will send it asap. You should get a friend request from someone called Box

  10. brat-sampson says:

    Haven’t seen this one anywhere else really, but for some reason the Humble Store still has Talos Principle listed as $29.99. Thirty *Dollars* which equates to about £20. This was even less back when they had the 10% off as well, but in the meantime it’s still cheaper than it’s been anywhere else.

    • porcelain_gods says:

      It’s £17.55 at Nuuvem, and apparently they had it £14.66 before Xmas, I really shouldve bought it then.

  11. Kefren says:


    – Magical Diary: Horse Hall (game – thumbs-up by RPS)
    – Dark Strokes Sins of the Fathers (game – John liked it, hidden object)

    Just email me (address on my blog) if you want either of them.

  12. EyalLan says:

    Also, KotOR 1 and 2 sell for 5-7 bucks each on Steam. I’m wondering whether to get the second game there or pick up the Xbox version. I’m more of a controller guy but it sounds like the Restored Content mod is a must. Any insights?

    • Jakkar says:

      Sith pub party. Rancors in sewer. Lengthy discussions of Wookie body odour.

      This is another way of saying ‘Don’t’.

    • Samuel Erikson says:

      The PC version doesn’t support controllers natively, but the PC Gaming Wiki includes a method to make the 360 controller work: link to

      As for the mod, I think it’s essential to KotOR2. Aside from the bugfixes, it cleans up the mess of an ending and now includes the droid planet, which is a nice side quest.

      • K33L3R says:

        Restored Content Mod is a must for Sith Lords, personally I didn’t like the Droid Planet because of endless back-tracking down really loooooooong corridors. Droid Planet is (last time i checked) an optional add-on so next time I ever play the game I’ll properly uninstall that particular module
        However for a complete story experience its worth playing with the Droid Planet installed at least once

        Both KOTOR games are great however, Sith Lords has a more interesting story IMO

        • Cinek says:

          Despite of less interesting characters in KOTOR2 – I completed the first one only once while the second one 3 times and likely I’ll go 4th time at some point, time permitted.
          And yes – that mod really does make a difference. In a way it’s a patch fixing plenty of small bugs in a agame, but it’s also a DLC unlocking content in the game (there was plenty of unfinished bits – modders did them justice and restored to full working condition).

  13. fish99 says:

    Picked up that Tropico 4, and they also had Ass Creed 3 for £3. They both use their download service though, you don’t get keys for steam/uplay/whatever, but I don’t mind.

  14. bbkenny says:

    I’m gutted, because while I found DotE… Okay, it never hit that roguelike-I-don’t-want-to-put down factor of the likes of FTL. It was all there, it just felt a bit too slow and plodding to thoroughly capture me. I tried so very, very hard to enjoy it but it never quite clicked into place for me.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Cassandra – might be worth mentioning the video game Storybundle that just launched! link to

    (full disclosure: I’m in it).

  16. Neurotic says:

    Brilliant, Tropico 4 and Startopia for less than EUR 2.50! Thanks for the tip, gang. :)

  17. Diziet Sma says:

    I may be alone in this but I found Enslaved: Odyssey to the West worth the price of entry for the ending alone, even when it was a lot more expensive. And the animation.

  18. Tom De Roeck says:

    How about the weekly humble bundle? 14 games for 1/6/15$
    link to
    (disclaimer: yes, my games in it. sue me)

  19. kalirion says:

    BundleStars has 2 very good bundles running now for cheaps – Abstract Bundle and Bloodshed bundle. Each one is full of Steam(tm)y Goodness.

    I’d post links and descriptions but my previous two attempts were swallowed up by the “allow spam, disallow real comments” filter that RPS employs it seems.


      It allows only up to two links.

      • kalirion says:

        I had exactly two links in those two attempts – one for each bundle. There was no error, no “awaiting moderation” message, the comment just never appeared.

  20. mao_dze_dun says:

    Obviously avoiding paying for VAT is illegal. And I would never do it. Ever. But if I was shopping for games at a website, like say Kinguin, that tracked my IP and wished to not pay +20% (or whatever your country’s VAT is), I would THEORETICALLY change my address to a restaurant in Baltimore, set my browser to go through a proxy and then when prompted to verify my location choose SMS, then submit the number of one of those free receive-SMS-online services, get the code there, then submit it in Kinguin and proceed to shop there using my own IP because I’ve already proven that I’m definitely in the US. Theoretically or course :)))