The RPS Bargain Bucket: Help, GDC Is Here

In two days, I will be on a plane for 36 hours. I am going to be very sad. Shortly after that, I will be doing my first exhibition at PAX East. Which is alternately both terrifying and kind of amazing. (I think.) So, just a short column this week because my brain is steaming like the air vents in Alien: Isolation. But I will see all of you soon. Not next week, unfortunately. But the week after that. (Apologies for the week before. Chinese New Year is murderous.) This week’s repost plushie is from dosbox!

(Wish me luck surviving the next week.)

Alien Isolation
Ah, Alien Isolation. You give me hope that the next Predator game might not make me want to weep bitter, bitter tears over the corpse of my action-packed childhood. Of course, I’m also sometimes hopelessly optimistic. (Which is bad, guys. Terrible.) Anyway, moving on. Alien: Isolation is a fantastic beast, in case you didn’t know. Like its title implies, this is Alien not Aliens. In isolation. And it is this nefariously astute character that will stalk you through the bowels of a ship, ever prepared to deal a slithering insta-kill. The game drags a bit after a while, and it can sometimes be too hard. But that doesn’t change the fact it’s madly, astoundingly good.

Life is Strange
I reviewed Life is Strange for another outlet recently, and I can safely say I like it better than its predecessor. Remember Me was heartbreakingly beautiful without being terribly interesting, with a tepid plot and some frustrating action sequences. I remember complaining to people that Dontnod should have just dropped the action sequences. Which they actually did with Life is Strange. The result is a beautiful, painterly voyage into the life of young, time-travelling teenagers. I’ll admit, some of it was a bit silly, but most of the first episode hit the mark. You’ll probably benefit from waiting a bit longer to pick it up, but where’s the fun in that?

Valkyria Chronicles
You know what’s cute? Kids. Charming, bright-eyed teenagers who are still bristling with hope for the future. Obviously, they’re also the perfect people to recruit for war. Valkyria Chronicles is a fabulous tactical role-playing game which has you directing a charming cast of characters through what what appears to be a speculative version of World War II. Though largely military in tone, there’s shades of more speculative material littering the narrative. Despite its age, Valkyria Chronicles actually survived its long-anticipated transition to the PC with most of its splendour intact. (P.S: Don’t forget the voucher: B1CYB0-CLSSD1-ARAAGM)

Humble Square Enix
Average: $7.85/£5.08/€7.01
Tier 2: $15/£9.72/€13.40

Well, here’s a delicious Humble Bundle. True, we all probably own these Square Enix games already. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. But, in case you don’t already own these games. In case you want to, I don’t know, give it as a gift to someone? This is a pretty good opportunity to cash in on a pretty good deal. (Insert obligatory ‘Deus Ex: Human revolution’-related woo here!)

Dungeons of Dredmor
Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike. Not a roguelike-like. But an actual roguelike. (I think.) Except there’s a chance that it might be far, far more humorous in tone. Gaslamp Games might be busy with Clockwork Empires these days, but Dungeons of Dredmor is where it’s all started. Thrash with Thrusties, dance with Diggles, and use Lutefisk to devastating effect. There’s plenty to do here, and even more ways to die in horrible ways. Watch the eyebrows. They’re lovely.

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build
Today: $7/£4.53/€6.25
Do I like this? I don’t know. It’s cute. The graphics are well done, the animations spot-on despite their simplicity, and it works within the context of what it’s trying to accomplish. It’s not really the kind of game that excites my wallet, but I can definitely appreciate the humour in the sales pitch. Pricing your game so that it riffs on the world’s current issues in a charming, inoffensive way? I’m okay with this.


  1. LionsPhil says:

    Hunh. That’s a Mozilla plushie, isn’t it.

    • Anthile says:

      Either that or a flirtatious tyrannosaurus.

    • thedosbox says:

      Yes, it is. Pulled out of storage just for RPS.

      More people need to send plushie pics to Cass.

      • welverin says:

        I don’t have a bucket!

        • thedosbox says:

          Everyone should have a bucket.

          • All is Well says:

            I don’t have one either. I do have a plushie though. I’m struggling to figure out what that says about me as a person.

          • welverin says:

            Awful things, we’re bad people.

            Of course, I could always just take a picture of the back seat of my car.

  2. eggy toast says:

    Nothing very special this week it looks like

    • thedosbox says:

      Give Life is Strange a shot. The timey wimey mechanic works well for this style of game.

      And while we’re here, Kotaku has a good write up on why Telltale should be paying attention:

      link to

      • welverin says:

        Yeah, it’s really nice being able to try all of the options without having to reload or replay the game. There are even in game advantages, because Max remembers what she sees.

        • Tacroy says:

          I tried to replay Tales from the Borderlands, but since you simply can’t skip any dialog anywhere and the game pauses when you click off the (nonbranching) intro is horribly horribly boring. I’ve already heard all this crap before, why can’t I skip it?

          • welverin says:

            Telltale hates you.

            That would be one other thing Life is Strange does better than Telltale games then, when you rewind it lets you skip bits that you saw already. So, no sitting through dialogue you just listened to. Now that I’m reminded of this, I’m surprised Kirk didn’t mention that in his article.

            I think the problem is developers aren’t accounting for replaying, or they aren’t thinking it’s important enough to budget for it.

          • malkav11 says:

            There’s really no reason for Telltale to account for or encourage replay because a core aspect of their output from Walking Dead on is selling you on an illusion of your choices mattering. If you play them once, that works. Oh, you may well -suspect- that things would have played out very similarly if you’d made different choices, but that’s different than replaying and discovering that things -do- play out very similarly when you make different choices.

          • All is Well says:

            Absolutely this. My first playthrough of TWD I felt really connected to what was happening because it really did feel like I was influencing things, if not outright deciding them. That was quickly remedied on my second playthrough when it became obvious that my choices didn’t really matter. The games aren’t nearly as fun once you break that illusion.

      • caff says:

        Thanks, I picked this up thanks to your recommendation, and I’m really glad I did.

  3. Andy_Panthro says:

    I found Dungeons of Dredmor well worth the money. Loads of character customisation options, plenty of challenge.

    Kinda tempted to start playing it again… and perhaps see what mods are good.

  4. yhancik says:

    Race the Sun is also on IndieGameStand for a PayWhatYouWant price: link to :)

  5. dangermouse76 says:

    I got this just to get Hitman Go for the tablet. It’s actually a very fun little game. Great style, the music is that a chilled out late 50’s detective type sound. The puzzles are well laid out, and fun ( best of all ). Not bad to give a couple of £ to charity and get a nice game tablet game to boot.

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Hello. I have no real comment to make. Just thought I would come in and say hello! There. Right then, back to coffee and muffins.


  7. Commander Gun says:

    Dungeons of Dredmor is certainly worth it, although i can’t imagine anyone slightly interested not having it already. The game has been on sale numerous times now :)

  8. April March says:

    I don’t know what’s so bad about being at the Great Demand Club. That’s where all the big macs are.

    Also, if the lack of ÜBERINDIE games on today’s article makes you feel sad, Anna Anthropy is celebrating her birthday with <a href="link to discounts on her commercially released games. Hooray!

  9. Laini says:

    The link is messed up for me, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build can be found here link to

    • Borodin says:

      Yes, unfortunately the price is linked to the temperature in London (I know, right?) and while it was 7°C when this item went out, it’s now 10°C and so the price is $10 and not such a great bargain. It’s also available on Steam for £7.19 — about $11.

  10. RegisteredUser says:

    Beware: Valkyria Chronicles is hyped and super well rated everywhere, yet as a fan of strategy it was one of the hugest letdowns for me ever.
    The horrendously anime-lovers-only pretend-plot behind it all did not help matters, either.

    Steer very, very far clear of this one if you are a strategy nut in the veins of Jagged Alliance, Silent Storm or X-COM and are so desperate that you may have been considering VC due to all the praise.
    Fair warning.

    • Henke says:

      I loved it, but I do agree that you need to enjoy the story and the characters if you’re gonna have a good time with it. The gameplay isn’t bad, but it’s perhaps not quite as good as in XCOM:EU either.

      But, yes, seriously, the characters are what makes it. They’re the reason I played through VC whereas XCOM I gave up on halfway through once I’d gotten bored of the gameplay.

    • trn says:

      I second this word of caution. I too was lulled in by a promise of Jagged Alliance-style gameplay, but it felt more like a puzzle game. I felt that mastering the game was less about finding an approach that worked for me than it was trying to work out what tactics the developer had in mind when they designed each level.

    • Colonel J says:

      Hmm one of the few negative things I’ve read about VC and I’m exactly in the camp you describe, so you might have successfully warned me off. I was already wary because cutesy anime style in anythings brings me out in a rash but I was prepared to maybe give this one a chance because of all the great reviews (I’m sorry, I know I’m probably missing out on some great things in games and elsewhere…,just personal taste)

    • Dilapinated says:

      It’s certainly more of a tactical RPG (the next generation on from isometrics like Tactics Ogre/FFT, perhaps) more than a strategy game, but I’ve not had any issue with the plot (or gameplay).

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      It’s definitely more tactical-RPG than strategy game. The random numbers can be frustrating given how some of the levels seem to have a very specific way to beat them. It would be nice if they gave you a little more information before each round.

      I am playing through right now for the first time and will generally begin a level, play a turn, and immediately restart only with the proper units deployed. Rinse. Repeat.

      What is a “pretend-plot”? That terms makes no sense. The game has nothing out of the ordinary from Japanese game design.

  11. Risingson says:

    Can anyone tell me why do they say that modern Telltale games have puzzles, when they obviously don’t?

    • Risingson says:

      And, btw, reading the article, I cannot understand how the author prefers the interaction in “Life is strange”, even calling it “super slick”. It is unconfortable, unconvenient and actually prevents you from exploring.

      • airmikee says:

        Your personal preferences give you a bias that prevents you from understanding how other people can enjoy things you do not enjoy? Wow, this is a completely new phenomenon.

  12. Jalan says:

    Mountain is on sale over at the Humble Store for a short while longer. Just the DRM free build (since I assume at that price, the cut Valve would take for a Steam key would leave the dev with no profit at all) however.

  13. raiders5000 says:

    Naw…the best deal this weekend, by far, is the Galactic Civ IIII 50% off sale.