Nothing says “weekend” like an afternoon spent watching a Malcolm in the Middle rerun marathon. It’s genuinely better than I remembered, but that may hold true for anything that has been viewed in order. Between you and me, though, the sitcom is best viewed as a preview to Breaking Bad. So many gas masks. So much angst. So many narrative possibilities. Anyway, pickings remain slim this week outside of Steam’s colossal selection, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, yea?
The Wolf Among Us
Bill Willingham might have a few questionable opinions, and Fables itself might have a few questionable themes. But overall, it’s a series I passionately love. The Wolf Among Us is, although competent in its own right, not quite as intricate as the source material. My issues with the game might stem from Bigby’s comparative powerlessness. What happened to the Big Bad Wolf who could pick out Snow White from a thousand scents? Harumph. Nitpicky fangirlism aside, it’s an engaging title that will delight fans of Telltale Games.
An open-ended survival simulator squashed into a city builder, Banished alternates between being not-deep-enough and an exercise in medieval management hell. The basic idea is simple enough: keep your people alive. To do so, you’re going to want to make sure they have all the amenities, and access to people of opposite genders. After all, no one lives forever, least of all the faceless plebians that pour through your little, elements-tortured world. Be prepared for the weirdness of seeing twelve-year-olds paired up with far, far older people.
Massive Chalice + Soundtrack
Divine eugenics should be an Olympic sport. There’s something strangely fascinating about carefully engineering an entire lineage, dealing with the inconsistencies, sighing over the biological failures, and cheering for the prodigies. (Spoiler: it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, children are just disappointment.) That aside, Massive Chalice is a genuinely interesting turn-based strategy title with shades of XCOM. The narrators – disembodied voices emitting from the titular chalice — are what sell them for me, though. (Disclaimer: I know one of the writers. Please seek other discount recommendation columns if this concerns you.)
Hatoful Boyfriend is the game to play when you want to demonstrate to friends and family that your fondness for digital entertainment is not bizarre. In many ways, it’s a classic visual novel. There are characters to romance, school to navigate, and various comical scenarios to experience. What’s the twist? Everyone is a pigeon. All but lonely, featherless you. As some of you might already know, Hatoful Boyfriend features some truly dark undertones, but I’ll leave it to you to figure out how to unlock those.
Also of note:
Goat Simulator + Goatz – $4.34/£3.18/€4.34
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Goat Simulator requires no introduction. It’s that glitchy, garishly strange title that has you, a goat of great girth, gallivanting through a globe filled with grotesque physics. As for Goatz, it is Coffee Stain Studios’ semi-dignified nod towards DayZ. You can imagine the rest. Expect to eat campfires.
Batman Arkham City: Game of the Year – $4.99/£3.74/€4.99
On a slightly less buggy note, here’s the Arkham City GOTY edition which is, as far as I can tell, going for quite cheap. Bigger in scope than Asylum, the game will have you exploring the comic book city, beating up bad guys and chasing down the answers to the Riddlers’ myriad of infuriating questions. Don’t forget to check if GRAB25-PERCNT-OFFNOW is valid for you.