We’re coming to the end of the Summer Steam Sale so chances are you’ve picked up the things you’d already got your eye on, but there are always games that sneak under the radar or come from genres you might usually ignore. That’s why we’ve put together our final recommendation list. Here’s a whole list of things we love and why we think they’re worth your time! (Don’t forget to check out our earlier picks and the comments, though – I picked up a bunch of games that had escaped my own notice through reader enthusiasm…)
At the absurdly low price of £2.24, this is a phenomenal deal. Door Kickers is top-down tactical brilliance and in many ways the natural heir to the splendid SWAT games.
Two of the best RPGs I’ve ever played for £6.89. The first Grimrock is Dungeon Master as I remembered it, a first-person grid-based series of puzzles and battles, and the sequel expands on that foundation brilliantly, taking the adventure to all manner of new environments. Fantastic.
Three quid for one of the most enjoyable first-person action games in recent times. Flying Wild Hog dragged Lo Wang out of the nineties without discarding the Build Engine sensibilities of the original game entirely. Expect daft humour, hordes of enemies waiting to leap onto your katana, and loads of secrets. It’s an unashamedly immature and ridiculous game, but at its heart there’s a superb, slick and smart melee combat system.
A smart, dark, filthy, creepy RPG which to this day feels like an escapee from a better reality we were denied. Bloodlines will make you feel powerful, twisted and guilty. And for £3.74 you can’t complain about the unfinished bits in its later stages.
The adventure game as existential roadtrip through a ghost-memory of Americana. The puzzles relate to what kind of person you want to be – a far more abstract yet fulfilling conundrum than pulleys and rubber chickens. Constructed around breathtaking cleverness but never arch or unapproachable for it, Kentucky Route Zero is a staggering and beautiful creation.
Transport tyconnery distilled into a minimalist, zen-like puzzle of lines and shapes. A satisfying strategic challenge without distractions, and also a haunting insight into the impossibility of designing efficient real-world underground systems.
A lot about Obsidian Entertainment’s espionage RPG is wonky or clunky but it’s well worth persisting. With real-time conversations, unexpectedly wide-reaching consequences, and some fantastic beards, it feels like a promising new direction for RPGs which, sadly, we’ll never see the second step of.
This cooking game looks so quiet and relaxing in screenshots. It is, in reality, a micromanagement hell which induces a battle trance of slicing, seasoning, scooping, and serving as you fly through orders at lightning pace.
There has never been a better time to learn your alphabet. Made by Windosill developer Vectorpark, Metamorphabet is so delightful and playful.
After 2013’s SimCity was disappointing, I thought it would be a long, long time before we saw another worthwhile city management game. Cities Skylines proved me wrong. It is every bit as engrossing as Maxis’ old series, with the added benefit of mods to keep your city constantly changing even after you’ve smoothed out your intersections and swept away crime.
Outside of VR, the only game I’ve played in some years that seems to use technologial advances for real mechanical benefit. Rainbow Six has always been about tight, tactical firefights, but here your bullets shred those cramped spaces, creating new angles of attack through doors, walls, floors, ceilings. It means no corner is safe and every moment in its online multiplayer is gripping.
Currently reduced to £5, which is a ridiculously small fee for such a ridiculously large and complex game. I admit to being disappointed when Introversion seemed to ditch the thematic and stylistic cohesion of DEFCON and Darwinia in favour of something broader and cartoonier, but I shouldn’t have fretted. Prison Architect uses its concept – manage a prison, Theme Park-style – as the foundation for not just the darkly comic profiteering of a Bullfrog management game, but for the darkly comic human stories that spill from a simulation that’s almost as robust as Dwarf Fortress.
I am absolutely no good at Risk Of Rain. It’s incredibly difficult. But I do love playing it. Like when I’d play the first three levels of Chucky Egg 2 on my Spectrum, over and over, never able to get any further. But this time not a terrible game.
I’m so delighted this is great. My favourite game of all time, and it’s not only not been ruined, but even, dare I say it, improved? The sound unquestionably has, and much of the updated graphics captures the original. Plus, it’s still bloody brilliant.
How about the three best puzzle games of the last decade for £1.79? Good grief, that’s the best value of all time. These are sublime puzzles, each game in the trio getting progressively more complex and intriguing, and enjoying them proves you are both beautiful and clever.
An absolutely charming puzzler where you play a monster assembling snowmen. Mechanically it’s a clean and wonderfully intuitive thing where the puzzles are compact enough that you’ll never feel lost (although you might feel frustrated). Aesthetically, it offsets the logical requirements with light-hearted sweetness and lots of little bonus touches – the names and decoration of completed snowman, the ability to give them a hug…
A visually arresting platformer styled after black-figure Greek pottery. I wasn’t so keen on it when I reviewed it and I didn’t get on with the control system but I know a lot of people did so I’ll happily say it’s well worth a punt at under three quid. It was also really refreshing to play something that looked so different to the rest of the games on my plate at the time.
One of those gaming oddities where some of the bits don’t quite work together but it’s so rich and ambitious and weird that for me that didn’t matter. For the most part a transhumanist point and click set in a yurt but with block-collecting minigames. It also has one of the best skies of any game.
Please do suggest more below!