Our Steam Sale Picks, Round 3!

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…)


Door Kickers £2.24 / $2.99 Our coverage

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.

Legend Of Grimrock Bundle £6.89 / $8.99 Our coverage

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.

Shadow Warrior £2.99 / $3.99 Our coverage

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.


Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines £3.74 / $4.99 Our coverage

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.

Kentucky Route Zero £9.49 / $12.49 Our coverage

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.

Mini Metro £4.89 / $6.99 Our coverage

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.


Alpha Protocol £2.49 / $3.74 Our coverage

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.

Cook, Serve, Delicious £1.74 / $2.49 Our coverage

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.

Metamorphabet £1.59 / $1.99 Our coverage

There has never been a better time to learn your alphabet. Made by Windosill developer Vectorpark, Metamorphabet is so delightful and playful.


Cities: Skylines £9.19 / $11.99 Our coverage

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.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege £17.99 / $29.99 Our coverage

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.

Prison Architect £4.99 / $7.49 Our coverage

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.


Risk Of Rain / $2.49 Our coverage

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.

DOTT Remastered £6.59 / $8.99 Our coverage

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.

Hexcells Complete £1.79 / $2.69 Our coverage

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.


A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build £3.49 / $4.99 Our coverage

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…

Apotheon £2.74 / $3.74 Our coverage

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.

Cradle £8.49 / $11.04 Our coverage

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!

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  1. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Alice recommends Graham?

  2. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Remember back in November of last year we were told that Act 4 of KR0 was “almost ready”

    A more innocent time, perhaps.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Ah, Alpha Protocol, is there anything better than being glued to a wall because you dared to reload your SMG while in cover?

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      Speaking of reloading in Alpha Protocol, is there anything better than spending an hour meticulously clearing a level with non-lethal takedowns only to have all of the enemies reset when you load a new save?

  4. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I noticed that if you own Some Of The Bioshocks but not All The Bioshocks you get an extra discount on the ones you don’t own (I just nabbed number 2 for a whole £1.90, for example). Might be worth checking out given that malarkey with the remastered versions coming later this year.

    • Premium User Badge

      john_silence says:

      Time to get Minerva’s Den for me.

      Also hitching a ride on your post to recommend TIMEframe. Just 5€ for the game + dreamy guitar OST. Not so much a walking simulator as a poem simulator; an eschatological study in which you wander through a civilised landscape, not post-apocalyptic for once but peri-apocalyptic, its last seconds stretching and stretching and looping upon themselves, seemingly forever as it is again and again engulfed by the flaming sky. There’s an unexpected directionality to the proceedings, a definite endgame, and for a game that poses as a walking simulator you are eventually endowed with a tremendous amount of agency. It looks and sounds gorgeous and it’s evocative, mystical, and clever.

  5. gorice says:

    If anyone’s in the mood for obscure indie strategy/war games set in the ancient world, all three Hegemony games are half price at the moment. The first one in particular is a marvel if you can get over the janky graphics and cringe-inducing voice acting.

    • Vintageryan says:

      Just saw that hegemony Rome is £4.99 and is in a 3 for 2 deal as well in my local Game. I bought divinity original sin for £9.99 last year in Game.
      If you walk past all the shiny consoles and into the dark forgotten corner by the stockroom you can often pick up some bargains.

  6. Premium User Badge

    magogjack says:

    I totally want kentucky route zero but maybe you shouldn’t recomend a game that costs that much and isn’t done and won’t be for any time soon…

    • Premium User Badge

      magogjack says:

      Edddiiiitttt buuttttooonnnn!!!!!1

    • Alec Meer says:

      I recommend it wholeheartedly, without even the faintest reservation.

      • Premium User Badge

        magogjack says:

        well…..only cause I trust you Alec, fine I will buy it.

    • Niko says:

      I’ve enjoyed Kentucky Route Zero a lot, and it’s not like there’s no other games I can play while they are taking their time to release the next act.

    • G_Man_007 says:

      It’s also in the Monthly Humble Bundle…

      • malkav11 says:

        Was in this past month’s bundle. Not the one you get if you subscribe now.

  7. Catterbatter says:

    Axiom Verge is 40% off, which I think is the cheapest it’s ever been. If you like Metroid, you’re going to like Axiom Verge. It sticks very close to that formula but diverges in a few surprising ways.

  8. MisterMumbles says:

    Ooh, Hexcells looks very nice. I think I vaguely heard of it before… Anyway, I love a good number puzzler, and I have some spare credit in my Steam wallet.

    I didn’t think I was going to buy anything from the sale anymore besides the few games I’ve been holding out on for far too long. Thanks, John. :)

  9. Slazia says:

    Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege £17.99 / $29.99 – Or 4,860 yen in Japan – $47.43 (from the original price of $79.05). Think I’ll give that a miss until it comes down to realistic pricing, which may well be never…

    • welverin says:

      Ubisoft is pretty good at dropping the prices of their games, so you can be confident it will happen and it won’t take forever. They’re not Activision after all.

      Oh, and it’s not even a year old yet.

  10. Jalan says:

    I wished more developers made use of the bundle discount feature Valve graciously bestowed upon them. I’d probably be buying a lot more during this sale if any number of them did.

  11. Rituro says:

    Couple picks I want to highlight:
    1) Those that are fans of Banished and other just-try-to-survive city sims, Planetbase</em is more or less the same game, except… IN SPAAAAAACE (all right, technically another planet, not space itself, but still SPAAAAAAACEy). All the fun of careful resource and personnel management, now with environmental asphyxiation and meteorite strikes!

    2) I had this on my Steam wish list and RPS featured it in “Have You Played…” recently; Chroma Squad. It is a hilarious send-up of the genre while also being a solid tactical turn-based RPG in its own right. Also, you can customize almost everything, which is never a bad decision.

  12. CarthAnne says:

    I know it’s a bit oldish, and is a definitely flawed product, but Fate Of The World is overall a good little edutainment game, if a little pessimistic regarding its subject matter, and its 75% off right now, which is a significantly higher discount than I’ve ever seen for it in the past. If you like incredibly frustrating strategy games built around spreadsheets, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

  13. Gordon Shock says:

    Kentucky Route Zero was just included in this month’s Humble Bundle and buying the bundle is definitely a better deal than the game alone on Steam.

    • malkav11 says:

      Sure, but you had to have already been subscribed. You can’t get that bundle at this point. Signing up now gets you a truncated multiplayer version of Call of Duty and other stuff that could be worthwhile but definitely won’t be KR0.

      • Gordon Shock says:

        Sorry I didn’t know you ALREADY had to be subscribed…my bad

        • malkav11 says:

          It’s a pretty terrible deal in my opinion unless you have a broad taste in games but own very few, since you don’t know what you’re going to get and the selection isn’t very adventurous or consistent.

          • G_Man_007 says:

            I’ve not been disappointed, and I’ve been a subscriber from the beginning.

          • malkav11 says:

            Literally every game in every bundle so far that I would have had any interest in, I already owned. With like one solitary exception. I might risk it someday if the one game they inform you about ahead of time is something I’m willing to pay the full price of the bundle for, but so far it’s been pretty consistently either stuff I already owned (Mad Max – which is admittedly fantastic, This War of Mine, Alien Isolation) or have zero interest in (Ark, Hurtworld, Rocket League, Blops 3 Multiplayer Starter Pack – I’d be up for standalone singleplayer but multiplayer, especially crippled? No.).

            They’re mostly good games, so like I say, if your tastes are broad enough that the wide spread of genres involved will hit more than miss, and you don’t buy a lot of games so the tendency to go for well known titles won’t run into your existing library that often, it might be worth it. But I think that’s unlikely to be all that many people on a gaming enthusiast website.

          • Jalan says:

            The Monthly Mystery Pile O’ Crap has hit the skids with the next month’s featured “gem” being a hobbled version of a game that will cost more than double what’s charged just to upgrade it to a feature complete title (it’s sheer coincidence that they stuffed it out there while the big Steam sale is happening, where even at a discounted price it’s still ridiculous in terms of upgrading but only slightly less so if you ignore the “deluxe” option).

            Even the people who would waste their dying breath defending Humble seem to be having a trying time coming up with an excuse for its inclusion beyond “Hey, you never know how good a game is until you actually play it”. While some truth might be in that statement, it’s hard to accurately assess any quality when what you’re getting is a mere fraction of a whole.

  14. piffleflop says:

    Bought Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines in Steam sale last year and enjoyed it hugely having never played it before. The ‘flawed masterpiece’ cliche happens to be true for once. OK … very flawed … but still – really is worth it. The only game I can remember playing through again straight after finishing.

    In this sale I picked up Deadly Premonition largely because of Alice’s enthusiasm and I’ve been enjoying the weirdness rather a lot the last couple of days – so thanks for that. Already had my £1.99’s worth for sure.

    Also picked up Fran Bow and The Sea Will Claim Everything because of previous features in this series and the comments. Not played yet but they do look interesting.

    Considered Black Closet and 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum because they seemed to have interesting ideas around procedural story content. Couldn’t quite stomach playing these as a middle-aged man though. If anyone is interested they both have demos available via dev’s sites so try before you buy.

    • Premium User Badge

      john_silence says:

      I never considered Black Closet or 1931: Scheherazade in this light, although it’s perfectly valid of course, and gives us middle-aged males an insight into how off-putting many of our games can appear to entire demographics.

      But… it’s role-playing! It’s part of the appeal as far as I’m concerned. Same reason I often choose to play as a female in RPGs. If the game’s environment fits (i.e. it’s either female-positive or gender-agnostic instead of treating females as alt-men), it’s great fun.

      I remember playing Academagia by the Scheherazade devs, a kind of Harry Potter high school simulator, and I haven’t read a page of Harry Potter nor watched a minute of the movies and don’t care for them, but it was pretty amazing.

      • malkav11 says:

        I sure wish year 2 of Academagia would come out someday. :(

  15. Waltorious says:

    Amusingly, I just finished playing Apotheon myself, and wrote about it on my personal blog. If anyone is interested:

    link to waltorious.wordpress.com

  16. malkav11 says:

    If anyone is interested in Choice of Games titles, I can enthusiastically recommend Choice of the Deathless and Deathless: The City’s Thirst, written by fantasy author Max Gladstone and set in his brilliant original setting. They are cheap to begin with, on sale, and bundled together or with a few other Choice of Games titles of a loosely similar genre. A Wise Use of Time also seems pretty solid from what I’ve played of it.

    I would also highly disrecommend Heroes Rise and sequels, as well as anything else written by that author (I think just Versus: The Lost Ones so far but avoid anything else that may have come out as well). He commits a variety of sins, including replacing literally every form of swearing with a single cringeworthy faux swearword (“slugger”), authorially narrating your unavoidable attraction to a deeply skeevy “love interest” (more than one, really, but one in particular that looks just like a celebrity you choose), a weird fixation on bird women, other dumb neologisms and plenty of improbable exposition shoved into random places throughout the game, etc. Worst in this particular case is that while none of the Choice of Games titles really branch all that much more than, say, a Telltale series, the author here rarely even offers the illusion of choice. Oh, there’s regular “choices”, but they tend to come in one of two forms: either there’s a passage where the author determines what you do (usually to ensure your failure or someone else succeeding instead of you) and then you’re offered a choice of how you feel about it; or it’s a fake choice with identical outcomes across the board (but not coded with the fake choice mechanic the Choice of Games scripting language explicitly provides). There are apparently extremely widely spaced moments where you do have -some- sort of narrative control, but only a few and there’s not really an easy way to tell when you’ve hit one. Oh, and he sells DLC “hints” to tell you the “right” choice. So, yeah.

  17. PaulV says:

    Pip: Why didn’t you recommend Subnautica. Do you not like it? :P

  18. thinkforaminute says:

    This three-day thread has shown me that my tastes align with Mr. Meer the most.

  19. Symarian says:

    I know this isn’t really related, but reading RPS’s comments reminds me why I tend to stay away from PC Gamer’s ones.

  20. Darth Gangrel says:

    I thought about Risk of Rain yesterday and today, because it’s sommer in Sweden and of course there’s a big risk of rain then. Not gonna buy it, though, since not my kind of game. Have only bought DeathSpank so far, but might get Bioshock 2, since I very much liked Bioshock 1 and to get the remastered edition for free.

  21. dahools says:

    Have to recommend the TURN BASED BUNDLE on steam. Gremlins Inc is keeping me very entertained, Thea is quite unique though I doubt it will hold my attention much longer, then I have invisible Inc to look forward to. Luckily for me none of these games were in my library beforehand.

    Gremlins Inc needs some attention on here, perhaps let Rab know as its a board game after all. Quite a kooky one at that.