The Itch.io summer sale includes Thumper and The Signal From Tölva for cheaps

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Games. You want them, Itch.io sells them, and to facilitate that process it’s put 606 of the things on sale.

I like that they’ve taken the polar opposite approach to Steam’s shenanigans for their own summer sale, and surrounded the discounts with absolutely zero guff. I know some people buy into the badges and whatnot, but after years of Valve’s bombarding me with cutesy treehouse animals, those avatars have started landing on the manipulative side of corporate fun. Read on for my picks from this refreshingly minimalist sale, which include the likes of heart-squelching rhythm action-game Thumper and soul-squashing robo-shooter The Signal from Tölva .

I’ll jump into some informed recommendations in a second, but it’s worth taking a minute or two to scroll through the discounts and see if anything catches your eye. I’d never heard of Jump Gunners, for instance, but after seeing Mike Bithell describe it as “the beautiful child of Towerfall and Worms” I’ve grabbed it for the next time I have local multiplayer-inclined friends over.

Onto stuff I actually know is good! Thumper is going for 60% off at $8. It’s a mesmerising rhythm-action game that’ll make you feel both incredibly small and incredibly skilfull. You control a dimension jumping time-beetle as you jump and skid to the beat of a hellish soundtrack while psychedelic monsters and geometry consume reality. Well, that’s my reading of it – Alec has his own.

The Signal from Tölva is 50% off at $10, and offers some of the best moody robo-wandering money can buy. It’s sort of about shooting robots with laser-rifles and hacking them to be your friends, but it’s really about exploring a bizarre and atmospheric husk of a planet while piecing together a sci-fi mystery. The devs recently released a free expansion, though Rich McCormick wasn’t blown away by it.

For a mere $1, you can pick up the even stranger Rusty Lake Hotel. I haven’t played it, but if Adam still haunted these parts he’d tell me that was an oversight:

“Rusty Lake Hotel is a murder mystery game set in a creepy hotel in which everyone is for dinner. That’s the hook and it’s such a good hook that even though I’ve finished the entire game twice I can’t remember being annoyed by any of the puzzles. I probably was, but it didn’t matter because I had to see what happened next.

This is the strongest recommendation I can give to a puzzle game. Please play Rusty Lake Hotel.”

As would John.

I’ll stop there, but I’ve obviously only scratched the surface of a sale that’s 606 games deep. Feel free to do some digging for yourself.

Disclosure: Jim Rossignol was one of the people who made The Signal from Tölva, and also happens to be a co-founder of this website. I’ve never met him though, so my opinions are pure.

10 Comments

  1. caff says:

    A lot of Connor Sherlock’s walking simulators are 50% off. I highly recommend if you are a fan of such a genre.

    link to connor-sherlock.itch.io

  2. elderman says:

    I appreciate the heads-up about Jump Gunners, which looks like a fun couch combat game.

    Looking through the list of discounted games, Neon Struct stands out as a game I’ve wanted to play for a quite a while. I’m also intrigued by Arc Symphony and for another kind of play experience (to play with a child) Guppy.

    I also recommend And Yet It Moves, a physics puzzler from almost ten years ago that I got in one of the early Humble Bundles. Clever and fun and I really appreciated the hand-made aesthetic.

  3. Pyromanta says:

    I’ve recently gotten back into gaming through Itch and have to say the quality of even the free titles hasn’t diminished. I spent 4 hours last night playing a free alpha for a viking survival game, a genre that usually bores me, but this one had so many neat little features I really enjoyed it. It’s called Valheim.

    On topic, I’ll be booting up the app tonight to check out what’s on sale.

  4. Ben King says:

    This might be the time I go ahead and grab The Signal from Tolva although I’m bumping right up against it’s minimum system specs… It’s not on the itch sale but I just played Paratopic last night and had a strangely disquieted time with it ticking through my car radio, slinging illicit VHS tapes to my neighbors and flipping through the car radio in a twilight urban wasteland while bouncing off the guardrails. The music and vocal audio are delightfully disturbing. Jessica Harvey who did the Paratopic programming also just recommended ELDRITCH on twitter, but I can’t make up my mind if I’d enjoy that one.

  5. something says:

    Hmm. There’s ton(ne)s of interesting stuff there. Mu Cartographer caught my eye so I had a look at the page and there’s a Kickstarter-style cash tracker on it that has the game at $33.25 of its $100 target. Sale price is $1.

    I then went back to the sale page and switched to sort by best selling. Mu Cartographer is fourth on that list. Maybe it’s just early days for the sale but I don’t think anyone’s getting rich off of this.

    • Ben King says:

      I really enjoyed mu cartographer myself. It’s hard to tell from the videos and screen captures but it’s very much a game about quietly fiddling with neat analogue knobs, and puzzling out simple hidden visual patterns. I had a good time right up until I knew I was close to the end and was driven to grind my way through the last few stages rather than sit back and take my time.

  6. interdimensional_ says:

    Hey hey I’m the dev of a local multiplayer game in early access on itch. It’s called The Moon Fields and it plays like Zelda meets Towerfall, and I think if you like Jump Gunners you might like it. It’s in a few bundles w other local multiplayer games.

    Summer Moon Bundle with Wand Wars and Moon Hunters
    link to itch.io

    And the Locally Sourced Local Multiplayer Bundle with NeuroVoider, When It Hits The Fan, and Bicyclism EP
    link to itch.io

  7. sagredo1632 says:

    Fans of puzzlers should consider picking up Cosmic Express, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build, or Sokobond. All three are great puzzle games with a large variety of differentiated, carefully designed levels, all showing substantially more craft than many of these spent-a-weekend-with-Unity puzzle games.

  8. eddparsons says:

    Mewnbase is a surprisingly fun little base building survival game, for a couple of hours anyway – worth the few quid they are asking.

  9. BadDancing says:

    I’ve played and with great love can reccomend Night in the Woods, Kentucky Route Zero, Thumper, Eczema Angel Orifice, Long Live the Queen, Botanicula, and NO THING.

    And fwwiw, here’s the list of games I’m likely picking up this sale:
    Sticky Zeitgeist ep2, Hadean Lands, All Walls Must Fall, Dark Train, Speed Dating for Ghosts, CHUCHEL, Don’t Make Love, and Black Closet.

    Annnnd and and here are discounted games people with different tastes liked: The Signal From Tölva, Old Man’s Journey, Far from Noise, A Mortician’s Tale, Sunset, Burly Men at Sea, Sokobond, Catlateral Damage, AdvertCity, Cosmic Express, A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build and Eldritch.

    Videogames!

    Probably gonna pay the full, luxurious $2 for Sticky Zeitgeist.

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