Summer, against all odds, has finally arrived. To me this means it's time to hit the beach and be in the sea as much as possible. To video game stores, the beach is a threat to their very existence. To tempt and tether you to your monitor, they launch big summer sales full of bargains. How dare they! Selling good video games for cheap so we buy them and enjoy them! Truly immoral. But if you're to swim in the deepest sea of vice, heed our warnings and check out our recommendations for the Steam Summer Sale, which just started today.
The Steam Summer Sale is now on, running until July 9th. So very many games are going cheap. So many. And yes, of course Steam's site crashed the instant the sale started.
Valve have another wee metagame, with quests and achievements and unlockable things and the chance of free games in the Grand Prix. I got half-way through the lengthy explanation before deciding I have far better things to do.
Anyway. Onto some games which are on sale and we like, not a comprehensive list or the largest discounts but a few recommendations to jog your memory.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - £29.99 (40% off)
Brendan: An airborne monument to the absurdity of videogames. You will hear many ludicrous things as you fwoosh through the clouds (and, oh my, they are pretty clouds). Your flightbuddies will tell you of drones and presidents, of missiles and princesses. You will be sent to military prison and ordered to clean things up, yet your wardens will give you a fighter jet instead of a mop and bucket. This dog-fighting game is a jet-propelled reminder of the stupidity of war, whether it was meant to be or not.
Ape Out - £7.69 (30% off)
Nic Reuben: I've got some sort of horribly disorientating brain fog going on today that's making me write even less coherently than usual, so I'm going to recommend games like a print magazine from the mid-90s. Monkey: Orange. Jazz: mmmm smooth. Violence: Hilarious Loading: Basically none Gamefeel: Nice for the hands, and the mind. Springy. Bouncy. Frantic. Orange.
Bad North - £8.99 (25% off)
Alice Bee: There's that poem by William Blake (most famously and beautifully quoted in the first Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie and Chris Barrie) that includes the bit:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Bad North makes me think of the 'hold infinity' bit, except replacing 'infinity' with 'tiny squadrons of little soldiers going "hup hup hup!" and making little pitter-pattery feet sounds as they fend off waves of viking attackers'.
Gris - £9.70 (33% off)
Alice Bee: I wasn't really won over by Gris's brand of very emotional and heartfelt story telling, which I actually felt was holding me to ransom a bit: "Like this game or your sadness gets it, and everyone will think you're a callous monster." Fortunately it's still extraordinarily beautiful -- one of the most beautiful games I've ever seen -- and a bit of mawkishness is worth the price of admission to a very pretty, gentle platformer thingy. Especially if the price of admission is lowered a bit.
Hypnospace Outlaw - £12.39 (20% off)
Alice O: It's a nostalgic blast of the fun and weirdness of the early Internet. It's a game about being a power-tripping mod. It's about jesus, actual human disaster and detective work. It's about what we've lost on the modern Internet. It's cheaper now!
Monster Hunter: World - £24.99 (50% off)
Dave: What's that roar in the distance? The sound of Iceborne calling? Well that's all well and good, but there's still a bunch of monsters to bash in the base game before then! Monster Hunter: World is an excellent game that has seen a whole bunch of updates that have introduced new monsters and fan favourites, so if you haven't dipped in now, there's a good chance you can finish caving in skulls in time for the Iceborne expansion. You can use our helpful set of guides to get you up to Hunter Rank 16 in the meantime.
Night In The Woods - £8.99 (40% off)
Nic Reuben: Cat: with bat. Dialogue: Actually successful approximation of friendship group in-jokey patter Horrors: Eldritch, but as like, a metaphor for teenage isolation or something. It’s done well. Soundtrack: has some organ synths Socialism: Lots.
Papers, Please - £3.49 (50% off)
Alice Bee: The Return Of The Obra Dinn was very extremely good. But let us not forget, that description also applies to Papers, Please, Lucas Pope's bureaucracy 'em up from a few years back. As the great state of Arstotzka introduces more and more regulations and paperwork, your job as a border guard becomes more complicated. Plus you have to look after your family and decide if you want to help revolutionaries. It's one of those games where you end up writing down a lot of your own things in a separate book, just to make your life easier. Also one of those games where you may end up being relieved when your mother-in-law dies, and you don't need to spend money on her medication anymore.
Resident Evil 2 - £29.69 (34% off)
Brendan: Stomp stomp stomp. What's that noise? Oh, it is your old friend, Mr Homicide. He is here to say hello, and kill you with his hands. Resi Twesi is a happy visit from a terrifying pal you thought you left behind years ago. He is more handsome than you remember, but he still loves his old tricks. Matt was coolly appreciative of the survival horror game, but he never knew the old rascal in its younger days. As someone who fled the mutant crocodiles of yesteryear, it was a merry moment to see all those teeth glinting in the sewer gloom once again.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - £39.92 (20% off)
Dave: Perhaps you're in the mood for something a little more... sneaky. Sekiro is different than Dark Souls, though I would say it's a lot more involved. It does take a little getting used to, but once it clicks you'll be leaving a trail of destruction in your wake. Of course we have tips for everything in Sekiro, including what to do about that boss, or where to find that thing. Dare I say what "that boss" or "that thing" are? No, because otherwise I'd get moaned at. All you need to know is that I enjoyed it a lot.
Snakeybus - £4.81 (33% off)
Alice O: If you somehow weren't sold on "Snake, but you're driving a bus which grows as you pick up and drop off passengers - and also the bus can jump" then surely a discount will clinch it.
Soulcalibur VI - £16.49 (67% off)
Brendan: I've been informed you always wanted to give birth to a litter of horned lizards of humanoid physique. Please, take a seat. Soulcalibur VI is a good fighting game, and an even better character creator. A slithering of lizards you shall have, my broody friend. But you need not stop there. You can make a skeleton son, and give him the fighting prowess of a whip-wielding murderess. You can make a mummy daughter, and grant her the power of scuttling twistedly upon her back to weaken her foe’s resolve. No other biff ‘em up has this power, the capacity to grant you the family you have always wanted.
Yakuza 0 - £7.49 (50% off)
Alice O: If you have not yet met the bestest best dads of 2018, please do. Sega's open-world mobster series takes everything extremely earnestly, seriously, and enthusiastically, whether it's defending the honour of your crime family or helping children rebuild their confidence by racing toy cars. I adore these silly dads, their posturing, and their wrestling moves. The cabaret management minigame is more fun than most management sims too.
I'm sure you have recommendations of your own too, reader dear? Do share!