Like the leaves themselves the “Steam Exploration Sale” is gently wafting to its end. It won’t be long before the resurgence of sales come winter proper, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of some great deals right now. Near the final hour I wanted to offer up a list of games that you can buy at a primo price, just to be sure you didn’t have any spare change left in your wallet.
1) The Fall – Adventure/Puzzle – $1.99
This atmospheric side-scroller came out last year and puts you in the role of a complex AI program imbedded within a space suit. After a mysterious crash landing, the AI commandeers the suit in an effort to save the life of the human trapped within. The planet (of course) is less than hospitable and conceals a greater secret. Your AI gains access to new functions as it tests the limits of its own programming. You’ll find clever puzzles, minimalist, yet satisfying combat sequences, and a dark narrative that’ll grab you quickly and rarely let go. Like one of those plastic grabby arms from Walmart.
2) Ziggurat – FPS/Rogue-lite – $5.09
Ziggurat has a simple design that it does exceptionally well. The past few years have seen the market flooded with various rogue-likes, with procedural generated experiences becoming something of the standard. Though Ziggurat doesn’t stretch the formula in any particularly drastic ways, it does what it sets out to do quite competently, far more so than most. You’ll race at break neck speeds through dungeons and blast demonic varmints with all manner of magical misanthropy, unlocking new items and traits for future runs. The shooting is chaotic and just plain fun, borrowing some of its feel from games like Heretic or Quake. With daily challenges and a larder full of unlockables, it should keep you busy.
3) One Finger Death Punch – Brawler/Rhythm – $2.49
While less classy than its five fingered brother, it’s no less bad ass. If you enjoy doing wild over-the-top kung fu moves to dozens, if not hundreds, of faceless goons, this could be the game you have been looking for. With only two buttons, it has never been easier to fulfill your fantasies of being a skinny, monochromatic Bruce Lee. Don’t let the Newgrounds golden era graphics fool you; you’ll only need to spend five minutes with this game to get the Dopamine pumping.
4) Renowned Explorers: International Society – Adventure/Strategy -$11.99
Probably the most recently released game on the list, which at 40% isn’t too shabby of a deal. Fans of strategy games like Banner Saga or Civilization will get a kick out of this brilliantly animated romp. This game oozes with style and presentation, with a candy coated sheen that’s just a joy to look at while you send your hand picked team of explorers out beyond the horizon. You’ll pool your money, reputation, and research from your endeavors to further expand your team’s resources and flesh out their skill sets. It has generated choose your own adventure style stories, tons of expeditions, treasure, and so much personality, literally! It has a complex mood system that allows you to be aggressive, devious, or even friendly against your foes. Compliment them into submission!
5) Fingered – Detective/Puzzle – $1.87
It’s weird, sort of gross, and a bit funny. Imagine if all of the characters from the classic board game Guess Who had all been thrown into a blender and left underneath a dumpster for half a decade. Now try to decide which one of these living tumors is a criminal. You’ll use clues based on eye-witness testimony to pick out the characteristics of the alleged do-badder. Unfortunately the testimony you get can be either moderately reliable or complete dribbling bunk, it’s up to you to decide. But you’ll have to pick somebody to go to the chair, and right or wrong…you’re pulling the lever.
6) Fran Bow – Point & Click/Horror – $10.04
I don’t want to stop pushing this game. I can’t stop. It’s one of the few games that I sat down and ended up playing through in a single sitting. It’s a traditional point & click affair starring a disturbed girl named Fran who’s been locked away in a mental ward after her parents were killed by a mysterious stranger. She sets out to find her only solace, her cat Mr. Midnight, and soon discovers that things are much more sinister than they appear. The art is both beautiful and horrifying, accenting a stroked style with chromatic surrealism. While Broken Age left me disappointed in its second half, I found this game to be much more fulfilling all of the way through. It’s a unique gem crafted by a two person team that I won’t be forgetting for a while. If you like point & click games and aren’t troubled by the disconcerting (and often gory) themes, definitely pick this up.