Rain is falling outside my window, the temperature has dropped enough that my hotbox of an apartment is cool enough for me to wear tracksuit pants. That’s right - it’s winter in Melbourne. Which, of course, means that it’s summer on the other side of the world. That means it’s time for one of Steam’s big ol’ sales. I thought that I would help you sift through the masses of discounted games on offer by suggesting 15 great games that cost less than a fiver. Note: I’m using US prices here. For Australians, this is more like 15 for under $7.50, which hasn’t got the same ring to it.
Bayonetta - $4.99
When was the last time you played Bayonetta? If the answer is ‘not for a long time’ or ‘never’ you should rectify that. Bayonetta, in all its pomp and excess, is still as good as any action game going around. Don’t just take my word for it, read Brandon R Chinn’s recent article on Bayonetta and Devil May Cry if you need more convincing.
Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition - $2.99
Dandara is an interesting take on the Metroidvania formula. Instead of running and jumping, your only mode of traversal is leaping and sticking to walls, floors, and ceilings. It’s a fun change of pace if you’re looking to find something different in the world of guided non-linear gameplay.
Dragon's Dogma - Dark Arisen - $4.79
If you’re wondering why so many people were losing their shit over the announcement of Dragon’s Dogma 2, now is a great time to see what the fuss is about. Dragon’s Dogma is a huge, open-world action RPG with unique AI companions based on other players and a heap of combat tools at your disposal. It’s not unlike a certain open-world RPG that’s taken the world by storm this year.
Even The Ocean - $2.99
From Analgesic Productions, the devs behind the Anodyne series and Sephonie, Even The Ocean is a fantastic puzzle-platformer in which you will balance light and dark energies to clear obstacles and try to prevent disaster. It also has a strong narrative that tackles environmental issues.
Okay, so this game is usually $4.99, and the two Frog Detective games are over $5, but I just want an excuse to spruik the Frog Detective series. The Haunted Island is the first of two (soon to be three) short first-person adventure games starring the titular Frog Detective and a fun cast of characters. The game fits a lot of humour and charm into its one-hour playtime.
Florence - $1.97
Florence is an inventive take on interactive fiction that tells a very ordinary and very relatable story of a relationship from beginning to end. Another short experience that really packs an emotional punch.
Golf Club Wasteland - $3.49
A dystopian, satirical golf platformer - what a combination of words. In a world where Earth is just a golf course for the super-rich, you play through the ruins of the planet in a stylish side-scrolling golf game. The humour is very on-the-nose Trump-era satire, which may grate, but the overall package is an interesting take on golf.
Inside - $4.99
There were a few games on display at the recent not-E3 series of game announcements that could be described as dark, atmospheric puzzle-platformers. That means that we’ve reached a point where devs inspired by Inside are getting ready to release their games. The more games like Inside - the king of dark, atmospheric puzzle-platformers - the better, I say.
Kero Blaster - $2.99
Kero Blaster, the follow-up to solo dev Pixel’s breakout hit Cave Story, never got quite the same traction as its predecessor, but is every bit as entertaining, if not quite as ambitious. It’s a retro-styled run-and-gun game that is well-paced and a lot of fun to blow through in or two sittings. Its light ribbing of office culture is a fun bonus, too.
Loop Hero - $4.94
Loop Hero is a unique take on the well-worn roguelike genre - it’s a deck builder mixed with an idle game. In the game, you will be planning and building an increasingly difficult looped gauntlet for your little hero to run through. It’s a dense game but if it gets its hooks into you, it will get you good.
Pikuniku - $3.24
Another short, cute game full of charm, Pikuniku is a puzzle-exploration game with a dark underbelly. Well, it’s not that dark - it’s not Inside - but there’s a conspiracy to uncover and a decidedly anti-capitalist bent to the game. None of that prevents Pikuniku from also being a goofy, good time.
Pony Island - $1.64
If you played Inscryption and wondered about the origins of Daniel Mulllins’ mind-bending approach to game design, check out Pony Island. Much like Inscryption, you will be fighting the game itself (and other malevolent forces) as you try to uncover the secret behind it all. Best go into the game blind.
Roundabout - $2.99
The debut game from No Goblin is a wild, ridiculous thing starring a constantly revolving limo. It’s part Crazy Taxi, part puzzle-platformer, and filled with cheesy FMV cutscenes and a colourful 70s backdrop. It’s a glorious mess. You can read more of my thoughts on Roundabout in the Hidden Gems collaboration piece that just hit SUPERJUMP's pages!
Slime Rancher - $4.99
With a sequel around the corner, now’s a great time to check out the original Slime Rancher if you haven’t had the chance. It very much fits in with the cozy, farm sim trend, but it has some fun extra hooks - it’s a first-person game filled with all varieties of goofy slime creatures and an all-purpose vacuum backpack for sucking up everything.
Sokobos - $4.24
This is a recent game I picked up on a whim, and I’m glad I did. Sokobos is a neat, little sokoban/block-pushing puzzle game with an Ancient Greece theme. It starts in a simple enough manner but quickly becomes quite fiendish. Good for puzzle fans looking for a challenge.
That's all the recommendations I have for now. If you have signed up to become a free member of SUPERJUMP, post any other bargains you've found in our brand new comments section below.
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