Though I hardly remember the Steam Autumn Sale ending, the Steam Winter Sale started yesterday, bringing squillions more cheap video games. If you’re staring baffled at an endless list of innumerable deals, you could use some help. Honestly, most of our Steam Autumn Sale recommendations still stand, but the few of us in the RPS treehouse who haven’t already clocked off for the Christmas holiday do have some fresh picks for you too.
100 Hidden Objects bundle
What is it? A collection of 15 hidden object games.
Price: £6.34 (59% off)
Alice0 says: I’ve enjoyed the 100 Hidden Doodads games a lot over the past year. Every month or so, another drawing arrives with another 100 doodads to find for less than a quid. They’re small, simple, usually fun, and often pretty. So 15 of them for £6 is great. Hidden object games seem a good fit for the Christmas holidays, sprawling somewhere with a fully belly lazily looking for that one final damn bird. And if you want a taste of ’em, 100 Hidden Frogs is free.
Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection
What is it? Criminal investigations and courtroom drama, in melodramatic visual novel form.
Price: £29.99/€44.99/$44.99 (25% off)
Hayden says: Since Rebecca is already off on her Christmas holidays, I figured I should throw in a suggestion that she’d approve of. Actually, Rebecca would defend this one on trial if needed. The Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection has a startling amount of whimsical mysteries to solve, bringing the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy and Great Ace Attorney Chronicles together into one stuffed package. This one is practically spilling out of Santa’s sack folks, and for £30? Well, that seems like a steal. Wait, no, we aren’t actually stealing anything! Why are we going to court?! OBJECTION!
What is it? An open-world horror soap opera which is simultaneously amazing and rubbish
Price: £3.99/€4.99/$4.99 (80% off)
Alice0 says: Some people will tell you Deadly Premonition is “so bad it’s good”. They are wrong. Deadly Premonition is so good, but unfortunately also so bad—and the sharp contrast of its goodness and badness also amplifies its goodness. Some people will also tell you it’s “like if David Lynch made a video game” simply because it clearly cribs from Twin Peaks. They are wrong too, partially because Deadly Premonition only comes into its own after escaping the shadow of Twin Peaks, and partially because I really don’t think David Lynch is into janky PS2-esque open-world survival horror games.
So what actually is it? A game with charm, personality, characters I care dearly for, a delightfully rough mish-mash of systems ranging from getting paid by the FBI for shaving to sometimes needing to sleep in a graveyard desperately devouring stolen tomatoes to stay alive, a central mystery whose unveiling thrilled me, terrible combat, a limited roster of character animations which amp up the melodrama, and a terrible PC port with so many bugs and technical limitations. It is one of my favourite games, and a game I sometimes struggle to recommend.
Deadly Premonition was often in sales years back but recently remained full-price for over a year until oh hey, look, it’s back in sales again. And while I found it unplayably broken when I tried a new playthrough last year, now it just seems mega-janked instead of straight broken? Mysteries. But hey, Steam offers refunds. But really, do follow PCGamingWiki to install the resolution fix.
Further reading: Adam’s Deadly Premonition review, Samuel Horti’s argument why Deadly Premonition is the game worth saving from 2013, and just a list of some stuff you do in it.
What is it? Atmospheric, momentum-based interplanetary exploration ditty.
Price: £11.59/€12.79/$13.59 (20% off)
James says: Caveat 1: This is on Game Pass. Don’t buy it if you have Game Pass. Caveat 2: Graham didn’t like it. But I am not Graham, and I found flinging Exo One’s shapeshifting marble spaceship around far-off worlds perfectly enjoyable, bordering on therapeutic. While it is indeed light on challenge once you get the hang of ditching friction for momentum, this short sci-fi story still drip-feeds enough little twists to keep it interesting. You’ll go from rolling and jumping over hills to long-range gliding, pseudo-platforming and even skipping your flattened ship across oceans like a stone. All against the backdrop of some genuinely eye-catching alien vistas, which together with some hauntingly minimalist sound design do a fine job of maintaining the feeling of being alone in space. Albeit as a ball.
Further reading: Graham’s Exo One review.
Risk Of Rain 2
What is it? A co-op shooter that has you combining power-ups to take on alien hordes.
Price: £11.99/€14.99/$14.99 (40% off)
Ed says:A great bitty game, is Risk Of Rain 2. By “bitty”, I mean it’s great for gathering some mates and shooting some aliens for a bit. No messing about. You choose your character, pew pew aliens, hoover up power-ups, and gradually form an obscenely powerful build. Hardly a new concept, sure, but ROR2 is polished and well-paced, with power-ups and characters you’ll feel an unstoppable urge to unlock.
Further reading: Matt’s Risk Of Rain 2 review.
Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1
What is it? A first-person adventure game set in a surreal city.
Price: £3.59/€4.09/$4.99 (50% off)
Alice0 says: I adore Cosmo D’s weird first-person adventure games, sending us to weird spaces to explore and marvel at. He was a musician first, and the games set around and outside his surreal city always sound great. I adore their bricolage look too, objects unified by their discordance. And his stories are fascinating, the lives of people caught up in systems of profit and influence beyond their control. They’re just great.
Further reading: Nate’s Tales From Off-Peak City review, where he thought he’d hate it but ended up loving it.
What is it? Hyper-intuitive sci-fi FPS with mechs that are also best friends.
Price: £3.99/€4.79/$4.79 (84% off)
James says: As much as I love Apex Legends (1464 hours and counting, jeeeesh I need more games), to me Titanfall 2 is still the best FPS of recent years. There’s an unmatched brilliance to how it flits so gracefully between kinetic free-running manshoots and stompy mech fights, and the solo campaign and co-op mode provide ample opportunity to enjoy it without getting the competitive sweats.
Speaking of which, I’m not gonna lie: the multiplayer has seen better days. Even at peak times you can expect a long wait for the matchmaking to file you into a game, and that’s when it’s not getting DDoS’d by either idle trolls or embittered Apex dislikers (it’s not always clear which). But when it works? Hooooo boy, is even the most basic deathmatch an absolute blast, and there’s always the creative, perfectly-paced campaign to fall back on anyway.
Ultimate Chicken Horse
What is it? Competitive multiplayer platformer where you build the levels as you play.
Price: £5.49/€6.24/$7.49 (50% off)
Hayden says: Ultimate Chicken Horse is the most fun I’ve had all year. It’s the stupid kind of fun that lets you attach swinging axes and wrecking balls to everything and watch the chaos unfold, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to wind down.
It all starts like any platformer. Reach the flag, win some points. Simple, right? Well, UCH mixes things up by letting you place traps at the start of every round, gradually turning this peaceful level into a deadly obstacle course. Whenever I play with friends, it quickly devolves into anarchy as we try to make the level so incredibly difficult that it becomes nearly impossible. Of course, someone always manages to find a way past the various spinning flamethrowers and crossbows in some magnificent feat of skill (or luck).
What is it? Sega’s open-world RPG where a chicken runs your real estate company while you beat up punks.
Price: £3.74/€4.99/$4.99 (75% off)
Ed says: At this price, I will not forgive you for passing up Yakuza 0. A game that’s bursting with buff boys who express feels with fists. This is melodrama filled with twists. A real estate manager. A game where you help a dominatrix to be more assertive. Somehow, it veers perfectly between seriousness and hilarity with ease. Want a cracking story and some genuine giggles? Here’s the ticket.
I’m sure you have many recommendations of your own too, reader dear. Please, do share!