Steam Sale Reviews and Views

Here’s what I picked up from this summer’s Steam Sale and Zubon posts.

Evolve

Okay right away I lied. I bought this from G2A.com. I was very apprehensive, but after two Moscow Mules I decided a $20 gamble was worth it since I did miss the Steam sale on Evolve. I was not disappointed.

Anyway, this is a game from the makers of Left 4 Dead, and it keeps some of that design, namely in amazing chatter and the FPS aspect. Otherwise it’s 4 humans* vs. an evolving monster. It’s really interesting because it is a game of very biased engagements. The monster at Stage 1 can usually be turned in to chowder by a good group of hunters. At Stage 3 it’s the monster’s turn to eat the humans.

I have basically only played with bots, and I am quite enjoying the game. It’s very intense. The character advancement systems keep me wanting to progress. I like all the different modes, such as save the humans or squash the monster eggs. It’s been a great buy at $20. I am not sure it was ever worth $60. Still, at $20 + expensive DLC, I feel it’s a good deal. I intend to get many hours of life out of it.

You Must Build a Boat

This game I bought sight unseen because I loved 10,000,000. Both are match-three type games similar to Bejeweled with a thin veneer of RPG/progression. It’s quirky and fun. Probably better for a tablet, but I’m the only one in the family without one so I’ll take it on computer.

I already beat it once, and then you can reset it at New+ for a harder level. I figured that was a way to unlock more monster citizens for my ship. Then I read how to unlock the hidden monsters I missed and uninstalled the game. I enjoyed the game greatly, but would not enjoy the mechanics needed for “full achievement”. They are there though if you want that extended life.

Rollers of the Realm

Thanks, Zubon. Like I need moooore games. No, this one was really good. I think I was made aware of it early on, but then I forgot about it nearer to release. I am really enjoying the strategic aspects of each pinball (thief steals money and backstabs, ranger shoots arrows and calls extra pinball birds). It’s pretty easy not to lose by way of grinding out resurrects and using the incorrect ball to wear down the opposition, but for a $10 game, it’s well worth it. Plus, I love pinball.

Defense Grid 2

To further twist the knife, I bought this one. Windborne was then removed from Early Access because the well-established Hidden Path Entertainment pulled another incredibly underhanded business plan of using Early Access as the primary point of funding Windborne with no angel investor to save Windborne like it did Defense Grid 2. Well guess what? HPE gave me a couple copies of Windborne and Defense Grid 2 on Steam. If you want either let me know in the comments.

The magic is gone though. I think the simple mechanic of killing a creature as direct means to gaining a resource is critical to the excitement of tower defense games. In Defense Grid 2 I get money per tick so I don’t even care about when things die. At least in Defense Grid 1 I got interest, which I’m not even seeing. I might be seeing the mechanics all wrong though.

Defense Grid 2 feels like a well done tower defense. I like the slottable tower upgrades. It has tons of replayability. It just doesn’t feel exciting or magical. The story and mobs are lackluster. The high amount of voice over is passable. I simply have no connection to the non-mechanical parts of the game, which are pretty important.

It’s interesting that Windborne had such soul. Such promise. While their flagship feels flat, even if mechanically it’s really good. Perhaps I’m a bit bitter. Seems like most people own Defense Grid 2 getting it on whatever sale or bundle they found it on.

Life is Strange

I am proud. Life is Strange was the only game I bought during the Summer Sale that I haven’t played. For good reason! I feel this is one of those games that have to get my full concentration. I want to enjoy it the same way I enjoyed Dear Esther or The Vanishing of Bobby Carter because I feel the story immersion is going to be on the same level.

If you’ve played it feel free to give impressions below, but keep it spoiler free, please.

What did you pick up?

–Ravious

3 thoughts on “Steam Sale Reviews and Views”

  1. I had trouble putting my finger on what Defense Grid 2 wasn’t nearly as much fun for me as the original Defense Grid. It wasn’t bad. I played through the whole thing. But with the original I went back and got most of the achievements which involved replaying levels over and over again for some of them. With Defense Grid 2, when I was done with the first play through, I was done.

  2. Evolve for me has some issues with repetition and the general unfriendliness of an established multiplayer community that has leveled up way beyond that of an irregular player.

    But you know, I paid $80 for it and don’t regret it at all, because I love its graphics, its concept, and enjoy watching pro player tournaments of it. (Gotta play it once or twice to appreciate what they do.) There’s always bots if I ever feel like a match.

    One Finger Death Punch is my unexpected Steam sale gem this time around. It looks horribly primitive, but behind it is an extremely satisfying lesson in how animations and sound effects and tangible feedback can make a game. Also, you can kungfu kick a stick figure’s eye out.

    My post-Steam sale discovery has been Her Story, something that’s been circulating the internet press recently with good reviews. I picked it up on a whim, ignoring my usual “wait till it’s 75% off” habits, played it for an hour last night, enjoyed the jigsaw mystery of putting together some interesting and well-acted story threads, and thought I’d continue the next night.

    Instead, I find myself thinking over various strategies for how best to make sense of the nonlinear narrative, what tags/keywords would be most appropriate, and now I’ve bought the game -again- for the iPad so that I can continue exploring it in the day.

  3. OFDP I bought when it came out and really enjoyed it. There are a lot, a lot of levels.

    I’ve been seeing Her Story pop up on feeds, but honestly have no idea what it’s about. Have to look in to that.

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