Author: Jay-Rey (@jay_rey)
Over the course of the last few weeks, Steam has held one of its many annual sales: The Steam Holiday Sale. Every day new games from Steam’s huge library were available for low low prices. While this is a great opportunity to get your hands on some AAA games at a way discounted price, I like to buy some of the unsung indie games that I may have missed when they were newer. Here is a quick rundown of a couple of games I bought from the Steam Holiday Sale (both big and small games) that you may want to keep your eye on for future sales!
1) Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine
This game is great. Probably one of my favorite games of the sale. In this top-down game, you play one of 8 characters. 4 of them you will have to unlock as you play through. The goal is to enter secure and fortified location to steal gold coins and a trophy item (or a few). It is in your benefit to do so quickly and quietly, but this is not necessarily a stealth game. Each character has a cool special ability: Unlocking doors at double speed, spotting enemies out of your line of site, incapacitating unaware enemies, disguising yourself in plain site, breaking through walls to create new paths, and more. While most levels can be done alone, it is the most fun and efficient to do it with a team of like minded burglars. The art fills a cool and colorful pixelated world. The mechanics are easy, but allow some complicated planning and strategies to arise as you traverse the hostile environments. It is a great game and you can often get it for under $10.
You can also enter for a chance to win a free copy of the game! Check this post out for details!
2) Civilization V
Sid Meier’s Civilization series has been around for a long while. So much so that it has even recently been released onto consul systems as well as PC. It is a classic, turn based strategy game, where you take control of a historical leader and guide your civilization through time. It starts off simple enough: Grow your city and tend to the land. Eventually you can found other cities, build armies, boats, planes, and build classic buildings (the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall, The Statue of Liberty, and others). You manage your citizens happiness, you trade with neighboring civilizations for items, and of course, you can declare all out war on anyone who stands in your way. I have played through it a couple times. Once, I was extremely stressed out by the fact that all surrounding countries had declared war on me at the same time. Another play through was almost entirely peaceful, but I was a broke, small country by the end of the game.
Some of the other games on this least are very involved, and easy to put down. Civ V has a way of grabbing your attention, and you quickly make your way to the final year of the game without realizing you haven’t gotten off the computer in over a day.
Limbo is the 2010 Xbox exclusive-turned-wide released indie smash hit. The game leaves a lot up to the player, loosely setting up a narrative, traps and encounters are left unexplained, and the conclusion ends on an Inception type note. You take the roll of the nonspeaking, silhouetted main character as you traverse a hostile landscape of monsters and traps. The game is separated into chapters. The forest you start off in slowly deteriorates into an industrial waste land full of saws, machinery, and technological items you must use to continue to navigate forward.
For me, it served the purpose of something quick to play and easy to put down. The story has been up for debate ever since the games release, so you can join in, or just play to solve the puzzles.
4) Payday 2
One evening, the For The Blog crew was hanging out when someone (Naz or CR) had mentioned purchasing Payday 2 so that we could all play together. Well being the eager beaver I tend to be, I set out that night and bought it. A few days later (and much cheaper) they bought it, too. The time in between allowed me to play the main ways most people would: With 3 other random people, with 3 AI assistants, or with 3 people you actually want to play with.
I skip the story bits, which is weird for me. I am big on story. But Payday feels like how I imagine it was supposed to be received, a bunch of different places you steal stuff from. I didn’t need to pay attention to the short narrative before each mission, and don’t really care which character I control. It is all about the heist! While playing with randoms is okay, you run the risk you always run into when playing with randoms. You encounter AFKs, you encounter lone wolf/ non-team player people, and you encounter idiots. Of course sprinkled throughout are the fun people, who you will stick with for a few more missions. But the best way to play is with your friends. Payday is pretty fun, and there are enough options throughout a mission to make you feel like you’re the mastermind (though honestly, earlier in the game you can only really run and gun). Its an okay FPS with a pretty good premise. All in all a fun game, and worth it, the cheaper you buy it for,
5) Mark of the Ninja
Now this game is a cheat. I bought this game way back on Xbox Live and I loved it. But having a decommissioned 360, seeing this game in Steam brought back a flood of memories. Mark of the Ninja lets you control of an unnamed Ninja who has to save his clan from destruction. You encounter a bunch of levels you must navigate through to achieve various objectives. And the best part about the game is its stealth. It truly forces you to be sneaky ninja.
Other games give you the option to be a badass butt kicker. And while you can take down enemies from the shadows, it isn’t about taking on ten enemies at once, but about taking out a room of baddies one by one. And similar to the Batman Arkham games, the fewer the enemies, the more afraid and erratic their behavior becomes. It is a fun, stylish, 2d side scroller that has immense replay value. Specific goals for each level, new weapons you can use for running a level again, and new costumes with added bonuses (One allows you to run with muffled foot steps, another lets you actually teleport, and there are a bunch more.)
It was a fun time off from work, to say the least. Steam is always offering pretty good deals for some really good games (as well as a few not so good ones). This is just a friendly reminder to always remember to keep your eye open!
What did you get during the sale? Any games you missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!