Friday, June 20, 2014

THIS YEAR'S BEST PRICES IN PC GAMING ON STEAM

The Steam Summer Sale is upon us! Every year the tides of Steam prices sink to new lows, and reveal fantastic games for often only a few dollars. If you buy games on Steam, this a wonderful week for you.This year's summer sale

DEALS! SO MANY DEALS!
There are a few categories for Steam sales. There are Daily Deals, which last 25 hours. As of the posting of this, the first one is still live, and features Farcry 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Don't Starve, and The Witcher 2, each at least 75% off. You could pick up all 4 of them for about 25 dollars. Those prices will expire at 10AM Pacific, 6/20.

There are also Flash sales, which are voted on by you, the buyer. These last 8 hours and feature 4 games each. Generally they have a theme like "Racing Games" or "Indie Platformers".

A CHANCE AT FREE GAMES!
Steam is also running what they call their "Summer Adventure". Basically this is a temporary system that awards buyers with in-game items, unique skins, and a chance at free games based on their activity on Steam during the sale. Spending money, voting on Flash Sales, and other activities earn you points for the game. Full details are available at that Summer Adventure link above, but here is the neat part if you aren't serious about earning In-Game items...

Join a "team" during the Steam Summer Adventure for a chance at some free games during the Summer sale. Based on buying activity and badge crafting, randomly-assigned "teams" are going to be earning points this week. At the end of each day, the 30 members of the winning team will each get 3 free games on their Steam wish lists. The thing is, you don't have to buy anything for a shot at free games. There's no real downside to choosing a team (here) and making sure you have at least 3 games on your wish list.

WHAT DO I SUGGEST?
There are a bunch of great games out there, but here are a few I personally think are worth playing. I don't have the time to update this list with Steam Sale info, so I'm going to just throw out some of my favorites and hope they turn up on Steam.
  • DON'T STARVE - This one is a gothic horror-ish indie survival game that was a big deal at PAX last year. I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, but not from lack of trying. 
  • SKYRIM - If you haven't played this yet, go play it. Dragons and Vikings and epic music and Bethesda. Wonderful things which I bet will drop to around 15 dollars at some point this week. 
  • BORDERLANDS II - Great first-person shooter in a post-apocalypse wasteland. Play it with a friend. 
  • BIOSHOCK TRIPLE-PACK - Dystopian noir is the flavor of the evening. Bring your steam-powered whatsits and mutagenic plasmids! Bioshock II wasn't the best game ever, but was still pretty great. The other two gems in this pack are well worth the 15 dollars that it's at during this sale. 
  • TERRARIA - This charming little gem is just 4 bucks right now, but I suggest getting a 4-pack and running a LAN adventure with a few friends. Basically think 2D Minecraft with prettier graphics. 
  • GOAT SIMULATOR - This is one I can't in good conscience suggest paying more than a couple bucks for, but as a random open-world game where you play as a goat, I can't fault it. Be prepared for jetpacks, demonic sacrifice, and awful, crippling bugs. Best play while inebriated. 
  • FALLOUT NEW VEGAS - (Fallout anything, really) Post=apocalypse open world wonderfulness. I'm a sucker for Fallout, and in particular, Fallout 2 is perhaps my favorite game of all time. Check these out. 
  • SIR, YOU ARE BEING HUNTED - Who doesn't want to be hunted in the English countryside by Steampunk robots?
  • BALDUR'S GATE II - Turn-based fantasy role-playing at its best. This one is, if Fallout 2 is not, my favorite game of all time. It has aged rather well, and I love it in a way that isn't wholly appropriate. 
  • THE BANNER SAGA - I nearly helped Kickstart this one! Vikings and brilliant story elements wrapped in turn-based goodness. Check it out.\ 
  • BANISHED - Civ V almost made it onto this list, but Banished is probably a better one to try. I haven't played this yet, but I want to. Manage resources carefully and keep your growing town alive. 
  • GONE HOME - I can't wait to play this one. Exploration-driven narrative at its best. Explore an empty house and piece together what happened to the occupants. This one is made of emotion. 
  • FTL - Survive a journey through space in this excellent roguelike. 
  • AMNESIA: THE DARK DESCENT - Horror as horror games should be. Run, hide, and hallucinate your way through puzzles and dark tunnels. 
  • BASTION - This game just makes me smile. Beautiful fantasy with clever narration and a sense of humor. 
  • MASS EFFECT - These games are great. Say what you will about the end of the third game, but the story arc and scope of this series still gives me chills. The second one was may favorite of the three. Sadly, the third installment never made it to Steam.
MY POOR WALLET
Why are you still reading this? Go forth and give them all your money!

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