State of the Game: Summer Sale

Steam Summer Sale

The Steam Summer sale is coming to a close today. As it was my first experience with a major Steam sale (I didn’t use the platform much until the beginning of this year), I have come away with a mixed experience. Deep discounts were seen, though a lot of what was on offer were games that I already owned, or wasn’t interested in. A major complaint I had is with the trading card bit, as if you were under Steam level 8 you wouldn’t earn cards from voting, despite the original message saying you would get a card if you voted 3 times. As a result, the only way I would have been able to earn any of the cards was by spending money, at a rate of $10 per card. I unfortunately didn’t have that kind of money to throw around, so I earned a whopping zero Summer Adventure cards. I was only going to sell them anyway, so I guess it’s no big deal. Despite having not really participated, I did end up being on the overall winning team of the event.


So that earned me a badge worth 150 xp, so I’m now like 25 xp away from being level 8. Oh the irony. So despite being a broke ass, I still managed to get a few games over the course of the last couple weeks. Part of that was earned by selling cards and I actually received a gift from my wishlist. The games? Risk of Rain, Delver, Alan Wake and Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves. Three indies, one AAA, and I didn’t even spend a total of $10. I didn’t amass a huge number of games like some of my Steam friends, but I probably spent the least 😀 Overall, I think the Steam Sales are great to a degree, because you can end up with some decent games, but the selection seemed to be mostly older games and those with dying communities. There were many awesome looking multiplayer games on sale, but when I’d look at their populations they would be pretty dead. So those titles were avoided. I ended up sticking with smaller scope games, that I’ll be able to complete and then move on from.

What I’ve been Playing

So I started up my playthrough of Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall. The expansion campaign is already shaping up to being better than the original. Check my playthrough here.

I also already talked about Risk of Rain, and posted a video of the game, in my 7 Awesome Rogue-likes post earlier this week. Without needing to go too in-depth, I have opened two of the characters now, and have posted a new highscore.

On this run I unlocked the Bandit while using the Enforcer

Delver is another Rogue-like that has been on my wishlist for some time. Good ol’ Doone surprised me with a gift copy, during one of the days it was on sale. He said something along the lines of wanting me to be his guinea pig for the game, because he had been interested but didn’t know if he’d like it. I find that it’s a pretty fun little dungeon crawling rogue-like, in first person with minecraft-ish graphics. It’s a little light on depth at the moment, but this is also an Early Access game (which I hadn’t noticed before somehow). I still recommend it to people who are fans of the genre, as it holds to most of the ideas, but is done a little differently. I’ve not managed to beat it yet (though I hear that it’s relatively short), but I did make it pretty far on one of my runs.

This is the stat sheet for my last run. Not sure why it doesn’t show the level I had gotten to

The game plays a lot like old-school FPS games. There’s no jumping, but there is mouse look. Melee combat mixed with archery and magic makes me think of Hexen. You have an inventory, and go up levels in which you can spend a skill point on a randomized selection of stats.

These stats are different every time

Overall the game feels pretty well balanced. The only thing that carries over after you die is your gold, and there are vendors in the base camp that will sell you items, so theoretically you can have an easier run if you net enough gold. However, gold drops are pretty sparce, as I’ve only earned a little over 50 gold total. It seems the game is lacking a sell option, and also a way to port back to the starting town to buy/sell. But, as it’s early access, some of these things might be addressed. A one man development team is working on the game, and I think he’s doing a good job.

Magic seems to be the most effective. Take that pirate boy!
Magic seems to be the most effective. Take that pirate boy!

Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves is the final Indie game that I picked up. This game is the most off-the-wall, yet still familiar enough to be intriguing. The art direction is different, mixing some cartoonish graphics with some gritty realism. The overall concept of the game is that it’s Tower Defense meets live action — somewhat like Dungeon Defenders. If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ll recall that Doone had been talking about playing it, and he convinced me it was worth the $1.50 it was selling for. I think it’s really a mix of Dungeon Defenders and Orcs Must Die.

Tactical View

The Tower Defense portion takes place during the day, where you are shown fate cards, and those give you information regarding the waves of enemies coming your way. Your sister and brother are holed up inside his cabin, and that’s usually where the enemies will be heading (though in later missions you’ll have additional structures to defend). You’ll see where the enemies are coming from, and install traps, like this:

A hanging net trap

From there, you’ll click “start night,” and the round will begin. Some rounds  have more waves than others, so sometimes you have to plan further ahead. When all else fails, you can whack/shoot your enemies to death.

Bastard wolves killed our horses!

So it’s most like Orcs Must Die in the sense of setting traps, and then attacking whatever’s left over. It’s like Dungeon Defenders for similar reasons, but also has the added skill trees and the town you can visit to get more gear from. It really is a bastard child of the two games, but in a more realistic setting (minus the werewolves, of course). Being an indie game, it’s a little different, and certainly easy to overlook, but it’s definitely worth picking up, particularly if it’s on sale.

You’ll get a new point each time you level. With a tree this big I’m guessing the game is relatively long.

Lastly,  the AAA game I picked up was Alan Wake. It’s a couple of years old, but it falls into one of my favorite genres: Survival Horror. When the game originally released it was for Xbox 360, and perhaps computer too, but I think the port came later. Either way, it wasn’t on something I had access to, so this was my first chance to check it out. Overall the game reminds me of Resident Evil or Dead Space, with the 3rd person over-the-shoulder view. The story follows a man named Alan Wake, who is an author. It opens quoting Stephen King, and I think that’s fitting, as it feels like a story that Stephen King would write. I don’t want to spoil the story though, for people who might not have played it. Suffice it to say that Alan has some issues going on, and the story seems to be unfolding in chunks that aren’t necessarily in order.

Why is my TV watching me?

The one way Alan Wake differs from other similar titles, is with it’s combat. Enemies are shadowy figures that spawn from the darkness. They can’t be damaged until you burn away their shadowy auras with light. That means that places with a lot of life are safe spots.

The yellow writing is only visible from shining light onto it.

This ends up being interesting and a pain in the ass at the same time. When aiming your light, you can “intensify” it by holding down a button. That drains your battery quick, but they seem to be easy to find. These bastards run up on you pretty quick, and though you have a dodge key it ends up being a constant juggle between your flashlight and your gun. When you get some of the better weapons the minions go down fast enough, but then they throw more of them at you.

At least they just evaporate and don’t leave a mess 😀

I’m enjoying this one, and it seems like the type of game that’s easy enough to run though. I doubt I’ll do excess playthroughs, but I am interested to see how the story ends.

That’s all for now. See ya next week.

#steamsummersale #alanwake #riskofrain #sangfroid #delver

2 thoughts on “State of the Game: Summer Sale

  1. Most of the games I wanted I either owned or couldn’t quite afford, so I was pretty lax with my games as well. But happy with what I picked up!


  2. Yeah I’m cool with the games I got too. There were some that I kept trying to get with votes but the vote always seemed to go the other way. But most of the best titles that were on offer were ones I played years ago. So it’s not a huge loss. Just happy I could get a little something.


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