Steam Summer Sale 2017: Recommendations

It’s that time of the year again: The Steam Sale is in full swing, and that means you can get a lot of really good games for the price of a few drinks. ALCOHOL IS TEMPORARY GAMES ARE FOR LIFE.

  • Dishonored (€2.49) – Great story and level design. Stealthy stealthy stabby stabby magic shenanigans. I haven’t played the DLC, but the “Brigmore Witches” expansion is supposed to be really good as well.
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch (€3.49) – You play a loving husband, proud father and secret octopus. MUST BUY.
  • Defense Grid 2 (€3.74) – One of the best executions in the Tower Defense genre.
  • AaaaaAaaaaaAAAA – A Reckless Disregard For Gravity (€0.99) – A game in which you fall, but never fail. Unless you fail to deploy your parachute and fall, which means a violent splat on the pavement.
  • Mini Metro (€6.99) – You design the layout of subway lines in a city. I can’t explain why this is so addictive. I’ve missed sleep and stayed up late DESIGNING THE MOST OPTIMAL SUBWAY LINES FOR TOKYO. (> 11h and counting)
  • Natural Selection 2 (€4.99) – One of the rare truly asymmetric (where both sides have vastly different playstyles and weaponry) multiplayer FPS. Tight but active community.
  • Shadow of Mordor (€3.99) – A crime not to buy it at this price. 3rd person action in LOTR universe. Highlight is the Nemesis system, in which an Orc you threaten or kill holds a grudge, and named Orcs rise up in the enemies ranks.
  • One Finger Death Punch (€1.24) – You only need one finger (two, actually) to be the best kung-fu master in the world. It’s like a rhythm game (Guitar Hero, …) boiled down to its bare minimum.
  • Spacechem (€2.49) – Chemistry puzzles on a foreign planet – and it’s fun. HOW.
  • Rocket League (€11.49) – Football with wacky rocket-cars. Like a lot of things on this list: simple pitch, great fun. HUGE online community and map variation.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R : Call of Pripyat (€4.99) – Arguably the best of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. Roam around Chernobyl where radiation made Geiger counters go crazy at every corner. I recommend playing this with the Complete Mod, which fixes up some rough edges. For more post-nuclear apocalyptic adventures, check out the excellent Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light Redux bundle. More straightforward FPS gameplay and corridor navigation, but those graphics. Phew.
  • Turmoil (€4.99) – Simple but clever management game in which you go digging for oil in the far west.
  • Hitman (€18.97) – A return to form with big open worlds and good replayability. You can try out the first episode for free. This game taught me I have neither the stamina nor patience to be an international killer-for-hire, but I sure am a master of disguise.
  • Shadow Warrior (€3.49) – Reboot of a classic FPS. There will be Wang jokes. Surprising length. (there’s a Wang joke).
  • SUPERHOT (€13.99) – Time stands still when you do, time moves when you do. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.
  • Red Faction: Guerilla (€4.99) – I’d tell you what this game is about BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF ME SMASHING MY CAR FILLED WITH EXPLOSIVES IN SOME BUILDINGS. Something weirdly cathartic in bringing down a whole mining town using a few controlled detonations. Please don’t put me on a government watchlist now.
  • Bioshock and Bioshock Collection (€4.99 / €14.99) – Mystery and shooty times in an Ayn Rand-inspired underwater dystopia. Remastered edition polishes up the great level design of the original. Pick up the collection to also get the slightly inferior Bioshock 2, and the otherwise great Bioshock: Infinite, which depicts a racist America in the clouds. See it to believe it.
  • Mark of the Ninja (€3.49) – One of the best 2D stealth platformers around. All the details (movement, enemy detection and AI, …) done right.
  • Overcooked (€7.99) – Local co-op hectic kitchen shenanigans. THIS WILL END RELATIONSHIPS.
  • Portal 2 (€1.49) – The funniest and most original puzzle game from the last decade. An absolute must-have, and insultingly cheap.
  • Black Mesa (€7.99) – A nostalgia trip back into the Black Mesa Research facility. Probably only buy this is you liked the original (Half-Life), since the classic gameplay and jumping-based puzzle designs are not for everyone.
  • Remember Me (€5.59) – The game itself is a 3rd person fighter with a clever twist on button combo’s (build-your-own), but the real gem here is in the great level design of a Blade Runner-y Paris.
  • Max Payne 3 (€5.99) – Everyone’s favorite walking depressed, overworked cop-cliche. Great environmental variety, lenghty story and good voice acting. Can heartily recommend Max Payne 2 too, which starts to show its age, but still has the best atmosphere and soundtrack of any entry in the series.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order (€9.99) – Shoot some nazis. Then shoot some robo-nazis. Then shoot some bigger nazis. Then do the same using two guns at a time. THEN DO IT ALL AGAIN ON THE MOON. A surprisingly well-written game for a title with a simple premise. Good, lengthy singleplayer campaign (>12h).

For more tips, check out the Reddit Steam Sale Hidden Gems thread, Rock Paper Shotgun’s huge recommendation list, and the one from PC Gamer.

Also on sale: the Steam Link (€16) a simple streamer box that connects to your TV via HDMI and allows you to stream games from your network-connected computer. Stream gets encoded in .h264, best results on a wired ethernet network. We use one in the house here, and it works great!

Also number 2: there’s more out there than Steam! Some excellent games can be bought DRM-free and cheaper on different platforms as well: The Witcher 3 GOTY! Kentucky Route Zero! FTL!