The annual wallet-draining Steam Summer Sale is here and it’s time to check out the goods and decide the fate of our finances. While you’re scrolling down through the seemingly bottomless store page of over 13,000 games on sale, you may begin to feel lost, dazed, or simply in awe. But fret not, as I’ve put together a concise list of games currently on sale that I personally have found to be very well worth a gamer’s time and money. These are in no particular order, so read through and find something that speaks to you. Most of these have been out for some time, but everything here I have played and enjoyed enough to promise the safety of your investments. With that said, let’s get started on allocating your rent and food money on some fantastic video games.
Dust: An Elysian Tale
Sale price: $2.99 (originally $14.99)
Dust is an indie action/adventure/RPG with some platforming elements. The game’s art is all hand-painted, which gives it a uniquely gorgeous look whether you’re walking around a town or fighting your way through the forest or up a cliffside. It also has full voice acting for all characters, and while it’s sometimes a bit silly, overall it adds to the aesthetic of the story very well. The combat is hack-and-slash, both fast-paced and deliciously fluid, but in a slightly calculated way as you’ll want to string together combos without getting hit for bonus experience. Once to start to master the combat you’ll find that each of your wide variety of techniques or combos has its proper place in fights, which ultimately makes combat satisfying. You get to craft items, allocate skill points after leveling, and build relationships with numerous NPCs throughout the mysterious and gripping storyline.
You’ll enjoy this most if you like… RPGs, beautiful artwork, adventures, smooth combat
Sale price: $2.99 (originally $14.99)
With a name like this, you’d have to expect some quality roguelike gameplay. Let me tell you, your expectations are about to get their asses kicked. Rogue Legacy offers roguelike platforming with a bit of story and a lot of dying. As a rogue knight, fight your way through a mysterious castle again and again, slowly learning the operations of each enemy, trap, spell, and bossfight. It’s challenging and satisfying, and it really never gets boring. Each time you embark on another attempt you play as an ancestor with unique… conditions. Sometimes you’re colorblind, sometimes you’re a dwarf, sometimes you have Alzheimer’s, sometimes you are afraid of chickens. You get the idea. You can also improve your abilities after each run through a huge system of branching upgrades. It’s a fascinating take on the genre that is always entertaining. This is one of my most-played games on Steam.
You’ll enjoy this most if you like… roguelike games, platformers, challenging games, hilariousness
Sale price: $6.99 (originally $9.99)
Undertale is an RPG, but it’s so much more than an RPG, hell, it’s more than a video game. I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, but this is a game that I personally think everyone, gamer or not, could benefit from. The characters are lovable, the story complex but carefully so, and the gameplay minimalist and unique. That’s all I can tell you. Stay away from spoilers, stay away from anything having to remotely do with Undertale until you’ve completed it. You’ll more than likely want to play through more than once. Honestly, the price on this game means nothing. Buy it and give it a try, not because the internet told you to, but because the game deserves a chance, and it won’t let you down. The hype train can be annoying sometimes, but ignore that and experience the story and gameplay of Undertale. Enjoy.
You’ll enjoy this most if you like… powerful stories, great soundtrack, originality, playing video games at all, life
Orcs Must Die 2
Sale price: $3.74 (originally $14.99). For the game with all DLC, sale price is $6.24 (originally $24.99), or for 2 copies of the game (one for you, one for a friend!), with all DLC included, sale price is $9.99 (originally $39.99).
This is an action/3rd person shooter/strategy take on what is essentially tower defense. Ideally, you play this co-op with a friend, as that is honestly the greatest way to enjoy Orcs Must Die 2. Then, you both work together to kill wave after wave of different kinds of orcs as they try to make it across the stage and you mow them down with a vast variety of traps, tons of upgrades, and your personal weapons as well, in case a few orcs make it past your traps. It’s chaotic, challenging, and fun, plus some goofy one-liners from the characters that will have you laughing during the fights. I bothered listing all of the prices here because the DLC is worth it, but the base game is still fun, and most importantly, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU PLAY THIS WITH A FRIEND. It is an absolute blast, and your friend will appreciate the gift (I actually received my copy from a friend).
You’ll enjoy this most if you like… tower defense, strategy, catapults, challenging games, co-op, hilariousness
Rivals of Aether
Sale price: $9.89 (originally $14.99) – Please note this game is still in Early Access
Do you like Super Smash Bros? Chances are you’ll like Rivals of Aether. It’s a platform-fighting game just like Nintendo’s sacred child. This game, however, is intentionally built to be competitive. There is a lot of skill to be learned, but it is very fast and fun once you’ve learned your basics. The artstyle looks good, the fighters are all unique and thematic, and the mechanics are solid. Find the fighter that suits you and get to pulling off those sweet combos.
You’ll enjoy this most if you like… Super Smash Bros, fighting games, competition, online play, fast-paced games
World of Goo
Sale price: $1.99 (originally $9.99)
This title is truly imaginative in many ways. I suppose you’d call it a puzzle game as you’ll be manipulating different types of blobs and sticks to get from one stage to the next, but there is a bit of story behind it as well. As for the art style, quite frankly, it’s haunting, as is the general atmosphere of the whole game. All in all, it’s interesting and inventive, and will force you to think outside of the box to find your solutions sometimes. I played this for the first time when it came out in 2008, and it really made an impression on me in terms of gameplay and design. Also, two guys made the whole thing.
You’ll enjoy this most if you like… puzzles, originality, haunting aesthetic, great soundtrack
Hopefully this list of my personal recommendations has been helpful to you. If you’re hungry for more games, don’t forget to head over to Steam to check out the full selection, as there’s surely something else to catch your interest there. Just don’t search too long, or your brain might melt from all of the deals.
The Steam Summer Sale ends July 4th.