Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 12th – Day 1

Hello, and welcome to the first in a series of daily roundups and mini-reviews we’ll be doing over the next couple of weeks. It’s Summer sale season over on Steam, and this means that a metric ton of indie games are going to be very cheap, although usually for only one day at a time. IGM are here to help you pick out the wheat from the chaff while the daily deals are active.

Today’s Individual Deals:

  • Terraria75% off – The low-fi, 2D titan that traded blows with Minecraft and came out looking none the worse for it. A compelling mix of sandbox construction gameplay and Metroidvania-style progression, with a little dash of Diablo-esque loot hoarding for flavour. Development on this one has ceased, but a modding community has risen from the ashes, and are already producing some amazing stuff.
  • Legend Of Grimrock60% offWe reviewed this a while back, and came to the conclusion that it was a brilliant bit of old-school dungeon crawling. Patterned almost exclusively after the seminal Dungeon Master, you lead a team of customized characters through a grid-based, realtime trap-and-monster-infested dungeon on a quest for freedom. Beautiful graphics and presentation, stern challenge, clever dungeon designs and an upcoming level editor to extend the lifespan further. Old-school, but essential.

Today’s Flash Deals – Get Them Fast:

  • SpaceChem75% off9 hours and counting down on this one. Multi-award-winning logic puzzle gaming from Zachtronics. Step into the shoes of a Reaction Engineer, working your way across a series of off-world factories that break down individual atomic components and restructure them into industrial chemicals. You do this by assembling self-repeating ‘machines’ made out of software-like looping commands, picking apart atoms and reassembling them with maximum efficiency. It sounds a little dull, but there’s a ferociously intelligent, difficult and addictive game here if you give it half a chance.

Today’s Indie Bundle (75% Off When Bought Together):

  • Anomaly: Warzone Earth – Very polished and quite fun ‘reverse tower defense’. Aliens have invaded Earth and have covered the roads to their fortresses with turrets. You’re in control of building a convoy of assault vehicles and then escorting them to their targets, by picking various road branches, and deploying time-limited powerups in order to guard your units.
  • Cave Story+ – A true indie classic. A SNES-esque platform adventure with loveable character, a great soundtrack, some really clever level and boss design and movement physics that just feel right. Used to be freeware, but this is the updated ‘plus’ edition, with higher-res art, several variants of the remixed soundtrack and some extra perks and playmodes. A must-have for any indie fan.
  • Edge – An iOS port that survived the move to desktop systems quite nicely. I’ve heard it fairly sharply described as being kinda like Marble Madness, but with a cube. While that means that the movement physics are somewhat easier to handle, there’s the added quirk that to get from point A to B often requires balancing on the very edge of a platform – a feat that reminds me of balance feats in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
  • Lone Survivor – The best Silent Hill game released in years, and it doesn’t even have the official name attached. A great big pixelly love-letter to Silent Hill 2 and other low-key, psychological horror experiences. You need to balance scavenging for food, fighting twitching, otherworldly monsters and taking care of your mental health in a nightmare-like world which might not even really be there. Several endings and a lot of text that reacts to how you’re playing add replay value to this. Also has an absolutely amazing soundtrack.
  • The Baconing – It says a lot about the quality of the games in today’s indie deals when this is the weakest of the bunch. An arcade, comedy hack n’ slash RPG with some point and click adventure logic, and a sense of humor straight out of The Tick. The core gameplay feels like a more arcadey Diablo, and a second player can grab a controller and jump in to help out at any point. Good production values, solid gameplay, mostly-funny humor (if a little too overly ‘wacky’) and a funny art-style full of cheap cardboard cut-out props and backdrops. Not the greatest, but good anyway.

A very impressive first day. Every indie title featured in the daily deals is well worth owning if you like their respective genres, and there’s plenty more to come. We’ll be covering this whole sale, so some back tomorrow for our latest recommendations. There’s plenty of other things on sale elsewhere on the store, but the featured items are what we’re focusing, at least until the last day.

A bit of advice: As with all big Steam sale events, if something you want isn’t a daily deal today (or you missed out on the day that it was) then put it on your wishlist and hold onto your cash until the final ‘encore’ day of deals. You never know what’ll be featured! Shop smart, and you’ll come away from this with a fat sack of games to last you until Winter. And then the cycle begins all over again. Ain’t gaming great?

A geek for all seasons. A veteran of early DOS-era gaming, with encyclopaedic knowledge of things geeky on all platforms. The more obscure and bizarre, the better. If you've got indie news you want to break in a big way, send it this way!

Join the discussion by leaving a comment

Leave a reply

IndieGameMag - IGM