10 Awesome Deals From GOG’s Big Deal Sale
Pictured above: Aarklash Legacy
If you haven't noticed yet, GOG has been running a sale for around a week now. There's over 200 games being sold at ridiculously cheap prices, with the most extreme deals reaching a staggering 95% off. Needless to say, there's a lot of games worth checking out here. I could ramble all day listing great indie games at historically low prices, but I'll keep it down to 10 for brevity's sake. Here's 10 games you should consider buying before the sale ends tomorrow:
$0.99 (90% off)
Anyone who reads my sales articles knows that my fanboyism for Arcen Games is near fetishistic, and I always highlight at least one of their titles when they are discounted. This tiny indie studio produces some awesome, quirky games that rarely ever live up to their full potential, but always offer an extremely unique experience you can't really get anywhere else. One of my personal favorites is Bionic Dues, a mecha roguelike that sadly never achieved the same success as some of Arcen's other games. You have somewhere between 30 and 50 days to liberate a city that has been overrun by robotic death machines before your higher-ups turn to their last resort: Nuclear annihilation. Each mission consumes one day, and successfully completing your objective can weaken the robotic forces in one way or another. However, the robots strengthen in other ways after each level, regardless of your success or failure.
The campaign features around 120 missions, and you don't have enough time to complete them all before facing a gigantic final assault by the robot forces. Some missions might delay the assault, but you can never prevent it from happening. It's definitely not a game for everyone, but I urge anyone mildly interested in the concept to at least give it a try. Arcen's other games are on sale too, so if roguelikes aren't your thing then you should consider The Last Federation or AI War.
Ziggurat wasn't the first game to merge roguelike procedural generation and progression with FPS gameplay, but I personally feel that it was the first that really felt good to play. It's a fairly solid and mechanically sound old-school-inspired arena shooter that uses procedural generation and randomized loot to spice things up. It avoids many of the pitfalls of this subgenre of roguelites by giving the player several guns at the beginning of a run, so it doesn't suffer as much from the early game repetition other titles in the genre have. Unfortunately, while early game variety is pretty nice, you'll eventually find that there isn't a whole lot of content overall; you'll probably only complete a handful of runs before moving on to another game. It's still fun enough to blaze through on a lazy weekend though, and the current sale price is just right.
$3.79 (75% off)
Apotheon isn't Alientrap's first game, but it was the one that gained them some fleeting mainstream attention. This 2D action puzzle-platformer is set in Ancient Greece and features a gorgeous art direction inspired by pottery and paintings from the time. The combat is fast and skillful, with a really nice variety of both traditional Bronze Age weapons and mythological abilities bestowed upon you by the Gods of Olympus. The controls are a bit janky at times, particularly during the game's platforming segments, but they aren't so bad that they prevented me from finishing the game. There's some light Metroidvania elements too, as you'll occasionally backtrack to reach new areas after completing certain tasks. While Apotheon is the better of the two games, you can grab Alientrap's previous title, Capsized, for only $1. Cryptark, which is their latest game, is also on sale for 50% off.
$1.99 (90% off)
Aarklash Legacy is a great party-based RPG set in the beloved (but defunct) Confrontation miniature game universe. You control a group of mercenaries that have been wrongly accused of treason, and are now on the run from the Lion of Alahan's forces. While the story and voice acting aren't incredible, the combat and interesting character designs make Aarklash Legacy a worthy addition to your CRPG library. Combat is real-time with an active pause system, and in many ways it almost feels like a single player MOBA where you control multiple champions at once. Micromanaging the positioning of your party is a huge part of the game, and even many of the healing abilities need to be aimed. While the skill trees and character customization aren't quite as deep as some other isometric RPGs, you still do get to make some pretty meaningful choices when leveling up your characters, including mutually-exclusive skills that can alter the way the character plays.
$7.49 (75% off)
In some ways, Age of Wonders 3 is a downgrade from its classic predecessors. The empire management isn't as complex as other 4X games, but at the same time the fun tactical combat, charming unit designs, and interesting approach to factions make it a game I still managed to put hundreds of hours into. My favorite aspect is how you can customize your faction. When building your leader, you choose their race, class, and three schools of magic or technology. While the core aspects of empire management are always the same, the combination of these choices alters your play style in more subtle ways. Races have their own set of units and preferences, your class gives you access to unique units and upgrades, and finally the schools of magic determine what your tech trees and spell books look like. There's some minor RPG elements to Age of Wonders 3 as well, including stat and ability customization for your heroes, items, and dungeons you can raid for loot and resources. The entire Age of Wonders franchise is on sale right now, and you honestly can't go wrong regardless of which game you pick.
$1.99 (95% off)
I have to be honest here, Lichdom isn't exactly a great game. It's a fantastic IDEA for a game, but its execution is pretty flawed. The concept of Lichdom is that it's a first-person RPG about being a ridiculously overpowered mage. There are no mana bars, cooldowns, or other limits to your face-freezing, flesh-sizzling magic. In theory, at least. In reality, Lichdom is more of a fantasy FPS where you shoot lightning bolts and fireballs from your fingers, and it's a damn pretty one too. The biggest problems with the game come down to boring level design, a loot-based spell crafting system that isn't as deep or interesting as it could have been, and a general lack of meaningful character progression. Like I said, it's by no means a bad game, it just didn't live up to its potential. Despite my complaints though, at 95% off you can still have a decent amount of fun blowing people up with fireballs in gorgeous HD graphics powered by CryEngine.
$3.99 (80% off)
As far as game titles go, Door Kickers is pretty lame and comes off as a bad meme. Luckily, the actual gameplay of Door Kickers is pretty freaking awesome. If you are disappointed that the Rainbox Six franchise abandoned the planning phase ages ago, then Door Kickers is the top-down strategy game you need in your life, because that essentially what this game is. Control a squad of SWAT operators through dozens of deadly scenarios featuring hostages, suicide bombers, and other terrorists that have barricaded themselves inside of buildings and won't go down without a fight. Once you breached your way through all the premade scenarios you can dive into the random level generators, or even make your own missions with the game's built-in editor.
$6.29 (75% off)
While I do really enjoy the modern XCOM titles, gamers looking for an experience closer to the original UFO Defense need to check out Xenonauts. You play as the commander of the Xenonauts, a multinational coalition formed to repel alien invaders. It really does look and feel like what you'd expect from a straight modernization of the original X-Com, and features many of the fan-favorite mechanics that Firaxis removed. In some ways, Xenonauts manages to surpass its larger budget contemporary, particularly in regards to the UFO interception mini-game, better base construction, and a deeper inventory system for your troops. It's not quite perfect, and still lacks polish and balance in a few areas, but for the most part Xenonauts is closer to what I wanted from a modern interpretation of X-Com, even if the real reboot still turned out pretty good.
$3.79 (75% off)
Stories is an action roguelite with some genuinely innovative ideas. It blends a pretty basic (though generally fun and well-designed) action combat system with a choose-your-own-adventure narrative that can lead to many possible outcomes. As with all roguelites, its designed to be replayed many times, but the choice-driven approach to the narrative makes it very unique in an otherwise saturated genre because of the sheer number of bizarre and tongue-in-cheek ways you can mess up. And you will mess up a lot, as the entire narrative is based around learning from your mistakes and trying something different next time…and that next time will undoubtedly also end in failure.
Double Damage Games
$4.99 (75% off)
Finally we come to Rebel Galaxy, a space RPG that shouldn't be confused with Rogue Galaxy from the PS2. Rebel Galaxy allows you to live out your Firefly fantasies by traveling across dangerous border systems on the edge of civilized space as you trade, mine space debris, hunt pirates, and navigate your way through the power politics of the galaxy's rival factions. The core gameplay loop of entering a new system to grind for resources so you can upgrade your ship does get repetitive after a while, but the game's fun ship-to-ship combat and excellent soundtrack will keep you busy for at least a few dozen hours. If the customization was deeper and the late-game gear was more interesting then Rebel Galaxy could have turned out to be something really special, but as it stands its merely a pretty solid space RPG.
You still have around 20 hours to snap up any deals that catch your attention. Make sure you browse the sale's page though, because there are tons of other good games being sold at bargain bin prices right now.