Every year the winter sale comes around and the front page is filled with great deals for some of the top games of the year, and then some, but there are over 6000 specials on Steam right now. Going through these games reveals some absolute rubbish, arguably not even worth their miniscule price tag. So, here are my top 5 games you probably haven’t thought of getting, which you could probably buy just by selling those Steam trading cards off, in no particular order.
(For working out card value, I took the price in GBP for the games, and assumed the average card would be sold at 6 pence, resulting in 4 pence for you as the seller.)
Angvik (£0.99, $1.49 or your equivalent):
This is the most expensive game on the list, and the hardest to explain. It is described as an action platformer, but I don’t think a genre exists that it can be applied to: it has elements you can find in RPG games, with gear progression, and, a number of different weapons with strange qualities, with the permadeath style and difficulty found in roguelike games. When you start, you can pick your father’s class (and so, the gear you can inherit if you desire), and begin your journey to confront the world’s barbarian ruler. If you’re looking for a ruthless, difficult platformer, I’d highly recommend Angvik, and you could get enough money for it by selling about 25 cards at 6 pence each.
Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death (£0.79, $0.99 or your equivalent):
At first glance, and by the name, it looks like what a B-movie would be if it was made into a game, and that’s a pretty accurate description. You play Marlow Briggs, a man who, after crashing in Central America, becomes tied to a Mayan Death Mask and becomes a sacred warrior who must defeat the leader of an industrial army. To be honest, the story is average, not quite compelling. The combat is fun, nothing special, and a few enemies are recycled, although later on they get switched up. It’s some pretty typical spectacle fighter action, with some over the top turret segments, and a few boss fights. The dialogue, however, is hilarious, and both Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death have some fantastic lines. The game has a good 4-5 hours of gameplay, and the game is worth it simply for the writing and voice acting, even if you’re not the biggest fan of the genre. I mean, a segment around dodging pillars while tied upside-down to a helicopter with a whip is certainly interesting. For around 20 cards, it’s a campaign the same length as Battlefield and a lot of laugh-out-loud lines.
DEFCON (£0.59, $0.99 or your equivalent):
‘Everybody dies’ is the tagline for this game. Surprising for what looks like a hacker’s screen on CSI. Inspired by the film WarGames, this game pits players against each other as different continents, each placing nuclear silos, subs, air bases and radars, progressing through the stages of DEFCON until all-out nuclear war occurs. I can’t honestly recommend this game for its singleplayer component, there’s no campaign or anything, it would just be you versus the AI. The multiplayer component, however, is hilarious. You can start alliances, wars, and backstab everyone in the game if you play it right. A game can take 10 minutes, or 6 hours (using a specific gamemode made for people to play against each other in an office). It’s been a fantasy of mine to do that gamemode, leave the game running in the background all day, every so often tabbing back, if you don’t pay attention you might have a nuclear bomb about to land in a major city. It’s the most real-time of real-time strategy games, and it’s a great simple game for friends to play together, either online or on a local connection. At around 15 cards, it’s fantastic for some multiplayer fun.
Toki Tori (£0.34, $0.49 or your equivalent):
The cheapest game here, at less than a chocolate bar, the original Toki Tori was released in 2001, for the Game Boy Colour. It’s essentially Lemmings meets a platformer, using the idea of limited abilities. You, as the adorable yellow bird-chicken-thing, must save the other bird-chicken-things in their eggs, while avoiding the enemies. I originally played the game on the Wii, and, while I found it devilishly difficult, it was a lot of fun, and I’m sure people who like puzzle games based around the idea of limited abilities used to get across a gap or kill an enemy would really enjoy this game. Also, the music is phenomenal, the sort of happy music you’d expect in a bright, colourful game such as this. The game has a sequel out, and the developers have a knack for puzzlers, if you’re really a fan of it. At under 10 cards, I’m sure everyone has enough that they could sell for this game.
LYNE: (£0.59, $0.89 or your equivalent):
I only bought this game in this current sale, enticed by the simple idea behind it, and the minimalist style. It’s a puzzle game, where shapes have to be connected, using bridges a set number of times. The complexity comes from the number of shapes, and the number of times these bridges are to be used, with no path being able to cross or be used twice. It’s very calming, and is also available for smartphones, but works just as well as fun, yet difficult puzzler. It has hundreds of puzzles, and it’s easy to get stuck on one, until you have your eureka moment. With daily puzzles too, there’s a lot of content, and some daily puzzles are nice and simple, while some are for those in MENSA. It’s also the newest game on this list, and is worth around 15 cards. This is probably the game I’d recommend the most, I’m loving it so far.
These games are all on sale until the end of Steam’s winter sale, 2nd January. I can’t see any of them being put on the daily, flash or community choice sales, simply because they’re not well-known and are already heavily discounted, although if you want to, you can wait until the last day to make sure you get the best deal. There are a number of good games around this price tag, worth the low price, and a couple honourable mentions I’d give are DLC Quest, for a bit of satire, Dungeon Hearts, a great twist on the match-three genre. Where Steam gets a lot of flak for having a lot of rubbish put on the front page, it’s good to see even the budget games have these gems.