Pictured above: Vermintide
Another wallet-crushing Steam Winter Sale is upon us. Gamers across the globe are currently filling their libraries with cheap games that they'll probably never even install. As usual, I'd like to take a moment to highlight some good deals you may have missed. I could be here forever listing awesome Steam deals, but I decided to limit it to 10 games I personally love that are under $10.
$7.49 (70% off)
Grim Dawn was one of my favorite games from last year. Hell, the recent expansion has ensured that its one of my favorite games this year as well. Grim Dawn is one of the best paid action RPGs currently on the market, and it's exactly what disenfranchised Diablo fans are longing for. While the expansion and DLC packs are only mildly discounted, the base game is currently the cheapest I've ever seen it. That's still enough content to last you hundreds of hours, especially when you consider the sheer amount of character build possibilities due to dual classes and the Constellation system. If that's not enough hack 'n slash action for you, the remastered version of Titan Quest is also deeply discounted if you want to check out the developer's previous work.
$2.49 (75% off)
Before such massive hits as Homeworld 2, Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes, Relic made a fairly obscure little RTS called Impossible Creatures. This oddball game from 2003 was largely forgotten to the passage of time, until it was unexpectedly re-released and updated to run on modern systems a few years back. What made this RTS unique was that instead of controlling armies of tanks and infantry like its contemporaries, you crafted your own units by splicing together various animals. With over 50 animals to choose from, the list of possible combinations was pretty extensive, and the inclusion of Steam Workshop support only ensures that there's more to come. It might not be the best game Relic has ever made, but it's still worth checking out at the current sale price. Speaking of which, Relic's more fondly-remembered titles are all heavily discounted as well.
$3.74 (75% off)
Chroma Squad is a turn-based tactics game with light management elements that perfectly encapsulates the inherently goofy nature of Power Rangers, and the Tokusatsu genre as a whole. After being fired by an unpleasable director, a stunt team decides to create their own costumed superhero TV series. Starting with a budget that consists of painted cardboard boxes, Chroma Squad allows you to reenact your Power Ranger dreams with flashy combination attacks, transformation sequences, and mecha battle minigames. Greater than the sum of its parts, Chroma Squad combines serviceable management with some solid turn-based battles to make a charming game that will entertain anyone that grew up watching the shows it parodies.
$3.99 (90% off)
Speaking of games that are greater than the sum of their parts, Larian's Dragon Commander is ridiculously cheap right now. Dragon Commander was developed as a little side game to hold people over until Original Sin came out, but it's pretty decent in its own right. It tries to do way too much at once between turn-based empire management, RPG-style conversations and negotiations, massive RTS battles, and third-person aerial combat. It might not excel in any one area, with the RTS segments being particularly shoddy, but Dragon Commander as a whole still manages to come together to form a fairly enjoyable game. Admittedly, your enjoyment of the game will still ultimately come down to how willing you are to look past some pretty rough mechanics here and there.
$4.07 (66% off)
Dungeon of the Endless is another stopgap title that was designed to satisfy fans between games. Released in the lead-up to Endless Legend, Dungeon of the Endless is a strange combination of dungeon crawler and tower defense roguelite that connects the two Endless franchises together. You control a small crew of survivors that have crashed on a savage and primitive world. Explore procedurally generated dungeons with your party of heroes, then set them up in defensive positions to protect your core from waves of enemies. As with any roguelite, death is permanent and you'll unlock a steady stream of new characters and ships as you progress through the game. All the rest of the Endless games are discounted as well, including 50% off of Endless Space 2.
$0.99 (80% off)
Bleed is one of the small handful of games I'd actually recommend from the 360's old XBLIG section. It came out on PC a while back, and the sequel launched earlier this year. Bleed is all about replicating the fast and stylish action you'd see in a Tarantino film, and it largely succeeds in being a challenging and enjoyable shooter. It's not a very long game, but it's fun while it lasts, and at the current price, it's definitely worth giving a try. There's a combo pack available that includes both games for $6.78, though I can't personally say anything about the sequel.
$7.49 (75% off)
With the recent announcement of 2 million units sold and a sequel coming next year, now's the perfect time to try out the original Vermintide at a really cheap price. Vermintide follows the same basic formula as Left 4 Dead, but with a greater emphasis on melee combat and objectives. Vermintide is perhaps my favorite horde-based co-op game, and in my opinion, the multiple classes and loot system give it more replayability than many of the titles that inspired it. While the combat system is fairly simple, the crunchy sound assets, meaty physics, and sheer number of Skaven on-screen at once makes it some of the most satisfying first-person melee combat you'll ever experience. The game is best enjoyed with friends, but there's still enough people playing that you shouldn't have a hard time finding games through the matchmaking system.
$4.49 (70% off)
Image & Form is best known for the SteamWorld Dig games, but I personally enjoy SteamWorld Heist more. Set in the same universe, Heist trades the digging and platforming for turn-based 2D piracy with an emphasis on trickshots. Board unsuspecting cargo ships with your party of upgradable steam-power robots, take every valuable that isn't nailed down, and escape before things get too hectic. Combat plays out a lot like Worms. You take turns moving your characters around, but have to manually aim all your weapons and gadgets. This is where the trickshots come from, as a big part of the combat involves ricocheting bullets off walls to hit enemies behind cover. The other SteamWorld games are discounted too, including 35% off the relatively new SteamWorld Dig 2.
$5.24 (65% off)
Cryptark released from Early Access back in June, and this is the biggest discount I've seen for it. This 2D shooter combines careful planning and management with hectic and challenging combat. You are a hardsuit pilot for a salvage company that has been hired by a shady corporation to retrieve priceless artifacts from derelict alien space hulks. Your operations are on a tight budget, with razor-thin profit margins and the constant threat of bankruptcy looming over you. Risk and reward is a huge part of Cryptark, and this is reinforced in every aspect of the game. Armor plates, ammo, gadgets, everything has to be bought before a mission, and you have the option to risk bringing less supplies to improve your profits. Likewise, you can play it safe and stick to your primary mission, or explore the space hulks more thoroughly to get secondary objectives and salvage additional equipment. Alientrap's previous games are also really cheap, and I'd personally recommend grabbing their Collection Bundle for $11.66 to get Apotheon and Capsized.
$7.99 (60% off)
Finally we come to Aztez, another recent release that came out over the summer. While this 2D brawler isn't as ludicrously cheap as the other games on my list, I'm including it here because it's a damn fine game that was totally overlooked by gamers and the media. Your goal in Aztez is to unite the Aztec cities in preparation for a coming calamity that has been foreseen by the Empire's mystics. You do this by choosing missions on a map in a turn-based empire management screen, then slaughtering your enemies in brutal real-time combat. The brawling in this game is extremely complex, with tons of options that higher level fighting game fans will appreciate. There's only a handful of weapons to choose from, but each one is drastically different and the game is built around switching weapons mid-attack to keep your combo going. The actual empire management is the game's weakest point, but the combat more than makes up for it.
Which of these deals caught your attention?