Steam Sale Writer’s Picks – October 4th

Steam Sale Writer's Picks
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Happy spooky month of October to you, friends! Hope you’ve got your favourite scary games lined up to play. My copy of Ecco the Dolphin is ready. Those giant whales get me every time.

Here are this week’s picks for you.

The Escapists is on offer at a third of the usual price. It’s an RPG of sorts; as in you choose your character, role, job and path, but gameplay is restricted and linear thanks to the fact you’re in prison. The aim is to escape the prison, but it’s up to you how you do it. You can stick to the rules, or break as many as you can, make friends and enemies of the guards and other inmates, and learn how you might plan a stay in the pen, should you find yourself there one day.

The fun is in the small missions, picked up by chatting to NPCs, and in the dialogue. It’s not voice acted, only text, but that just makes it even more hilarious. As time goes on it gets harder and harder to keep up with the dialogue bubbles, and keeping everyone on your side. The days which get shaken up are fun to watch. Sit back and watch a riot, or join in – it’s up to you.

Secondly, the haunting sci-fi horror SOMA has 60% off this week. If you have played – or even heard of – Amnesia: The Dark Descent, then you might have an idea of what you’ll be in for. SOMA is made by the same people, and there is no let up on the terrifying atmosphere that they managed to create in their previous hit.

SOMA is set in an underwater facility, where something has gone very wrong. You are isolated, and have to find the answers to all the questions you wish you didn’t have to ask. It has the first-person element and the atmosphere of BioShock, with the horror and anxiety of Dead Space. Try and enjoy the beauty of the graphics and set pieces, whilst feeling the continuous dread of what is lurking in the shadows.

Ever had an existential crisis? The Talos Principal will give you one. I don’t know if that’s selling it, but my goodness, it’s one of the best existential crises I’ve ever had, and it’s a quarter of the price. When I was little, I’d stare in the mirror, adjusting the focus of my eyes between my face and the bathroom behind me. How did I get here; to this specific point? I’d ask myself. These days Im far too busy for that, but then The Talos Principal happened, and I found a way to escape into the most amazing thoughts on humanity and everything that comes with it.

It’s a first-person puzzle game, along the lines of Portal and Myst, and follows the story of a robot who is solving puzzles for their creator, discovering stories about the humans who came before them, and what the future holds, should they solve all of the puzzles. The whole game is a serious commitment, requiring the player to become invested and to stick with it, but if you’re up for the challenge, it comes with the reward of satisfaction, and may even teach you things about yourself you didn’t know. It’s a genuine probability,.

3D adventure platformer Grow Up has a third off the usual price, with the bundle of Grow Up and its predecessor – Grow Home – together for 46% off. It’s a good-looking explorative game, encouraging you to think about physics and the environment around you. The story follows on from Grow Home – which is half price on its own – and the world you are playing in has expanded. You now visit several planets to progress, though the mechanics are essentially the same.

There are more tools for BUD to use, and more ways in which he can use the flora to complete his tasks. It’s hard to deny that BUD is cute, and it’s hard to get the game wrong. It’s a great casual platformer for anyone to have a go at.

Special mention to Day of the Tentacle Remastered, which is half price for the mid-week madness sale. Originally released in the early 90s for PCs, this point and click adventure has all the hallmarks of an absolute classic, hence why it got a remaster, I suppose. It was developed and published by LucasArts, and was the sequel to the equally beloved Maniac Mansion.

You take control of three housemates, all very different in character, but therefore useful in their own ways. Purple Tentacle has mutated to gained super intelligence and flipper arms, and decided it wants to take over the world, so your mission is to go back in time and stop the tentacle from mutating in the first place. However, things go very wrong as one character is sent too far back, one too far forward and the other stays in the present. Solving point and click puzzles and using the time machines between the characters, you come back together to defeat the tentacle.

Day of the Tentacle is great thanks to the story and the way it’s delivered. It has some of the best writing in a point and click adventure, and that’s saying something. The characters are brilliant, and the whole thing never fails to make me laugh. It’s a must for adventure game fans, and those of us who love sci-fi b-movies.

Well, that’s me out for the week, folks. Hope you all have a great one, and I will see you on the flip side, whatever that means.

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