Day of the Tentacle 70% off

In Day of the Tentacle you play a giant tentacle who flies a TIE fighter and tries to squash the Rebellion (AKA the Whale Menace).

In Day of the Tentacle you play a giant tentacle who flies a TIE fighter and tries to squash the Rebellion (AKA the Whale Menace).

This version of the game has been remastered by Double Fine. They are basically super good at drawing I guess, this game has less pixels than the original, it’s real smooth like.

Anyways, Steam Daily Deal loves a good adventure game and they also love a good Lucas Arts game and they love a good 70% off, if you like moving your mouse cursor across a static screen for 15 (1.5) minutes before getting frustrated and alt tabbing to go look at the answer on GameFAQs you should probably get this game. Also if you like good games you should probably get this game.

 

Hammerwatch

Hammerwatch is like Gauntlet. It is really, really like Gauntlet. Gauntlet is pretty fun. Hammerwatch is pretty fun. Do you like Gauntlet? You will definitely like Hammerwatch. Do you dislike Gauntlet? Well you might still like Hammerwatch. If you have never played Gauntlet, let me explain how Hammerwatch plays. It is simple, and simple on purpose. You hack and slash and dungeon crawl, taking on hordes of enemies while mashing the attack key. You also have a few special attacks that vary depending on the class that you select. 
The pixel graphics are incredibly simplistic but the backgrounds still look nice. The control scheme is the same… you can use a controller if you like, as all you really need are a few buttons. You move, you shoot/attack, and you use your special attack. That’s it. You don’t level up but you do get new special moves and you do get buffs, and skills and combos and things as you gain gold. The most complicated thing in Hammerwatch is the soundtrack which is actually great and probably the best thing the ambiance has to offer.
Hammerwatch isn’t just Gauntlet, though, so much as it is every “Action RPG.” For this reason it is interesting to look at as game design devolved. Specifically it is Diablo III in its purest form. Diablo III has a very rigid skill and level up system. You don’t really get to select the skills that you want to unlock…they just unlock at a certain level. This leads itself to an illusion of choice when it comes to using skills to get combos. Hammerwatch removes this illusion and you get skill combos just by killing consecutive enemies. So you are not mashing different skills together repeatedly in the exact same order like you do it Diablo III, it removes that step and just does it automatically. In Diablo III, leveling up feels important so you can be strong enough to fight the enemies in the next area. But it all just happens naturally as you move throughout the game, and you are stronger against stronger enemies so it doesn’t matter as much as the skills you gain. Hammerwatch removes the levels and just leaves the new skills and buffs. 
Pictured: My Basement
Hammerwatch is a minimalistic look at the Action RPG genre. Or maybe it isn’t and it’s just a hack and slash dungeon crawling Gauntlet clone? Either way it’s only $2.49 and it’s fun to dick around with. Verdict: Buy it.

Prison Architect

Prison Architect: Build and Manage a Maximum Security Prison is an Early Access Game which is usually a bad thing but these guys have a near-complete game that they just want to polish, at least that seems to be the general consensus. According to sources the Prison Architect team has raised over 10 million big ones through crowdfunding and early access sales. What are these sources you ask? Just random comments on the Interwebs, which everyone knows is the most reliable form of information in this day and age. This is funny because prisons in the United States are so overcrowded and lacking in funding, but a UK based prison sim can get 10 mil just like that.

In case you haven’t figured it out, Prison Architect is a prison sim. As such you would think there would be lots of jokes in the reviews section about the dropping of soap and about toilet wine, about kicking someone’s “ass” or becoming somebody’s “bitch” but sadly there has been a complete lack of this. Only one person mentioned the word “fish,” and this is just a damn shame. That can mean only one thing, that Prison Architect is actually a good game. And it is, if you enjoy Tycoon- style games. You can build your own prison however you want, whether it is going to be a white collar paradise or a federal p.m.i.t.a.p(see below). The choice is yours! Make everyone sleep in one room or give everybody cells, either way the people are going to riot eventually and somebody is going to get shivved by a spork.

Prison Architect is currently on sale for $10.19, it is 66% off. This game is pretty fun and pretty addicting if sims/tycoon games are your thing, but $10.19 is a little bit steep. Unfortunately, since it isn’t even released yet the price isn’t going to get much better than that anytime soon, so if you have had your eye on this one for awhile than go ahead and get it. For the rest of you come back when the game is done and it is on sale again. Verdict: Skip it.

Terraria

Terraria is a game that looks kind of like Minecraft, and it plays kind of like Minecraft, but also it’s in 2D. Also a lot of people will get upset if you tell them that Terraria is Minecraft in 2D, and some other people will tell you Minecraft is more complicated. The point is there are staunch supporters of both games. Rabid fans, if you will. Just take one look at YouTube. People love both these games. The difference is Minecraft isn’t on Steam yet. If you type ‘Minecraft’ into Steam search the first thing that comes up is 7 Days to Die, which must be what happens if you play that game for 7 days straight.

Anyways, Terraria allows you to build and build like Minecraft, although you only have to think in two dimensions so it’s probably a little bit easier. I never could figure out how to build anything cool with Legos that wasn’t just a big square. It was just too complex. But in 2D anything is possible. But the biggest difference between Terraria and Minecraft isn’t the building. It is the exploration. Exploring is certainly possible in Minecraft. But you can go in any direction in Terraria basically forever. Up, down, left, right, (hold A and press start) and you will find wildly different territories. Dig down under to a fiery Hell full of lava or become Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk and find a city in the clouds. And then when you’re in that city in the clouds become best friends with Lando Calrissian, only to be betrayed by him in exchange for the safety of said Cloud City, and then eventually Lando will regain your trust by piloting your ship in a massive space battle surrounding the new, super Death Star. Then, you can party in the forest with teddy bears.

It’s like if you mixed freeform jazz and castlevania except not like that at all

Also, there’s fighting. Basically, if you like Minecraft then you would probably like this game. If you hate the idea of crafting then Terraria will probably not change your mind. But if you are scared of crafting and building and pixels, but at the same time you like exploration, it might actually bring you over to the dark side. Exploration in 2D can be fun too. Plus it’s cheap. Terraria is currently on sale for 80% off. It is $1.99. Verdict: Buy it.

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is that one game with all of the animal masks and the pixels and the brutality. It is also set in the 80s in a fictional hot pink and sky blue dreamland called Miami. Aesthetically, it’s like if you combined Scarface with GTA Vice City and scrambled it around with the present day scenes of Back to the Future. Or maybe that’s just because you drive a DeLorean. And that DeLorean is totally radical. You don’t actually get to drive it but the main character, Rooster Man, gets to drive it to and from missions.

So the game looks cool but it sounds even better. Seriously the soundtrack of Hotline Miami is awesome. The tracks are mostly short, looping affairs, but they fit together with the action that’s taking place onscreen perfectly. As you get to more difficult levels you will spend more time dying and you’ll fall into a cycle of dying and running through a level endlessly like the song that plays in your ears. It sounds crazy but it all works together to make the experience of dying not a big deal at all. Super Meatboy-style. But the music glues it all together. There’s a story at play and it’s kind of confusing on purpose but it remains interesting and doesn’t get in the way of the rest of the game. The characters are cool and the masks are sufficiently creepy.

Gameplay basically consists of finding a weapon and using it. A novel concept to be sure. But in order to use the weapon effectively you have to memorize some patterns of your enemies, and the patterns get more and more complex. It’s almost like a puzzle game, because you will try different strategies and find that some don’t work and some do so you will substitute certain moves, and eventually keep adding different moves until you clear out the whole house without dying. Combos is what the game calls it and that’s what they are. A simple example: you open the door to a room and there are three people inside, one with a knife, one with a gun, and one with a bat. They circle the room continuously and will kill you within a second of opening the door. But you can open the door and knock out the guy with knife in the same move, pick it up and throw it at the guy with the gun and take down Batman with your fists, all in under a second. This is how the whole game is. It’s minutes of planning and seconds of action, but if you dodge bullets for ten seconds and take down a whole house full of people in one fell swoop it feels like you really get into the “zone” as it were. Sometimes you get lucky and that feels good but the vast majority of your victories are hard fought.

Caution: Wet Floor

Hotline Miami is currently 85% off, on sale for $1.49. This is a phenomenal deal. Yes, PHENOMENAL. What are these, 80s prices? If you don’t buy this game you probably don’t like fun. Even if you only play through a couple levels $1.49 is too cheap to pass up. Verdict: Buy it.

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Scribblenauts Unlimited is a game that I thought was going to require some from of artistic skill and this was scary. Fortunately there is no drawing involved. Instead we must paint with words. Basically the gameplay is as simple and complex as you want it to be. You open up a prompt and anything you can think of and type in will get spawned in the game. Well, not anything, but a surprising amount of nouns. And adjectives! You can make a radioactive cthulhu. And then drag him around on a tow truck. You can make a sad zombie. The sad zombie is surprisingly depressing.

Most of the puzzles are pretty easy as long as you have an imagination. So I hope you still do. It’s really about coming up with the funniest solutions to common problems. If there is a fire, you could spawn a fire truck and put it out. Or a fire extinguisher. But the correct answer is to create a tidal wave that eliminates all traces, or possibly some kind of water monster. It’s pretty entertaining. The game really captures the feel of flipping through the best damn coloring book you’ve used since you were a kid…except you’re not coloring so much as creating a hilarious world. Unless you are some kind of heartless bastard this should be a good thing. The levels are all colorful and varied and you basically travel from place to place helping (or hurting) strangers with your magic pencil.

Sometimes the physics can get a little wonky, and sometimes (a lot of the time) things don’t quite work out the way you want them too. However, the disappointment quickly leads to joy because you just try something else even weirder that actually works. Seriously, whenever you come up with a really weird solution to one of the problems presented to you and the game actually lets you do it it’s strangely satisfying. Scribblenauts Unlimited really encourages you to game the system. And for the most part it is just a flat out good time.

Doctor Jones!

Scribblenauts Unlimited is currently on sale at 75% off for $4.99. This is probably worth it, because the game is unique and highly entertaining, and you don’t need to sink a ton of time into it to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Verdict: Buy it.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy (pronounced SUPERRRRRR MEAT BOYEEEE) is a game that was featured in that movie, Indie Movie: The Game or whatever. It is a hardcore platformer. Seriously, it is really dedicated to platforming. All you do is run and jump. But that’s what makes this game fun. It’s just you, the gamer, and your skills, against the game. Nothing else. You can really hone your “craft” as it were.

Super Meat Boy is a hamburger or something and his goal is to make it through the meat factory unscathed, so he can be reunited with his girlfriend that is made out of buns…or something along those lines. The story isn’t as important, but it’s there. You will die in this game, a lot. If you think you died in Dark Souls a lot you are wrong. Especially just starting out, you can die like fifty times on one level and then at the end, assuming you don’t lose your mind in frustration, you get to watch all your deaths. It is strangely satisfying. There is a strong sense of accomplishment when you finish a tough level. Unfortunately this is accompanied by a strong sense of depression when you realize how that’s all you’ve ever accomplished with your life. So I guess it balances out.

You do have to memorize patterns in order to progress unless you can slow down time or something, and depending on how you feel about that this might not be the game for you. But it’s really, really fun and you can really get into that zone that only comes from playing something really fast paced requiring all the right actions. It is currently 80% off and $2.99. This is totally worth it, considering it won’t even by you a western bacon cheeseburger these days. Verdict: Buy it.