It’s that time of year again where Steam makes your wallet lonely. The Steam Summer Sale this year runs through tomorrow, so there are still a few more hours to pick something up. If you’ve got a bit of money to burn but are fresh out of ideas, here are some truly bizarre and off-the-wall suggestions from us here at TechRaptor. All prices are in USD.
Curse: The Eye of Isis
If you don’t want to shell out for Resident Evil Village, or just want a return to formula, Curse: The Eye of Isis may be something for you. It’s a survival-horror experience that hearkens back to the genre’s golden days, presumably because it was released way back in October 2003. Though it was considered clunky and derivative at the time, opinions have softened on it over the years. Strange occurrences happen one night at Britain’s Museum of Natural History. Take control of curator and archeologist Victoria Sutton and her childhood friend Darien Dane to stop the ancient evil spreading throughout the museum. The late 1800s provide a neat, Gothic atmosphere for survival horror compared to the genre's more typical contemporary technology and settings. If you love a late-Victorian aesthetic, PlayStation 2-era graphics, and survival horror, it’s 83% off. That's a whopping $0.50 on Steam.
If you like adventure games, Thimbleweed Park is a big throwback to the classics like Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. Created by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick themselves, the writing is witty, the inventory-object puzzles are numerous, and the vacuum tubes are an essential plot point. Agents Ray and Reyes investigate a murder in the eponymous town, but find themselves involved in something far bigger than a pixelating dead body down by the river. A Twin Peaks-like soundtrack pulls the intrigue together. There’s no danger of dying or a game over, but Thimbleweed Park has plenty of tension sandwiched between chuckles. Definitely consider playing on the harder riddle mode, though, as the easier difficulty omits several puzzles and context. It’s $9.99 right now for the Summer Sale.
The Age of Decadence
The Age of Decadence is a turn-based RPG similar to the early Baldur’s Gate games. Released in 2015, it mashes together low fantasy and something like the Roman Empire. The game focuses on the player, and there are no permanent companions such as in Baldur’s Gate or Planescape: Torment. You’re mostly on your own, here, so if you’re looking for a challenge, The Age of Decadence may be it. The difficulty is downright brutal at points, making it a great game for a glutton for punishment. There are plenty of choices and huge dialogue trees, not to mention the massive number of skills to learn, utilize, and master. At $3.24, it’s sitting at a hefty 75% discount through the end of the Summer Sale.
Realms of the Haunting
Realms of the Haunting combines classic shooter gameplay with FMVs. Released back in the '90s, you can experience it for yourself on Steam now. Just about anything can run it. Adam Randall journeys to a creepy haunted house to investigate the mysterious death of his father. Things start to get even more strange, however, and he soon finds himself hurtling through dimensions by way of a portal network situated throughout the house. There’s a good amount of content with plenty of universes to explore. Fans of classic DOOM gameplay should be able to take to it like a duck to water. It also borrows elements from point-and-click games with various puzzles. Realms of the Haunting is 80% off during the Steam Summer Sale, or $0.59.
Ironcast combines Victorian aesthetics with science fiction. Fans of works by creators such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne will feel comfortable here. Players hop into a giant walking vehicle, known as an Ironcast, and defend England in the 1880s. By generating resources, one powers the Ironcast’s various weapons and utilities. There’s more to it than a simple Match-3 game, though. This resource generating requires some strategy, as you can either press the attack and barrage an enemy with your weaponry or defend yourself from the same. This roguelite features permadeath with persistent rewards, dozens of unlockable pieces of equipment for your Ironcast, and a steampunk Victorian sci-fi backdrop. Right now, it’s 80% off on Steam ($2.99).
Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind
Standing as something between resource management and interactive fiction is Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind. Featuring gorgeous hand-drawn artwork, players attempt to lead their clan to prosperity. It takes place in the same universe as King of Dragon Pass. Through many, many small encounters, you’ll build the clan’s tale of thriving or extinction. There’s a mix of role-playing and resource management. Each decision will have consequences. Glorantha is set in a Bronze Age world, but with the addition of gods and spirits. You’ll take control of one of the Riders clans and be beholden to their pantheon. Other games and systems in the setting include the aforementioned King of Dragon Pass, HeroQuest, RuneQuest, God Wars, and various others. Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind is 25% off now, or $14.99 until the end of the sale.
Of course, there are dozens of other weird hidden gems that you might not have thought to pick up during the Summer Sale. Is there anything you have to suggest for us or your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below or shout it out on our social media.