Steam, or how I learned to love buying games I'll never play
Anyone else compelled to buy cheap Steam games? The best new innovation in gaming in the past 5 years is the downloadable game (aka digital distribution). The crazy Steam sales just make it even easier to grab cheap games. Just look at my haul... (First post in 3 years! Well, no. Remember to take backups folks.)
According to this calculator, when this story was posted, my account is worth over $590 based on current Steam prices. However, a few of these I got free, 10 of these were $5.35 in a Humble Bundle, and the rest were 50-75% off when I grabbed them. Which makes my cost closer to the listed sale value of $148. (Some I bought at sale prices slightly higher than listed. Plus I did get Half-Life 2 back in the day for probably $40, which is way more than the current $20 for the Orange Box. Still, I'm guessing all these cost me around $160.)
Some games are obviously much better than others, and only a few I'd say are as good as the top tier console games I've played. Then again, some are that good and these days I spend much more time playing these downloadables because I can play them in 20-30 minute bursts. That adds up. (Note: I still prefer to play the big blockbuster releases on a console that I can play in 1-2 hour sessions, and leave the smaller/indie types for my laptop.)
Here is my list for the Top 15 games powered by Steam in 2011 and acquired by me.
- Portal 2 - Ok, this one is cheating. I got this with my PS3 copy of Portal 2. But it's part of my Steam account and easily my top game of 2011. Space!
- Bastion - An action RPG-lite with an awesome soundtrack and a cool ongoing narration that's a blast to play. But it's no Portal 2 (or Batman Arkham City, or Uncharted 3, or inFamous 2).
- SpaceChem - This game hurts my brain on the later levels, but this is one of the smartest puzzle games I've ever played. I like iOS's Trainyard better for my path creation puzzles, but SpaceChem is excellent.
- Frozen Synapse - Another game that I'm no good at, but this very detailed turn based tactical strategy game where turns play out at the same time is quite cool.
- Atom Zombie Smasher - Back to games that kick my ass, but strategically destroying purple dots that represent zombies in a post-apocalyptic war propaganda setting makes for a fun time.
- Terraria - I was never one who would create my own Little Big Planet level, let alone a whole castle (or starship) in Minecraft. Terraria I like though since it's more of a game than just a building sandbox.
- Hamilton's Great Adventure - A cool puzzle adventure that involves finding treasures and the correct path to the goal with the help of your bird, Sasha.
- Dungeons of Dredmor - The idea of playing a game for hours and losing it all in a second if you die doesn't interest me. However, this very accessible Rougelike has a neat sense of humor and is a lot of fun.
- Fortix 2 - Oddly this bills itself as a 'reverse turret defense', when really the gameplay resembles Qix. It takes the cool idea of Fortix, and creates a full adventure for you to conquer.
- Sequence - DDR RPG. Think Puzzle Quest, but with DDR mechanics instead of Bejewled. Terrible crafting system, but overall an enjoyably cool concept. (A shout out to Feep on GAF for this one!)
- Blocks That Matter - Puzzle platformers (especially physics based) are a dime a dozen, but this one is actually quite good. Collect blocks and place them in Tetris style designs to reach a goal.
- Anomaly: Warzone Earth - I don't like tower defense games, at all (only anime game settings are higher on my game dislikes list), but this actually is a cool reverse TD strategy game with a slick interface.
- Jamestown - I always wanted to enjoy a good bullet hell game, but the anime stylings of these games put me off. In comes this game and its bizarre Mars colonization setting instead.
- Rock of Ages - Monty Python style game of rolling giant rocks down hills. I'm too big a Monkey Ball fan to pass up this one.
- Binding of Isaac - I'd place this evil Zelda-esque Rogugelike higher if it had a scoring system to keep me playing. Without one it comes down to beating Mom or not, which isn't easy.
My best game of 2011 that was actually released in 2010 goes to the psychological horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. A game has never freaked me out as much as this game, and hopefully none will ever again.
The best game of 2010 that was first released on Steam in 2011 is LIMBO, the super creepy Xbox hit. A year later and the silhouette art style seems a bit over played, and a bit pretentious. Still, I really liked this game.
I was going to add Cave Story+ to that list, and while a nice update to the classic it is a classic I'm sure everyone has played by now. Right? Keep in mind that outside of the first game on my list (which saw a big console release), the rest cost me a total of $30-35. Beat that. How many games do you have in your Steam stock?