So, the Steam Autumn Sale is well underway, and Cassandra and Pete have already given their recommendations as to what you might want to look out for.
But Steam is, of course, not the only digital distribution platform on the Internet, nor is it the only platform to be hosting a sale over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday period. CD Projekt's online storefront GOG.com is also playing host to some significant Black Friday discounts right now, with 65 titles from its catalog discounted by a massive 70%. Given GOG's original incarnation as a retro gaming store, many of these games are classics from yesteryear that you can now pick up for considerably less than a cup of coffee costs.
Ever-willing to step into the breach in the name of a bargain, the invincible deal-finding team of Cassandra and Pete are back once again to pick their favorites from GOG's sale. You've got until 10.59 a.m. GMT on December 3 to pick these up, so hurry!
Alone in the Dark 1, 2 and 3
Pete: If you like old-school Resident Evil -- and by that I mean fixed camera angles and tank controls, none of this third-person shooter nonsense -- you owe it to yourself to see the survival horror genre's genesis in the form of Infogrames' Alone in the Dark series. Although technically rather primitive in comparison to today's offerings, these three games feature a genuinely menacing atmosphere, a brilliant adaptation of Lovecraftian mythology and some of the scariest things you'll ever run away screaming from in all of gaming. This was one of the earliest PC games I ever played, but it's still one of my most fondly remembered.
Cassandra:Oh, god. The first Alone in the Dark gave me nightmares as a kid. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to let a child roam through a horror game is another story entirely -- I suspect there were people who just never wanted me to sleep again. (If you want a glimpse of how people used to be terrified prior to Amnesia, this is a good place to stop.)
Realms of the Haunting
Pete: Another spooky adventure, this time from Gremlin Interactive. Realms of the Haunting combines first-person survival horror/shooter gameplay with exploration, adventuring, puzzle-solving and some surprisingly good full-motion video sequences. It's a challenging game, but one with a rewarding, well-written story that's worth experiencing, even with the dated technology that powers it.
Cassandra:I'm skittish around old-school horror games. Mostly of because childhood trauma. It sounds awesome but I'm going to let braver souls pick this one up. Meep.
Pete: If you enjoy the survival aspect of games such as Minecraft and Don't Starve, you'll want to give Robinson's Requiem and its sequel Deus a shot, since they're some of the earliest examples of this type of game -- and surprisingly impressive and complex considering they originally came out back in 1993. In both games, you'll have to gather food, build tools and makeshift weapons and ensure your body remains in good working order in order to survive -- and on top of that, you'll have to escape the hostile environment you find yourself trapped in, too.
Cassandra:I absolutely love survival games! Weirdly, I'm especially attracted to those that utilize retro-styled graphics. Robinson's Requiem, for obvious reasons, sounds deeply appealing. I'm vaguely surprised as to how I missed this one when it was released. Might just pick this one up. Thanks, Pete!
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum
Pete: Regarded by many as one of the best installments in this theme park management series, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 has drawn some criticism from GOG.com community members for being too expensive in the past. Well, now it's $5.99, which still makes it one of the more expensive offerings in the Black Friday sale, but certainly much more of an "impulse purchase" price for those who are yet to own a copy. It's doubly worth supporting given the absolute travesty that was EA's revolting free-to-play reboot of Theme Park on iOS a while back -- show that there's still a place for this type of game!
Cassandra:Yes! So many good memories of Rollarcoaster Tycoon 3. I haven't the foggiest as to which installation I played but I have fond memories of building rickety-looking amusement rides. I may or may not have enjoyed turning them into intentional death traps. You can't prove anything.
Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising
Pete: If you're old enough to remember the ancient Atari ST and Amiga game Carrier Command -- which itself got a decent reboot at the hands of Arma developer Bohemia Interactive recently -- then you'll want to check this one out. It's an interesting blend of action, simulation and strategy game in which you command an aircraft carrier, create military units and can even take them out for a spin yourself. Like its inspiration, your quest is to conquer an archipelago of islands and eventually take down the villains of the piece. It also features narration by Tom Baker, fourth incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who between 1974 and 1981, which is pretty awesome.
Cassandra:You forgot to mention Warren Ellis, Pete! How could you? I stared at Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising with considerable indifference until Google revealed that Warren Ellis is manning the story behind it. His greatest claim to fame, perhaps, is Transmetropolitan, which is a comic book series that deals with a Hunter S. Thompson-like ruffian in a dystopian future. It's rad. And if he's in charge of the writing behind this game, I'm in.