Drop that Frappucino! These Games Give More Bang for Your Bucks Than Starbucks

Skip that trip to the local cafe and spend your next five bucks on one of these games instead.

Article by Cassandra Khaw, .

It's the Steam Summer Sales. Your wallet is screaming, "Please, no! You've taken all I have!" You're contemplating ramen for the next week; What's a little sodium compared to such splendorous discounts, eh? Before your bank account starts seeing, come check out our recommendations on what you should trade that Grande Java Chip with an extra espresso shot for.


Now, show Daddy where the man who spoke inappropriately to you is..

While subsequent installments elicited mixed responses from the public, the original Bioshock was, and still is, almost universally adored. There are a lot of reasons for this. Unlike most shooters, Bioshock didn't require you to go in guns a-blazing. You could, if you really wanted to, but you could also do other things. You could take control over the populace of the Rapture. You could set them against one another. Should those options not appeal to you, you could also choose to incinerate your enemies, freeze them solid, electrocute them or even assault them with bees. (No, really.) Bioshock is a gorgeous, atmospheric experience that is like no other and if you're not willing to purchase it at its current price of $4.99, we may have to discuss our continued association.

To the Moon

"You jump, I jump."

Lie down, try not to cry. Cry a Lot. Freebird Games' To the Moon is the haunting story of an old man named Johnny. His last wish is to go the moon. Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts are the two physicians responsible for granting his peculiar desire, a want he has no explanation for. If you're wondering why medical personnel are involved and how a decrepit geezer is supposed to pass the strenuous tests required of astronauts, the answer's pretty simple. That trip to the moon? It's all going to be happening inside Johnny's head. Unfortunately, the procedure that will grant Johnny these memories of a sojourn to the moon comes with a price: death.

At $2.99, it's almost criminally affordable. Go buy it. Play it. Then, find someone to hug.

Cart Life

Mom, we can afford having me go to school, right?

Cart Life was inexpensive before the Steam Summer Sales. Now, it's so cheap you have absolutely no reason to not buy it. Described as a retail simulation, Cart Life follows the lives of various street vendors as they make an attempt to make ends meet. Though plenty of games might put a positive spin on this, Cart Life took a considerably more grave approach. Bleak, depressing, and unsettling realistic in its depiction of modern existence, Cart Life is less of a game than it is a statement. If you needed yet another reason to believe that video games can be utilized to convey important messages, go pick up Cart Life. It's 2 bucks. You won't be disappointed.

Left 4 Dead

There's something on your face, sir ..

If you have, at the very least, three friends who enjoy playing video games as much as you do, you should pick up Left 4 Dead. This zombie-infested, first-person shooter from Valve is easily one of my favorite co-op games of all time. As one of the four Survivors, each armed with a veritable mountain of spoken lines, you're going to have to figure out how to get to safety. Naturally, this isn't going to be an easy task. The zombies in Left 4 Dead are not only rather reminiscent of the rage-filled denizens (they move really, really, really frickin' fast) of 28 Days Later, but also speckled with horrible mutations. To make matters even worse, there is the Director to contend with as well: the artificial intelligence that dictates the tempo of the slavering undead.

Should the notion of co-operative play not be appealing enough, there's always the option to just go to town with Versus mode. Ever wanted to play as an exploding, boil-riddled zombie? Well, now you can and all for a low, low price of $4.99

Dungeons of Dredmor

Wrong door. Definitely wrong door.

Lutefisk. Diggles. Sparkling vampires? Turn-based roguelike-lite Dungeons of Dredmor doesn't hate you as much as it relishes the opportunity to make you hate yourself. You're the one who opened the door to the monster zoo, after all. The writing is absolutely hilarious. For a game that's more fixated on finding new ways to kill you, it more than amply provides reasons to appreciate its wit. Filled with big, bushy eyebrows, Dungeons of Dredmor comes with a substantial crafting system, a tsunami of skills and classes to attempt, randomly generated dungeons and .. death. Dying is a big, big part of Dungeons of Dredmor.

The complete Dungeons of Dredmor collection is currently going for $2.49. If you don't purchase it, we cannot be friends. Ever.


You look strong enough. Wanna help me get things to sell back to you?

Cutthroat capitalism has never been this teeth-achingly adorable. In Recettear, an Item Shop's Tale, you'll play as Recette Lemongrass. Though lucky enough to be given a business at a young age, Recette has a problem: her father also left her with an exorbitant loan. Obviously, you're going to have to pay it off, somehow. Charming to no end, Recettear will have you haggling with customers, managing stock, plunging into randomly-generated dungeons with the assistance of passing adventurers, and doing everything you can to be the very best.

Or something.

Get Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale for $4.99.

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

Beware, that cute face is merely a facade. Miley is evil incarnate.

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a lot like the Persona series, except with so-cute-it-hurts characters and devoid of anything but the social elements. Er. The idea in Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is simple: you're a rambunctious little girl named Miley and it is your desire in life to create a comedy club. Unfortunately, you're not the most charismatic person in the world and you only have until April to accomplish this. What do you do? You spend time courting new recruits, of course. There are six characters to 'court' for your nefarious purposes, a multitude of skills to learn in order to endear yourself to your would-be club members and a ton of silly dialogue to pour through. Having a bad day? Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is the cure.

The game is currently retailing for $3.99

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Comments 6

  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #1 renatocosta90 4 years ago
    Having prepared this year for the sale, I'm willing to throw some bucks in Valve's general direction for things I have not yet played. So far, I'm gonna take your words on recettear (I think I read a glowing review aeons ago and have been delaying it ever since) and CTHCC.
    Now, All I need to do is to find time to wade through my backlog!
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  • Avatar for cassandrakhaw #2 cassandrakhaw 4 years ago
    @renatocosta90 CTHCC is insanely charming, but not quite as deep. I loved it. I know Pete did too. However, Recettear is a flat-out must buy at this price. Let me know what you thought about it once you've had a chance to play! :D
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #3 renatocosta90 4 years ago
    @cassandrakhaw Both bought and queued. I was waiting for this sale to finally get around Bioshock Infinite (and avoiding spoilers for the supposedly amazing ending has been hell).

    My internet is really slow and my workload this week is really intense, to I think I'll only be able to get around to it sunday or so. But I'll be sure to be back to put my thoughts on each one of themEdited July 2013 by renatocosta90
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  • Avatar for ob1 #4 ob1 4 years ago
    As I've just said 'bout summer-games, To the moon made my day
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #5 renatocosta90 4 years ago
    @cassandrakhaw Whew! Quick thoughts: Loved CTHCC, played through once and am thinking about going on the NG+ to see the storyline of the people I could not recruit in time. Very funny and well written.
    Recettear: Did not like very much. It's lovely and witty (Capitalism ho!), but the dungeons are a poor man's Ys and the selling mechanic grew boring before I hit lvl 3. I don't think I'll be coming back for much.

    Other thoughts and recommendations: I very much loved Hotline Miami and its soundtrack. It's very violent, fast, action packed, psychedelic and so on.
    Antichamber: Mind bending and very original. Haven't gone too far on it yet, thought.
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  • Avatar for Johnmathew #6 Johnmathew 2 years ago
    Well, these are some amazing addictive games that are released recently and the author is so right about what he said. It is best to spend the money you are paying for a shot of espresso for these games.
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