What Should You Buy in the Steam Lunar New Year Sale?

What Should You Buy in the Steam Lunar New Year Sale?

It's time to cleanse yourself. Valve launches a surprise Steam sale for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

In a move that no one expected, Valve launched the Steam Lunar New Year Sale, celebrating the Chinese New Year celebrations happening all around the globe. The sale is live until February 12, 2016 at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST.

Like the Steam Winter Sale, Featured and Daily deals are gone, replaced by discounts that last the duration of the sale. No rush, no muss, no fuss. If you see something you like at a price you can't resist... buy it. Simple as that.

There's a ton of titles on sale this time around. Just over 9,000 games are discounted. So here's USgamer's list of game that you should probably pick up for cheap. Like always, we don't cover everything, because the article can only be so long, but if you feel we missed something, let us know in the comments!

The Year of the Monkey is Here!

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

  • $7.49 - 75% Off [Windows]

I don't see how you can kick off a sale celebrating the Chinese New Year and not mention Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. Sleeping Dogs was one of the better open-world titles of the last generation, putting players in the role Detective Wei Shen in a difficult mission undercover in Hong Kong. The combat was great, the driving was solid, the city was just the right size, and the story campaign was focused. As a bonus, the game even comes with all the DLC, like the Year of the Snake pack, celebrating the Chinese New Year of 2013. I loved it, Jaz loved it, and it's absolutely worth the asking price.

King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition

  • $4.99 - 75% Off [Windows]

Okay, I'm stretching things a bit here, but King of Fighters XIII is a great fighting game that does feature Chinese characters! Sie Kensou, Chin Gentsai, Shen Woo, and Duo Lon all hail from various parts of China. So, if you're looking for some great fighting action, you can celebrate the Chinese New Year with four fighters or the rest of the KOF cast.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

  • $4.99 - 50% Off [Windows]

Join Chinese assassin Shao Jun as she seeks to return home and find justice for the lost members of the Chinese brotherhood. Unlike the main AC games, the Chronicles series are all smaller, 2D stealth games. If you're a stealth aficinado, it's pretty fun and you'll blow through it in a few hours. I enjoyed it, though it is eclipsed by the superior Mark of the Ninja ($3.74, 75% Off).


Gimme That XCOM Feeling!

This section highlights a few games that may scratch the same itch as the relatively new XCOM 2. Not everyone have $40-60 to spend on a new game, so here's a few options that won't break the bank.

XCOM Enemy Unknown - Complete Edition

  • $9.99 - 50% Off [Windows, Mac]

If you can't afford XCOM 2, maybe you should try out the first game in the reboot series? The Complete Edition comes with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM: Enemy Within (Our Review), and content packs. It may not have all the bells and whistles that the sequel has, but XCOM is still a solid reboot to the classic strategy series.

Invisible, Inc.

  • $9.99 - 50% Off [Windows, Mac]

Klei Entertainment has another great strategy title for you that will only set you back $10. Invisible, Inc is a strategy game focused around spycraft and subterfuge. Tackle missions using stealth, sniping, hacking skills, and some deft engineering. It's hard to find a good tactics game, but Invisible, Inc. definitely brings something unique to the table.

Xenonauts

  • $17.49 - 30% Off [Windows, Mac]

While XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an all-new game in the spirit of the original XCOM, Xenonauts sticks far closer to the classic style and unforgiving formula of the first game. It literally looks like someone took the first two XCOM games and updated the graphics a bit. It's a bit more freeform and far more likely end in your entire team dying because you made one wrong move. This is old-school XCOM for a modern age.


Sunless Sea

  • $11.39 - 40% Off [Windows, Mac]

In the Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London, you have to navigate your ship through a pitch black ocean. Sunless Sea is like FTL; every shot is your only shot. Find loot, upgrade your ship, and recruit unique officers. Will you make it through, lose the sanity of your crew, or turn to cannabalism to survive?

The Talos Principle

  • $9.99 - 75% Off [Windows, Mac]

Imagine Portal, as delivered by the team that brought you Serious Sam. Wait, no. The Talos Principle is much smarter than that, weaving math, philosophy, and physics into a compelling puzzle game. As Bob said in his review:

"Above all, I found Talos a worthwhile experience simply because it made me feel smart. It's an extremely satisfying experience to work a puzzle out, bit-by-bit, until you finally reach the glyph hiding at its creamy center-so much so that you'll immediately want to move on to the next one and feel that rush all over again. Even without the thoughtful, existentialist trappings, Talos would still be a fantastic game, but this central theme definitely makes Croteam's creation something special."

If you skipped it during the Steam Winter Sale, this is one of the few games that retained its discount!

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Join Geralt of Rivia on his final adventure in one of the best RPGs this year. Navigate a harsh and unforgiving landscape,searching for your adopted daughter Ciri and hunting some of the worst monsters that stand in your path. This was my Game of the Year and the Hearts of Stone DLC ($8.99, 10% Off) only made it better.

Hyperdimension Neputnia Re;Birth1

  • $8.99 - 70% Off [Windows]

The anime aesthetic is your thing, you might want want to check out this mix of visual novel and JRPG. Featuring a bunch of characters based on game consoles in various degrees of fanservice, this is the first of the Hyperdimension Neptunia HD remasters. You can also have Re;Birth 2 and 3 on the store if the first game tickles your fancy, albeit at lower discounts (you lose 5% with each sequel).

Legend of Grimrock 2

  • $8.39 - 65% Off [Windows, Mac]

I have not played this game. I have not touched this series. But reader SatelliteofLove and others have recommended it time and time again, so it deserves a spot on this list. A first-person, dungeon-crawler like the early Dungeons and Dragons games like Eye of the Beholder, Grimrock has you sending your party of four into unknown territory. If you dig the genre, this is one of the few games that does it anymore.

Fallout: New Vegas

  • $6.79 - 66% Off [Windows]

Despite rave reviews, Fallout 4 ($40.19, 33% Off) dropped off for a number of people who felt the game didn't really live up to the RPG pedigree of the rest of the series. Personally, Fallout: New Vegas is the better option, with more memorable characters and a better story, but you can't do wrong with Fallout 3 either. Hell, for $2.49 each, you might as well get both! The Game of the Year Editions for each game are slightly more expensive ($6.79 for New Vegas Ultimate Edition), but include all of the DLC.

Shadowrun Hong Kong

  • $9.99 - 50% Off [Windows, Mac]

The third game in Harebrained Schemes amazing Shadowrun RPG series. After rebooting with the Kickstarted Shadowrun Returns and the follow-up Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Harebrained takes the game to the mean streets of Hong Kong. Will you find your Cyberpunk self in the gleaming lights of the city? You can also pick up the entire series for 50% off.

Axiom Verge

  • $15.99 - 20% Off [Windows, Mac]

If you love classic Metroidvania titles, you'll get a kick out of this loving homage to the original Metroid. Jaz and Jeremy both raved about the game in our review:

"Axiom Verge uses a Metroid blueprint as its foundations, and builds upon it something old, yet something new, weaving in deft control and design touches from other games of the period, like Blaster Master, Star Control, and Contra. The result is a Metroidvania par excellence; one of the most engaging and addictive I've played in years."

"Axiom Verge goes the whole retro hog. It's in the little things. Anyone who gamed through the late 80’s and early 90’s will love the meticulous attention to detail poured into the game’s looks and cut scenes. The backgrounds are authentically tiled, colors and black space have been cleverly used to create period-style shading and depth, and even the way the enemies move and fire feels absolutely spot-on."- Jaz

"Tom Happ's Axiom Verge appears to have been built around that entire experience: Of being a kid poking around inside a game's code, of the illicit thrill of turning an adventure inside-out by traveling beyond its intended boundaries. It taps into a collective experience shared by countless old fans of NES games, creating a sort of controlled sensation of chaos. Unlike Metroid, Axiom Verge's glitches are a deliberate part of the game design and won't cause the code to break. Yet the game perfectly captures the feeling of those early days of console gaming, the spirit of venturing beyond the game's intended parameters."- Jeremy

Endless Legend Collection

  • $20.39 - 66% Off [Windows, Mac]

Endless Legend is one of the best 4X strategy games in recent memory. Since the initial release late last year, Amplitude Studios has improved the title with the Guardians and Shadows expansion, adding the massive Guardian and an extensive espionage system to the game. If you haven't played Endless Legend yet, this is your gateway for entry.

FTL: Faster Than Light

  • $2.99 - 70% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

Like Sunless Sea above, you're tasked with navigating your crew through a harsh environment. Unlike Sunless Sea, it's far more likely your ship will be attacked by pirates and your crew will suffocate as a fire destroys critical ship systems. If Sunless Sea is all about the Lovecraftian horror, this is the game for all you Star Trek and Firefly fans out there.

The Blackwell Bundle

  • $11.99 - 40% Off [Various Platforms]

Likewise, if you're looking for a great game in the style of the old LucasArts adventure games, here's the Blackwell series. Rosa Blackwell is a neophyte medium attached to her spirit guide, Joey Mallone, a former detective. Together, they fight crime! Unfortunately, the bundle is missing the final game in the series, the Blackwell Epiphany. You can pick that up on sale for 40 percent off as well.

Elite Dangerous

  • $14.99 - 50% Off [Windows, Mac]

Still waiting on Star Citizen? Try exploring the galaxy in Elite Dangerous, a great reboot of one of the earlier space sims. Here's an excerpt from Kat's review dairy:

"Last night I was up until 2am hauling freight, desperate to find that sweet spot where I could finally make some actual money. Naturally, it wasn't until the very end that I suddenly received a handful of really good missions, at which point I had to go to bed. Up until that point I had spent literally hours just flying between stations with my cargo."

"I've been asked if this is "fun," and I honestly don't have an answer. All I know is that I really want to jump back into my Hauler because I'm pretty sure that I can make some serious money on this run and buy a Viper or a Cobra. That's what Elite: Dangerous is all about-living life in the spaces between stars and trying to find the next big score before everyone else."

Age of Wonders III

  • $8.99 - 70% Off [Windows, Mac]

Another great 4X strategy title if you've somehow drained Endless Legend dry or you want a slightly cheaper barrier to entry. For $2 less than the base Endless Legend, you can pick up Age of Wonders III's base game. Either will do you right if you're a veteran or budding 4X fan.

Just Cause 2

I'm reasonably sure that Just Cause 2 has a plot, but I don't know what it is because I've never beaten the game. JC2 is a playground of destruction with you are the center. With your trusty grappling hook, parachute, and a whole host of weapons, it's time to free the populace of Panau by... blowing up everything you see? Yeah, it doesn't make much sense, but it's fun as hell. Just Cause 3 just came out, so it's only 25% off right now.

Escape Goat 2

  • $3.99 - 60% Off [Windows, Mac]

Somehow, the goat is trapped again. Escape Goat 2 is an excellent puzzle platformer published by the fine folks at Double Fine. Using your mind and your reflexes, you haver to overcome over 100 rooms of traps and enemies. If you burn through the whole of Escape Goat 2, you can also pickup the first game on sale for 60% off as well.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

  • $4.99 - 75% Off [Windows]

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person mystery with the players taking on the role of Paul Prospero, an occult detective who receives a disturbing note from a young boy who's in grave danger. Now it's time to head to the town of Red Creek Valley and solve a local murder. Here's Bob's take on it:

"The Vanishing of Ethan Carter picks up where Myst and its various sequels left off—spiritually, that is. Though its setting doesn't strive for the outlandish, and its puzzles feel more natural to the world around them, Vanishing's Red Creek Valley provides a convincingly lived-in and unbelievably detailed backdrop that feels ripped from faded pictures and jittery home movies, rather than the work of 3D modeling software. Around every corner, you'll find yet another reason to pick your jaw up off the floor thanks to the unrelenting beauty of Red Creek Valley's winding forest pathways, distressed, turn-of-the-20th-century architecture, breathtaking vistas, and all the other visual elements that lend this wholly fictional location a distinct sense of history and presence."

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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