Inside: SteamWorld Heist, Kynseed, AER
This series is just so fun! It has such lovely graphics, sense of humor, music, and gameplay. This is also the rare game here that I’d pay the $15 full price for, especially if you’re into completionist runs. I got it for $4 on sale and that was honestly a steal, it was great and at least 15 – 20 hours of gameplay without even going for all the achievements. Love love loved it.
Oh, what was it about? This game takes place chronologically after SteamWorld Dig 2, so the story will make more sense if you’ve played the SWD games (which you should), but you don’t have to. It follows a band of space ruffians as they first try to deal with bandits in the space frontier and then as they almost accidentally the universe.
The gameplay is really interesting; I’m not sure if this is an established genre, but it was basically somewhere in between a roguelike and a tRPG, which the procedurally-generated loot-getting appeal of a roguelike and the party/equipment/map-position management of a tRPG. It was really interesting gameplay and the dev integrated the two genres seamlessly. It was loads of fun, and I couldn’t put it down.
I honestly liked it so much I’m not sure what to say about it, so check it out! I will say I got it for PC and wish I’d gotten in for Switch, so my rec would be to nab it there if you can.
Kynseed is a very pretty pixel-art Rune Factory style farm RPG that’s here less as a real rec and more as something to be aware of it — it is still very much in EA. But what’s there is already lovely and the plans for the game, while grand, sound amazing. The dev team is ex-Fable, and that tone definitely comes through. They’ve been making steady content and UI updates since March and progress has been good enough I finally felt like nabbing it during the sale. Considering how early in development it is I don’t think I’d quite rec picking it up yet, but if you’re like me and like to support promising EA games, this is one for the top of the list. You can check out their roadmap and how far along they are on implementation here: Kynseed Roadmap
AER: Memories of Old
As much as I enjoyed SteamWorld Heist, I think AER is the winner of this sale. I really loved this game. It was gorgeous, unique, interesting, and fun. You play as a young shapeshifter on a pilgrimage through a ruined world in the sky. She can turn into a bird, allowing you to soar from island to island, and the experience is an impressive as it is relaxing. Along the way, you begin to understand the fall of the old society, and the role of an evil that threatens to return.
I don’t want to spoil to much — because really, you should go play it — but I will say I thought there needed to be one more scene at the end. Not because we needed to know what happened to the protagonist (I actually like that ambiguous) but because I feel like we need to see the effect of what happens on the world. It cuts out just a smidge too early, too close to the climax.
I 100%ed this game in about 5 hours, and for a price of $3, I feel like I got an absolute steal. Normally a game this short would feel like to little for $15, but my memories of it are so fond I feel like it might be worth even that, so if you don’t mind giving a little extra $$ to a promising dev this could be one to splurge on. Though if it drops down below $5 again definitely get it, it’s worth every penny.