Steam Summer Sale '17 Hidden Gems & Under-The-Radar Recommendations thread

#51
Xanadu Next is on sale at 50%-off ($9.99). Definitely get this if you want tight-knit dungeon crawling with plenty of combat, interesting places, and a more subtle story than usual for a classic Falcom adventure.
This is the post i was expecting to see in this thread (and if i wouldn't, I'd make it).
The definition of a hidden gem, it deserves much better than this

Edit: Top of the page, nice, maybe now more people will notice this game :p
 
#52
Paint it Back $3.99 (50%) Steam Page

The best nonagram/picross game on Steam. All of the puzzles in the game are carefully crafted so there is no guesswork, only logic, and the difficulty ranges from simple 5x5 puzzles to 40x40 ones. And if the harder ones are too difficult, the game gives the option to break it into multiple puzzles instead of one large one. And if you want more, there is a randomized quick fix mode where you can play a quick 15 second puzzle, or a challenge mode where you can test yourself with time limits, no mistakes and not using X marks. The game has all the QOL features that you'd want from this sort of puzzle game, so it's extremely easy to jump into and play.

And on top of all this, there is the workshop where you can download tons of user-created levels.
 
#54
Paint it Back $3.99 (50%) Steam Page



The best nonagram/picross game on Steam. All of the puzzles in the game are carefully crafted so there is no guesswork, only logic, and the difficulty ranges from simple 5x5 puzzles to 40x40 ones. And if the harder ones are too difficult, the game gives the option to break it into multiple puzzles instead of one large one. And if you want more, there is a randomized quick fix mode where you can play a quick 15 second puzzle, or a challenge mode where you can test yourself with time limits, no mistakes and not using X marks. The game has all the QOL features that you'd want from this sort of puzzle game, so it's extremely easy to jump into and play.

And on top of all this, there is the workshop where you can download tons of user-created levels.
Thanks for the recommendation! I absolutely love nonograms so I'll be picking this up for sure
 
#55
Discovered DYA Games last year. They've got fun retro-style pixel games with great soundtracks and a twist on gameplay.

Super Star Path - $2.49 (50% off)
Puzzler/shoot em up hybrid. You have to carefully shoot your way through chains of enemies before duking it out with a boss; if an explosive chain hits a different colored enemy, it will turn them into an invulnerable crystal blockade, potentially screwing you over, so you can't be reckless.


Bot Vice - $5.99 (50% off)
Gallery shooter with weapon power ups and cover. Gives off Mega Man X vibes. Free extra mission mode added 25 more remixed levels on top of the 25 that were already there. Pretty challenging.


Strikey Sisters - $8.99 (25% off)
Brick breaker with local co-op, a world map, lots of levels and bosses, and ball power ups/spells to fight off aggressive enemies and take out tricky bricks. Never played Firestriker for the SNES but I've seen it compared to that.
 

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#59
Xanadu Next is on sale at 50%-off ($9.99). Definitely get this if you want tight-knit dungeon crawling with plenty of combat, interesting places, and a more subtle story than usual for a classic Falcom adventure.
Just want to echo this suggestion. Xanadu Next is a masterwork, if you have any interest in RPG's in the slightest it's an absolute must play.
 
#60
This is the post i was expecting to see in this thread (and if i wouldn't, I'd make it).
The definition of a hidden gem, it deserves much better than this

Edit: Top of the page, nice, maybe now more people will notice this game :p
Yes, everyone should buy Xanadu Next. It continues to amaze me how many great games Falcom released from about 2004-2009.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Ys Origin
Xanadu Next
Brandish: The Dark Revenant (PSP-only, sadly)
Trails in the Sky, SC & 3rd

Plus there's Zwei II coming soon, which was also from that golden era.
 
#62
Highlands $1.99 (60%) Steam Page

Do you like RISK (the game)? Do you like resource management? If yes, this game is for you! Minimizing the luck factor from Risk and combining it with RPG and resource management elements, this game takes you through a story with beautiful hand-drawn artwork. Connoisseurs of the Risk genre should play on the higher difficulty.
 
#63
Nice to see the love for xanadu, but let's not act like it doesn't have its share of bugs . If you really want to get it then buy it and I recommend leaving it on the back burner because the wait to fix it is going to be long ( dev confirmed they are swamped with other work and xanadu is low on the priority). Broken achievements , lackluster controller support , and a bug with the slimes where they explode and damage you anywhere on the screen may sour your taste a bit . A good game is there but go in knowing these problems .
 
#65
So for the Gold Editions, you don't have to worry about the toy sets and all that? All content is just unlocked in-game?
Yup. Used to be that you had to buy characters and sets online, or buy the toys and use codes to get them in game, but ever since they shut down Disney Infinity, they made all content available for no extra charge on the Steam versions. So this should be everything 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 had to offer for only $15.

I only wish there was a modding community to keep adding to this platform.
 
#66
Here's my recommendation:

Crimzon Clover: WORLD IGNITION ($1.99 - 80% off)
Crimzon Clover is a Japanese indie bullet hell shoot em up, and it just so happens to be one of the best ever made in the genre. Some of the most spectacular and dazzling art style, spritework and animations in any 2D shmup. Plays flawlessly, with an innovative combination of a lock-on system and "Break Mode" which allows you to flood the screen with firepower that separates it from most other shooters. A huge amount of content with various unique ships and alternate modes and difficulties.


Looks even better in motion!

Even if you're new to shoot 'em ups, this is the perhaps the best place to start. Easy mode is very accessible while still being a blast. $2 is an absolute steal for one of the best shooters ever created.
 
#70
Yup. Used to be that you had to buy characters and sets online, or buy the toys and use codes to get them in game, but ever since they shut down Disney Infinity, they made all content available for no extra charge on the Steam versions. So this should be everything 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 had to offer for only $15.

I only wish there was a modding community to keep adding to this platform.
Wow, that's actually an insane deal. Thanks for this, I'll definitely be picking this up!
 
#73
Well, that's a game I can knock off my wishlist. How about using the spoiler tag on this sort of thing in the future?
Bit confused here spoiler tags on what? I was so vague there's no way anyone could tell what it's about. The description of the game on the store page has more spoilers than what I said.
 
#74
I'm interested in this, but let me know a few things -- does it play like an RPG? Is there a variety of weaponry (spears ideally)? Is magic necessary to use? And is there a character creator, or are you using a set character?
  • Basically like a slower top-down Ys game crossed with Metroidvania elements and Nox, and there's incentive to move and fight tactically rather than sit in a corner or spam items to win
  • No, and (sadly) 100% magic builds are univable because of one boss later in the game, but spells can be used very effectively to supplement your main build
  • Set character, but different armor/weapons have unique models which change your look across the game

How does it compare to Ys Oath and Origins?
Somewhat apples and oranges, but certain parts of Xanadu Next are my favorite moments in a Falcom game yet (most of them, admittedly, are from the final dungeon which seems too good to not have influenced FROM Software). I'll caution you not to get the game for difficulty, since it's on the easier side if you hoard healing items (like full-heal Elixirs and the lunches your scholar companion cooks for you). Bosses and regular enemies still force you to take risks more than Gurumin at least, and the optional randomly-generated dungeon requires a lot of prep and return trips to safely complete. There's a post-credits ranking system with very severe requirements for highest ranks, so there's your challenge for replays.

Nice to see the love for xanadu, but let's not act like it doesn't have its share of bugs . If you really want to get it then buy it and I recommend leaving it on the back burner because the wait to fix it is going to be long ( dev confirmed they are swamped with other work and xanadu is low on the priority). Broken achievements , lackluster controller support , and a bug with the slimes where they explode and damage you anywhere on the screen may sour your taste a bit . A good game is there but go in knowing these problems .
IIRC all but one achievement's been fixed. Pad support's rock solid, but you have to hold a button down to activate and then move the on-screen cursor when accessing inventory, and that's a flaw baked into the game's original controller support. As for the slimes, good grief, they only appear in a few rooms, you can ignore them while fighting other enemies (and clearing other rooms to get chests), and their counterpart in the final dungeon behaves fine. I don't know why this enemy's the only one broken in the whole game (definitely doesn't behave like that in the fan-patched JP version), but you can simply ignore it or use brute-force healing.

It's a great game with some weird technical problems which XSEED's programmer needs time to figure out, and she's been busy getting Trails in the Sky 3rd to run well, let alone Zwei II.

One big advantage over the mid-2000s Ys games is lore. Xanadu Next's largely about an age-old conflict, essentially frozen in stalemate, coming back to haunt a resort hamlet and its tourists (you play one of them!). The characters you meet are likable, have more to them than meets the eye, and they have to care about both day-to-day troubles and the country they live in. It's closest to how Ys VI approaches the story, but I feel the antagonists in Xanadu Next are more interesting and believable, and it's generally paced better.
 
#80
Bit confused here spoiler tags on what? I was so vague there's no way anyone could tell what it's about. The description of the game on the store page has more spoilers than what I said.
Seeing as I haven't played the game, I don't know what he means, but maybe mentioning that magic exists? Though tbh I wouldn't even have bothered looking at the game if I didn't know it was more than what the original post made it sound like (a slice of life game), so... *shrug*
 
#81
I came across this post of hidden gems last week (originally posted on 14th June), which uses similar objective methodology to Wok's list. The actual algorithm is a bit different, so there's some differences between the two lists. I think the main difference is that this list uses reviews per year rather than owner count as an estimate of popularity; this weights games that have been in bundles but not reviewed much (like Stephen's Sausage Roll) higher.

Hopefully the writer won't mind me listing the top 10 here:

1. The House in Fata Morgana
2. Everyday Genius: SquareLogic
3. Narcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project
4. Tomoyo After ~It's a Wonderful Life~ English Edition
5. Stephen's Sausage Roll
6. Doom & Destiny
7. Umineko When They Cry (Question Arc)
8. Paint it Back
9. Marvin's Mittens
10. Castle Must Be Mine

get Fata Morgana, kids
 
#82
I came across this post of hidden gems last week (originally posted on 14th June), which uses similar objective methodology to Wok's list. The actual algorithm is a bit different, so there's some differences between the two lists. I think the main difference is that this list uses reviews per year rather than owner count as an estimate of popularity; this weights games that have been in bundles but not reviewed much (like Stephen's Sausage Roll) higher.
True. I was not totally convinced by the popularity measure (yearly rate of reviews), and the additional manual tweakings, and my curiosity got me to work a bit with my own criterion. It turns out both methods have 3 games in common in their top-10:
So, Fata Morgana looks like the true "hidden gem" to get during these sales.
 
#83
Disney Infinity Gold Collection - $14.99



(Maybe doesn't truly qualify as "under the radar", but this is a great collection for the price. A ton of content for only $15.)
So how is the game for an adult? Primarily interested in the Star War levels and some of the Marvel ones. I also read that a group of fans (ex-developers?) are setting up private servers to continue online play. All characters/playsets are unlocked, right?
 
#84
Each weapon basically works the same but each one has a unique skill(there's also magic separate from weapons) you learn permanently after using it for a while
You can allot your points from level up any way you want but it's better to with what you need for the next equipment you want
No character creator, appearance depends on your armor
  • Basically like a slower top-down Ys game crossed with Metroidvania elements and Nox, and there's incentive to move and fight tactically rather than sit in a corner or spam items to win
  • No, and (sadly) 100% magic builds are univable because of one boss later in the game, but spells can be used very effectively to supplement your main build
  • Set character, but different armor/weapons have unique models which change your look across the game
I actually have a dislike for RPGs that put too much emphasis on magic or make it a necessary component of your arsenal, so that's a plus for me. Looks like I'll be picking this up then, the visuals get me nostalgic for some late '90s PC games.
 
#85
NiGHTS is interesting to me. For $1.59 I'm considering it but I'd like to know how well the game holds up.
At the price you really can't go wrong. Not everyone is going to love Nights, it's almost more of a racing game than a platformer. If you like speedrunning or classic Sega arcade games you might really enjoy it. It almost defies description but at under two bucks it's not much of a gamble.

Now, if Nights counts as an under-the-radar pick, I gotta plug Jet Set Radio.



Non-stop fun, really good port, one of the best soundtracks in video game history, same low price as Nights. I recommend Nights too but this right here is a must-own for everyone at under $2.
 
#86
Ignition $6.99 (-30% Off)

One of my favorite childhood games (it's like a Micro Machines game), still holds up and while the Steam version isn't a remaster or anything like that, it runs well and haven't had any crashes.
Is there any way to play this multiplayer online? Played this amazing game for countless hours back in the day. Was really fun on LANs too.

EDIT: For me its cheaper on gog.com https://www.gog.com/game/ignition
May be regional pricing tho?
 
#87
If I had to give just one pick (that I have totally posted in previous hidden gems threads):



Sublevel Zero - $7.49 USD (50% off)

This was my biggest surprise of 2015, a game I didn't even know existed until the day I bought it but was clearly designed for people like me. Remember the game Descent? The late-90s first-person shooter (kind of) where you pilot a ship in zero gravity, blasting your way through a whole bunch of robot-infested, vertigo-inducing underground mines? Take that game, give it a tasteful retro-voxel makeover, add the ability to upgrade and combine weapons, and make the whole thing a roguelike. That's Sublevel Zero, and if you grew up with a Sidewinder 3D Pro by your side, you'll love it.

An enhanced version of the game was recently released for consoles, and all those changes will be rolled into the PC version in July for free, alongside official VR support. So now's a pretty good time to get your feet wet!
 
#88
OP, all of your selections in post 1 are right up my alley. Like, seriously, insta wishlist left and right. Do you have some more cheap under the radar turn based Suggestions?
 
#89
True. I was not totally convinced by the popularity measure (yearly rate of reviews), and the additional manual tweakings, and my curiosity got me to work a bit with my own criterion. It turns out both methods have 3 games in common in their top-10:
So, Fata Morgana looks like the true "hidden gem" to get during these sales.
Yeah, that makes sense. "Yearly review rate" isn't immediately intuitive and the 150 review cutoff seems fairly arbitrary, but I still think "owner count" is flawed due to bundles.

The reason for taking the review rate is probably to avoid the situation where newly released games seem to be "hidden" because they don't have many reviews yet; however, this would also affect owner count (new games have fewer owners).

"Total review count" might be a good compromise - I expect it would be closer to the actual number of people that have played the game (rather than got it in a bundle and left it to rot in their library).

Maybe also exclude games released since a recent date to avoid the new games problem? Then again, the low review count for those games would drop the weighted score...
 
#91
Some great and hugely underappreciated adventures (especially the first one):

Candle. Beautiful andean flavoured adventure that’s rooted in the best of Sierra and Lucasarts’ tradition with a pinch of Flashback thrown in.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/420060/Candle/ 7,49€ (50% off)

The Way. A sci-fi action adventure in the spirit of Lucasart’s The Dig, with gameplay closest to Flashback or Another World but with better puzzles than either.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/311010/The_Way/ 6,74€ (55% off)

The Eyes of Ara. This Myst-like is a relentless onslaught of puzzles compared to the more measured pace of Obduction. It keeps getting better and better as you go, a rarity with adventure games.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/454250/The_Eyes_of_Ara/ 9,75€ (35% off)
 
#92
Paint it Back $3.99 (50%) Steam Page

The best nonagram/picross game on Steam. All of the puzzles in the game are carefully crafted so there is no guesswork, only logic, and the difficulty ranges from simple 5x5 puzzles to 40x40 ones. And if the harder ones are too difficult, the game gives the option to break it into multiple puzzles instead of one large one. And if you want more, there is a randomized quick fix mode where you can play a quick 15 second puzzle, or a challenge mode where you can test yourself with time limits, no mistakes and not using X marks. The game has all the QOL features that you'd want from this sort of puzzle game, so it's extremely easy to jump into and play.

And on top of all this, there is the workshop where you can download tons of user-created levels.
Have this on ios. Is there more puzzles in the pc version?
 
#93
Yeah, that makes sense. "Yearly review rate" isn't immediately intuitive and the 150 review cutoff seems fairly arbitrary, but I still think "owner count" is flawed due to bundles.

[...]

"Total review count" might be a good compromise - I expect it would be closer to the actual number of people that have played the game (rather than got it in a bundle and left it to rot in their library).
I also think the number of players should be used as a measure of the popularity of a game. This is why I have actually used an estimate of the number of players, as provided by SteamSpy API:

Code:
  ## Return format for an app: ##

  * appid - Steam Application ID. If it's 999999, then data for this application is hidden on developer's request, sorry.
  * name - the game's name
  * developer - comma separated list of the developers of the game
  * publisher - comma separated list of the publishers of the game
  * score_rank - score rank of the game based on user reviews
  * owners - owners of this application on Steam. [B]**Beware of free weekends!**[/B]
  * owners_variance - variance in owners. The real number of owners lies somewhere on owners +/- owners_variance range.   
  * players_forever - people that have played this game since March 2009.
  * players_forever_variance - variance for total players.
  * players_2weeks - people that have played this game in the last 2 weeks.
  * players_2weeks_variance - variance for the number of players in the last two weeks. 
  * average_forever - average playtime since March 2009. In minutes.
  * average_2weeks - average playtime in the last two weeks. In minutes.
  * median_forever - median playtime since March 2009. In minutes.
  * median_2weeks - median playtime in the last two weeks. In minutes.
  * ccu - peak CCU yesterday.
  * price - US price in cents.
  * tags - the game's tags with votes in JSON array
The reason for taking the review rate is probably to avoid the situation where newly released games seem to be "hidden" because they don't have many reviews yet; however, this would also affect owner count (new games have fewer owners).

[...]

Maybe also exclude games released since a recent date to avoid the new games problem? Then again, the low review count for those games would drop the weighted score...
It is true that new games could mistakenly appear as "hidden" gems if we use the number of reviews, or the number of players. Whether this is a good thing or not is debatable.

If this is a good thing, then there is nothing to worry about: this should be taken into account by either low review count (or few players). If this is not a good thing, then a cooldown could be used to ignore recent games for a little while*.

*: Or another popularity measure could be used, such as yearly review rate (which I'm not too fond of). Typically, I suspect players of Bejeweled are not the type of people who take the time to write a review for a game.

 
#94
Have this on ios. Is there more puzzles in the pc version?
I don't know what the iOS has, but the game has 14 "rooms" with puzzles, plus 1 bonus one for the elections. Then there's the whole slew of workshop ones.

If you want something completely new, Pictopix is good if you haven't played it already.
 
#95
It's a couple of years old at this point, but I'd like to recommend Ronin, which is currently a mere £2.49, and well worth a purchase if you've not picked it up. If you've played Gunpoint, it's a whole lot like that, and if you haven't played Gunpoint you should go buy that too.

You play as a katana wielding biker on a roaring rampage of revenge against the people who killed her father, and that's pretty much all the plot you're gonna get. It looks fantastic, as you'll see below, and the combat mechanics are rather unique. It's a turn-based action platformer, which is such a bizarre combo that you should pick it up for that alone. Basically, you move around the levels waiting for the moment to strike, and the moment you go into combat the game goes turn based, as seen below.

All those red lines are gunshots, and will kill you instantly. It's almost a puzzle game, forcing you to work out how to dispatch your enemies, slowly, methodically, while dodging their counter attacks. You have a few tools available to help you out, like a grappling hook, but it's mostly you, your wits and your katana against a whole army of mooks.
 
#96
Paint it Back $3.99 (50%) Steam Page



The best nonagram/picross game on Steam. All of the puzzles in the game are carefully crafted so there is no guesswork, only logic, and the difficulty ranges from simple 5x5 puzzles to 40x40 ones. And if the harder ones are too difficult, the game gives the option to break it into multiple puzzles instead of one large one. And if you want more, there is a randomized quick fix mode where you can play a quick 15 second puzzle, or a challenge mode where you can test yourself with time limits, no mistakes and not using X marks. The game has all the QOL features that you'd want from this sort of puzzle game, so it's extremely easy to jump into and play.

And on top of all this, there is the workshop where you can download tons of user-created levels.
Thanks for the reminder. This one has been on my wishlist for a while and I decided to pull the trigger.
 
#99