Survival of the cheapest: Oct 18, 2016

If you’re anything like me then a good portion of your Monday night is probably spent rummaging through the new batch of games to be discounted in Steam’s latest Weeklong Deals to see what cut-price gems are nestled among all the indie obscurities and dusty relics. So far I’ve picked out six reduced survival games for you to ponder – two of which are worth serious consideration, another two you might like to put in your cart in case you win on a scratchcard, and a final two to perhaps pass on for the time being.

Starting with the good stuff we have Ark: Scorched Earth, the controversial expansion pack for the dinosaur-themed survival hit Ark: Survival Evolved that upset a few people when it was released barely a month ago. The problem wasn’t that it was deemed a poor quality release – though it wasn’t perfect – more that it was released full-priced and supposedly fully-formed when the base game remained in a state of perpetual incompleteness. Now with a temporary 25% reduction however, the add-on should be more palatable to the aggrieved and almost an essential purchase for those more forgiving of Studio Wildcard’s transgression. Or you could just wait for a better deal at Christmas.

Second up we have Fragmented, the survival shooter being rapidly worked on and handed out to backers in lieu of survival MMO The Repopulation being put on hold due to engine troubles. Review-wise Fragmented has been savaged, kicked to the ground and spat on by enraged Repoppers, many of whom understandably want the MMORPG they initially supported rather than a cut-down minimally-multiplayer action variant. That said Fragmented is a very likeable standalone game being updated at an impressive pace. For the price of a Grande Caramel Apple Spice it’s almost hard to resist.

Moving to the maybe games we have Rising World and The Sentient, the former very much a Minecraft-inspired effort that in its current iteration has a much more alluring creative profile compared to its insipid survival side. Likewise The Sentient isn’t particularly well endowed as a survival game, but looks to be credible if a somewhat rough-hewn alternative to the acclaimed FTL. If you’ve yet to tire of pixel art, like designing spaceships, assigning and managing their crews and trying to survive the roguelike onslaught of certain death, The Sentient might be for you.

Bringing up the rear we have 75% off Reign of Kings, which for a while was among the top-tier survival efforts. It offers a medieval spin on the likes of Rust with a bit of multiplayer Mount & Blade thrown in for good measure. Though still in active development in spite of coming out of Early Access late last year, the game would appear to have developed into a griefer’s paradise, one in which players can be taken prisoner, humiliated and summarily executed. If you don’t like shards of glass in your multiplayer sandbox then move quickly along.

Finally the not-quite aptly-named Better Late Than Dead, which in its has favour some interesting method-based crafting ideas but that has so many rough edges it could take your face off just for looking at it. Also, while the 75% price reduction may seem generous for a game released in March, it’s Early Access price was significantly cheaper than it’s RRP while the game wasn’t all that different to how it is today. If you absolutely must have the game in your collection, at least wait for it to appear in a 10-games-for-£1.98 Bundle Stars offer.

Richie Shoemaker

Richie has been writing about games since 1997, spending five years on the staff of PC Zone and more recently writing for Eurogamer. His greatest claim to fame is that Sid Meier once gave him a lift to the pub.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.