Steam's Exploration Sales Started Today, Here's All The Good Deals

We knew they were coming and now they're finally here -- the first round of Steam sales for the Christmas holidays.

This round is called the Exploration Sales, and as you'd expect there's some good deals. Let's dive right in.

You could certainly do worse than cherry-picking the featured sales on the front page -- I pulled the trigger on the Endless Legend bundle this morning, having decided that the Rising Tide expansion for Civilization: Beyond Earth wasn't for me -- but there are more sales to be had if you do a little digging.

Let's go through the big ticket items first. All prices are listed in Australian dollars, going off Google's latest conversion rate.

Featured Sales

Darkest Dungeon: $16.53

It's a dungeon crawler where you have to manage the psychological stresses of your companions, wrapped up in the systems of a turn-based roguelike and a delightfully macabre aesthetic. The developers copped, rightfully so, a great deal of flak earlier this year for changing the way corpses function but they've taken community feedback on board and continued to improve the game. Darkest Dungeon was always one of the best Early Access games around, and it'll be fully released in a couple of months.

Ori and the Blind Forest: $16.53

Like Metroidvania games? Like platformers? Did you really like Child of Light last year? Buy this game. That is all.

Life is Strange Complete Season $18.46*

When I realised Life is Strange was essentially Dontnod Entertainment taking the best element of Remember Me -- the memory remixes -- and building a narrative-focused game around that, I was pleasantly surprised. "Good," I thought. "No more rubbish combat."

But Life is Strange is so much more than that. The game has a 96% rating from 28,000-plus reviews for a reason. It's perhaps the best Telltale-esque game of the year that didn't come from Telltale, and it's been a more satisfying experience for many gamers. The first episode is only $3.43 right now if you want to get your feet wet, but you'd be hard pressed not to enjoy the entire season now that it's fully available.

Cities: Skylines: $20.67

Take the recent SimCity. Now do everything right, and throw in the support of the modding friendly, PC-loving publisher Paradox Interactive behind it all and a developer that has continued to offer free and paid content, as well as meaty patches since the game's release in March.

It's worth noting that the After Dark DLC isn't on sale at all -- that will set you back the same amount as the original game.

Fallout, Fallout, lots of Fallout -- except Fallout 4

Oh boy. Fallout 4's not on sale. I repeat, Fallout 4 is not on sale. Let's get that right out of the way.

But every other Fallout game is cheap. Fallout: New Vegas for $5.16, considering all the available mods and the swath of fixes since release, is a solid buy. $10.06 for Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition -- although you'll have to do some .ini kung fu if you're running Windows 7 or higher -- is an excellent choice if you've jumped into Fallout 4 and have more post-apocalyptic itches to be scratched.

The Talos Principle: $16.53

The Talos Principle launched towards the end of last year and a lot of people didn't pick it up straight away. I still can't believe that it was made by Croteam, the same developers responsible for the absurdly silly Serious Sam shooters.

But it's an excellent, excellent first-person puzzler. Highly recommended if you got into Portal or any other traditional point-and-click. It's really clever and I can't wait till the Christmas holidays to binge through it again with family.

ARK: Survival Evolved: $24.80

There has to be a reason ARK: Survival Evolved has one of the most sustained communities out of all the survival games on Steam. Dinosaurs, maybe? Either way, I'm going to find out for myself soon -- I took the plunge this morning. (Help me.)

Games With Massive Discounts

Just as important as what's on the front page are the games with huge discounts: talking in the realm of 70%, 80%, even 90% off. Here's some titles that are worth your attention.

RUSH: $0.68 Antichamber: $2.74 Shadow Warrior (2013): $5.50 The Evil Within: $16.53 I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream: $2.05 Surgeon Simulator 2013: $2.74 Hard Reset: $3.09 Grim Fandango Remastered: $3.74 Jade Empire Special Edition: $5.16

You can go through for hours and find plenty of interesting offers, but here are a few that might be worth picking up. RUSH and Antichamber are cheap plugs if you want to flex your puzzle muscle without dropping the money down on The Talos Principle (or if your rig isn't powerful enough, not that TTP is a particularly resource-heavy game).

Shadow Warrior is dumb, stupid fun that looks glorious at 4K, and The Evil Within should be at the right price for a lot of people on PC especially now that they've patched out those awful black bars. The Harlan Ellison short story always made for an incredibly intriguing little horror adventure, thanks to the heavy support of Ellison himself, and Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a good laugh with friends.

Grim Fandango Remastered only came out at the start of the year and it's one of those games that should be on most people's bucket lists. Jade Empire is also the extension of Bioware's amazing work following the KOTOR games, and there are plenty of fan-made mods out there to make it even better.

I mentioned it earlier, but I pulled the plug on ARK: Survival Evolved this morning. I also picked up Endless Legend and all its DLC for just over $28 and the Aussie-made Hacknet, as I've wanted a successor to Uplink on my library for a long, long time.

What games and discounts have caught your eye?

Update: Corrected the price for Life is Strange, thanks for the spot @letrico.


Comments

    You forgot Spelunky. You monster!

      It's the same price it always gets discounted to, so it's not really *special* in that sense. It'd be like linking to Half-Life 2 or something.

      Still hopelessly addicted to that game. I do the daily challenge on PSN and Steam almost every day. Came 18th on PSN the other day, so happy about that.

        I don't really do daily challenges but I'm working on a 2m score run. Had a couple of runs that did well in the mines but ran out of resources before the black market. Such a pain.

    Buy Ark. You won't regret it. At all.

    And ta for the aussie pricing :)

    Last edited 26/11/15 11:57 am

      This is actually the first game I requested a refund for.
      Don't get me wrong this game is amazing content wise and I'm sure it'll be great when it's finished, but it's extremely unoptimized at the moment (even for an early access title).
      I found it absolutely flogs your system and delivers a really low unsteady framerate.
      Running a 6700k and a OC'd 780 ti

        Erm...it's an Early Access title, of course there are issues with it! You are essentially testing it for them, that's kind of the point.

          Yes I understand that, just sharing my experience with it.

          I really do think that's a point lost on a lot of people...

        At first it was badly optimised, but it's actually extremely optimised now, I'm running a 970 and get a consistent 30fps on ultra. They're upgrading with weekly patches and regular performance patches.

        If you play on modded servers, the mods can fuck with the performance, but on normal servers with only multipliers on gather/xp or vanilla, it runs even better now.

        But, I think that's something people should actually think about when they buy an alpha game, it's in an evolutionary stage, it's not perfect yet, but chances are it'll get there. And if it doesn't, and gets abandoned (the stomping lands hello...) hammer them then for a refund.

          Glad to hear your enjoying it and it's getting lots of updates.
          I guess I assumed it was closer to being finished as it's on the steam top sellers list and there charging decent coin for access. I only had a small window for a steam refund so i grabbed it.
          I can't wait to play it when it's done.

        The game has had huge improvements, but the biggest issue still with Official servers is the low resources allocated to them. Massive amounts of rubber banding, missed calculations, glitches etc. I wish I could offload/upload my character and download it onto a non-official hosted server. That and the Paracer flying off into space and disappearing when killed.

        Last edited 27/11/15 10:51 am

    Also, If you want to pick up Grim Fandango, the Double Fine package is $27AUD ATM.

    I think one of the disadvantages of Steam's new policy on 'discount lasts for the entire sale' is that we won't see as many deep, deep discounts as we used to.

    I have a feeling that publishers didn't mind taking a hit on a day or two of 75% discount, but will balk at the idea of maintaining a 75% discount for any longer than that.

    And if you like to make games, Clickteam fusion has a big discount too... (USD 14.99)
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/248170/?snr=1_7_7_230_150_1

      definitely a good one to tinker with if you want a slightly friendlier interface to Game Maker (at least last time I checked out GM)

    The Aussie made Hand of Fate has a decent discount.

    Also, This War of Mine and Broken Age are sub-7 USD

      Oooh. I just realized that both of those will make excellent gifts.

      (Possibly as a combo. Broken Age to pick you up with sweetness after This War of Mine breaks you.)

      Last edited 26/11/15 12:47 pm

      Can't recommend This War of Mine enough. It's one of the few games with a "message" that delivers it well. Made me think of Papers, please, except it's a more engaging experience. I was going to say enjoyable, but that's not the emotion one feels with This War of Mine.

    Wolfenstein New World Order is an absolutely fantastic single player FPS. Normally USD80, its 85% off and is easily one of the best pick of the sales at USD12.

      Yep, I enjoyed that waaaay more than I thought I would.

    Ori and the Blind Forest is so beautiful, but be aware that a Definitive Edition is being released very soon which includes lots of tweaks and gameplay changes. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but it sure put the brakes on enjoying my current playthrough.

    Hard reset is a criminally under appreciated shooter
    I'll probably pickup the Aussie made Submerged at $10. Looks almost perfect as a game to play with my wife
    Also very underated IMO is Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves which is currently 85% off

      Hard Reset is pretty good. Have you played the Shadow Warrior reboot (currently $5.50)?
      That's even better IMO. By the same developer, an amazing game for the price.

      Last edited 26/11/15 3:39 pm

        I picked it up at some stage, think it was last sale, but haven't played it yet. Didn't realise it was the same developers, interesting

    No steam sales for me this time.. Got Fallout 4 recently and pre-ordered Just Cause 3 as well.. and got them both for less than $50 each.. so I'm happy with the bargains I've recently got and 2 amazing games to play for months to come! :)

    Minerva's Den (Bioshock 2 DLC) is $2.50, which is a steal. You need the base game to play it though.

      Was going to post this, I've had it on my wishlist for probably a year, but it never seemed to get a discount. It's the only thing I've bought so far!

      do the bioshock games still use that crappy DRM they had? id buy bioshock 2 if i knew i didnt have to go through that like the first game.

        Bioshock 2 did have GWFL, but that got patched out, so it's just Steamworks now.

    Wrong price converted for Life is Strange Alex. USD price is 13.39 which converts to roughly $18.51. I think you used Ori's price instead of LiS price.

      Yeah, I think that's exactly what happened. Cheers mate, fixed it up and attributed to you at the bottom.

    No mention of Elite:Dangerous ?
    Was finally happy to see that discounted by almost ¾

    You want a successor to Uplink? Have you considered TIS-100?

    Edit: It's not a hacking game per se, but if you're into games like Uplink then it might be for you.

    Last edited 26/11/15 9:31 pm

    Some pretty great deals on Greenman Gaming too.

    Wolfenstein the New Order - $7.65
    The Evil Within - $8.50

    South Park Stick of Truth! How did you miss this one. Totally worth the price at $8.23

    I picked up MGS5: Ground Zero for $7.99

    I picked up MGS5: Ground Zero for $7.99 USD

    Last edited 27/11/15 12:09 pm

Join the discussion!