Cult of the Fiver | February 2014

##Evoland

Evoland on SteamEvoland is a distilled reminiscence of every RPG you ever liked, all in one game. What starts as a history lesson soon progresses into a pretty enjoyable romp through action RPG and turn based elements, culminating in puzzles that involve moving forwards and backwards in time (RPG evolution-wise, that is).


Evoland is worth your $5 because… Evoland is extremely unique, and well executed. You’ll like it for all of the RPG games it reminds you of, and still have fun with the game that it is.

But don’t pay full price for Evoland, since… For all it’s embracing of “the best of RPGs”, Evoland gets a little grindy towards the end. It is also far from the epic lengths of some RPGs – although I still found it to be quite enjoyable.

The $5 Deal: Steam

Quick Tips:

  • There are plenty of collectables, and if you are completionist it is well worth checking every nook and cranny.
  • Once you get the ability to break barriers, make sure you thoroughly check for blocked paths.
  • Arrows shot through fire become flaming arrows, this is essential for solving some puzzles.
  • The final boss has some non-obvious phases of his attack. If you get stuck, don’t be too proud – just Google it.

Stealth Bastard Deluxe

Stealth Bastard DeluxeA side-scrolling platformer with a heavy stealth element and a pretty quick tempo – you play the role of “tactical espionage arsehole” who’s job is essentially to just avoid death.


Stealth Bastard is worth your $5 because… The puzzles are old school and easy to get into. Stealth is needed, but speed is also encouraged and adds a different dimension to the challenge of each puzzle.

But don’t pay full price for Stealth Bastard, since… The writers must have been sacked early on, because you have little plot to cling to in order to motivate your problem solving. You can pretend there is a lie involving cake if you like though.

The $5 Deal: Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam

Quick Tips:

  • You will die a lot. Roll with it, and try and learn from each death without getting too stressed. There are usually not big consequences.
  • Even though you need to be sneaky, you often can’t always stay in one place for too long. Watch for patterns in shadows and automated devices that will let you stay hidden as you progress.

Botanicula

BotaniculaA malevolent spider creature is bent on doing harm to a magic tree. Apparently, this is it’s purpose in life. You command a team of plant creatures who hope to protect the tree, or at least themselves.


Botanicula is worth your $5 because… The soundtrack and sound effects in this game are absolutely amazing. I had low expectations of a “click around” game, but within a few minutes I was hooked.

But don’t pay full price for Botanicula, since… The main reason is simply that you don’t have to. The game is a little older, and goes on sale fairly often. Even at full price it’s a great game, but why pay more?

The $5 Deal: Amazon DRM free | Steam

Quick Tips:

  • If you are in to collecting, make sure to thoroughly interact with all the creatures on each screen. You’ll know you’ve done it enough when you see the card icon appear in the top left of the screen.
  • The creatures in your team have different abilities. Learning their personalities and abilities will help you solve puzzles.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two SonsAfter the tragic loss of their mom, two boys have to set off on an epic quest to get medicine to cure their ailing dad. If you think they have bad luck, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.


Brothers is worth your $5 because… OMG dual stick game mechanic! Many have raved about it, perhaps too much, but it is a cool style of control that over time will have you calling your two thumbs “big brother” and “little brother”.

But don’t pay full price for Brothers, since… Despite how easy it is to connect with the characters, the plot is not all that. You’ll probably feel better about the value if you get it on sale.

The $5 Deal: Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam

Quick Tips:

  • There are a lot of little secrets throughout the game, so exploring is worth it.
  • The game usually wants both brothers to work together. Assume that almost all puzzle involve brother interaction.
  • Past the dual stick controls, most puzzles involve nothing more than the “interaction” button. When in doubt, button mash till you see the brothers start interacting with an object.

Limbo

LimboConsidered a classic, Limbo is an extremely dark (figuratively and literally) puzzle platformer. As a white eyed zomb-kid you wander through one death trap after another, often with several grizzly failed attempts before success.


Limbo is worth your $5 because… The puzzles are challenging but usually fun, and something about the main character makes you want to help him get out of this scary place. Figuring out the secret to a puzzle and executing well enough to move on feels like an accomplishment.

But don’t pay full price for Limbo, since… It’s been out for quite a while, and there are plenty of sales. A few of the puzzles are brutally difficult, and can lead to frustration.

The $5 Deal: Amazon XBox 360 Combo Pack | Steam

Quick Tips:

  • Most of the platforming isn’t that hard. If you find yourself constantly missing a jump, you may be doing something wrong.
  • The consequences of dying are pretty low. When you don’t know what to do, just go for it and if you fail try and learn from it.
  • When you are near something you can interact with, zomb-kid will often reach out his hands. That’s a key tell for many puzzles.

The Unworthy

  • Half-minute Hero – A basic RPG with the twist of needing to continually “beat the game” in only 30 seconds. Various events or areas stop time, but during the main game you’ve got just a half minute. The pressure quickly became annoying to me – and after reflection I think “speed” and “RPG” don’t go together that well.

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