Summer / Rain

Summer

The Steam Summer Sale starts on the 19th of June, and I can’t wait. Not only is there a world cup to watch, I can also keep an eye on Steam looking for bargains on my wishlist. The money my friends chipped in for my birthday last month is sat in my Steam wallet waiting to be spent, and I’m adding to my wishlist as I think of things I want to add to my library. So far it’s made up of the likes of Nidhogg, SpeedRunners, Broforce, The Stomping Land and Transistor.

Gaben

Gabe Newell (GabeN) of Valve introducing the sale in style

If you’re not familiar with Steam’s big twice-yearly sales, keep an eye on it from next Thursday onwards to see some stupidly cheap deals on big games.

Rain

At the time of writing, we’re actually having quite a good summer. The view out of my window is hot and sunny and I’m looking forward to getting outside this weekend to make the most of it. The Rain I speak of is from the title of a small indie game that’s getting a lot of attention; Risk of Rain.

Risk of Rain logo

On its surface it looks like a retro platform run n gun game, but when you play it you realise there’s a lot more to it than that. The characters you play are only made of a handful of pixels, but this adds to the charm, and it means the big enemies and bosses really have a sense of scale.

The levels are the same each time you play, but in a random order, and the placement of chests (powerups) and the teleporter (your goal on each level) is randomised, so it’s never quite the same. You start off with a few different guns and abilities which level-up with you as you kill bad guys and aliens, and the chests and shrines dotted around give you the opportunity to get upgrades. There are tons of these, and there’s no limit to how many you can have – even of the same kind. So you might get one which gives you a random chance of a homing missile each time you fire, but you might collect this 5 or 6 times. Things get pretty crazy later in the game when you become a one-man wrecking machine, but where the game is really clever is the way difficulty is handled.

In a nutshell, the game gets more difficult the longer you play it. It jumps up a difficulty level every five minutes, which gives you some interesting decisions to make. Say for example you clear a level in a couple of minutes – do you jump straight to the next one while it’s still on ‘Very easy’, or do you go and open all the chests you can first, meaning you’re more tooled-up, but will have harder enemies to fight?

On top of this is some great multiplayer action, and a whole heap of hidden extras and unlockables. It’s by far the best few quid I’ve thrown at a game in a long time. Buy it.

risk of rain

I’ve not got as far as this yet, but look at all those powerups at the bottom!

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