Thursday, January 31, 2013

Buying video games in packs

The Humble Bundle changed everything. Sure, back in the day, you would see companies sell a "gold" pack of all of the previous versions of a game at a low price, but the idea of selling massive bundles of downloadable games was seen as a good way for a company to turn its product into a cheap commodity and slit its own throat...

Then along came this little idea: gather a bunch of indie games together and "sell" them for whatever people wanted to pay while giving incentive for those who were willing to pay a bit more. It didn't just take off. It made a large enough pile of cash that the big boys noticed. Today, every game company on the planet is scrambling to figure out how to be seen as a "bundle". In the end, it's probably a bit of a fad, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of it.

Steam has done a lot to help this trend along by allowing these companies to establish ground rules for gamers use of these bundles without crippling their experience with hackish DRM software like SecuROM and other travesties. Steam might not be the freely shareable love-fest that many gamers want, but the extra features like saved games that follow you from computer to computer and easy access to multiple operating system platform versions of games are undeniably useful.

Here are a few interesting bundles that I recommend checking out:

  • The 2K Mega Pack - This amazing package of 2K games includes mega-hits Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Borderlands (Game of the Year or GotY edition which is the base game plus 4 DLC packs), Duke Nukem Forever Complete, Civivilzation IV and V along with a couple lesser-known game-packs, all for $25 on sale right now.
  • The Microsoft 5-Game Arcade/Indie Pack - The winners here are DEADLIGHT and Mark of the Ninja, both of which have received soaring reviews from professionals and gamers alike.
  • 2K Strategy Super Pack - Swap out Bioshock, CivCity and Borderlands from the 2K Mega Pack and add in Civ V Gods & Kings and you have this lovely little bundle of love. If you have a turn-based fetish, this will sate you for some time to come!
  • The Paradox War Chest - For a big bundle of real-time and turn-based strategy such as King Arthur I & II
  • Paradox Majesty Franchise - 13 games and DLCs including Warlock: Master of the Arcane, Majesty and Majesty II! Tons of takeing-over-the-world potential for ten bucks!
Green Man Gaming sometimes has some good bundles, but didn't when I was writing this.
A few indie bundles:
Keep an eye out. There are new indie and big-name bundles coming out every day, it seems!

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