So, what did you buy on the Steam Summer Sale?

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
The Steam Summer Sale has been running for a good week now and has about a week to go, ending July 5. Aside from Saliens, the completely terrible carpal-tunnel-inducing mini-game that Valve came up with to raffle off games, the sale is going great. As the temperature gets hotter outside and UV warnings start popping up on my weather app, there's nothing better than cracking open a fresh game to cool things off. Always feels better when you get something for a steal, too. Grabbing 25%, 50%, or 75% off often gives us a chance to try something that's been sitting on our Wishlist for a while, add an old favorite to our shelves, or get lucky and snag something still relatively new. 
 
A couple of us have put together a list of the stuff that grabbed us. Talking about the game is one thing, but it's also interesting to learn about the psychology that goes into a purchase. Whether it is, in fact, one we've been eyeballing forever, or one we didn't even know we wanted until it showed up on our recommendations for half price. Then begins the Buyer's Remorse vs. Customer Satisfaction discussion in our heads. But getting a deep discount on anything often softens that blow, even if it ends up being something we don't get much play out of. But hey, there's still time to grab something for video gaming and other indoor sports if The Great Outdoors ain't all it's cracked up to be.
 
So, what did you buy on the Steam Summer Sale?
 
Dave Gamble
Was $59.99
Now $44.99 (-25%)
Well, I'm glad you asked! I have my Steam Wishlist configured to let me know whenever something on the list goes on sale. I don't always buy - sometimes I defer, sometimes I remove the item for one reason or another. The one that caught my eye first is one that I would not have expected to get at a discount until at least Fall. That generally makes me wonder how well it reviewed, but in this case the reviews, while not universally favorable, were not show-stoppers. Not surprising, really, when the general consensus was that it's "just more Far Cry being Far Cry," which is just fine by me. Newly broken ground is not always fertile. And besides, there's a dog in it, and I don't have to kill it. That, plus a just good enough discount, got Far Cry 5 added to the cart.
 
Was $14.99
Now $5.09 (-66%)
Far Cry will get an early try, but I also buy some things to bank for a future date. I've had my eye on a piece of DLC for Rise of Flight United for awhile now. Rise of Flight is one exception I make to my VR-only policy for racing and flying sims because it is unique in its focus on WWI era airplanes. It also helps that it's free to play, but those tend to be a "get what you pay for" kind of thing eventually. The basic airplanes are just that, and who wants to fly around in anything but a red Fokker (sorry for the language) triplane anyway? Everyone wants to be the Red Baron—no one wants to be Snoopy. It was one of those things that I thought would reinvigorate something I had back-burnered years ago, but not $15 worth. I had begun to despair of it ever going on sale, but here we are!
 
Was $9.99
Now $6.99 (-30%)
This was a wishlist item. One of my favorite things to do with VR is to try out sports and activities that I never got around to or, and this is the majority case, things I was simply incapable of doing. Snow skiing falls somewhere in the middle. Fancy Skiing is by no means a skiing simulator, which I knew going in. It's just a lot of fun for when I just want to do something while dinner's burning in the oven and it does give at least an impression of barreling down a mountain on a couple pieces of Pergo™.
 
Was $19.99
Now $9.99 (-50%)
Continuing on the same "wish fulfillment" vein as skiing, I finally picked up Drummer Talent VR. I researched a few VR drum sims and this one seemed closest to what I want. It's not that I never played drums, mind you—it's that I never should have been playing them in the first place. I have absolutely zero musical or rhythmic ability, a fact demonstrated with both the Alto Sax and with percussion. The school band was tiny, though, so having a pulse was qualification for being assigned an instrument. After a few failed attempts at other stuff, I was finally relegated to the Timpani drums. The kid playing the triangle got more action than I did. I was playing the orchestral equivalent of a participation trophy. I'll probably make sure it works while still within the rebate window, but this one is going to age on the shelf for awhile. Unless Far Cry 5 being just more Far Cry turns out not to be as appealing as it sounds - if that happens, this is my fallback plan.
 
Was $14.99
Now $12.74 (-15%)
I took a chance on this one. I don't go out to bars (in fact, I don't go out much at all) but I have a hankering for playing darts. I could get a dart board, but playing alone isn't playing, it's practice. Darts is social. I'm a little worried because darts seems as if it would be a very tricky thing to map to a VR hand controller, but this one promises a high degree of configuration options. It also allows me to choose between playing against AI (which I will do nearly 100% of the time) or online, on the off chance someone I know buys it too or if the AI plays as id it has just wandered in drunk from the Social Club VR.
 
Was $19.99
Now $14.99 (-25%)
This one was a risk too, but I enjoy both poker and blackjack. This is another game that gives me the choice of playing against humans or AI. I've had a chance to play it already and I like it. It looks like any time spent playing against the AI will be just to fortify my bankroll, though—they are not very good at all. Playing at a table with some actual humans was enjoyable today, but that isn't always the case with these things. I was getting nothing but lousy cards, so I got tired of it and left the table. In a stellar display of poor decision making by the developer, the game shut the entire table down because, as the first player there, I had been designated as "host."  Kinda rough on the guys left behind with chips on the table, right? Still, I think I'll keep it. Sometimes easy AI are just the morale boost that I need.
 
Was $59.99
Now $14.99 (-75%)
My shopping is nothing if not unpredictable. Just 10 minutes after posting a diatribe in a news article stating that no matter how much I want it, I won't buy Codemasters F1 2018 if it doesn't support VR, I was buying Codemasters F1 2017. But...$15! If nothing else, it will truly prove whether or not it is good enough to rise above its flatness before I consider buying F1 2018 in August.
 
Randy Kalista
Was $24.99
Now $7.49 (-70%)

This one's been staring at me since it was in Early Access in 2015. It's the game that introduced me to the "suffer sim," as I've heard them called—where the gameplay is less about making the numbers go up, and more about stopping the numbers from going down. I finally pulled the trigger on this purchase because I'd gotten tired of it sitting on my Wishlist for the last three years.

Was $44.99
Now $35.99 (-20%)
Not the deepest discount, but it wasn't AAA pricing to begin with, and it's gone number one with a bullet on a lot of people's top lists. Admittedly, ever since Morrowind introduced me to single-player first-person open-world role-playing—that's a lot of hyphens—I've never gone back to 3D isometric party-based RPGs. Well, I've tried going back, but there's something about the cognitive distance between me and the world and the characters that I've never appreciated. But I've love-hated everything XCOM has ever done, so if I just pretend this is XCOM with swords and sorcery, then maybe...Truth is, John just knows how to coerce (bully) other people (me) into buying co-op games. So that's why I'm here.
 
Was $19.99
Now $13.39 (-33%)
Got this one on impulse. Actually, I clicked the buy button after watching only 10 minutes of gameplay. The emphasis on grim dark gory gore in the trailers turned me off. But watching the actual survival part of this survival sim is what sold me hard and fast just now. It's what I've wanted for a while in a game like this. I don't care if I can eventually build a NASA space shuttle—what I want to see is wood chips flying when I chop down a tree, I want to see logs on my shoulder when I'm hauling them back to base, and I want to see an outlined template of what I'm building as I gather the individual components listed in the illustrated outdoor survival guide I'm flipping through. I could take or leave the zombie-like creatures. I'm in it for all the other stuff.
 
Nicholas Leon
Was $9.99
Now $3.99 (-60%)
I played Far Cry 5 awhile back at a friend's place and was bored out of my mind. Long story short, I felt that it was a whole lot of the same old nothing. But as I was perusing the internet I came across a video by YouTuber Crowbcat that detailed how much more detailed and challenging Far Cry 2 is compared to Far Cry 5. So now I have it. 
 
Was $12.99
Now $6.49 (-50%)
I like this game for its aesthetic, as well as just how cute it seems. It's like that one game where you play as a giant ball and roll around and stuff—I can't remember what it's called. I'm excited.