DLC Digest: Papers, Please, Guacamelee, Spelunky, Beatbuddy, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, SteamWorld Dig, Saints Row IV Inauguration Station

Date Posted Author
12th August 2013 Matt Bailey

The 8th August was a fantastic day for excellent indie games arriving on Steam, with Papers, Please, Guacamelee! and Spelunky all arriving in that 24-hour period. We've talked about how good Guacamelee! is when it arrived on the PS3/Vita, but now it's on the PC in a new "Gold Edition" which features the DLC already on the PlayStation Store, as well as Steam Workshop integration so you can design and share your own costumes. It's £11.99. Spelunky has also been around before, but the side-scrolling rogue-like platformer (that is, levels are randomly-generated and death is not far away) actually began life a few years ago as a free game on the PC, before getting an overhaul and a release on the Xbox Live Arcade earlier this year. This new spruced up edition has come back to the PC, this time on Steam, and not only do you get the fancy XBLA graphics and other updates, but there's also a Daily challenge mode where you have just one go to get as far as you can on a set of levels which, instead of being randomly generated, are the same for each and every player for one day at a time. It's a fantastic idea on top of an already fantastic game, and the entry price to this fun is also £11.99. Both games are only available on the Windows version of Steam at the moment. Spelunky is also available for a similar price DRM-free on gog.com, but comes without the Daily Challenge mode.

Immigration is always a hot topic in European and American politics, but it hasn't really had enough attention in videogames which ought to be reflecting popular culture. Step forward Papers, Please, a game that's taking the immigration theme and putting it in a setting not dissimilar to George Orwell's Airstrip One in "1984" - or a more extreme version of the Soviet Union. You're an immigration inspector controlling the flow of people entering the fictional state of Arstotzkan, and the game's 16-bit graphics and dark gameplay might not appeal to all, but it has certainly been winning plaudits for its original mechanics and the ability to tackle an important theme. It's £6.99 on Steam for Windows and Mac, and also available DRM-free on gog.com. Also of note on Steam this week is Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, a rather pretty hand-painted action-adventure game whose world is rather alive as it pulses to the beats. It's another £11.99 game, but this one is on Mac and Linux as well as Windows.

Also capturing attention on digital platforms this week if Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a story-driven adventure game from Starbreeze Studios. It's about the interaction with two brothers, but instead of featuring co-operative play, you actually control both brothers on a single gamepad; each is controlled with one of the analogue sticks, and there are individual action buttons. You must use the two to solve puzzles together, and each brother deals with NPCs differently, so you'll need to use the right person at the right time. It launched this week on the Xbox 360 as part of the "Summer of Arcade", available for 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.80) on the Xbox Live Marketplace, and will be arriving on the PC and PS3 within a month (because exclusivity just isn't that long these days).

Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party. Yes, that's the name of a real game, and it came out on Thursday on the Wii U eShop. It's actually played away from the TV, just on the console's gamepad. While you do spin a virtual bottle, the difference in this version compared to playing with an actual bottle is that this isn't about truth-or-dare, but instead it's a collection of mini games played with Wii Remotes which you compete in with randomly chosen partners. There's not a lot to it, but then it's only £5.99 and best played in a large group (possibly with alcohol...). Or for £3.49 you can get something rather different on the Virtual Console; Galaga. Namco's classic vertical shoot-'em-up is now on the Wii U Virtual Console. Over on the 3DS there's more adventuring in caves with SteamWorld Dig for £7.99, which bring steampunk to the mining mix.

Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims is another game which really exists despite it's peculiar title. The new in HD! version is a PS Vita update to the minis game which won a lot of applause for its great visuals, and it's rather nice side-scrolling action which features you playing the floating cloud god as you save the pilgrims by taking out enemies on their behalf. This new Vita-only version with enhanced visuals, trophies and new control support is available for just £2.99.

Lastly there's a bit of a taster for Saints Row IV now available for free on the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store and Steam; the "Inauguration Station". It's a character creator, but it features a lot of options, so if you're planning to pick up the main game on launch then it's probably best to get stuck in now and create something awesome while you wait. The character creator was previously made available for Saints Row: The Third before that game launched, and your character from there can also be brought across to SR IV.

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