The Steam summer sale shindig

Every summer, Steam holds a massive sale on video games. Many see it as a brutal whipping on the wallets of gamers, and that view isn’t necessarily wrong. For me, it’s an experiment of self-control —one that I always fail.

Nevertheless, there have been a few titles that I’ve wanted to cover over the last year or so that I didn’t have a chance to due to financial or time constraints (or both). Since summer releases are dry as usual, the sale makes for a good excuse to write a catch-up review article for the games I’ve missed. So, here goes!

 

“DUCKTALES REMASTERED”

Developer: Wayforward

Platforms: PS3, 360, Wii U, PC

Rating: 4

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The original Ducktales NES game was a classic over 20 years ago, but before the developers at Capcom and Wayforward gave it the HD treatment, it was hard to find. Thankfully, the game is preserved well here, with a little extra content to boot. Even the old voice actors are back! While the remake’s habit of interrupting the excellent levels with cut scenes gets bothersome, it’s surreal from the perspective of an old fan of the show.

If you enjoyed “Ducktales” as a kid (either as the game or as the series), you owe it to yourself to pick it up. And if you never got into the series, hey, the cut scenes are skippable, and it still has some of the finest level design that platformers have ever seen. Oh, and the soundtrack is just classic. The remixed tunes sound fantastic, and the developers even threw in the option to switch to the original soundtrack on a whim.

 

“VISCERA CLEANUP DETAIL”

Developer: RuneStorm

Platform: PC

Rating: 3

Ever wanted to be a janitor? Of course not! But that’s what makes “Viscera Cleanup Detail” so fascinating. Essentially, you are a janitor cleaning up the mess from what looks like a textbook horror/sci-fi massacre. Players enter the bloodied level with naught but a mop, and are tasked with cleaning everything up. It sounds dull, but like “Super Mario Sunshine,” the experience is almost meditative in a way.

It’s not without its issues; it has plenty of bugs (although it is in Steam’s Early Access program), cleaning becomes more tedious once you’ve cleaned everything and are scouring the level for more bits to clean, and multiplayer — yes, multiplayer in a game like this — may be too chaotic for some players. Still, it’s a great concept, and it has bucketloads of potential. This is one to watch.

 

“BATTLEBLOCK THEATER”

Developer: The Behemoth

Platforms: 360, PC, Linux

Rating: 5

Coming straight from the sick minds behind “Castle Crashers” is “BattleBlock Theater,” a twisted multiplayer platformer. Players control a prisoner that is forced to perform on stage for the entertainment of others. Fortunately for platforming fans, these stages are elaborate platformer death traps similar to games like “Braid” and “Super Meat Boy.” The player is tasked with collecting as many gems and balls of yarn as possible, and as fast as possible.

Like “Castle Crashers” before it, the game has a very gnarly sense of humor, which is hilarious and fits the game play and style quite nicely. In addition, while the game plays excellently in single-player, it’s a blast in multiplayer, where participants can play anything from co-op to more competitive scenarios. For 15 bucks (or much less when part of the Steam sale), you get a lot for your money.