Last week I posted the idea of a more moderate and thoughtful approach to the Steam summer sale. Instead of scooping up mounds of discounted games I proposed that you piecemeal your purchases based on the type of game it is rather than the discounted price. Doing so would thus encourage wise spending and keep Steam backlogs from bloating even more.
And then, in that same post, after breaking down the idea, I outlined three games that I would personally buy while adhering to this idea: Nuclear Throne, Renowned Explorers: International Society, Offworld Trading Company.
Well, as it turns out, things have not gone exactly as planned. I haven’t totally flown off the rails, but I have had to make a couple course corrections. It all went awry from the very beginning because Nuclear Throne is not on sale. The game is still a mere $10 but to buy it without an accompanying green discount tag sort of defeats the purpose of participating in the Steam sale at all. So, right at the onset, we had a wrinkle. This unforeseen detail threatened to derail my entire plan as I then aimlessly continued to browse the storefront and be seduced by all those pretty discounts.
NAY! I declared. Begone, ye vile temptress! Stick to the plan!
With great resolve (I’m so brave) I skipped over Nuclear Throne and went straight to Renowned Explorers, having already anticipated that the bulk of the sale would be spent playing this. And I have, and will continue to do so into this holiday weekend. It is a great game with a light-hearted style and a surprisingly deep strategic layer. It takes a little bit of playing to develop your sea-legs but once you get the feel for the game, once you can sort out all the fiddly bits, it is full steam ahead!
Admittedly, there have been several brief occasions during the last two or three hours of gametime that I thought I’d had enough, that I didn’t want to explore the same places albeit with a different crew. But then I spun a lucky roll on the game’s ‘adventure wheel’ or had a close call in an encounter or recognized a small detail in character animation, and the game dispels any whiff of gamer’s fatigue.
The attention to detail in Renowned Explorers is a joy – From character animations to the soundtrack, right down to the soundbites of tokens being collected. It is all so satisfying. The tactical encounters truly are a unique kind of dance with the enemy, with actions whose effects can ripple into subsequent turns. Characters are not merely separate entities with their own specific stats; they have their own tendencies and narrative that can thread itself throughout the campaign, sometimes, for example, relating to a specific location of an expedition, boons of which benefit the entire team.
Yes. The components of Renowned Explorers web themselves together, and it has snagged me. The game is equal parts exploration, risk-taking, greed, tactical slow-dance. And I am in it to win it.
What are you playing this weekend?