Human Flat Fall
Sale Price: $7.49 / $5.99 (PS Plus)
If you haven’t played Human Flat Fall, the digital PSN sale is your chance to snap it up for an awesome 50% discount. This physics-based puzzler is a real hoot, and its entertaining cooperative mode, “Father and Son” is also brilliant.
Players control a pudgy “human” protagonist, navigating various puzzles across each of its themed levels. Seemingly made of a jelly-like substance, it wobbles around at the slightest disturbance, which adds an amusing dimension to controls.
The game’s muted textures might look monotone at first glance, but they actually come together to make for a super vibrant overall aesthetic. In combination with the game’s whimsical tones, Human Flat Fall is a nice change of pace from the realism and simulation games that comprise so much of the modern gaming catalog. You’re in for an extreme amount of fun playing through the goofy levels of Human Flat Fall.
Sale Price: $12.49 / $9.99 (PS Plus)
You could be forgiven for thinking Darkest Dungeon was a somewhat simple and generic 2D tactical RPG, but there is huge depth and innovation to this excellent game. Leading your characters through the randomized dungeons, you’ll have to constantly be on your guard to avoid permanently losing them. There’s hardly a moment that isn’t tense and fraught with danger as the game constantly keeps you off balance with tough combat encounters.
The key to success is effectively building your band of characters, and there’s plenty to keep in mind: choosing between 14 different classes, balancing their gear and associated abilities, and even making sure your characters don’t get stressed and pass out. This is a game that rewards patience and strategy, but the turn-based combat is unpredictable and flows much more fluidly than traditional JRPGs.
The 2D character designs do a great job at conveying the brooding and dark atmosphere of the game. There’s also some sweet narration tying together the lore and narrative – it is one of the most comically sinister voices you’ve ever heard.
The Totally Digital sale drops the price of Darkest Dungeon by a whopping 50%. This is absolutely one of the standout indie games of the past few years and if you weren’t sure whether it was for you, now is the perfect time save yourself a bit of money and try it out.
Salt and Sanctuary
Sale Price: $10.79 / $8.99 (PS Plus)
Salt and Sanctuary is another superb indie title that benefits from the Totally Digital sale, dropping the price down on one of 2016’s great games. Ever heard of Dark Souls? Of course, you have! Well, this is essentially a 2D Dark Souls; a mercilessly difficult side-scrolling RPG set in a foreboding gothic setting where every potential reward brings with it the ever-present danger of dying and losing everything in the process.
There are eight different classes to choose from but every character is pretty much a blank slate to build according to preference. You’ll have to constantly swap out gear to navigate the labyrinth of the game’s many different areas, earning “salt” as you slay enemies along the way. Salt, like souls, can be used in exchange for skill perks or for leveling your character at “sanctuaries,” which are similar to the campfires of Dark Souls. But those safe havens are few and far between, and there’s a constant inner battle between pushing on for more salt and returning to a sanctuary to consolidate your treasure.
All of this intense action can be enjoyed cooperatively with a pal, too, who will surely prove useful in defeating the game’s terrifying bosses. Don’t miss this one!
Cosmic Star Heroine
$10.04 / $7.49 (PS Plus)
Heavily influenced by the original Phantasy Star games, this wonderful pixelated 16-bit Sci-fi RPG takes plenty of nods from iconic games of the past. Yet despite the obvious JRPG inspiration, there is so much to adore about Cosmic Star Heroine’s own story, characters, and accomplished gameplay.
If you’re a fan of ’80s sci-fi and cyberpunk, then you’ll love the aesthetic and score of Cosmic Star Heroine. The cutscenes are like something straight out of a retro Japanese anime; a real blast from the past that will fill you with warm nostalgia.
The gameplay is all about the JRPG turn based combat, which is really well done and has some interesting features like combination attacks. There are loads of items, abilities, and special attacks to experiment with along the way. You’ll also be able to recruit a smorgasbord of different characters as you work through the plot.
It wasn’t expensive, to begin with, but at just $10, if you were on the fence about Cosmic Star Heroine then you really can’t say no at such a low price. There is so much content to play through that this is certainly great value.
Limbo and Inside Bundle
Sale Price: $17.99 / $14.99 (PS Plus)
Playdead’s Limbo and Inside have to be among the best side-scrolling puzzle-platformers ever made, and now they’re bundled together in one awesome package.
Both Limbo and Inside boast accomplished gameplay that is challenging but always rewarding and barely ever frustrating. They also each tell complex and thought-provoking narratives that resonate long after completion without ever uttering a single word of dialogue. These are special games that if you haven’t already tried, you really should consider picking up in the digital sale.
Limbo is Playdead’s first masterpiece; the tale of a young boy who awakens in a forest in a strange and harrowing world. Players have no indication of where they are or where they are going, but as you press on it becomes clear that you need to escape the hostility of this strange world.
Inside’s premise is similar, but this is an even more sinister and chilling dystopian world. The plot is equally ambiguous and resonates long after completion. Controlling a boy (who also first appears in a forest) players navigate their way into a strange facility whose population are out to capture you. Using a curious mind-control device to negotiate its clever puzzles, and even a submarine for traversal, players push deeper inside, culminating in a spectacular ending sequence.
Although gameplay exists on a single 2D plane, the details are in the background of each game, where distant goings-on offer clues to the mystery of their eerie narratives.
Sale Price: $8.99 / $5.99 (PS Plus)
SOMA is more of a psychological thriller than a pure horror game, but if you enjoyed games like Alien Isolation, it’s well worth the 70% discounted price on offer.
Like Isolation, SOMA builds tension through its unsettling environment; in this case, a deep-sea research facility. It plays on fears of drowning, solitude, and of the frightening alien life forms that dwell in its darkness. The location definitely makes for a welcome change from the haunted houses and asylums that have become so cliche in modern horror games. The plot also offers a point of difference, asking deep existential questions about separation of the mind and body.
SOMA’s gameplay is measured and its controls weighty, further amplifying the sense of vulnerability, and the apprehension of what might be waiting around the corner. There are few jump scares or intense battles with the enemy. It’s all about evasion and eluding confrontation with the strange hostile presence that lurks around the facility. Every movement is tactile and deliberate. SOMA sometimes feels rather like a walking simulator, which also translates to how its narrative is conveyed — through journal entries, computer logs, and voice recordings.
At $8.99, you really owe it to yourself to cash in and play SOMA if you’re a fan of deeply immersive and provocative science fiction tales.
2064 Read Only Memories
Sale Price: $11.99 / $9.99 (PS Plus)
If you like cyberpunk and/or story-driven experiences, 2064: Read Only Memories is a unique game that you need to pick up. Heavily inspired by iconic titles such as Snatcher, Read Only Memories is a retro-animated text adventure game with a thrilling branching narrative.
Like all cyberpunk tales, high society, low life is the theme of both the setting and plot. Humans have genetically modified themselves, with augments and humans coexisting in a shared space (the fictional Neo San Francisco). But life isn’t easy for augments, and their integration into society is being oppressed by a human organization. Players take control of a young journalist trying to track down their kidnapped friend with the help of an AI called Turing.
In terms of gameplay, this is a text-based experience that operates similarly to a visual novel. Aside from clicking the screen to advance the text, you can point at and click objects to interact with them. There are items you will collect along the way which are stored in an inventory and used to unlock certain objectives or plot-lines There are also mini-puzzles along the way, which do offer some semblance of traditional gameplay.
The Banner Saga
Sale Price: $11.99 / $9.99 (PS Plus)
The Banner Saga is a beautifully animated Viking-themed adventure game that blends a branching narrative with strategic role-playing combat. These two features are tied together by a choice and consequence system in which every player action has unpredictable consequences in its twisting plot.
The world of The Banner Saga is brutal and unforgiving, reflected both in its graphic story and often punishingly difficult combat. The narrative itself is superbly written, but it is how you interact with others in the face of adversity that is its most notable feature. The smallest of choices often make a big impact, and Banner Saga does well to make players feel a sense of responsibility for their characters.
That translates to the combat, too, in which every swing of the sword or potential loss of one’s characters makes for tense and unsettling encounters. The gameplay is turn-based and characters can be moved around the field via a grid system similar to JRPG classics such as Final Fantasy Tactics. There are role-playing elements to battle and progression, adding depth to proceedings.
The Banner Saga has also spawned a sequel and a free-to-play multiplayer game, which means there’s even more content to enjoy beyond this temporarily inexpensive entry point to the series.
Sale Price: $5.24 / $3.75 (PS Plus)
Drinkbox Studios’ Guacamelee incorporates the best elements from legendary games of the past, but its gorgeous art style, memorable characters, and the whimsical plot has made its own mark on the gaming industry. At this sale price, it would be rude not to indulge in this terrific part metroidvania, part action-platformer for PSVita.
The melee combat is the game’s biggest highlight, a whirlwind of dodges, throws, launchers and chaotic strikes. Initially, things work well enough mashing buttons and watching enemies fly, but while it never becomes overly technical, it does grow enough in challenge that by the ending levels you’ll be thinking much more tactically with your inputs.
There’s loads of variety in enemy types, and they all look brilliant animated in Drinkbox’s now signature art style. In particular, the challenging boss-types are stunning to behold. There’s plenty of interesting settings to traverse, too, as you navigate the game’s many puzzles and areas.
Sale Price: $19.99 / $15.99 (PS Plus)
The Witness is a genre defining puzzle game that is a wonder of invention and creativity. The 600 or so puzzles woven into its beautiful island environment are on a level of genius that is truly astonishing. At times, playing The Witness feels like learning a new language, and solving its mysteries genuinely makes you feel as though you are elevating yourself to a higher level of thinking.
The brilliance of The Witness is not an easy thing to convey in words. Put simply, each of its puzzles necessitates that players join grid lines from one end of a path to another. It sounds a little uninspiring, but the game becomes progressively more complicated, and the various obstacles along each predetermined path present mind bogglingly imaginative ways to expand and introduce various new elements to its puzzle. The Witness is hugely complex, but as soon as you take control of the game it feels so intuitive, and while there are moments of frustration, the pacing introduces each new stage of complexity appropriately.
The Witness is beautiful to behold, ingenious in design and structured in a way that will make you feel a smarter person. Make sure you pick it up at the generous 50% discounted price.