Ah, the Steam Summer Sale. A way for South Africans to get a slight taste of Northern Hemisphere summers, even while we freeze our collective bits off in our local winter. We still call it the Summer Sale, because reasons.
It’s back, running until the 5th of July, and once more Valve’s digital gaming store is filled with huge reductions on thousands of titles. Whether your interactive tastes run to retro classics, mega-budget AAA blockbusters or daring indie endeavours, there’s sure to be plenty on your Wishlist going for a song.
We’ve put together a list of recommended buys, but with a sale of this magnitude, it really represents little more than a drop in the ocean. Our advice: get your wallet out and dive in yourself at some point over the next few days.
R197.54 (from R581.00)
Perhaps one of the year’s most welcome surprises, this episodic return to form from IO Interactive brought the wit, stealth and inventiveness back to the Hitman series. This package features all the games episodes and locations, giving you hours and hours of assassination fun in one bundle.
R184.63 (from R499.00)
It isn’t the greatest open-world crime game ever made (that one’s a bit further down the page), but at this price Mafia 3’s setting (inspired by 1960s New Orleans) and story starts to look very tempting indeed.
R197.67 (from R599.00)
One of the best strategy games of recent years, this in-depth, hard-as-nails struggle against alien oppressors is well worth picking up for gamers who value brain power over reflexes.
R203.66 (from R599.00)
Games Workshop’s beloved tabletop game gets the Total War treatment in this colourful RTS. If you want to see trolls battle it out with dragons as magic flies overhead and legions of troops clash in bloody combat, look no further.
R54.00 (from R219.00)
A beguiling and beautiful interactive adventure with a clever time travel mechanic and cast of compelling characters. Well worth the price of a burger meal.
R169.66 (from R499.00)
Sports Interactive’s annual update gets more in-depth and statty in each iteration – just don’t tell its millions of fans it’s just a bunch of spreadsheets, yes?
R249.50 (from R499.00)
Hundreds of hours of adventure, combat, exploration and dialogue awaits you in this definitive, all DLC-included edition of one of our favourite games of the last few years. If you haven’t already joined Geralt the Witcher on his quest, now’s the perfect time.
R309.50 (from R619.00)
A stylish, challenging stealth/FPS hybrid set in a beautifully fleshed-out world.
R95.40 (from R159.00)
Stardew Valley is a farming simulator, but to look at it purely in those terms is to do it a disservice, because it’s also driven by a story filled with relatable characters and situations. Yes, you’re free to obsess over prioritising crop yields all you like, but there’s also an emotional core that drags you right in.
R109.50 (from R219.00)
A gorgeous pixel art style and easy-to-learn, hard-to-master combat blend together in one of the indie world’s biggest hits of recent times.
R43.80 (from R219.00)
There are plenty of games about war, but not many like This War of Mine, which looks at conflict not from the side of a soldier but from one of the civilians caught up in the horror. Scrounging for food, building up defences and crafting supplies in an effort to survive, it’s not the happiest of games – but it is excellent.
R95.70 (from R319.00)
A creepy, clever story-driven first-person sci-fi adventure that’s been criminally overlooked. Rectify that now!
R98.55 (from R219.00)
Derided by some as a “walking simulator”, Firewatch may be light on action but it’s blessed when it comes to rewarding narrative, complex characterisation and beautiful scenery.
R59.80 (from R299.00)
With the sequel nearing release, it’s a great time to get acquainted with this surprisingly next-gen open-world adventure. Now that’s what I’m Tolkien about!
R399.50 (from R799.00)
Years on from its release and GTA V is still a fantastic-looking game. It’s rarely discounted below this price, so if you’re looking to pick it up you might as well do it now.
R190.19 (from R2,193.00)
A huge collection of Valve games from the past (including Half-life 2, Left 4 Dead and Portal) lets you view this as a history lesson. A really fun one.