This may not shatter the earth with tyrannosaurian clomping the way the Humble Bundle does, but my favorite deal of the early summer sale rush simply has to be the Arclight Bundleover at Indie Royale. This fat, happy bundle features nearly every game produced by indie studio Arcen Games since its start in 2009, and then some. Let’s feast on some details:
- AI War is a fantastically extensive space-based RTS, akin to Supreme Commander, with a great cooperative, asymmetrical design. This one has a learning curve, but it really pays off with deep gameplay.
- AI War has been continually evolving over the past four years, and this bundle includes all five expansions, including one that is nearing release.
- A Valley Without Wind 1 and 2 are two drastically different takes on a freeform, procedurally generated “Metroidvania” platformer with a strategy layer. They’re all about keeping colonies of resistance alive by going out on dangerous platforming missions, then moving pawns around in an overmap. They’re both highly ambitious–and controversial–games, that, like AI War, take a while to penetrate, but have a great amount of depth underneath.
- Shattered Haven is an experiment in hand-crafted environmental survival puzzles, a somewhat non-linear game with a fairly linear story. It’s set in a zombiesqe post-apocolyptic world, with some… interesting voice acting. If anything, the soundtrack is pretty good. It also supports side-to-side cooperative play.
- Tidalis is an underrated, fun take on the “match 3” puzzle game genre, but with the usual Arcen twists: here you send “tides” swooshing through blocks in the hopes of connecting clearance after clearance. Includes a goofy campaign mode with unlikely story.
- All of the above games, with the exception of Tidalis, include cooperative play. Arcen wants you to learn, fight, win, and lose alongside your friends, and this is key to their vision as a company.
- All of the above games are DRM-free, requiring only a simple key to unlock them, with no activation servers necessary. And of course you get the keys.
In short, around $5.50 will net you the whole bundle, giving up a measly $8.00 will net you nine soundtracks for the games, not counting the most recent ones, plus a decent bonus, unrelated soundtrack by glitch veteran Disasterpeace. That’s about nine hours of music for $3.50 more.
I’ve been on-and-off obsessed with the juggernaut of a game AI War since picking it up in 2010, and have featured it here a bunch as well. It’s what I call a “career game,” one that gets you in its grip, and you come back to again and again, sleepless night after sleepless night. At $5.50, this bundle is worth that alone, since most of the expansions are around that price. I personally just bought it for the new expansion, plus all those great soundtracks. I even put in $10, just to temporarily drop the price by a penny for the next several folks who bought it.
This sale is good through the next four days, and terminates on June 13, 2013. Hop to it!
(If you’re looking to get into AI War, you may want to take a look at my AI War Pocket Reference.)