We’ve back with yet another installment in our 2022 Steam Summer Sale showcase, this time taking a look at discounted casual games! No need to grind entire warehouses of wood here folks, these are games that let you hang back and relax on a chill Sunday.
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Now, Among Us is usually cheap, so a discount doesn’t mean much, but if you haven’t given the pandemic favorite a try yet, perhaps now would be a good time to see what all that impostor nonsense is about.
The game is simple: One match has anywhere from 3 to 15 players, of which one or more are Impostors. The Impostors’ goal is to kill enough innocents until their number is equal to the number or remaining Impostors.
Innocents (civilians, scientists, medics) need to survive long enough to complete all their tasks (repairing circuits, downloading/uploading files, cleaning gutters and so much more) or vote out all the Impostors to win. That’s basically it, but the experience can be quite engaging and fun, especially if played with friends.
Long ago, in the 2000s there used to be a whole gaming market based on giving you free one-hour demos. Studios such as PopCap Games, BigFishGames and others had all sorts of awesome lil’ games coming out: Feeding Frenzy, Mystery Case Files, Zuma and… Insaniquarium. You can actually still play a demo for this one on Steam if you’re undecided on the purchase.
Anyway! The game’s got you taking care of an aquarium, but wait, this ain’t no regular aquarium! While you’re feeding your fish, harvesting their poop (which is literally dollar coins), you’ll trigger certain “dollar milestones” that’ll spawn an alien who intends to kill your fish. Whatever will you do? Well, you’ll use your laser weapons to deal with it.
Aside from the complete insanity it takes to get rich off some fish, you’ve got several other helpful things to gain, making your journey easier: Buddies, such as a snail that helps you collect coins, or upgrades to the food you feed your fish or the weapons you defend them with. This game is honestly better than a lot of more modern, more expensive games. Give it a shot.
Yet another one of PopCap’s successes, Zuma’s Revenge! is the awesome sequel to Zuma Deluxe, an equally awesome game. I only chose the sequel for its better graphics and improved game design, but both are on sale and I’d suggest to catch’em all!
Zuma, at its core, is a match 3 (or more) game, but not like Bejeweled (which was also developed by PopCap and is the purest version of a match 3 game, made before the entire genre was sullied by behavioral psychologist-designed versions like Candy Crush). You control a cute frog and fight against an almost-endless line of balls that move towards a skull’s mouth. Let the balls get to the mouth and you lose the game!
Your frog shoots different-colored balls, so you need to insert these into the “bad” line of balls. Getting three or more of the same color together will pop them. If the balls on both ends of the now-ruptured line are of the same color, the “forward” part of the line will be drawn backward, pushing the whole line back and giving you more time to reach the score required for the line to stop spawning. Then, you’ve only got to “finish off” the remaining balls to win.
The game’s got basically infinite replayability, with several different hard modes to keep you busy.
Tetris Effect: Connected
If you thought there’s nothing new Tetris as a genre can come up with, think again. Aside from being able to run this in VR (hol-up), Tetris Effect received an update in 2020 that added support for co-op multiplayer, both local and online.
This game’s got several crazy game modes that each add their own unique spin on the original. Since we’re talking about casual games, though, there is of course a Zen mode, where you can just place blocks and delete lines without worrying about the speed suddenly increasing from 1 to 9 (which is a common occurrence in the campaign).
Even if you’re not a fan of Tetris, you should give this game a shot. It’s rare to see an audio-visual experience so well designed using reactive audio concepts. The music is entirely non-linear, meaning you’ll hear a loop of the same “portion” of a song while the match runs at, say, speed 2, but when you hit a points threshold and the speed shifts to 4, the music will change with it, increasing in speed, adding a beat, creating additional harmonies and more. It is an awesome experience and pairs very well with the absolutely gorgeous visuals, which also react to what you do on the board, like destroying lines or speeding up the placement of pieces.
I cannot describe this game. Go into it blind. It’s widely regarded as one of the best games of all time, has won an endless amount of awards and is overall a can’t-miss experience. I’ve linked the trailer below if you’re not convinced!
Prices & Discounts
Prices may vary based on your region.
- Among Us ($3.19, 20% off)
- Insaniquarium Deluxe ($1.24, 75% off)
- Zuma’s Revenge ($0.99, 80% off)
- Tetris Effect: Connected ($20.39, 40% off)
- Journey ($6.24, 50% off)
Have you played some of these old but gold titles? Which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
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