Tobold's Blog
Monday, October 05, 2015
50 bucks

I visited Steam this weekend to look whether I might want to buy Heroes of Might & Magic 7. The game would have cost 50 bucks, so I checked reviews on Steam and Metacritic to see whether it was worth that amount of money. It turned out that the reviews were mixed. While some people liked the "old style" feel of HOMM3, a lot of others complained about the game being ugly and unfinished (e.g. the heroes talking with no animation), or encountered bugs. The game appears to be not very polished. Why would I spend 50 bucks on a not very polished game? If I want the HOMM3 experience, I can buy HOMM3 HD on the iPad for $9.99, or Royal Bounty HD for $4.99.

I do think there is a market for $50+ games. But I would expect such a game to be highly polished and very pretty, as well as being very good. If I don't mind shabby graphics and lack of polish, there are plenty of indie and mobile games out there which are significantly cheaper. Just because the company is big doesn't make their limited budget, half-baked games worth 50 bucks.

While checking out HOMM7 reviews I saw lots of other games. So in the end I spent my 50 bucks on a collection of 3 Steam games: Undertale, which has an unheard-of Metacritic score of 97, although that universal love appears to be based more on a gigantic in-joke than on gameplay; Cities Skylines (at half price), which is the Sim City that the last Sim City failed to be; and Heroes of Normandie, a computer adaptation of a board game I had seen and liked at the Brussels Games Festival. I'm pretty certain that those 3 games together will provide me with more hours of quality entertainment and fun than HOMM7 would have.

HOMM7 meanwhile is on my Steam wishlist. I might still buy it at a sale if I can get it for half the current price or less. Plus the bugs will be fixed by then, and there will be plenty of player-created maps available. I can only win by waiting this out.

20 years ago I had to have games when they were new, buying on day 1 at full price.

Now I just wait, Steam will have a sale eventually. Btw Steams Discovery Queue is advertising done right. Put games on your wishlist, ignore or tick not interested. Clean your wishlist once in a while and if something is on sale buy it. This weekend Pillars of Eternity was half price and I finally bought it after months on the list, 42€ full price was too much for me.

I only play through about half the games I buy, so waiting for a sale is no problem because I always have something unfinished anyway.
Speaking of wishlists I have become a big fan of "". It is a price aggregation service that will find the best current price on any game, plus it gives a price history so you know if you are getting a good deal. Better still is allows you to create a wishlist and will notify you if a game on your wishlist falls below a certain price. It is very customisable. You can select which retailers to include in your search and so on. I find it has transformed my game buying. I am less inclined to splurge on impulse purchases when I know that I will be told if a game is on sale. Also even when I must have a game right now at least I have all the info to know that I am getting the best price available. It only aggregates legitimate retailers. No grey market stuff.
Cities Skyline is an excellent buy Tobold. I would definitely recommend that once you still the game you browse the steam workshop and check out the excellent mods available for it. Some of them are even made by former developers of previous Simcity games!

It truly is the Simcity game that the last Simcity was not.
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