Potato Sack #1

So a couple of weeks ago I commented on a fairly large-scale deal Steam had put out. The Potato Sack, as they called it, was a package of 13 games that would in total normally have cost about $130 on Steam, but was available for about $35. Of course, that in and of itself doesn't make it a good deal if the games don't hold up.

Myself? I was interested in 2, maybe 3 games outright that were on the list: Super Meat Boy, Amnesia and had something of an interest in Killing Floor. Those three titles alone would have added up to more than the Potato Sack price, so I went ahead and picked it up, figuring that everything else was extra.

I have been playing the games that came with it to varying degrees, and will talk about them each in turn. A few like Amnesia will likely net a full review, others like the Dejobaan trilogy are light games that are all interesting, but probably not full-review material.

Now, I have never heard of this company before, but their inrto states that they have been "making quality video games for 75 years" - you immediately realize that this small group wears their sense of humor out there for everyone to see.

The first one I played was called 1, 2, 3 Kick it! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby). Described as:

Battle your favorite drum ‘n’ bass tracks, or zen out as you soar through that trance album. “Kick It” mines your existing MP3 music to build hovering, hallucinogenic worlds to fly and fight through.

This game is a beta right now, but anyone who bought the Potato Sack bundle gets to play the beta for now, and gets the full game when it comes out. What is the game? Well, it's basically a geometric flying/first person game. The shapes, the rhythm and targets all generate based off of the music you choose to play it to. That's right - the game comes with a pair of pre-packaged songs to test it against, but the real replay value will come from putting your own mp3's into the music folder. You gain multipliers and more points by avoiding objects and flying close to - but not touching - them. There's not a whole lot to do in here yet - but I did notice that very different songs did in fact alter the game environment quite a bit. it's still in early stages, but I hope a lot more variety shows up in the final product. There is a shooting mechanic, but it's almost completely unused currently, which makes the game feel more like an interactive Windows Media Player visualization than a true game.

The 2nd game I played was called AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. Maybe they're digital download because the titles won't fit on retail boxes? :) This game is infused with the same energetic humor as their other ones so far. The description is this:

Jump off of a perfectly good building, create your own stunts, and flip people off for points in our award-winning title for Windows PCs.

So basically you are base jumping off of tall buildings, trying to guide your character during his downward plummet. You want to get close to buildings (close enough to 'hug or kiss' them) for bonus points. As you unlock stages you find more advanced falls, with buildings of varied height and metal beams along the way that can turn your femurs to paste, as they put it. Adding to the variety, some stages have fans and haters - and these groups are exactly what they sound like. Basically you can give your fans a thumbs up and the haters the bird on your way past them. You don't actually see the gesture, but you are rewarded points if you are successful and in proximity.

Like 1...2...3 Kick it, this game relies heavily on large, geometrical shapes to make up most of the landscape.

Last but not least is The Wonderful end of the World, which they describe as:

A joyous trek around the earth to gather everything you can before it's eaten by a giant fish head.

Mass Effect-like story creation this is not, but it is an amusing if simple game in premise. You start off as this sort of empty entity, and you walk around making contact with and 'picking up' or absorbing smaller objects. The more you absorb, the larger you get. Objects that may have been too large 20 seconds ago can then be absorbed once you're of size. The controls aren't bad, some of the levels are genuinely cool (I like the word tile one I included in my video), the music's fun and the world around you scales to continually get smaller as you get bigger. This is probably the game my son, daughter and I played the most of these.

These games run $10 each off of Steam. It's hard for me to say they're worth the price when you can grab a full-fledged game used like Splinter Cell: Conviction from Disc Traders for $11 (which I did the other day), but they were nice addins to the Potato Sack and I enjoy seeing smaller scale games like this and can appreciate the creativity and effort that goes into them. That said? These are probably the weakest part of the Potato Sack package for me personally.

Below is a video of 1...2...3 and Wonderful End of the world - Aaaarg pushed to full screen and I couldn't record that (all I got was a blank black screen). I'll post more games from the Potato Sack soon!


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