Potato Sack #6

13 games for about $35. It's a pretty ridiculous deal if you think about it, but only if those 13 games are worth what their price tag dictates. We all know that's not always the case. Steam released their Potato Sack before Portal 2 came out, with a bunch of indie games in it. I decided to pick it up and go through these games in slightly less than full-blown review status. This post will reflect on Killing Floor and Audiosurf. The two games have nothing in common, but since I couldn't get a good video of Killing Floor, I thought I would talk about it and then finish with Audiosurf.

Killing Floor immediately reminded me of Left for Dead - a game I picked up for my 360 somewhat recently for about $10. Get together with people online or battle the zombies by yourself using whatever weapons you can to try and stay alive. The storyline is almost non-existent, but that's okay since you'll likely be playing online with other people. The single player mode is okay, but it's the online that really keeps you engaged.

I had honestly never heard of Killing Floor until the Potato Sack, but I'm actually pretty glad I acquired this game now. It's a $20 download though, so I'm not sure I would have picked it up under normal, full-priced scenarios (I got Left for Dead on my 360 for about $9). I don't do a lot of online games. I played World of Warcraft for a few years, and even then did most of my leveling solo. Still, this game is easily better with online play. It's far from a perfect experience though.

I've read a lot of people have connection issues - thankfully I was not among them, but even if I had been, I'm confident I could have navigated my network settings pretty easily. Benefits of being in software tech support I guess - but I know not everyone has that particular luxury. I did however had a lot of graphics issues right off the bat. My computer more than meets the system specs, but I was getting these crazy flashing screens and the game would crash on my initially. Tripwire Interactive didn't have any obvious tech support - it directed you to forums, which sort of annoyed me at first. That said, the information in the forums was actually pretty hand, and these were known issues I was able to fix up pretty quickly.

Once I was on my way and playing, I was introduced to a game that I would summarize as:

- fast and fun
- with pretty good graphics
- rocking music but horrible voice over

There's still glitches, and there are not a ton of maps, but the online, different characters and perks and weapons all add up to make most sessions unique. My son likes these types of games as well - he loved Left for Dead when I bought it, and he too immediately saw the parallels between that game and this one, though Left for Dead felt a bit more polished in my opinion and I liked it better. I'd probably score Killing for a 7.5, but I'm factoring in value at the cost and the time I had to put into getting it to work right I suppose. My son, when asked, said a 9 out of 10, and that he thought it was a lot 'cooler' than Left for Dead

Audiosurf almost feels more like an experience than a game. There's certainly game elements involved - scores, maneuvering around on the screen - things like that. The goal is pretty simple - you control a sort of hovercar back and forth, collecting colored blocks to help create combo scores while trying to avoid gray, colorless blocks that can ruin these combinations. There's a futuristic vibe through the menu and limited sound effects, and the graphics while fairly simple are appealing at least. The core game mechanic however, is similar to 1... 2... 3... drop this beat that I covered in Potato Sack #1 - you pick your own MP3's, and the track, tempo and colored objectives change accordingly. That provides a good deal of variation in the game. There's quite a few difficulty levels, types of vehicles and the music is limited only by your own collection, so replay value is actually pretty significant here.

There's a demo you can pick up, and at $10 I would recommend trying that. It's not a game I plan to spend a ton of time with - I'd probably go with a 6.5 or 7 if I was scoring. It's okay in small doses, but not engaging enough for me personally.

I have a brief video down below of it. Killing Floor, with its handful of graphics configuration issues would not play nice with me when trying to record, so the video is Audiosurf only.


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