Today the Steam Summer Sale began and it will last until July 9th. I want to take the opportunity to give you guys some recommendations on what games and DLC you might want to grab right now. All prices I mention will be in Euro only since that is what my home region uses. Not all games will be Theme Park / Coaster related or even objectively good, they are just all games I can recommend at the current price point. Keep in mind that you get a 5€ Discount on your first purchase of at least 30€ total value, this Discount get’s applied automatically at checkout.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Franchise
Without a doubt the true classics in the Park Management Genre the first two RollerCoaster Tycoon games are discounted at 66% putting them at 2,03€ for the first game and 3,39€ for the second one, and those prices already include both expansion packs for each game. Both of them work without issues on modern PC’s, however my recommendation would be to grab either the 2nd game or both and play them using the OpenRCT 2 Mod. That way you get quality of life improvements like being able advance time quicker, modern resolution support and even Multiplayer.
There is also a RollerCoaster Tycoon Collection for currently 6,97€ available, that one has RCT 1, 2 and RCT World plus it’s Deluxe Edition DLC. While RCT World isn’t a great game, for what comes down to 1,55€ for RCT World Deluxe Edition in this Bundle you can sure take a look at this hot Garbage. This Bundle only makes sense if you don’t already own the first two games and you are curious about RCT World anyway.
Not Recommended is RCT Classic. While 11,99€ might sound like a good deal for a modern, improved version of RCT 1, 2 and their expansions in one game, the issue is that the PC version is merely a Port of the Smartphone / Tablet Version of that game and the Interface and controls really feel like it was never intended to be played with a mouse. Plus it’s still more expensive than buying the old, original versions and upgrading them with OpenRCT 2.
Coming from Frontier, developers of the still beloved RCT 3, Planet Coaster is the spiritual successor to the RCT Franchise and the game that RCT World desperately wanted to be. Planet Coasters gives you a lot of freedom in how you want to play it. You can jump into the career mode and try to beat all the goals in the scenarios, play the challenge mode where you manage a Park while the game throws random the challenges in your way or you can play without financial limitations in Sandbox mode and build whatever you want.
If you plan to pick this one up I would highly recommend to grab the Ghostbusters Bundle for 13,47€ instead of the base game alone for 9,49€ because with the Bundle Deal you are going to save 2€ on the Ghostbusters DLC, and that one comes with a new Ghostbusters Themed campaign alongside many new scenery items, a new themed Coasters and Interactive Ride.
If you already own the Base game you can grab the Ghostbusters DLC for 5,99€ and all other larger DLC Packs for 5,49€ each while the smaller Packs themed to individual Movies or TV Shows are at 2,09€ each. My personal favorite is the Magnificent Rides Collection that adds the Classic Schwarzkopf Looping Coaster and the current Mack Coaster both with Lifthill and Launch options alongside the Vekoma SLC and Flatride Classics like the Break Dancer and a classic Carousel. This Pack also contains probably the most versatile tracked ride for use in Dark Rides that Planet Coaster to offer. The Vintage Pack is also great for it’s inclusion of a Wooden Wild Mouse and Wooden Bobsled Coaster, which is also the only Bobsled Coaster in Planet Coaster in general.
If you plan to pick up both the Base game and either all or at least most of the DLC you should consider the Complete Pack. While the price of currently 54,15€ might still seem high, it is just 3,46€ more than all the DLC Packs combined without the Base Game. Check this “Complete the Collection” even if you already own the Base Game, even if you have some DLC Packs because it is essentially a additional 10% Discount on everything you don’t already own if you grab all of that through the Bundle.
This is essentially to Sim City what Planet Coaster is to RollerCoaster Tycoon, the modern game that fans of the classics should play instead. Cities: Skylines doesn’t feature any set goals or a campaign to play through, it just gives to a plot of land to develop and manage a City. Alternatively you can turn off money and simply design the City of your dreams. The game is extremely open for modding and despite being 5 years old by now it is still actively supported by the Developer with new content and fixes.
Giving a clear recommendation on what to buy is a bit tricky nowadays because it can be a bit overwhelming on which DLC Packs are worth it or even useful for someone depending on their Play style. The base comes in at 6,99€ and is a really great value. I would recommend grabbing this if you have little to no experience with City Builders and you are curious if it is something you would like. While you could grab the Deluxe Edition for 9,24€ instead, I would not recommend it because In Game it simply offers you 5 Monument like the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower and it gives you access to the base games Soundtrack outside of the game and a digital artbook with what feels like only a handful of concept pictures.
Recommended DLC Packs are Mass Transit, Parklife, Green Cities and Natural Disasters because these four in my opinion bring the best improvements to the game. Mass Transit focuses on, as the name implies, public transportation like Busses, Trains and such things. Combine that with Green Cities and you can try to build a City that isn’t too bad for Mother Nature. On the flip side, Natural Disasters can turn Mother Nature against your Cities with Tornados, Tsunamis, Meteors and several other Disasters that can either happen at random and at a random strength or you can throw everything at your City with a few clicks yourself. This one can really make the game more exciting. Last but not least, Parklife allows you to create National Parks or even a Amusement Park in or around your City allowing for more variety.
Project CARS 2
While some might argue that Project CARS 2 tries too many things and fails to be great at any of them, you can’t deny that it is a very flexible and customizable Racing Simulation. The game really aims to let the player do what they want without forcing you to do something you don’t like. Want to jump straight into the GT3 class in Career Mode? No Problem. Want to drive a Go Kart on the Nordschleife? Yep, it’s possible. Want to test if a 60’s era F1 car can beat a modern Hypercar? You can do just that. A Midnight Snowstorm at LeMans? Sounds crazy, but possible.
Project CARS 2 offers a wide variety of Motorsports from several decades in one game. Rallycross, Go Karts, Oval Racing, Classic and Modern F1, Touring and GT cars, Road Cars, you name it, it’s probably here. As for what to buy here, that’s simple to recommend: Grab the 13,49€ Deluxe Edition and avoid the 8,99€ Base game at all costs. Why? Simple, the Deluxe Editions comes bundled with the Season Pass, and that one is currently priced at 14,99€. And no: This isn’t a typo, the Deluxe Edition really is cheaper than the Season Pass alone. While the Japanese Car Pack isn’t included in either the Deluxe Edition or the Season Pass, at only 2,49€ it still comes recommended as a additional purchase for the two classic Nissan Race cars included in that Pack.
Similar to Project CARS 2, this is also a Racing Simulation, however it focuses more on Road-, Touring- and GT Cars with only a handful of cars from other categories thrown in. This more focused approach arguably makes the handling model better, but you really can’t go wrong with either of these two. Assetto Corsa has the benefit of being very open to mods, a lot of tracks and cars that don’t come with the official content is available as mods resulting in a sheer endless variety if you choose to explore the world of mods.
This one is also very easy to give a shopping recommendation for. Just grab the Ultimate Edition priced at 9,93€ and once again ignore the base game priced at 4,99€ and the reason is again very similar: The Ultimate Edition contains the base game and all DLC packs for less than the DLC packs on their own.
Life is Strange & Before the Storm
This is a series of episodic, narrative driven Adventure games centered around Teenagers with unique abilities. The first one quickly became one of my all-time favorites while playing it for the first time a couple of years ago.
Life is Strange focuses on Max Claufield, a Photography Art Student that discovers that she can turn back time in a limited capacity. Events around her get stranger by the day while Max and her Childhood friend Chloe try to find the missing Rachel, a friend of Chloe that seemingly vanished from the Earth without a trace. Not helping is the fact that the world itself seems to end as well. Life is Strange sometimes deals with serious topics like mobbing, suicide and euthanasia among other tings making it hard to recommend that had or have to deal with things like that on a personal level. If you have no problem with that you will get a well told Story wrapped in an Adventure game with mostly easy puzzles and a great Soundtrack. The first Episode is free with the remaining four costing 3,99€ as a set. I would recommend playing the first Episode and buy the rest if you like what you played.
Life is Strange – Before the Storm is a Prequel set three years before the first game. Here you play as Chloe and it explores how she and Rachel, the missing girl you try to find in Life is Strange, became close friends. Gameplay is mostly the same as, however Puzzles involving the time rewind feature are gone. Instead the game has a Backtalk system where you have to quickly find the best comebacks in Dialogues to get other people to do what you want. While this Gameplay gimmick isn’t as fun as the one in Life is Strange, Before the Storm still offers a great Story packed with good music. You can either grab the three main Episodes for 3,39€ or the Deluxe Edition for 4,91€ and get a additional Bonus Episode set in the Childhood Days of Max and Chloe. While it doesn’t matter if you Play Life is Strange or Before the Storm first, this Bonus Episode should be played after you finished Life is Strange.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Senua embarks on a journey to fight for the soul of her dead lover. To do this she ventures into Viking Hell, fighting mythical creatures and even facing the goddess Hela herself. As much as I love Hellblade, the game has to come with a warning. You see, Senua suffers from Psychosis, and the game tries to relay that experience to the player as best as it can. It is highly recommended to play this with good Headphones, that way you get the eerie sensation of having voices in your head that try to get you into doing or not doing certain things, imply that what you just did was a bad idea and generally try to drive you nuts. You really have to be able to deal with this or you might have a really bad time with Hellblade.
Gameplay is a mix of fast paced combat sequences and puzzle solving. You can grab the game for 8,99€ and that will include both the regular and a separate VR version of the game. VR is a Seated experience that has to be played with a Gamepad or Mouse and Keyboard.
NoLimits 2 Roller Coaster Simulator
I was debating with myself if I should include this one because, and this is important to understand, NoLimits 2 is NOT a game, it is a in-depth Simulation of Roller Coasters. Being able to manually operate a Coaster or walking around in the Landscape are the most Game-Like features on offer here. So why did I end up putting it in? Because especially in VR it it can be a lot of fun to experience other peoples (re)creations. When building a Coaster with this tool your own imagination and skills are your most limiting factors, NoLimits itself can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.
NoLimits 2 Simulates the Physics and ride Systems of Roller Coasters as realistic as possible, the Editor is challenging to learn, but amazing when you get the the hang of it, you can use it with pretty much all VR Headsets you can use on a PC and even Motion Simulators are supported by it. If you are unsure if a in-depth Simulator is something for you I would recommend to try the fairly limited free Demo first and only invest the 21,59€ when you are sure that this is something for you.