PlayStation Indies: What to Pick Up in the New PS Store Sale

Indie gaming has been a real lifesaver for us at Astral Noize during lockdown, providing us worlds to escape to and stories to get lost in, so to kick off this brand new gaming section of our site (don’t worry, our regular music content will still take precedence!) we thought we’d head to the new PlayStation Store indie sale, pick out some of the best deals and give you some of our recommendations. The list of games on sale is absolutely exhaustive and you can’t be expected to trudge through all of it looking for the stuff worth picking up, so we’ve done it for you. 

If you’re not a PlayStation user, most of these aren’t exclusives so hopefully this list can still point you in the direction of some interesting titles. But if you are, note that unless we’re mistaken some of these games have been free for Playstation Plus users in the past, so you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you already added them to your library before forgetting they exist.

Night In The Woods (was £18.99, now £9.49)

This one is a plucky indie funded by a Kickstarter campaign that became a hit, featuring on multiple Game of the Year lists when it was first released back in 2017. It’s a poignant game with a refreshingly intimate focus despite grappling with some surprisingly heavy themes at times. If you’re looking for the sort game that will stick with you after you put the controller down, look no further.

Cuphead (was £15.99, now £11.99)

Cuphead is unceasing in its delivery of challenge after challenge and boss battle after boss battle, but if you’ve got the patience and the perseverance needed it becomes a thoroughly rewarding experience quite rapidly. The 1930s animation style looks fantastic too, and gives the game its own unique aesthetic and atmosphere.

Superhot (was £19.99, now £7.99)

Plenty of games put the player in a room and tell you to kill all the enemies before continuing, but Superhot does this with an exciting and unique twist. Always outgunned and surrounded, the only upper-hand you have is that time stands almost still when you aren’t moving yourself. You’ll find yourself chucking objects and stealing weapons off enemies as you maneuver your way around the incoming slow-mo bullets. Tons of fun and very addictive.

Skater XL (was £34.99, now £27.99)

With Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater stealing back the crown from EA’s now long dormant Skate series with last year’s remaster, Skater XL is the only current antithesis to the arcadey, combo-focused style of the Birdman’s games. Skater XL puts an emphasis on realism, meaning you’ll likely spend ages setting up a trick and trying again and again before finally nailing it. The nuanced controls make learning tricks immersive, even if it often feels like there isn’t an overarching goal spurring you on.

Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (was £44.99, now £29.24)

Re-Reckoning is a very faithful rendition of the original Kingdoms Of Amalur, both to its credit and detriment. Even now, the game’s combat is engaging and its world is huge and absolutely teeming with quests, but the menus and graphics could have done with some updating. At sale price, it’s well worth a punt though, if only to shed some love on this underappreciated fantasy RPG classic.

Little Nightmares Complete Edition (was £23.99, now £5.99)

This game’s sequel is currently garnering the headlines and for good reason, but if you’re new to the series there’s no reason not to start with the first game, especially for a measly six quid. Fair warning though, this game is creepy as fuck, stripping you off any power and forcing you to play games of hide and seek with nightmarish enemies. Think Limbo or Inside, but more overtly terrifying.

Untitled Goose Game (was £15.99, now £11.19)

On the other end of the gaming spectrum from Little Nightmares is the now iconic Untitled Goose Game, which posits you as the titular goose wreaking havoc on unsuspecting humans. It’s light-hearted in tone, genuinely funny and tons of fun. What’s not to love?

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition (was £11.59, now £4.63)

Prior to the sale this charming Metroidvania action-adventure was £11.59 which, to be honest, was already a steal. Forking out less than a fiver for this is a no-brainer, especially if you’re yet to experience this fantastic game.

Superliminal (was £16.99, now £11.89)

A walking simulator with a difference, Superliminal is all about optical illusions and forced perspective. It’s a short game and one light on story but it also boasts an intriguing concept that’s fun to play around with.

Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition (was £17.99, now £10.79)

Those who experienced the fantastically oddball Kentucky Route Zero in its original form were forced to wait between episodes, a downside that those of us who only had consoles and were looking on in envy, probably overlooked. Thankfully, the TV Edition has come to consoles and is now just over a tenner.

Return Of The Obra Dinn (was £19.99, now £14.24)

A nautical adventure with a splendid monochromatic art style inspired by early Macintosh games, Return Of The Obra Dinn is a puzzle game with a gorgeous look and engaging gameplay. Using the pocket watch-esque “Memento Mortem”, you’re able to view the moment someone died upon finding their corpse, allowing you to piece together what happened on the titular ghost ship.

Outer Wilds (was £18.99, now £11.39)

For a game set in a 22-minute timelip, it’s easy to get lost in the world of Outer Wilds. As the newest member of a fledgling space programme, the player must explore the solar system over and over in the allotted time before the sun goes supernova and the game resets. Slowly piecing together your knowledge to progress further on subsequent loops is what keeps you going, with an emphasis on exploration making the game easy to get lost in.

Amnesia: Collection (was £23.99, now £2.39)

90% off this classic? Why not. The bundle includes The Dark Descent and the Amnesia: Justine expansion as well as the sequel, A Machine For Pig. Sure, this game in part gave rise to the craze of YouTubers dramatically screaming at horror games for comical effect, but hey, it is a damn scary game.

Spiritfarer (was £19.99, not £14.99)

This delightful game deals with death, but not in the gritty sense of other titles. It’s a game full of colour and (ironically) life as you guide lost souls to the afterlife. Emphasising both exploration and base management, it’s such an easy game to get lost in as your “to-do” list constantly swells and expands, but there’s no real punishment for taking things slow and just enjoying the ride.

Soma (was £23.99, now £2.39)

One of the most survival horror games in recent memory, Soma is a bona fide classic, and you can pick it up for £2.39? What’s stopping you? In fairness it is, like, really scary.

Lords Of The Fallen (was £15.99, now £2.39)

Hear us out on this one – it’s cheap. We appreciate that we’re not really selling it, but all we’re saying is that if you’re a fan of the Dark Souls formula and looking for something new in that vein, Lords Of The Fallen is basically a shit Dark Souls. It’s not great, but for such a low price it’s worth your time if you’re into that kind of game.

Goat Simulator (was £7.99, now £1.99)

Are we really talking about fucking Goat Simulator in the year of our lord 2021? Yeah, I guess so. Because to be honest, this game is funny as shit. You can revisit it for the price of a cup of coffee so fuck it, right?

Donut County (was £9.99, now £2.99)

In games you can take control of all manner of heroes and villains, but none let you be a doughnut hole. Until now. In Donut County you play as a hole in the ground (yep) consuming anything big enough to fall in and growing larger as a result. It’s surprisingly satisfying to empty a level and believe it or not there is also a plot to this game that’s actually quite charming.

Dead Cells: The Fatal Seed Bundle (was £24.99 now £17.49)

Motion Twin’s Dead Cells is a strong contender for the best action platformer in recent memory, seemingly managing to get so many of the disparate elements just spot on. The levels are beautifully illustrated, the weapons and gadgets are exciting and the combat is fast and endlessly addictive. This isn’t the biggest of savings here but you’re also getting the game’s DLC so it’s some considerable bang for your buck.

Cloudpunk (was £19.99, now £12.99)

Who needs Cyberpunk when you’ve got Cloudpunk? There’s something quite alluring about drifting around this futuristic megacity delivering parcels, and along the way the seedy NPCs of the city of Navalis will unveil little details about the world that expose stories of corporate greed, class warfare and inequality.

For The King (was £19.99, now £4.99)

Right now it’s not exactly possible to meet up with friends to play table-top RPGs, but For The King might just be the next best thing. The game features a bare-bones plot that’s really just an excuse to get you exploring its vast world with an intrepid band of adventurers. The cartoony art style is great and the turn-based combat is challenging but addictive.

Journey (was £11.99, now £3.95)

If you haven’t played Thatgamecompany’s now landmark title Journey, then this is your chance. This gorgeous game is simply a must-play, and if you’re yet to experience it then honestly we feel sorry for you.

Lost Ember (was £24.99, now £12.49)

The gimmick of this game is that you can embody any animal you come across on your adventure, as you run, fly and swim towards the City Of Light. Though the only living humans you see are in flashbacks, there’s a human story that underpins the journey. It’s not flawless. But for half price it deserves your attention.

This War Of Mine: The Little Ones (was £15.99, now £3.19)

The way this game turns the idea of a war game on its head is phenomenal. Instead of a soldier, you play as civilians in a besieged city, struggling to survive. Snipers mean you can’t venture outside during the day, so you’ll spend that time balancing the characters’ health, hunger and mood levels whilst at night you’ll make perilous trips to gather resources. This edition comes with The Little Ones DLC, which adds children into the game.

Dear Esther: Landmark Edition (was £7.99, now £1.99)

A simple premise but one that’s profoundly resonant, Dear Esther explores themes of death and grief. You’ll traverse an island as the narrator (who may also be you) reads sumptuous prose addressed to the titular Esther, a lost lover. It’s short with very little in the way of interactivity, but we implore you not to be enamoured with it.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill (was £15.99, now £10.71)

This cartoony cycling game boasts the hallmarks of any sports game (time trials, challenge runs etc) but it also takes place on a serene mountain with lush colours, singing birds and gentle wind. Notably, the only person you’re ever racing against here is yourself.

Slain: Back From Hell (was £12.99, now £3.24)

This game is Metal As Fuck and despite some mixed reviews we found it to be a super enjoyable action side-scroller, with engaging combat and a gorgeously gory art style.

Hue (was £11.99, now £1.79)

As you may have guessed from the title, Hue is about colours. You start in a monochrome world and breathe colour into it, finding more colours and thus making the mechanics more complex as you advance. It can be quite challenging at times, but it’s also quite an enthralling (if a tad short) experience.

Sea Of Solitude (was £15.99, now £7.19)

In Sea Of Solitude, humans turn into monsters as a result of loneliness (a lot like lockdown, then). You play as Kay and are tasked with navigating the waters (literally and metaphorically) of a sunken city. It’s a beautiful game willing to tackle the theme of mental health head on.

Downwell (was £3.99, now £0.79)

If you’re looking for something more arcadey that you can drop into for a quick game or spend longer honing your skills on, Downwell is a vertically-scrolling roguelike platformer in which you dive deeper and deeper into a well full of enemies with a gun that shoots out of your boots. Addictive stuff.

Oxenfree (was £7.99, now £0.79)

Now this is potentially the best deal of the lot. Less than a quid for this gem is a fucking gift. Oxenfree is a walk-and-talk adventure game with an emphasis on branching dialogue trees. It’s part coming of age tale, part supernatural mystery, and well worth your time even at full price.

Limbo & Inside bundle (was £21.99, now £5.49)

By now, we imagine anyone reading this will know all about Playdead’s Limbo and Inside but it’s well worth drawing attention to this deal if you’re yet to play either. For anyone not familiar, both are side-scrollers with an ominous atmosphere that have become iconic simply because they’re that good.

Words: George Parr

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