Mischief Maker’s Top 7 GOG Winter Sale Recommendations


With all this talk about the lost greatness of 90s FPS games, let’s not forget that there is a game that accurately recreates and improves on the gameplay of the classic Descent, by the original Descent team, that’s already out and already awesome. I’m more than a little worried the upcoming game named “Descent” not by the original team is gonna steal this game’s thunder/totally suck.

Raiden IV Overkill

This is the perfect “dip your toe in the water” shmup for beginners. It’s based off a classic franchise that doesn’t have an overly complicated scoring system and doesn’t encourage counter-intuitive strategies like bullet grazing or point-blanking. But at the same time the graphics are detailed and the explosions are satisfyingly chunky.

Space Pirates and Zombies 2

I always thought SPAZ 1 was overrated. A half-assed asteroids physics engine married to hours and hours of interminable grind represented in the ugliest, blurriest graphics I’ve ever seen in a successful space game.

SPAZ 2, on the other hand, is a really creative and interesting game with a nifty tinker-toy ship building model where the shape of your mothership has serious ramifications on your speed and maneuverability, a “living world” galaxy with hundreds of captains pursuing their own agendas in the face of apocalyptic zombie threat, and while there is definitely lots of grind to the game it doesn’t feel like grind because of the variety of activities to do and the context of going from a nobody pilot to emperor of the galaxy.

So of course the SPAZ 1 fans called the superior sequel a betrayal and it didn’t get nearly the success of the original.

Dragon’s Dogma – Dark Arisen

Devil May Cry meets Shadow of the Colossus doesn’t sound like it would work. But when it works, it works!


(Damn near impossible to find decent footage of this game online)

It’s the developers’ own fault that this game drifted into obscurity because they initially released it incomplete with Season 5 missing. But they’ve since finished the game and it’s still something special among the crowded action roguelite subgenre.

First of all there’s a real fighting game attention to detail in the handling of your transforming starfighter/mech hybrid, with input buffering and perfect blocking that give the game a much better “feel” than more recent copycats like Cryptark. The lifelike enemy AI and environments scattered with explosives and other hazards lead to incredibly chaotic furballs in the depths of giant space hulks. And the production values are drop dead gorgeous, the best looking saturday morning cartoon game I’ve ever played.

Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock

This is by the people behind Star Hammer The Vanguard Prophecy and at release BSG:D was a pretty underwhelming game, but it’s improved by leaps and bounds over the last year with massive gameplay patches and now I’d say it’s better than the previous game.

It’s a turn-based tactical naval combat game sim in 3D space based on Ron Moore’s reboot that takes place in the first Cylon war when the Galactica and Mark II vipers were state-of-the-art. Normally I don’t like prequels, but I always prefered the chunky blocky ship designs of the 70s show to the curvier TNG-esque ships from the reboot, and all the 70s ships take center stage in this game, including the original galactica model as the cheaper Artemis-class battlestar.

Just be warned that all the DLCs are pretty much mandatory or you’ll have giant holes in your fleet composition. So while it’s on sale right now, it’s still gonna be an investment


One of my longest-running videogame pet peeves has been that cyborg gameplay has always been lame. Replace your arm with robotic prosthetics in Satellite Reign to better open pickle jars. That trend is finally bucked in Ruiner. This is a game abount man-machine hybrids zwee fighting at impossibly fast speeds, then tearning each others’ fleshy bits apart with inhuman strength.

It’s also one of the most gorgeous games I’ve played in recent years. While Satellite Reign remains the prettiest game in the Blade Runner style, Ruiner has a more Ghost-in-the-Shell anime aesthetic crossed with Argento’s Suspiria.

Note that Ruiner doesn’t really take off until the New Game plus, with smarter enemies and new weapon types.

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Mischief Maker