The Humble Store is holding a huge Double Fine sale today. The sale runs through 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern) tomorrow, Thursday, January 25, and includes games that the studio both developed and published. You can find all the games in question by searching for Double Fine in the store, or by following this link. Here are some of the best games and discounts available:  

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info. 

Grim Fandango Remastered

GOG's Winter Sale is now live, bringing with it a host of special offers and, as the headline above suggests, Grim Fandango Remastered free-of-charge. From now through December 14 at 6am PT/2pm GMT, you can grab your complimentary copy of LucasArts' reworked classic that's set in the land of the dead.

The 2017 GOG Winter Sale itself runs from today through December 26, and sees a variety of top games going for great prices. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, for example, costs £13.99/$18.39 with a 60 percent discount. Darkest Dungeon and Tyranny are subject to the same price slice, selling for £7.59/$9.99 and £13.99/$18.39 respectively; while Cuphead is on sale for £12.79/$16.74 with 15 percent less its RRP. 

My own favourite there is What Remains of Edith Finch—on sale for £11.99/$15.76 with a 20 percent discount. 

In a bid to encourage users to "broaden [their] horizons and try something new", purchasing a 'Star' nets you one of GOG's hand-picked Mystery Games. Most importantly, the retailer guarantees these lucky dips will return games you don't already own. 

Furthermore, buying games in the GOG Winter Sale lets you unlock new games, too. Hard West, for example, unlocks when you spend £11.39/$15, while Master of Orion drops when you spend £30.39/$40. "Every purchase counts," says GOG in a statement, "from winter deals through GWENT card kegs purchased via GOG Galaxy."

Check out the GOG Winter Sale in full in this direction

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.

Grim Fandango Remastered

Day of the Devs is an upcoming gaming event where fans can meet up with a bunch of game developers to hang out and revel in their mutual passion. It's also the catalyst for Humble Bundle's latest bundle, which is offering $131 worth of games at obscene discounts. 

Spend any amount on the Day of the Devs bundle and you'll get TumbleSeed, a 2D roguelike about pushing a seed up a mountain with a balance beam; Loot Rascals, a grid-based roguelike about exploring alien planets; and Grim Fandango Remastered, the definitive version of Double Fine's classic (which we loved)

At the time of writing, the bundle's average donation is $6.02. Chip in more than that and you'll get Abzu, one of the best underwater games around; Flinthook, a cheerful, skill-based platformer; and Day of the Tentacle Remastered, another fantastic adventure game which benefited immensely from an HD face-lift.

Finally, for $9 or more, you'll get Everything, which is a pretty good bargain when you think about it, and Full Throttle Remastered, which rounds out Double Fine's showing in this sale. 

Additionally, the $9 package comes with a VIP ticket to the Day of the Devs event itself. It's being organized by Double Fine and production company iam8bit, and will be held in San Francisco on Saturday, November 11 at The Midway venue located at 900 Marin Street, for you San Francisco locals. For non-Californians, the VIP ticket doubles as a coupon worth 20 percent off a variety of merchandise from iam8bit's online store. 

The Day of the Devs bundle will be available through 12 pm Pacific (3 pm Eastern) on November 11. The iam8bit VIP coupon is valid through December 31. 

Grim Fandango Remastered - Spaff
Your usually crowded weekend menu has a whole extra course this week, an extra day of gaming that you probably didn't prepare for. But how to use this time? Perhaps the sommelier can be of assistance...

Might we suggest Grim Fandango Remastered? 1998 was a classic vintage after all, and this edition was found down in the cellars and given a good dusting off. You'll find that it's aged spectacularly, and at this price is really a steal.

Here let us pour you a hefty glass...
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

You met me at a very strange time in my life, Grim Fandango. And I rather think I met you at a very strange time in your creators’ lives too. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Ben Barrett)

As the chaos spreads throughout Steamville, wallets and bank vaults spread upon and fed upon by the roving packs of deals, the floating Seattle shudders as it rotates to face a new threat. A colossal rumbling fills the air as over the horizon rises a geometric shape of horrifying, ridiculous proportions. Three prongs jut out from the surface of an oblong, miles wide and covered in blue and red markings in a sickening combination. The Third Epact has arrived.

What are the best Steam Summer Sale deals? Each day for the duration of the sale, we’ll be offering our picks – based on price, what we like, and what we think more people should play. Read on for the five best deals from day 4 of the sale.>

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Ricey012
Remastered and Rerecorded by Peter McConnell and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Sultry, Latin Jazz score from Grim Fandango Remastered is now available on Steam! Buy the Grim Remastered OST for $9.99, or get the soundtrack and game together for $19.99!

And for this week grab the game at 33% to celebrate the soundtrack release!
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Can you hear the sound of us not talking?

Rare’s the day we post about game soundtracks here, because by sheer coincidence every member of RPS was born without the ability to enjoy music at the same time as watching pixels flash, but I’ll make an exception. Why? Oh, a combination of this one being a little bit special and my being hopelessly mired in the past, I guess. … [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Every week, Richard Cobbett takes a look at the world of story and writing in games.

"With bony hands I hold my partner. On soulless feet we cross the floor, The music stops as if to answer. An empty knocking at the door. It seems his skin was sweet as mango. When last I held him to my breast. But now we dance this grim fandango. And will four years before we rest."

Grim Fandango is an undisputed adventure classic, and this week's Remastered edition is a great opportunity to check it out for the first time, or to head back to play it as it is in your head, rather than the far lower-res version the original actually was. It's a game of great characters and lines, a wonderful fusion of film noir and Mexican themed fantasy, and many , many wonderful moments worth holding to your heart.

Pretty much everyone agrees though that its peak is Act 2, set in the town of Rubacava. It's where all the pieces come together and the noir side comes into the foreground. Rubacava is a little bit of Casablanca, a little bit of The Big Sleep, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It's probably the best single noir style location ever created for a game, and one of the best cities, even if it is a little large and unpopulated even with the hand wave that most people are out of town to celebrate The Day of the Dead.

There's much to praise about Rubacava, of course. Visually, it's stunning - the water lapping against the bridges, the art deco designs, the sudden bursts of scale and spectacle like the blimp that hangs over the cat racing track. The music in the background couldn't be better. The characters are all splendid, from femme fatale Oliva to the doomed Lola, to Carla, the security guard just looking for an excuse to give Manny a loving strip-search... until she finds out he only wants her metal detector.

But there's something else that makes Rubacava so effective, and which few other games have managed to replicate. It's a place that, while technically constructed as a place of puzzles and story progression, never actually feels like one. It has a weight to it. More specifically, it has a history - and I'm not talking about lore here. In most adventure games, indeed, most games period, you're effectively a wanderer with no real connections outside of perhaps a childhood friend/love interest from the village that probably burned down back in the prologue to get you off your arse and adventuring. Rubacava is a rarity because Manny actually sticks around - a full year takes place off-screen, in which he goes from sweeping the floor at a shitty little cafe to proudly staring out from the balcony as its swanky manager and a respected figure around town.

What that missing year provides are the social connections and stakes that most adventure characters lack. Just for starters, there's the cafe. When Manny sets out to find Meche, he's an outlaw, under threat, with nothing but the contents of his pockets. When he gets a sniff of her trail in Act 2, he has to start making serious sacrifices to continue the search. He has to give up a comfortable life and at least decent standing around town. He has to give up everything he's built. He has to give up any friendships he's made, just as he's turned them down before. And he doesn't even think twice about it. The second he has that chance to pursue his redemption, despite having no way of helping any more, he's ready to burn it all down and get out of town on the very next ship. By the time he's done, it's a wonder Rubacava still has any bridges left.

But that's the big picture stuff. As ever, the real genius moments tend to be found in the smaller details. In the case of Rubacava, it's that Manny hasn't been living in a bubble for the last year. He's a known face to everyone, and accordingly has history with just about everybody - as a business rival, as a small fish, as a love interest admired from afar, as a boss who JUST DOESN'T CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THE COAT CHECK SYSTEM EVEN THOUGH IT TOOK AGES! Rarely does this extend to long "Hey, remember when we..." type reminiscences, because the script is smarter than that. The details don't matter. What matters is that the characters feel them, and they work into how they all interact and talk about each other. The lawyer who insists Manny butter his ego just to rub his face in buttery rejection. The pathos of Lola as she dies wishing that he hadn't been so hooked on Meche to give her a look, and his subsequent naming of a ship in her memory. Manny being smart enough to steer well clear of Olivia the femme fatale, if not quite smart enough to think twice about her sudden commitment to a revolution she previously knew nothing about. Curse her inevitable betrayal!

These moments of connection ground the entire town, make it feel like a real place with its own culture. It's helped too by the moments of reflection of how far downhill it's going, with one of the bigger missed opportunities being that we don't really get to see it as a full on mob-town when Manny returns a couple of years later. I've always loved those moments in games where we get to see the same place after time passes, whether it's Chandler Avenue in the Tex Murphy games or the entire of Britannia in the Ultima series. It's nice to think of favourite characters existing as more than simply puzzle pieces and obstacles, and something that games offer more scope for than any other medium. It tends to be underused though, with sequels usually preferring to head further afield and only pay a little lip-service to non-plot critical nostalgia.

None of this would work if the city and the characters themselves weren't interesting enough to be worth investing in, and there of course Grim gets great benefit from being able to lean on tropes and archetypes. It's crucial however to why Rubacava just inherently feels more solid than most places, and why inevitably leaving it is to say goodbye in a way that driving away from Manny's original home, El Marrow, never really does. There, he had an existence. In Rubacava, he actually has a life*. There's a huge difference, and one that other games would do very, very well to learn from.

(* Metaphorically speaking, of course. Ahem.)

PC Gamer

What is it? A touched-up re-release of LucasArt's 1998 adventure game about a travel salesman in the land of the dead. Influenced by. Film noir Reviewed on: i5 quad 3GHZ CPU, GTX970 GPU, 16GB RAM. Alternatively: Full Throttle Copy protection: Steam/GOG Release: January 27 2015 Developer: LucasArts, Double Fine Publisher: Double Fine Link:

You are Manuel Calavera, a hispanic Humphrey Bogart tasked with selling travel packages to souls passing through the land of the dead. You work for a firm of skeletal salesmen who travel to the land of the living in cowls to reap new clients, but something's crooked. Saintly souls who ought to qualify for fast-track tickets on the Number Nine train are being cheated and forced to attempt the gruelling four-year walk through the land of the dead alone. When this fate befalls the angelic Meche Colomar, Manny can stand by no longer. The conspiracy must be undone. Objects must be clicked on. Inventories must be filled. Puzzles must be solved.

Grim Fandango's setup is as exciting today as it was in 1998 when LucasArts was at its peak. Its status as a technical achievement has faded since, but the humour still cuts, the performances still shine and Grim Fandango's vision of the afterlife still stirs the imagination. The art mixes film noir and Mexican Day of the Dead iconography with Aztec and Egyptian influences in strange and beautiful ways, and while the remastered version does little to improve on the hazy 3:4 ratio backdrops—the widescreen mode merely stretches the image to fit your screen—the vision alone makes the journey worthwhile.

It's disappointing that the backgrounds haven't had a retouch, but not unexpected, and the rest of the remaster is good. The 3D models have been faithfully retextured, and look much better at modern resolutions thanks to revamped lighting in every scene (you can switch between the original models and the remastered versions in the menus). Characters cast long shadows across the static old backgrounds, which give the streets of Rubacava extra film noir cred. An optional point-and-click interface fixes the original's glaring control issues, and there's an optional director's commentary that lets you trigger anecdotes in most scenes. I'd only wish for a three things: autosaves, a replacement for the laborious inventory system and a hint system.

Without in-game hints, I'd advise that you have a good walkthrough an alt-tab away. If this is your first Grim Fandango playthrough, enjoyment will depend heavily on your tolerance for outdated adventure game design. The old-school adventure game format is a great delivery system for jokes and inventive worlds, but it means grappling with puzzles puzzles that are boring or illogical, often both.

Grim Fandango has some real stinkers. When trapped in the engine room of a boat, your first instinct probably wouldn't be to use the ship's anchors to tear the ship in half so your half can fly off into the sunset. That is something that could never happen, but that's the leap of logic Grim Fandango demands. Likewise you may work out that the flaming bone beavers of the petrified forest need to be extinguished with your fire extinguisher, but the idea of throwing a bone so you can extinguish them as they dive fatally into a tar lake isn't likely to occur. Why does being on fire stop them from sinking in tar?

Grim is rife with puzzles like those. There are sections—the petrified forest is a case in point—that should be skipped through as quickly as possible. While it may seem strange to recommend cheating your way through elements that make the game challenging, but the joy of Grim Fandango lies elsewhere, in the world, and the wit of its inhabitants.

It's rare that a game compels me to exhaust every last line of enquiry with every character. Grim Fandango's dialogue trees are little treasure chests that dispense gags, movie references and sudden poignant moments with outstanding generosity. It's brilliantly funny (in a grotty hotel bar skeletons in turtlenecks and berets improvise revolutionary poetry. "ah, Deadbeats!" Manny quips), but it's sad also. Even with a clean state Grim's citizens trap themselves with freshly invented baggage. They chase fame, money and influence out of sheer force of habit. Their purgatory is self-imposed. Grim Fandango's blend of comedy and fatalism is best embodied by Membrillo, the coroner who tends to 'sprouted' victims in Rubacava's morgue—"We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner or later, we push up flowers."

If it had been technically possible at the time, I can imagine Grim being the Jazzpunk of its day, a series of quips and scenes linked by moments of cute interaction. As it is the puzzles provide a bit of friction to expose you to each location. Absorb the ambience. Drink it in. The poor puzzles have eroded the score, but you're getting a PC gaming great for 11 / $15. May this classic never die.


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