**DEAL ALERT UPDATE: the full game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War has been added to the Humble Bundle as of Monday, meaning it includes 7 full games and 3 expansion packs.**
Last week, my dear friend Jack Braithwaite – UFC aficionado, Deustche-phile, and TrentU peer – forwarded me a tip on a very frugal Christmas gift opportunity. If you’re lucky enough to have a video game fan in your life, or you’re lonely enough to spend Christmas playing games yourself, take heed of this Steam bundle deal alert.
Christmas is coming. Many poor students — myself included — still want to give gifts to friends and loved ones despite having limited budgets. Sadly, my friends and family have grown tired of my macaroni pictures, so I’m on the lookout for cheap gifts. And since I’m a firm believer in charity beginning at home, the first cheap gift that I bought was for myself: the Humble Bundle. You can choose to pay whatever you want for the entire Humble Bundle (so long as it’s at least $1), which includes 6 awesome games:
- Metro 2033
- Red Faction Armageddon
- Company of Heroes
- Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
- Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor
Further, you can choose how your payment will be allocated among the game developer (THQ), the distributor (Humble Bundle; this is actually the 6th Humble Bundle deal and more are planned in the future), and charity (Child’s Play and the American Red Cross).
But wait, there’s more. If you pay above the average amount – as of Saturday this figure stood at $5.63 – you get two more excellent games and a bonus:
- Saints Row: The Third (Editor Joe’s Note: this game still retails at a local Canadian Wal-Mart for $39.99)
- Path to War (A downloadable extra mission for the game Red Faction Armageddon which is included in the bundle. This mission got poor reviews because it’s short but, hey, it’s pretty much free.)
- Titan Quest (THQ’s forgettable but fun rip-off of Diablo 2)
Interested? Act fast, because the deal ends soon. Like “two days from now” soon.
Here are three minor drawbacks (although, for me, they were irrelevant):
- Downloading 8 games takes a lot of bandwidth. Make sure you’ve got room to spare for your current billing cycle.
- The games can only be played using Windows.
- You need to use the Steam Client to download the games. (Although a Steam account and the client are 100% free.)
Speaking of Steam, it should be noted that this program is fantastic for students and others looking to get good deals on long-lasting entertainment like video games. It also allows you to play amazing free games like Team Fortress 2. There are always great deals on games – often 50, 75, even 90% off what you’d pay in a retail store. In addition there are other bundle deals that become available from time to time.
So if you’re looking to be frugal during the holidays – whether in gift giving or your personal entertainment buget — I would highly recommend the Humble Bundle. Merry Christmas!