Get Outlast for $5 and Other Great Horror Games in GOG Halloween Sale

GOG is holding a Halloween-themed sale this weekend with some great deals on new and classic horror games.

For example, you can get Outlast for $5 and its Whistleblower DLC for $3. It’s a good chance to pick up the games and catch up before the release of the sequel, which the developer confirmed is in development earlier this month.

Other highlights include, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs for $6, classic sci-fi horror game System Shock 2 for $2, and indie horror game Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut for $5. On the less scary, but still Halloween-themed side, there’s Costume Quest, which you can pick up $3 before you move on to the sequel released earlier this month.

Here’s the full list of of games included in GOG’s Halloween sale:

System Shock 2 — $2Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut — $5Outlast — $5Outlast: Whistleblower DLC — $3Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure — $5Cognition: Game of the Year Edition — $5I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream — $1.49Harvester — $2Moebius: Empire Rising — $10Phantasmagoria — $4Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh — $2.39The Cat Lady — $3Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut — $5Knock-Knock — $1.49Shadow Man — $1.49Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs — $6Zafehouse: Diaries — $3Dracula 4+5 — $5Costume Quest — $3Zombie Shooter — $2Zombie Shooter 2 — $2Waxworks — $2The Adventures of Shuggy — $1.49

Which scary games included in the sale do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

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Dungeon of the Endless Review

Dungeon of the Endless draws its influences from a wide variety of sources. It features elements from roguelikes, turn-based, and strategy games like XCOM and FTL while blending in some tower defense ingredients, carefully shaping them into the mold of a dungeon crawler. With so many distinct pieces, any imbalance in the scales would have resulted in a failed experiment. But Dungeon of the Endless brings together its disparate parts beautifully. While a lack of variety and some harmful glitches do harm the presentation, the impeccable gameplay balance, as well as the hunt for new characters and an excellent multiplayer mode, can keep you engaged for long after you sit down to play.

In Dungeon of the Endless, you guide a small, hand-picked team from room to room, using a large crystal to illuminate discovered areas, all the while looking for an exit point that takes you to an express elevator that only goes up. There are 12 floors between you and freedom, and surviving until you reach the surface of a hostile alien planet is your only goal–but the path ahead is obscured in darkness and peril.

What’s behind the door? It’s probably a horrifying death.

The crystal, however, is the torch to light the way. Collecting a resource called dust, you power up your crystal to energize rooms, which then become temporary safe zones. But each level is procedurally generated, so you never know what the other side of a door yields. You could discover a stockpile of dust if you’re lucky or a gang of ravenous monstrosities if you’re not.

If micromanagement is your dish of choice, Dungeon of the Endless offers a full plate and a second helping, so come hungry. Not only do you have to maneuver a team of up to four heroes while collecting dust, you must also gather three other resources while building turrets to stave off advancing waves of alien foes who are out to destroy your crystal. And if they accomplish their goal, you have to start all over. You construct modules to collect resources or to build turrets. Major modules collect said resources in the forms of industry, which is spent on creating new modules; science, which upgrades existing modules; and food, which allows you to heal or level up your team or recruit new heroes. Minor modules consist of turrets, ranging from laser blasters to mortars to devices that can heal or strengthen your heroes.

Dungeon of the Endless ReviewProtect the crystal at all costs, or it’s back to level one for you.

There is a lot of strategy to consider as you hunt down your exit. Dust is a limited resource, and you almost never have enough to power every room in each expansive level. Lighting a room stops enemies from spawning there, but the longer you take to find your way out, the more darkened rooms are left behind–each one capable of spawning dozens of monsters. With this in mind, you are left with the task of how to best manage your heroes. A favorite strategy of mine involves taking the fastest members of the group as a scouting party while placing stronger (but slower) heroes in a darkened room to keep enemies from spawning or at choke points with turrets to halt the march of any attacking foes.

It’s a lot to handle, but the game’s sharp design keeps everything balanced. Controlling your team is smooth and intuitive; you can select all your heroes with a button, or just take a small group to scout ahead while leaving others to guard the rear. Working with the mouse and keyboard is effortless, making way for quick, deft movement to navigate your team while using a tactical map to coordinate attacks or retreats. You can also pause the action to give yourself some time to plan your next move.

If micromanagement is your dish of choice, Dungeon of the Endless offers a full plate and a second helping, so come hungry.

Finding the exit completely changes how you approach the game. Where exploration and survival were the initial focus, the final part of the level is a mad dash to take your fragile crystal and slowly move it to the exit. One character is needed to carry it, making him or her unable to attack. Enemies surge from the darkness in an endless stream, and it’s up to your remaining heroes to protect the crystal during its perilous journey. But this is not an easy task. The game is difficult, and watching your crystal bearer succumb to a wave of gnashing foes just inches before the exit is almost too gut-wrenching to witness.

Dungeon of the Endless provides you with only four available heroes, but many more can be found roaming the floors. You begin your journey with two heroes in a party but can recruit up to two more. As your knowledge of each character grows, you can figure out new ways to fit them into your party. Pairing a burly tank character with a nimble thief, whose speed and passive ability to sneak past enemies without drawing their gaze, is a good start. But throwing in some brains isn’t such a bad idea, either. An engineer, for example, scurries about a room repairing damaged modules, all the while mumbling sage advice on how keeping equipment in working order returns the favor to its users. Characters can be equipped with a wide assortment of weapons and gear found throughout the game. Many items are discovered in treasure chests, but others can be purchased from a merchant, who trades his wares for resources.

Dungeon of the Endless ReviewSome of the characters share a history, and not always a pleasant one.

Colorfully pixelated, the ever-shifting environments keep your flight to the surface from becoming stale. Brushed steel and the flickering lights of a Hollywood sci-fi setting adorn the halls of one level, while other floors display something more akin to the home of a necromancer: Lit by flickering torchlight, potions dot the ground, and the walls are lined with old books or prison cells–the inhabitants now lifeless skeletons. In other levels, the walls pulsate and ooze, while frozen zones covered in ice yield large, mammoth-like skulls. A great use of lighting effects helps sell the feeling of dread and isolation of the strange world. Characters, monsters, and alien flora covered in waving tendrils cast creepy shadows against objects and walls, giving the atmosphere an eerie and foreboding quality. Enemies themselves are also widely varied, from crystalline golems to sorcerers that cast spells.

Reaching the planet’s surface for the first time is an immensely rewarding feeling, but, unfortunately, it isn’t one you will experience again. Variation in the levels is moderate, and once you have conquered all 12 floors, you have seen just about everything Dungeon of the Endless has to offer. Replaying the game to unlock more characters’ escape pods that change how you approach the game is pleasurable, but even that doesn’t last for too long. Once I completed the game, taking four heroes to the surface, the thought of playing it all over again wasn’t particularly exciting.

Dungeon of the Endless ReviewConstruct modules to gather resources.

The game’s mantra of proper balance is reflected again in its multiplayer mode, with split resources and responsibilities, making for a gratifyingly enjoyable time. You and up to three others combine your efforts and work together to make it out of the dungeon alive. Each player controls one hero, and since your life is now in the hands of others and vice versa, constant communication is a must to survive, though it does slow down the pace of the game. Deciding whether to explore the area some more or quickly make for the escape exit once it’s found makes for some surprisingly tense conversation. I’ve experienced a game where votes on decisions were tallied, as well as they often should, as one false step could lead to failure. But nothing beats the sense of satisfaction that comes with successfully completing a difficult level; the sighs of relief and cheers in the elevator between missions are palpable.

Dungeon of the Endless isn’t free of issues. In multiplayer mode, the lack of item trading keeps valuable weapons and gear out of the hands of those who need it most. There is also no host migration, forcing games to end prematurely if the game creator has to leave or gets disconnected. Other problems range from glitches to problematic menus. At times, turrets don’t face enemies while firing, and sometimes character menus seem to stick and require some extra jabbing with the mouse pointer to free them. But those are merely nitpicky issues. Actual problems include a particularly annoying glitch that prevents you from purchasing new items from the merchant. Normally, this bug is fixed by restarting your saved game and speaking with the merchant again. But running across it online, where restarting is impossible, creates a frustrating scenario where any useful items now have to be left behind.

Great use of lighting effects helps sell the feeling of dread and isolation of the strange world.

Dungeon of the Endless manages to pull off the especially difficult task of cobbling together parts from multiple genres, ultimately creating something that feels special. The incredible balancing act alone is worthy of some attention, if not for its excellent multiplayer mode, which definitely merits a good look. While the lack of gameplay variety and an occasional kink or two does slow its ascent, Dungeon of the Endless is an elevator from hell that will keep you entertained for hours.

Planetary Annihilation Review

Total Annihilation goes intergalactic, and at hyperspeed. That, in a nutshell, describes Planetary Annihilation, Uber Entertainment’s homage to one of the all-time greatest real-time strategy games. The game comes with some key enhancements, however, including a challenging pace and enemy artificial intelligence, along with full globes of cartoony planets and moons serving as battlegrounds. RTS newcomers will have a tough time with the sheer velocity of the combat and the lack of proper tutorials and manuals, as will tacticians who prefer to think before they click. But the speed, difficulty, and map innovations make Planetary Annihilation grow on you.

I wouldn’t have said so in the early hours, though. Planetary Annihilation steamrolled me initially. The game comes with little in the way of documentation. There is no in-game tutorial; all the primers that you get before being dropped on a planet come from blurry videos that barely hint at what the game has to offer. To figure things out, you should watch an hour or three of YouTube videos and search the Internet for tips. Until you research, you are cannon fodder on map after map. Planetary Annihilation desperately needs a proper tutorial that lets players dip their toes into the deep waters; the “jump in head-first” approach doesn’t work with a game this unforgiving.

The little planets and great big units are cute, in a mass murdery kind of way.

The underlying RTS formula is familiar, at least. As in Total Annihilation, you start off with a giant commander that has the power to construct various parts of your headquarters, including vehicle and robot builders, power plants (energy is one resource), metal extractors (metal is the other), laser turrets, and so forth. Every faction is led by one of these bosses, so victory comes when you blast these Transformer wannabes into rubble. There is a simple progression here. You start with your commander and then create a fabricator vehicle with access to even more facility blueprints and improved factories that can crank out bigger and better tanks, planes, bots, ships, and orbital weaponry and vessels. Then you create advanced versions of all this stuff that handle heavier duties that lead to even more formidable armies.

Planetary Annihilation sticks you into a quick-tempo arms race that rolls from planet to planet, from moon to moon. From the moment that your big robot commander hits the ground, you need to establish facilities and ensure that you have a production line running at maximum efficiency. Units need to be streaming out continuously, and knowledge of hotkeys is imperative, especially when the guns start going off. The enemy AI always gets its armies flowing quickly, so taking extra time to play with the mouse or contemplate what type of tank would be most useful in the current situation results in being besieged and obliterated. You don’t even have any time to spare when the foe is a planet or two away, as the bad guys rapidly send a transport your way and then build the transporter needed to beam full armies to your front door.

Planetary Annihilation Review

Foes can attack from any direction. Unlike other RTS games with traditional flat maps, the battlegrounds here are full globes. Planets look rather cartoony, as they are extremely tiny, your units are spectacularly huge, or both. But they form effective theaters of war and feature various types of terrain ranging from ice balls, to desert worlds, to chunks of metal. It’s hard to get used to at first; RTS instinct might have you building defenses between your bases and the enemy, forgetting that all opponents must do to flank is to simply run around the globe. This strategic consideration caught me off guard in the early stages, and forced me to spend more time walling off bases and ensuring that I had proper turret protection all the way around against ground and aerial assaults.

Make sure to build defenses again orbital attacks, too. As you might expect from a game where you conquer planets and moons, space is a key dimension in addition to the traditional land, air, and sea units. Orbital constructors crank out spaceships like fighters and transport vessels necessary to launch interplanetary invasions (although transporters make it easy to teleport armies across the void instantaneously after you establish a beachhead). This whole concept is initially befuddling; AI makes full use of space attacks, so you might be convinced at first that some buildings are blowing up on their own. Once you surmount that learning curve and stage an invasion, however, the course of battle becomes easier to understand. There is also the ability to build Death Stars by fitting guns into metal worlds and crashing one planetary body into another, giving matches a suitably apocalyptic feel.

Planetary Annihilation Review

The AI is cunning and spectacularly aggressive. It builds quickly, creates a solid base infrastructure with loads of power plants and metal extractors, and immediately sets forth to crush all opposition. It is smart at reacting to your defenses. Build a ton of anti-air defenses to deal with enemy planes, and the AI will quickly react by throwing more tanks and ships at you. Any vulnerability is identified and attacked, even on the default normal difficulty, making the challenge occasionally difficult to take. You might get a base set up, think you have everything covered, and be ready to roll out enough fighters and bombers to blot out the sky, only to be steadily whittled away by probing enemy strikes that are inevitably followed up by massive waves of units.

An easier difficulty setting might have provided time to get fully accustomed to the interface and then ramp up the speed, but its global battles can get under your skin, keeping you coming back for more and more. Planetary Annihilation is a good, challenging RTS designed along very familiar lines. True, its best qualities can be obscured in the early going by its unforgiving difficulty and the absence of good tutorials, but even when you’re overwhelmed, speedy combat and smart AI reel you in. Give it time, and the fast and furious combat smooth out the rough edges into a compelling and challenging strategy game.