It's that time of the year again. Time for another Steam sale. This year it looks like the autumn and winter sales are going to be same deals so if you can't buy something now, you could always wait and save until the Winter sale starts. I believe that will happen mid-December and run through January 2nd, like it has every year.
In the interest of saving yourself some cash, I'm going to make a list about cheap games that'll be more than worth the money. These don't tend to be listed on the front page, but they're still very good deals regardless.
Games under $1
Time Gentlemen, Please! and Ben There, Dan That! Special Edition
This is the cheapest game on Steam during these sales at the moment. That doesn't mean it's the worst by any stretch. If you enjoy the point and click adventure game genre you are doing yourself a disservice by not having and playing this pair of games. Good humor, puzzles, and references to other adventure games to be found inside. Also, pretty fun.
Defy Gravity Extended
It's a decently competent platformer. The controls are not too bad and the mechanic is pretty fun. Basically you get control of a sort of gravitational well producing gun which can push and pull things away from a point you specify. Can get pretty intense to use, but certainly good fun and worth the cost.
Cthulhu Saves the World & Breath of Death VII
If this sale was only for Cthulhu Saves the World it would still be worth it. The fact that you get another RPG from the same developer (who is also the developer behind episodes 3 and 4 of the Penny Arcade series) is a huge bonus. Cthulhu Saves the World is a throwback to the SNES RPG era with some really great visuals, gameplay, and story. The system itself is amazingly refined and doesn't have a lot of the small quirks and annoyances that games of that era contained. Great humor, solid gameplay, and a lot of fun to be had here.
A solid tower defense game that'll normally run you $10. No mazes to be found here, but there is a neat shifting mechanic to it that adds some more depth. Pretty nice and fun use of setting, kind of 50s era alien invasion theme. Can't really go wrong.
Not the best game in its genre by any stretch of the imagination, but if you can get it to run well on the highest settings (which is still a chore for most mid-range computers since the engine kind of sucks), it's actually very pretty to look at. Story is mediocre, action is competent. Nothing truly special here but at the current price point you could probably hold off on a cup of coffee for your job for one day. Definitely a solid experience, but be warned of a slightly large install (~6gbs) if that matters to you. Unless of course that coffee is the only thing keeping you employed, of course.
"Twin Sector is a true work of art, sadly it is also a very, very well hidden gem. It is highly reminiscent of Penumbra and Portal in how it plays, with it's highly intricate puzzle design and excellent horror setting. You will spend many hours working to solve the puzzles, just so you can reach the end of the thrilling storyline. At this low price you would be doing yourself a disservice not buying this game." ~ @GeneralDysisa
(Warning: Game could be Bad Rats good
Games under $2
Should be in the under a buck section, however it happens to be a couple of cents too high. Regardless, this game is a hell of a lot of fun. Feels like a classic horror movie in atmosphere, lots of references to different things from that genre as well. Basically you just slug it out with zombies in a rush to the end, all the while looting houses, buying guns and upgrades, and just plain old trying not to die. The best way to play it is to plug in a couple of controllers and do the same-screen coop campaign on the highest difficulty. Decently challenging and always satisfying to shoot and run from zombies. Unfortunately, there's no internet coop.
Dark Void Zero
Retro throwback to an older, lost Capcom game. You've got your 2D sidescrolling platforming action game. It's not a very long game, but it's full of a lot of fun action. There's not much to say other than to watch the trailer on the Steam page to see pretty much exactly what the game's about. It's fun, and quite cheap.
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter
Another retro-styled game, but this time in the Serious Sam universe. The battles are 2D like in any older SNES RPG, however it's entirely action-oriented and quite a lot of fun. You've got to fight mental with, surprise-surprise, random encounters being the main focus. Fun times, even if a bit short, but it's pretty replayable.
Adventures of Shuggy
Fun platforming with tons of different mechanics all go together to make a solid game. 100 rooms of fun and puzzle pain. Decent art style, good controls, not much more you can ask for in a platformer.
Ever played DDR? Ever played it on your computer with a keyboard, RPG elements, and a story? No? Probably because Sequence is pretty unique and a ton of fun. Level up your guy, do some DDR-style battles, cast some spells, buy some equipment, and keep on fighting. Many good times to be had here. Oh, it's also got some decent humor. So there's that, too.
Might get a little shit for listing this game here as a good deal, but I honestly believe that it is still a good deal. It's a multiplayer only game so only buy it if you have friends who are also planning to buy it and play it with you. The online community is pretty dead from what I've seen, but if you have the people there is honestly a good time to be found playing it. It's a 3rd-person action game where you control a robot and fly around ninja style beating up and killing your friends. Who wouldn't want to do that?
Super Laser Racer
This is the closest you'll get to Rock 'n Roll Racing on the PC. It's a techno-neon colored racing game where you can boost around the map, blasting the other cars with various weapons. Kind of like a kart racer I guess, but for whatever reason I've never really considered things like Rock 'n Roll Racing as kart-style games. Regardless, this does have multiplayer but it's still pretty fun doing some solo races.
Do you like touching balls together? Well, this game is all about that. It's a physics-based puzzle game where you swing balls at other balls to knock them into other balls and finally into their properly colored end points. Lots of levels, lots of game to play. It's actually pretty satisfying and fun, which is a key to any succesful puzzle game. No real action, just cutting cords attached to balls.
A very pretty point and click adventure game. The puzzles are pretty nice and satisfying, and it runs well. If you've played any of their other games like Machinarium or Botanicula you'll know what you're in for (assuming you haven't played those already). If you want those games as well, I suggest waiting for a possible daily deal or flash deal, which might give you the whole bundle of those games at a lower price. Currently it's at $7.49, but that could drop to $3-$5. Honestly, I recommend all three of those games to anyone, even if you don't like point and click adventures.
The Basement Collection
A bunch of early games from the developers of Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac. The price isn't slashed that much so you might want to wait and see if there's a flash deal or a daily deal to drop it to $1, but it's still worth it if not. Lots of content to be had, lots of games to be played. You won't be disappointed with what you get for the money.
Short platforming game with a lot more than meets the eye. Secret endings, hard endings, and a really cool visual style and platforming mechanic. It's kind of puzzle platformer with a whole lot going on behind the scenes and a sort of story for you to figure out on your own. There's a little replayability in that you probably won't get the complete ending the first time, but it's generally not much more than a few hours at the most. Still, good fun if a little unsettling at times.
Double pack of top down action shooter games with a decent horror scifi atmosphere and things. Some good solid gameplay here as well. Lots of content, decent weapons to fight bad dudes, and some not terrible graphics combine for a good time.
Super Sanctum TD
If you enjoyed building shit in Sanctum and never really used your guns to shoot at anything, then this is the best version of that game to play. Super Sanctum TD is an isometric Tower Defense game that has all of the same mechanics as the original Sanctum, except without the first person shooting elements. Build towers, don't let bad guys through to your core, maze when possible, and upgrade your towers. A solid TD experience.
This list isn't comprehensive, and there are certainly more deals to be found at the low end of the list of games on Steam, but these are generally what I think of as good deals. Let me know if there are any in this price range I missed and I can edit them into the post.
I'll post another list for the $5 and under games a little later today, but most of those can possibly go on daily deal and be even further discounted. The games on this list aren't as likely to be discounted further, but just to be safe only buy any of these on the last day of the sale unless they are a flash deal or daily deal. You know, normal rules of a Steam sale.