Xbox sales: TA Team Picks

Tom West - June 23rd 2022

Xbox's Deals Unlocked Sale is still underway but that hasn't stopped the store from adding discounts to another bountiful batch of games. Here's what the TA news team has found, and feel is worth your time...

With Kes now off on his adventures as a full-time TrueTrophies lad, the four of us Xbox-loving nuts are here from the TA news team to continue offering our wisdom, and to find titles within the Xbox sales that we think are worthy of your bargain-hunting consideration. Strap in for an adventure that will have us travelling through people's gardens while we aid a tealess frog, but we'll need to tactically creep through the shadows to avoid a giant chipmunk — yes, I really do enjoy writing this nonsense every week!

Bargains from the latest Xbox sales

Heidi — Teacup

Teacup is a charming narrative adventure game about a shy frog, who is perfectly happy reading and drinking tea, until one day she wakes up and finds her tea stores depleted. This is especially a problem because she’s meant to host a tea party the next day. Granted, that’s not an urgency quite on the level of, say, saving the world or defeating your enemies, but it’s a sweet story that should keep you engaged for a while. Or, if you do prefer to think of it that way after all — you’re not saving the world, sure, but you’re saving a tea party, while defeating Teacup’s biggest enemy: her shyness and reluctance to go outside. It’s lovely; the watercolour art style works wonderfully well, and the mini-games and puzzles are fun. However, this game is definitely on the shorter side, so if you think this might be one for you, I’d say it’s better to wait for a sale like this — Teacup’s currently at its lowest-ever price at 25% off.

Teacup is a short and wholesome narrative adventure game with a focus on exploration and non-linear progression. Help a small and shy frog on her journey to find the ingredients she needs for her tea party!

Luke — Shadow Tactics – Blades of the Shogun

Shadow Tactics did a year-long stint in Game Pass but left almost bang on two years ago, so there's a good chance some of you will already have sampled this unforgiving but exhilarating stealth gem. If you haven't, 90% off is an amazing saving on a game you absolutely shouldn't sleep on, especially if you're a fan of tactical espionage and stealth action — if you enjoy games like Hitman and Commandos, this should be a no-brainer, especially since the current price makes it absolutely remarkable value for money. The game is set in Edo period Japan, where you take control of a small team of assassins and must make use of each of their unique skill sets to infiltrate and eliminate without being discovered. That's easier said than done, mind, and Shadow Tactics isn't coy in punishing players for their mistakes, but each failed attempt should help you get closer to overcoming the daunting tasks at hand next time around. Some might find it a little on the frustrating side because of this, but it just makes it feel all the sweeter when your perfect plan finally does come together, so I'd say it's well worth getting a few slaps on the wrist along the way for that eventual satisfying payoff.

The Shadow Tactics achievements will keep you busy for a while, requiring multiple playthroughs of each of the 13 long levels to meet various criteria. Estimates put it at around 40-50 hours for the completion, and that's a lot of bang for your buck when the price is this low! Also, I've just noticed that everyone else has picked quick completions — did I miss the memo or something? We did that earlier in the week, guys...

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

Japan, 1615. A new Shogun seizes power over Japan and enforces nationwide peace. In his battle against conspiracy and rebellion, he recruits five specialists with extraordinary skills for assassination, sabotage and espionage. But how much are they really willing to sacrifice in the name of peace?

Sean — The Gardens Between

If you’re in the mood for something slow-paced and relaxing, The Gardens Between has got you covered. It’s a lovely puzzle game that tells the story of Arina and Frendt, a pair of close friends who live next door to each other. They soon come across a glowing sphere that transports them to a dream world filled with shared memories. In this dream world, you will need to solve a variety of different puzzles by interacting with the environment and controlling the flow of time — you don’t actually control Arina and Frendt, you move time forwards and backwards which allows the pair to move through the level. These puzzles require some lateral thinking and may have you scratching your head at times, but that’s surely what you want from a puzzle game, right? You want to be challenged and then rewarded for your efforts. The Gardens Between rewards you by expanding on the relationship between Arina and Frendt and telling you their story, which is filled with some touching moments. It’s a charming little story overall, and the way it’s told through the pair’s various interactions and animation is wonderful. The Gardens Between is on sale for $3.99/£3.34/€3.99, and it’s also a quick completion that will take you no longer than a couple of hours to grab its 1,000G.
The Gardens Between

Fall into a series of vibrant, dreamlike island gardens with best friends Arina and Frendt. Manipulate time to solve puzzles in this mysterious realm where cause and effect are malleable.

Tom — The Park

It was definitely slim pickings for me this week, but I did spot The Park hiding within the sales. Now, while it's not the most exciting game, it is a pretty quick completion that should take you around two hours to finish and will have you taking a stroll through a haunted theme park — video game characters get to do all of the cool things. It's pretty decent for what it is, and for the current 60% discount it's rocking, you can't go wrong for an easy and reasonably entertaining 1,000GS — unless you don't like horror games, of course.

Quick completion and a quick recommendation. Sorted.

The Park

Set in a creepy amusement park hiding a dark and sinister secret, The Park is a first-person psychological horror experience focused on exploration and storytelling.

Has anything here grabbed your attention, or do you have a suggestion for us? Let us know down in the comments!