This started out as a very positive article, with jokes about surprises and spiders. GOG.com has a decent reputation and is running an interesting Piñata Madness promotion. The gist of it is you pay $3 (R40) and receive a mystery game, then you get to smash a virtual piñata to open it. That sounds like a lot of fun, right? It did, until you do some digging.
According to the FAQ, the game is randomly chosen on purchase, and will have a “a base price between $5.99 and $44.99”. Keep those words in mind, they will become important later on. The games are drawn from a pool of over 100 titles, each hand-picked by GOG. They mention Victor Vran, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Saint’s Row 4, and Pillars of Eternity by name, and a growing list on the GOG forum has a tracker of Piñata games so far. They also mention that you won’t get duplicates of games you own in your GOG library, and if you own every game in the pool, then duplicates will become non-expiring gift items.
While the FAQ mentions a base price of $5.99, it does not take sale prices into account. Coincidentally, there’s a huge sale on GOG at the moment. Therefore, it is disgustingly likely that you will receive a game worth less than that. Hell, I actually overpaid for Armikrog, which sells at $2.39 currently. By plugging games from the tracker on the forums into the search bar, you’ll see it’s impossible for any of the titles to approach the $44.99 ceiling. Maybe you’ll luck out and get something at a decent price, but it seems far more likely you’ll save a few cents on a random game you didn’t want in the first place.
Piñata Madness runs until 21 August, and any unopened piñatas will be opened automatically on 28 August. Honestly, rather save your money and search the store for something you actually want. Or just snag Deadlight: Director’s Cut for free from the GOG.com homepage, it’s about the only positive thing about this.