Gaming is an expensive hobby, be it buying the latest and greatest titles or ordering that new graphics card. Sometimes the best thing to do is rummage around in the bargain bin and see what gems are in there. These are some of my favourite games that won’t break the bank.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
One of the earliest games I ever played and one of the greatest by Lucasfilm games. A point-and-click adventure game where you lead the protagonist Guybrush Threepwood through bizarre situations. Not only is the game an amazing experience but it did get a remaster which just overall makes the title worth revisiting. If you can’t get enough of that Monkey Island there are more games in the franchise that I believe made the genre what it is today.
Knights of the Old Republic
A few years ago the Star Wars universe went through an overhaul, ripping a large chunk of what we know and love from canon. One such chunk is one of the best RPG games that I can think of. With the more recent news of licensing exclusivity with EA ending and the possibility of new RPG games coming, now is the time to revisit this classic. I won’t lie you will need to do a little modding (forums are very helpful here) to get it playing on more modern machines and looking good but it is well worth the effort.
The Visual Novel scene never ceases to amaze me. Have you ever wanted to date a Gorgon or a Demon Prince? You can certainly try in this replayable experience. There are tons of paths through the game and extraordinary art throughout each playthrough. Depending on who and how you choose to woo will take you through the stories giving a hefty amount of playtime for this kind of game. Each individual playthrough ranges from 30 minutes to an hour and at the end of each run you get a cute credits scene imitating an oldie high school movie. The second title is available as well if this game really tickles your fancy.
What if you only had 60 seconds to grab what you can in your home and get to your bomb shelter. Do you save your only son Timmy? Or rather go for that chess board for when you get a little… bored? Once you have grabbed family and items within the time limit, you are isolated in your bomb shelter waiting out the apocalypse. Once in the shelter, the game turns into a bit of a visual novel and resource management game. Depending on the items you have in the shelter different options will be made available each day. Choose who gets food and water, learning how to stretch these resources is essential in getting to a satisfying ending. Quite a few things can happen during Timmy’s adventures (new name pending).
While True: learn()
There are a lot of games out there that deliver a learning experience, teaching you something along the way. That being said While True decides to ramp it up to another level, this time teaching the wonders of machine learning. Under the guise of cat treats you move through levels that are progressively more complicated but also giving more of the real-world tools used by this technology. The game might scare you but definitely is a load of fun when you aren’t ripping your hair out.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Most of the readers probably know the more recent adventures of William. I challenge thee to try out one of the earlier iterations of the protagonist’s attempt to save the world. The protoscience and weird world-building exists in the game but it also offers a really fun multiplayer experience if you can get a few friends together. I won’t lie to you, it is an older game, it doesn’t look great but that also means it will run on any machine!
You can probably tell that I am more of a single-player type of gamer going off this list so I had to add a “fun with friends” title. The developers are constantly adding and improving to the game which keeps fans coming back. Personally, I get really freaked out by this but definitely could get through a few investigations when playing with buds. For those who don’t know this is a first-person game about ghost hunting. You use different tools to identify the spectre and go along your merry way… if they don’t get you first!
Bullet hell. This game is the epitome of the genre. Honestly, that is all there is to say about it. Good luck!
Close to the Sun
When I first played this I had no idea what to expect, I didn’t really look into it and was expecting something akin to the Bioshock franchise. While the look and feel definitely is reminiscent, the game offers a scarier experience. Chase sequences, monsters and parascience cut scenes. I would recommend delving into the boat city developed by Nikolai Tesla any day!
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
Anyone who loves platformers knows Ori and the Blind Forest. We have all been frustrated by rising water. Each of us has slowly sat back in our chair taking in the breathtaking visuals and music of this masterpiece. The game gives a decent playtime and I cried during my playthrough for a plethora of reasons. I have yet to try out the sequel Will of the Wisps but it definitely is on my to-do list.
Those are my 10 cheaper bracket games for getting that gaming itch scratched. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!
Be sure to always be on the lookout for specials and bargains like the 3-month game pass that is a fraction of the normal subscription fee, just be sure to cancel it after that to make sure you don’t get any surprise bills.