Gaming can be an expensive hobby, especially if you want the newest AAA titles. However, you don’t need to spend £50+ to have fun. There are some great indie titles available for little more than the cost of a nice cup of coffee. Whether you want a fast past shooter, casual puzzle game or an intricate story, there is a bargain to satisfy your particular itch.
Here is a list of 5 games that have an RRP of £5 or less: (NOTE: Games are available on multiple platforms, prices have been taken from Steam and were correct at time of writing).
Death Coming – £4.99
Released: November 2017 Developer: NEXT Studios PEGI Rating: 16
Death Coming is a morbid strategy puzzle game in which the aim is to end the lives of the everyday folk in each scenario.
The player starts the game by dying and goes on to be informed they will now fulfil the role of ‘reaper’, an agent of death. Each level has a different setting, group of people, and special targets. In a manner reminiscent of the Final Destination films of the 2000s, the aim is to utilise the surroundings to create unavoidable accidents, killing those whose time you deem to be up.
Working out the different ways objects and the surroundings can be used provides a fun puzzle aspect to the game, however, strategy is essential for success.Killing selected targets and progressing to the next level is pretty doable, but more planning is required to get multiple kills and truly complete each level. Observation is key, making note of peoples’ routines and the use of objects will make for much cleaner kills.
Death Coming has a very cute, pixel-graphic art style, with music and sound effects to match. This provides a quirky contrast to the undeniably violent premise of the game.
The game was a lot of fun and provides something a little different. It also has a fair amount of replayability if you want to discover different ways of killing or complete levels in their entirety.
Pony Island – £3.99
Released: January 2016 Developer: Daniel Mullins Games PEGI Rating: 12
Pony Island has elements from a number of genres but could be loosely defined as a psychological puzzle game. I entered into the experience not really knowing what to expect and was confronted with a puzzle before I could even start the game, though I guess this means I already had?
The game has a glitchy 90’s feel and for the most part uses a black and white, pixelated art style. There are some more colourful sections but the themes and overall atmosphere are no less dark. The music keeps to the same retro style and does match the game but did get repetitive after a while in some parts.
Pony Island involves navigating your way around a computer, hacking away and deleting core files, though it’s difficult to explain why without spoilers. I enjoyed the puzzles for the most part, but the randomness of the pony sections made them frustrating at times. There are games within the games and games within those; a bit like a pixelated Inception, just with more ponies.
Now to ponder the moral dilemma of whether or not to uninstall the game . . . you’ll see!
Devil Daggers – £3.99
Released: February 2016 Developer: Sorath PEGI Rating: None
Devil Daggers is a fun and brutal little FPS game with an early 90’s feel and some creepy lighting and sound effects. You start in a dark, wall-less room, pick up your dagger and just as you start to wonder what you should be doing, you get attacked by flying skulls and killed.
With that lesson learnt, you go on to fight up to 13 different enemies, collecting power-up crystals from towers as you progress. The game has a fairly simple premise and each game can be (very) short but is implemented well with fast-paced gameplay, varied mechanics and smooth controls. This, in addition to the online leaderboard, makes for a fairly addictive experience.
If you buy Devil Daggers on Steam, it has a singular achievement, but don’t be thinking it’ll be an easy 100% completion. You need to stay alive for 500 seconds (just over 8 mins), which sounds straight forward until you realise that only <0.1% of the game’s players have managed it.
Emily is Away Too – £3.99
Released: May 2017 Developer: Kyle Seeley PEGI Rating: None
Emily is Away Too is the follow-up to the free-to-play game Emily is Away, released in 2015 (so, you’re kind of getting two games in one!), though it is longer and more detailed than its predecessor. The game is a mix of casual simulation game, visual novel and RPG and describes itself as a ‘boy-meets-girl adventure game’.
Set back in the days of MSN Messenger and AOL, the player can surf the web, talk to friends and even customise their online profile. As conversations unfold, dialogue choices and actions have consequences and effect the narrative and ending of the game.
Emily is Away Too (along with the first game) combine the retro art style and old-school noises with the narrative and gameplay elements to create a cute, highly nostalgic experience with just a touch of emotion and a bunch of replayability.
I know, I know! It’s a little over £5, but if you’re as mature as me, it’s a lot of laughs for the money!
Genital Jousting is silly and explicit, a NSFW, casual, party game. Whilst it does have a single-player story mode in which you play as a penis named John on a mission to get a date to his high-school reunion, it is a game best enjoyed with company. I did, and it resulted in some of the most hilarious voice chat I’ve heard in a long time- out of context I’d hate to imagine what someone might think!
Multiplayer mode features a simple, competitive ‘traditional mode’ as well as a ‘party mode’ which has a variety of games and challenges involving things such as hot dogs and blue suppositories. It can be played with up to 8 people, combining local and online players; both seemed to work well and I can see myself ‘coming’ back to this game again and again!
It’s probably not for everyone, prudes and phallophobics should definitely avoid, but I (somewhat shamefully) really enjoyed it- where else can you dress a penis in a tuxedo and top hat?