Out of money after Christmas but want to get yourself some nice games to hold you over until your next salary? Or just simply looking for that bargain because, well… why not? Then this list is for you.
8-bit Armies Arena
Made by Petroglyph this RTS will give you some solid fun for very little money (Around €2,50/$2). Strategy fans will recognize some of the names working at Petroglyph from Westwood Studios, the original creators of the Command and Conquer-series. 8-bit Armies is a game that really harkens back to these genre-defining games.
With a really simple interface and similar graphical style, this game will mostly appeal to those strategy gamers that also have a love for Minecraft, Warcraft, and the original StarCraft. Why these games? Because the developers clearly were inspired and used some of the inspiration for the factions in the game.
8-bit Armies Arena is the cheap multiplayer version of three more fully filled games. 8-bit Armies, 8-bit Hordes, and 8-bit Invaders all are compatible with Arena but they contain a single player campaign. If you only play multiplayer though, buy Arena as it is about 10x cheaper.
Game Dev Tycoon
Another strategy game that will absolutely keep you busy for hours is Game Dev Tycoon by Greenheart Games. You take on the role of the owner of an unknown game studio, in your garage. You start working on your first game and start developing new games, engines, and genres until you have enough money to hire people to do all that heavy lifting for you.
Again a game with a simple graphical style but it never makes you cringe. Actually, the whole game breathes an uplifting atmosphere which is supported by the way too happy music. For just $/€5 this game should be on anyone’s shopping list.
Trine: Enhanced Edition
Platform games have gone through a revival these past few years. And they have become so much prettier. Forget Mario and forget Sonic. Here is Trine to take their lunch money. For a mere $/€2 you get a story-driven platformer that doesn’t hold back on graphical effects. The soundtrack by Ari Pulkkinen is absolutely brilliant and almost gives you a theme-park-like feeling.
The gameplay itself isn’t what you’d call anything revolutionary. It’s a side-scrolling 2D platformer. And if you play on normal difficulty settings it’s relatively easy to play through. But Frozenbyte got the ingredients for this game absolutely right and that makes for an absolute gem of a game.
I’ve written about Sanctum, one of my favorite games, before. But it does merit another mention here. This combination of shooter and tower defense is just simply brilliant and brilliantly frustrating. You build towers in a level to let attackers follow a route. Once you’re done building the aliens walk your gauntlet. However towers alone will not save you, you have several guns and you need to use them to survive. Sanctum is a well-executed combo of a strategy game and a shooter.
It uses the Unreal engine so the looks are quite okay although nothing incredibly special. But the gameplay makes the game completely worth it. It’s a little more cerebral than other shooters and that makes it a game for people who, like me, suck at Battlefront or Quake because we can’t keep up with the insane rhythm.