Gaming on a Budget: Low on Coins

By Alex Mills. 22/4/2019

It’s the 21st Century and you can’t seem to turn a corner without spending an unreasonable amount of money, simply on the things we require as a human.

This means, that for the average person you want a good deal, decent value for money, especially as a gamer. Gaming can be a crazy expensive hobby. You have the games, accessories, online passes, controllers and of course, the machines to run them on. It all adds up to a ridiculous amount. That is why today I will guide you towards some more affordable options to entertain your family of gamers.

Nintendo eShop

Thankfully, every modern gaming console comes with it’s own digital store of online games and other software. For Nintendo systems you have the eShop. Sony gets PSN Store and Microsoft, the Xbox Marketplace. While you can easily find big-brand titles right out of the gate upon opening any of these online shopping pages, a little more sleuthing will reveal a treasure trove of cheap content.

For most, buying the console is the hardest part. It may take weeks, or months of saving your hard earned cash for the system you or your children so strongly desire, and it’s always a lot of money that comes from your pocket. But, of course, you’re going to need some games to play on your new toy. In this aspect, the best advice I can give to look into indie games…

Shovel Knight

For me, personally, it was difficult to save up for my Switch. When the time rolled around to finally buy it, I was unable to afford big-budget titles like Zelda: Breath of the Wild for a staggering $69.99 at launch… I was unable to bleed that kind of money towards a new game at the time, so of course I went with the indie blockbuster game: Shovel Knight!

Shovel Knight comes with a reasonable asking price of $29.99 and the promise of free updates to the game, I could do no wrong with my purchase. The independent gaming market has grown exponentially over the last decade or so. What used to be fun little projects by avid gaming fans eventually grew into people in charge of small studios with much more than just a dream in their hands.

Though it wasn’t stated in our article about CupHead, both of the developers spent an absurd amount of time and money developing the game, and even had to mortgage their house in order to have the money to finish the project! And, yet, the product is only $20.

Art from CupHead

If you don’t see where I’m going with this, it’s that the indie market gets a lot more care and love put into it’s games for a fraction of the price. Offering as much – if not more – longevity than the average triple A game.

A few good examples that would work for you and the kids include:

  • Shovel Knight
  • CupHead
  • Stardew Valley
  • Minecraft (You’ll probably already know of this one)
  • Celeste
  • Shantae Series
  • Overcooked Series
  • Baba is You
  • Bomb Chicken

Let’s also not forget the sales that all of the above stores will be offering from time-to-time. The huge title that you, or the kids have been after for months may finally go down to a fraction of it’s original asking price before you know it. I myself have fallen victim to buying a game, only to have it go down in price a mere few days later. Very infuriating.

So, it’s a good idea to find the sales section of your store and check back for things you might like a couple of times a month. You never know what you’re going to get.

Alex “Sun Spirit” Mills