Steam has become the way a vast majority of PC gamers enjoy their hobby. Between the slick UI, frequent sales, and strong community support, most gamers looking to buy on PC rarely have the need to venture into the vast wilderness (outside) to satisfy their digital cravings. While this is an awesome way to find old favourites and soon-to-be classics, Steam can also be hard on your wallet. In an effort to provide some aid on that front, below is a list of games that are all under $6 CDN that will not only satisfy your gaming itch, but your bank account as well.
Escape Goat ($5.49 CDN)
Escape Goat earns a spot on this list for just being an overall awesome puzzle-platformer. The music is fun, the puzzles are the perfect degree of challenging, and the game doesn’t overstay its welcome. It just has an great flow, introducing the core concepts at a good pace while managing to not ramp things up too fast. It gives you time to master each concept while also asking you to apply them in new ways. While some games on this list are awesome because of their complex mechanics, Escape Goat is a winner because of its simplicity. Though some may scoff at the game’s pixel-art style, Escape Goat, like newer games such as The Deer God, use it to great atmospheric effect. If you’re looking for a puzzle-platformer that offers something a little outside the norm, Escape Goat is an easy choice.
Gateways ($5.49 CDN)
Portal forever changed the way we think of platforming and puzzling and many attempts have since been made to recapture that magic on both the 3D and 2D landscape. While we’ve seen some excellent entries into the puzzle-platformer genre, few are quite as charming, or as difficult, as Gateways. Not only do the game’s mechanics have you creating travel-points to go in and out of, but you can also grow or shrink in size, and change the flow of gravity. The game also features one large map with sections being blocked off until you have the right tools for the job, which can lead to some puzzles being unsolvable at certain times. While this might seem confusing, you can actually push a button and the game will tell you if you actually have the means to solve a given puzzle. Only adding to the enjoyment, is the bright and colourful look Gateways has along with a pleasant soundtrack to match. If you’re still looking to scratch your Portal itch then Gateways will satisfy.
10,000,000 ($5.49 CDN)
There aren’t too many puzzle games that do what this one does. While it at first might seem like a simple match-4 game with some fantasy elements thrown in, there is so much more below the surface. 10,000,000 is a puzzle game that focuses on upgradeable equipment, dungeon running, resource collecting, and finishing quests. Now, I don’t know about you, but there aren’t too many puzzle games that come to mind that can check off those same boxes. This game does something very special: it makes you want to solve puzzles, not just to get to the next level, but to progress in every sense of the term. Your character will gain access to better weapons, shields, and even potions which help all help customize the experience. 10,000,000 does all of this while being wrapped in a very basic pixel-art shell with music that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for days.
Dead Pixels ($3.29 CDN)
Yes, there are too many zombie games. Yes, there are too many ‘faux-retro’ 8-bit style games. Yes, Dead Pixels is both of these things; and yes, you should still pick it up. Sometimes you just want to annihilate wave after wave of the undead with some heavy metal pumping in the background and Dead Pixels happily provides. There are three basic modes in the game, but all will satisfy your craving for zombie-gore. The main game has you trying to escape to the other side of the city with limited weapons, ammo, stores, and items to be found along the way. The second mode, called “The Solution,” is roughly the same, but has fewer save points, gets rid of stores in favour of supply drops, and has objectives strewn around the map. The slay-fest is rounded out with a horde mode, ensuring there is never a short-supply of zombies to kill. Dead Pixels is perfect if all you want is to fill your screen with torn-apart corpses at a good price.
Vintage Year ($5.49 CDN)
There are very few games that present themselves as well as Vintage Year. While on the surface it might appear to be a slightly different take on the roguelike genre (with nods to titles such as Nuclear Throne), it actually has so much more to offer. The premise in particular is very interesting and surprisingly unique. You have been tasked by a being known only as “The Connoisseur” to weed out undesirable bandits and evil spirits from a dungeon-like wine cellar. Along the way you’ll become imbued with paranormal abilities and find a plethora of weapons with which to dispatch your foes. What really sold me on this game, and what makes it stand apart from other top-down shooter roguelikes, is how much strategy is involved. Peeping from behind a wall, planting torches, and planning out an attack are not only par for the course in Vintage Year, but necessary for your continued survival.
Town of Salem ($5.49 CDN)
If you’re anything like me then you love party games. From Things to Cups, you love the loud and intense action that only comes from a group of people in a small space yelling at each other. A personal favourite of mine is “Werewolf” and Town of Salem provides that experience in a well done digital package. For those of you who are not familiar with the basic concept, I’ll try to explain it very quickly. You, and the other players, are ‘villagers’, there is also Werewolves (if that is the variation you are playing) and a detective. During the ‘night’ period, the wolves can kill a villager and the detective can take a guess at who they might be. Sun rises, the body is found, and the accusations start flying. There are more complex rules as well, but those are the basics. While a video game may have a hard time living up to the improvisational nature of a party game or one’s imagination, a large amount of variety helps give this one a shot. If you want to play Werewolf without bringing a large group of your friends together, then check this one out.
So there you have it, 6 awesome games that, if purchased all together at their full price, will cost you just over $30. That’s even less than many AAA titles cost when they’re on sale. If you find yourself with a few extra bucks and a hole in your Steam library, then let me tell you that these games are more than worth your time, and your cash.