Let’s face it, we all enjoy a cheap quality game, and when we live in a world where our good buddies over at Valve sort us out with their ever popular and widely used gaming marketplace Steam, you’re bound to find some brilliant games to keep you entertained over the lonely weekends for less than the cost of a taxi ride to the pub and back. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are five amazing games you can buy on Steam today for under $10 US.
Garry’s Mod (Facepunch Studios, Team Garry) $9.99 US
Firstly, whenever I think of a hugely diverse game with countless downloadable mods and the ability to build and create virtually anything you can think of using some of the hundreds of tools, items and hardware available I immediately think of a hefty cost. This isn’t one of those cases. Garry’s Mod is a physics sandbox game where there isn’t really set goals that players aim for, more limitations to how broad your imagination is when it comes to creating things like buildings, cars, robots or even just putting items in a row and blowing them up. Plus, if you get bored of piecing together machines or houses you can simply spawn in a mansion or skyscraper and blast it into the sky too as they’re also completely destructible. Tired of that? Then just spawn in a few of the hilarious-looking characters and make them do weird stuff to each other, always good for a giggle.
The main reason I’m so into this game though is the downloadable MMO content available. There are an insane amount of games using Garry’s Mod as a platform, and I’ve definitely spent a few hours playing mods like ‘Jail Break’, where one player is the warden, a few play as guards and the rest are prisoners who are instructed by the warden to do whatever he tells you to. And if you don’t? The guards shoot you. There’s also ‘Prop Hunt’, where players are split equally into two teams and one team disguises themselves as inanimate objects and find a clever hiding space while the other team stalks around with shotguns trying to find them. Magic.
Under 10 American bucks for a game that you can play for hours with friends or go and build something solo is well worth the coin. It’s like a third of the price of say, Monopoly, and you can’t even shoot anyone in Monopoly…Well, I suppose you can but it’s not really written in the traditional game… Actually forget I said anything, okay?
Terraria (Re-Logic, Engine Software) $9.99 US
Before you read on about this great little value-for-money game, I’ll just sum it up for you in one sentence: More complex 2D Minecraft. Still reading? Good.
It sounds pretty boring I admit but from the minute you start playing this pretty little 2D side-scroller you really start to lose track of time quickly. It’s a basic looking game so there’s no need for your TitanX to start flexing its muscles, which means you can have a basic little PC or laptop and still have this game running smoothly and comfortably while you run through a surprisingly big world looking for monsters to slay, caves to mine, chests to loot, weapons to upgrade and bosses to fight. And guess what? It’s multiplayer. Go for broke friendship groups!
Simple, entertaining and under $10 US. Perfect.
Unturned (Smartly Dressed Games) $0.00 US
Unturned is one of those games that has average graphics, limited quests or tasks to complete and the very basic concept of ‘don’t get killed by zombies and try to survive’, but I decided to download it when I was bored on a Sunday morning and I happily played it the rest of that week. It is so simple but so interesting to make your way around the surprisingly big map to a number of different cities and small towns, looting shops and sniffing around for weapons, food and water as well as mowing down zombies with whatever you can hold in your fingerless, block-like hands. The way the zombies act is random and fluctuates greatly between whatever professions they were in when they were still living (military men, fire fighters, doctors etc.), as well as being stronger and more plentiful as you enter some of the major cities on the map. Another thing they have incorporated into the game is something I feel should really be incorporated in all survival/building games, and that is vehicles. Cars, buses, ATVs and a bunch of other machines to get you around the map quickly and safely without having to walk everywhere and carry all your sweet loot on your back. You can just pop it in the boot of a hatchback and take a scenic drive through the extremely plain looking landscape. This is provided you’ve got adequate fuel of course, which you can craft out of junk you pilfer or find in jerry cans inside fuel stations and workshops. You can also craft weapons, armour, clothing and defences for your settlement.
Look, at the end of the day it’s a free game, you may as well try it. The developers are constantly updating it and introducing new elements of gameplay so it may even one day actually cost money. But for now, you pay zero. I like those numbers.
5 Nights at Freddy’s (Scott Cawthorn) $4.99 US
I know, I know. “Original, Brett. Why not update your games every once in a while blah blah blah.” HEY, yes, this game may be overplayed by thousands of YouTubers across the world and yes, it has three more sequels that may be better and yes, you’ve probably already played it before, but I couldn’t do a list like this without mentioning one of the best bangs for your buck out there. Not to mention it is one of the most infuriating experiences I’ve ever embarked upon. If you haven’t heard of 5 Nights at Freddy’s yet it’s a really addictive survival horror game where you score yourself a summer job at a family-friendly pizza joint where they pride themselves on having animatronic plush animals provide entertainment for the kiddies while parents enjoy their meals. But of a night-time these plush animals have a tendency to become…well…alive, and it’s your job as the new security guard to keep them at bay by focusing on where they are and what they’re doing on a series of security cameras that you control from your cramped little office. These horrific fluffy robots try their best to get into your office space and as friendly as they seem on the surface they see you as a sort of “naked robot” and feel it’s in your best interests that they try and stuff you back into a fuzzy, animatronic suit. You need to make sure they don’t enter your office by closing powered doors momentarily using very limited electricity. If you survive the progressively challenging working week you get paid, simple as that.
The game is very well thought out and the gameplay is dark, terrifying and gives your nerves a clatter with its intense jump scares and eerie phone calls from your manager explaining how dangerous the whole thing can actually get.
It’s unpredictable, it’s frustrating, it’s scary and I love it. Worth the money you fork over for it.
DOTA 2 (IceFrog) $0.00 US
Last but certainly not least we have the highly acclaimed DOTA 2. Released many moons ago in 2013, this fantasy MMO battle-arena style game remains one of the most downloaded and played games on Steam to this day.
Rather than go into what the games about and how it’s played I’d prefer to reference it to a World of Warcraft type of scenario. In fact, it was a remake of a Warcraft III mod named ‘Defence of the Ancients’ that laid out the principles of progressing as a hero, levelling lanes and smashing down towers, except they’ve taken that concept and expanded it into a heavily immersive, stand-alone game. It’s tactically deep too, and will most likely take many hours of gameplay to simply learn the basic tricks of the trade. It’s pretty rewarding when you finally manage to hone your skills – at the beginning you’ll spend a very long time being the punching bag of the millions that play this game. Rest assured your pride and patience will take a beating and you’ll have to dedicate a hefty chunk of your time to this obsession-sparking game if you want to be a contender.
In short, if you enjoy battle arena gameplay that is at first glance very daunting and in some cases impossible to initially understand then download this game. You will eventually find yourself becoming much, much stronger with better equipment and allies. Prepare to lose complete track of time while you engross yourself in this ridiculously under-priced and magnificently broad MOBA. If you have a reasonably powerful computer and don’t mind fifteen-year-olds telling you what they’ve done to your mother then I highly suggest giving this game a look. It’s free. Zip. Nada. Nil. Well worth it.
Just to summarise, these (in my opinion) are five out of hundreds of amazing games you can pick up on Steam for under $10 US and whether you take my advice and give these games a crack, or find your own diamond in the rough and spend a million years playing it. You can at least rest assured that in a world where games are becoming so life-like and in-depth that you need to run yourself virtually broke to be able to play them in their entirety, there are plenty of extremely talented developers and producers who work their arses off to provide the best gaming experience they can possibly muster using their available resources for a fraction of the cost.