Gaming is an expensive hobby, a point every gamer can unanimously agree on. Expensive games aren’t necessarily good, and a bad purchase means weeks or months without something fun to tide you over. Cheaper games might seem more appealing, but the price tag is a double-edged sword. We’ve all bought something that costed next to nothing, only to realize we overpaid even at that meagre price. However, despite our misgivings, there are games out there that can be both cheap and good. Here are two titles you may enjoy without breaking the bank.
Both games are available on Steam.
The Flesh God
The Flesh God is a tough-as-nails platformer where you shoot a massive gun to fly through levels populated by mutant flesh. I chanced upon the game and decided to pick it up after seeing it was less than five dollars. By god, it was the best and worst mistake I’ve ever made.
For the price I paid, I expected a “meh” platformer which could keep me entertained for two hours at most. What I got instead was a positively polished game with a great aesthetic and equally great level design. I’ve eaten meals which cost more and gave me less enjoyment than The Flesh God.
In the summary, the game describes itself as a “hardcore action platformer.” After playing it, I can attest to this statement 100%. Everything in the game is actively trying to kill you, from the sickly green bubbles to the rivers full of roiling acid, and, to make matters worse, you’re expected to platform without jumping. Your only way of getting to higher ground is by catapulting upwards with bullets.
Sounds easy, you say? Wrong. Turns out your gun has an abysmally small chamber, housing only one bullet, and the only way to reload is when you’re on solid ground. Your gun will upgrade with more shots the more you progress, but until then, you’re stuck with figuring out how to launch yourself over a lake of death.
The first few levels are deceptively easy. I was lulled into a false sense of security, chuckling at how fast I completed each level. I continued with an increasingly puffed ego until the half-hour mark. By the time I reached the 10th level, I was ready to fling my controller into oblivion as I watched my character get pulverised by a sentient, moving wall slathered in sticky, green goo.
One thing I feel the need to point out is the level design. It’s honestly staggering. Whoever made The Flesh God is either an evil mastermind or a misguided genius. Some levels feel absurdly unfair until you take a step back to gather your bearings. The solution to overcoming obstacles may not be plainly obvious, blinded by your rage as you are, but they certainly exist. The more I played, the more I realized how well-crafted this game was, and with more than forty levels, great art, and a good soundtrack, I highly recommend getting it.
Superflight is a game made by a small but passionate team of three students where you take control of a blocky man in a wingsuit and explore the large, colourful terrain. Maps are procedurally generated, and no single one is alike, resulting in near infinite replayability. You take flight and try to score as many points as possible without crashing into blocky bits.
The goal of the game is to fly through as many maps as possible to get the highest score. Risky manoeuvres net you more points, an incentive for exploring maps to find nooks and crannies, and the closer you fly to an object’s surface, the more points you’ll rack up. There’s an online leaderboard, where you may see how high you rank, and a seed system, which allows you to share your unique maps with other players. I think Superflight would’ve been great even without this online aspect, but it’s a nice bonus for those who are competitive.
It’s a simple premise, but I haven’t seen it executed this well before. The game supports both controller and keyboard, and gives players equal amounts of enjoyment either way they choose to play it. It’s an absolute feast for the senses. I highly recommend that you use headphones while playing. The sound of wind whipping against your character as you bank left to skirt around a tall mountain will be more pronounced and leave you breathless. Costing less than a cuppa at your local Starbucks, you can’t go wrong with Superflight.