In continuation from last week’s article Top ten games to buy for under £10: part one comes the exciting and imaginatively named Top ten games to buy for under £10: part two. So this is really just my top five. If you live in a cave and haven’t seen numbers 10-6, then check out last week’s article. Obviously.
5. Dishonoured; PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One; Steam, CEX
Another beautiful action game, this time set in a world akin to a steampunk Victorian London. A gruesome story of revenge and betrayal, what makes this excellent game stand out is the creative combat and stealth systems, as well as the ability to tailor your character with various Roleplaying traits – greater max health, faster movement speed, more armour, etc. You also have the option to go through the entire game following non-lethal options for all enemies and assassination targets, though if you do go the lethal route, your arsenal will field an impressive array from crossbows and knives to pistols and kinetic magic. An innovative and highly imaginative modern classic, with Dishonoured there is so much replay value that no single play-through will be the same, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat aching for more.
Papers Please; PC, iOS; Steam
One of the most interesting Indie games I have seen, in Papers Please you play an immigration officer controlling the border control point of the fictional Soviet-like country of Arstotzka during the 1980s. Sound dull? It’s really not. Focusing on the emotional toll of the job itself, specifically with the part-imagined part-realistic threats of the Arstotzka government hanging over your head, the world of intrigue and Cold War politics forces you to make some utterly heart-stopping decisions. You interact with the inhabitants of this grim world by simply deciding who is allowed to cross the border into the country, based on a set of ever-changing criteria, designed to capture enemy spies. It’s a simple formula that will quickly have you hooked both to the scenario and your character, and with roughly 20 endings, you’ll be hooked for much more than your money’s worth.
The Stanley Parable; PC; Steam
The most interesting Indie game I have ever seen! The philosophical questions posed in this game are so unexpectedly deep that it is difficult not to love this game. I really don’t want to give too much away, but essentially you play Stanley, the typical ‘everyman’, and your quest is to discover why the office is completely empty. Sound thrilling? Mix in a sinister undertone, witty narration, multitudes of endings and a matrix-style theme, and it just might do. Starting with the decision to go through one of two doors, you interact with the world by pushing buttons and opening doors in an increasingly complex story which unfolds and collapses around you, depending on the choices you make – the writing is truly phenomenal, questioning the very essence of human life in a humorous, sometimes disturbing, yet downright enjoyable experience.
Undertale; PC, iOS, Steam
In Undertale, you play a child who has fallen into the Underground, a hell-like area infested with monsters and demons – your quest is simply to escape back to the surface. The beauty of this game comes from the old-fashioned combat and puzzle mechanics, immediately recognisable to the player of some classic Roleplaying games, such as ‘bullet hell’ shooters like Space Invaders, providing waves of nostalgia. Indeed, the graphics are nothing short of retro, which may not be to some players’ tastes, but the user interface and general aesthetic appeal will quickly become familiar. What always blows the mind of players of Undertale, however, is not the homages to previous well-loved games, but the depth and emotional humanity of the story options which leave one truly flabbergasted. It’s another game that poses big questions like what it is to be human, but when seen through a child’s eyes, the answers become that much more endearing and resonant.
Sid Meier’s Civilisation V; PC; Steam; CEX
Okay, I’ve gotta ‘fess up here: this is only under £10 right now on Steam because it’s on sale. But I enjoy this game so much and I play it so much, literally any excuse to include it an article I will most likely take. An utterly fantastic game to play with friends, you control a famous civilisation from any period in history, ranging from the ancient Romans to modern Germany or even the Polynesian Islands, and guide them from the mists of ancient obscurity through to the modern day and beyond. You win the game by making your Civilisation the best on the map in the fields of Culture, Science, Tourism, Diplomacy, or War. Infinitely playable, especially now it’s been out for a while and all the additional content has been released. If nothing else, play it to hype yourself up for Civilisation VI’s release in October.