VGamingBargains: Nintendo Switch April 2021
With the UK on the verge of opening back up, if you’re anything like me, a lot of your budget will suddenly be assigned to frivolous purchases of elaborate restaurant food and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. Keeping that in mind, you might not have as much cash floating around for gaming as you’d normally like, so let us help you out by steering you on the best games to pick up for less than a tenner. Scratch the itch without breaking the bank – that’s our goal here, people!
As always, the games are split into three levels, based around their price points:
Level 1 – games in Level 1 cost between £7.50 and £10.00 and tend to be the larger titles available in our price range – they’ll take most of your budget here but offer the most full-game experience for a small amount of money
Level 2 – costing between £3.50 and £7.49, games at level 2 give you a little more flexibility on how to spend your money but might be a little shorter or perhaps a little older than games in the top level
Level 3 – rounding out the list are our cheapest games, from those that are absolutely free up to a cost of £3.49. These games tend to be made by independent developers and are often a shorter experience, but make no mistake – while they might only be a few hours long, the games in Level 3 still offer a lot of enjoyment – even better, you can mix-and-match a few for your money
VGamingBargains is a monthly feature, published near the start of each month to highlight a few good deals available on the eShop soon after each pay day. Keep an eye out for future editions and we’ll do our best to put you onto a couple of great games that won’t break the bank!
|Level||Title||Cost||On Sale Until|
|Level 1||Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty||£8.99||14/04/21|
|Level 2||The Flame in the Flood||£3.74||13/04/21|
|Crypt of the NecroDancer||£3.59||15/04/21|
|For the King||£6.79||13/04/21|
|Doom, Doom II & Doom 64||£1.99 (each)||15/04/21|
|Syberia 1 & 2||£1.50||14/04/21|
|AER: Memories of Old||£1.79||27/04/21|
Shining atop our recommendations list this month is the fantastic Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, a beautiful remake of the iconic 1997 PS1 platform-puzzler Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. For those unfortunate enough to miss out on the original, you play as Abe, a friendly mudokon who works as a janitor at the Rupture Farms meat processing plant. Whilst performing his duties, he stumbles upon a plot hatched by the greedy Glukkon bosses to use mudokon meat in their upcoming line of tasty treats! Help Abe dodge whirling blades, outsmart gun-toting Sligs and outrun ancient beasts to lead his people to safety and overthrow the Glukkon overlords! All new graphics tart up what was already an attractive original, the puzzles and secrets are as fun to play as ever, and for players of the original, the nostalgia hit from playing this remake is too much to pass up.
For fans of Animal Crossing New Horizons, Cozy Grove offers a similar island-life experience but with a more story-driven focus. Having washed ashore on an unknown island, you play as Spirit Scout, a girl who must help the ghostly bear inhabitants of the island perform their final wishes, leading them into the afterlife and bringing colour back to the island. The game encourages you to play a little each day before encouraging you to log off and come back tomorrow, ensuring that your time isn’t as monopolised as it might be by Animal Crossing. Fish, harvest and collect strange items to learn wonderful tidbits of story about the spirits trapped on the island that are guaranteed to keep you coming back daily. With a beautiful, hand-drawn artstyle and a soothing soundtrack, Cozy Grove is a fantastic option for players who want something new that isn’t going to command hours and hours of time each day!
Just a quick Google search of the trailer for Darkwood will convince horror fans that this grisly top-down affair is a must-buy. Darkwood is a survival horror in the truest sense, requiring you to craft items, barter for goods and hide cowering in a corner as much as you have to fight your way through hordes of nameless horrors. Exploring the forest is a tense enough affair during the day, but at night it can be truly harrowing, with a truly palpable atmosphere permeating the game. There’s some Silent Hill-like visuals and a horribly eerie soundtrack that creates a fantastic horror experience that relies on genuinely frightening experience without resorting to cheap jump-scares.
A very different survival experience headlines our Level 2 recommendations, with post-apocalyptic downstream explorer The Flame in the Flood currently on sale for less than a fiver. Play as Scout and her faithful dog-companion Aesop (or Daisy), and make your way across randomly generated islands, scavenging food and supplies in an attempt to keep yourself warm, dry and injury free. The art direction has a bleak, dystopian feel that matches the tone of the world perfectly but the soundtrack is what really brings the whole game to life with a final crescendo that provides an overwhelming sense of achievement. Fend of angry wildlife and trade with other disconcerting survivors in what is a grindingly difficult, but incredibly satisfying survival experience.
I have never been more bemused by the concept (or title!) of a game than when discovering Crypt of the NecroDancer, a rhythm roguelike where matching your actions to beat keeps your sword arm swinging! Take on the role of Cadence, daughter of a legendary treasure hunter who must search through randomly generated dungeons in the hopes of finding her missing dad. Battle your way deeper into the NecroDancers lair, upgrading your weapons and armour along the way, bouncing to an ever thumping soundtrack. This is a strange one, to be sure, but rhythm and/or roguelike fans should definitely give this one a whirl.
Also in Level 2 we have tactical-RPG-strategy For the King, where the adorably quaint art style belies the tough challenge the game poses. Following the death of the King, Chaos threatens to engulf the land – set off as a band of three adventurers on the Queen’s orders to keep the kingdom safe! Play alone or with up to two friends in either couch or online* co-op, and fight off evil in this fun, but punishing adventure board game. And rounding out Level 2 is the stunning point-and-click adventure, Silence, a pseudo-sequel to 2010 adventure The Whispered World. There’s no need to play the original, but you reprise the role of Noah, a boy who must help his sister, Renie, out of the land of Silence, a limbo between the worlds of life and death. Play this one in docked mode to really take in the wonderful environments and characters – it will not disappoint.
Leading the line for Level 3 is a Flashback to a 1992 platformer that absolutely captivated me as a child. In 2142, having discovered a race of shapeshifting aliens that have infiltrated human society, intelligence agent Conrad Hart gets captured and has his memory erased. Escaping from his captors, you must help Conrad to escape the jungle and fight back against the aliens, all-the-while getting his memory back. Gameplay carries some heavy Prince of Persia vibes with action, platforming and puzzles found in equal measure. As it boasts animations that were groundbreaking for its time, rich environments and a compelling storyline, you’ll find nothing else more deserving of your 89 pence, I assure you!
Level 3 also holds a treasure trove of classic first-person shooters, with Doom, Doom II and Doom 64 all on sale for the bargain price of £1.99 each! What can we say about the Doom series that hasn’t been said before? As absolute pioneers of the genre, the series is, in my opinion, a must-play for nostalgia fans and gaming historians alike. Listen, it’s not going to be pretty, but we all know that graphics are not the be-all-and-end-all of gaming. Blast your way through swathes of monsters and demons, spurred on by a banging, and equally iconic soundtrack.
Other notable games for Level 3 include the double-pack of Syberia 1 & 2, graphic adventure games in the vein of Broken Sword. Help Kate Walker in her journey across Europe to unravel mysteries of an old family business and the consequences of her discoveries. £1.50 is a bargain for two Incredibly immersive games, with solid graphics and well-written scripts. Offering a very different flavour from any of the other recommendations is AER: Memories of Old, a relaxing exploration game set amongst the skies. Guide Auk, one of the few remaining shapeshifters, on a pilgrimage to the Land of the Gods, and enjoy soaring amongst the clouds in a distinctive and beautiful world. Arguably more of an interactive story than a true gaming experience, we’d recommend playing AER even if that’s not usually your cup of tea – who knows, it might open your eyes to something new. Last, but certainly not least, is conversation-text adventure Quarantine Circular. Control a group of scientists amidst a worldwide pandemic, and interrogate an alien lifeform in the hope of discovering it’s true intentions. Short but sweet, this one-sitting story certainly packs a punch, and fans of Subsurface Circular (recommended last month) should definitely check out this spiritual sequel.
*Game requires Online membership to play online
The recommendations made in this article do not come from any paid promotion and are solely influenced by our enjoyment of the games highlighted and their perceived value for money
Prices accurate at the time of publication
Average play times are sourced from HowLongToBeat