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Enjoy awesome games on the cheap

3 years ago

Matt Thrower writer
Matt Thrower Parent. Gamer. Coder. Writer. Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, UK
Hardware at the forefront of modern videogaming is eye-wateringly expensive. But parents of gaming-hungry teens should know that many of the most innovative, most educational games around will run buttery-smooth on a flaky old PC.
Hidden beneath the colossal marking edifices of big-budget games are legions of independent developers beavering away on the latest, greatest things. So important are the innovations these people provide that even Sony and Microsoft are attempting to woo them into making content for their new consoles.
Whatever you want, there’s an indie game for you. Fans of old fashioned platform classics will be amazed by the new angles covered through games like Fez, Braid, Guacamelee and Spelunky. Adventure gamers will be amazed by the narrative artistry on display in The Stanley Parable, To the Moon and Kentucky Route Zero.
Speaking of art, you’ll be amazed at the emotional resonance some of these games achieve. Those sick of the consequence-free violence endemic to modern gaming should seek out Gone Home with its haunting tale of family breakdown, or Papers Please, which explores the morality of life under a totalitarian government.
Some, like island-wandering simulators Proteus and Dear Esther, are even forcefully challenging the definition of what it means to be a videogame.
There are even titles of direct educational value. Shelter places the player in the role of a mother badger, offering lessons in the responsibility of parenthood alongside the biological realities of rural survival. And there’s a lot of valuable history in accessible wargames like Unity of Command.
Many of these games cost next to nothing compared to their console counterparts. PC Gaming hub Steam has large and frequent discounts, while older games are often bundled up and sold for a song by Humble. Other sites like IndieGameStand offer lesser-known titles at similarly negligible prices.
So what are you waiting for? There’s not even one whole new world of indie gaming to explore: there are thousands, each utterly unique.

Do you currently explore indie games with your children? Which are your favourites? Tell us in the comments below. 
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