When big name titles on the horizon are few and far between, I have found that checking out some of the lesser known budget games can prove to be rewarding at times. While these games exist on the same shelves among the more expensive and more anticipated games, they're often described as being found in the bargain bin. Many bargain titles are easily dismissed as cheap in price and even cheaper in value, but you can sometimes find a diamond in the rough. In this series of articles, I'll explore the depths of the bargain bin and bring you the goods (and not-so-goods) on some of these underappreciated PC games.

With each round of games I present, I will have spent no more than twenty bucks per title, each one purchased blindly without having read any reviews prior. As I did with these first six games, I will simply march into my local retailer and make selections based on the appearance of the retail boxes and their descriptions of each game, all the while trying to provide a fair mix between genres. The games I choose must also have been released within the past twelve months, give or take a month or two. For my first round, I have selected a tactical first-person shooter, a straight up adventure title, a puzzler, an arcade style space combat sim, a survival horror game of sorts, and an off-the-wall shooter that we'll look at first. I won't be including any hardcore analyses as most of what I've found can be played on low to mid range machines. Instead, I'll focus on functionality, playability, and above all the fun factor. At the end of the article, I'll give you my pick of the litter. All set? Let's begin Round One.

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.
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  • steveyballme - Tuesday, September 02, 2008 - link

    Geekwad 09 will be here for Christmas!

    Look for it people!



    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com">http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com
    Reply
  • lunarx3dfx - Tuesday, September 02, 2008 - link

    Great article, but in the last game review, you forgot to mention one very important title seeing as it was the predecessor to freelancer. You forgot about Allegiance. If you haven't heard about it, I suggest you take a look. It's still played today.

    Also, the literary quotes were cool. Thanks.
    Reply
  • insurgent - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    An enjoyable read and I haven't played most of the games here, I'll keep my eyes open when I go to the mall :D Reply
  • Nfarce - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    As someone who travels for work on occasion and is really not up for lugging both a laptop and a PS3 for after hours hotel entertainment away from home, some of these games look pretty cool! As a plus, they appear to be easy on the CPU and graphics cards of today's mid-range laptops like mine.

    Thanks for this. Even though most games probably wouldn't score a 5.0 on IGN, I'll seriously consider picking up two or three of these, two being shooters.

    Thanks guys, and again as I stated on your Grid review from several weeks ago, don't let the naysayers here poor mouth and sway you from changing things up around here from time to time!
    Reply
  • DirtMcGirt - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    Nice feature, keeping them coming! Reply
  • Leirith - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    The Incredible Machine! That game was awesome. I'll definitely have to check out these Crazy Machines games! Reply
  • Woodchuck2000 - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revue">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revue Reply
  • EddieTurner - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    I chose 'revue' as it represents a multi-part extravaganza. Multiple games, multiple rounds. I think it's fitting. Reply
  • tviceman - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    I didn't know Penumbra Overture was released as a free title last year, as I paid $15 for it. But I don't mind, it was well worth it. Black Plague is even better, and I'm having a blast with the newly released Penumbra: Requiem!

    For anyone who enjoyed Portal, Requiem is right in the same vein. Instead of a game you traverse through, Requiem is set in Penumbra's atmosphere and you go through levels of the game, figuring out how to get to the exit (only w/o a portal gun).

    All three games are great and are well worth checking out!
    Reply
  • cordas - Monday, September 01, 2008 - link

    Great article, it would have been nice to have the game titles listed as page headings, just so that when i come back to check the game names before going game hunting they are easier to find.

    I also think it would be great if you added more to the conclusions page, maybe a 2 or 3 line summary of each game, strenghs and weaknesses and if you feel like it give them a fun rating.

    Can't wait for more of these articles, I am sick of spending big bundles of cash on new "big name" games that disappoint.... I tend to run shy from the bargin games as there is a reason why many of them are there and its cos they are naff.
    Reply

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