With Apple and Android now dominating the mobile gaming market with their low price model, it is worth noting that there are also some budget priced bargains to be found on the Playstation Network Store. I have been trawling through the store for the past few days, and below you can find my pick of the games that can be grabbed for less than $5. All of these games can be played on PS3 consoles, and some can also be downloaded and played on a Sony PlayStation Portable or a PSPGo, all for the stated price. As you can see, there are some real gems on the list that are definitely worth checking out.
This is an interesting move from EA Sports, which has just released the Champion story mode, sliced off from the full retail game as a downloadable product. Featuring a good few hours of solid boxing game play, and a Rocky-style story of redemption and success, presented like a movie, this game represents great value for the money. If you like the story mode, you can also upgrade by purchasing the online and legacy components of the game separately. It is novel to see a publisher taking this approach and I am sure it is something we will see more of in the future.
Offering great value for money, at under two dollars, Mini Squadron features eight worlds of dog-fighting action, with a variety of weapons and enemies, and over 50 planes to unlock along the way. It’s a great game to play in short bursts, either lounging on the couch, or on the daily commute. Despite also appearing on the Android and iOS platforms, to my mind Mini Squadron works best on the PS3 and PSP, with the accuracy provided by playing with a real analog stick.
This is a slick and stylish puzzle game, that will bring back memories of Marble Madness, for gamers of a certain age. Presented beautifully, and with very intuitive controls, you must move a blob of mercury through increasingly difficult mazes, simply by using the left analog stick. The high-definition visuals and great soundtrack lend Mercury HG a very polished feel. As an added bonus, you can also choose to listen to your own music files whilst playing the game.
For those gamers who don’t want to spend a single cent on a game, DC Universe Online may well be the title for you. Initially released on a pay-to play basis, this massive multiplayer online superhero game is now completely free to download and play, on the Playstation Network. Create your own superhero or villain, and play alongside other gamers from around the world. There are some benefits to be had by choosing to pay a fee, but for casual users, the non-subscription features should provide more than enough fun. Just make sure you have some room on your hard drive, as the game takes up 18GB of space!
The numbers for this one are telling. A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks has been downloaded more than 150,000 times from the PSN Store. With a humorous presentation style, and some very challenging old school shooting action, A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks certainly lives up to its title. This game is also available on the iOS and Android platforms, but shines brightest here, with the precision of an analogue stick giving this version the edge over its mobile equivalents.
Piyotama is a Playstation exclusive puzzle game, in which the player has to help the mother Piyo hatch her eggs before they overflow the nest. To do this, you shift the eggs left or right, trying to match colors, creating chains. It sounds simple enough, but it soon speeds up, and you will have to think on your feet in order to stay in the game. Presented stylishly, with a cute central character, and a competitive two-player mode, Piyotama offers great value for money for any puzzle game fan.
7. Flying Hamster – The Game Atelier – $2.99 (PS3/PSP)
Made by an independent game publisher in France, Flying Hamster is a side scrolling shooter, with a very cute cartoon style. Its six levels range from a Japanese city to ancient Egypt, and there are a ton of different enemies to shoot along the way. Although the game is only short – it runs about an hour in total – it is very well put together, and is well suited to multiple plays. Also available on iOS, in my opinion Flying Hamster responds much better when played with a traditional gaming pad.
8. The Undergarden – Atari – $4.99 (PS3)
The Undergarden is a beautiful and relaxing puzzle platform game in which you must disperse pollen across subterranean levels in order to cause flowers to bloom. As non-violent as it sounds, The Undergarden offers a great change of pace for gamers needing a short break from screaming into a headset. With a campaign clocking in at just over five hours, and the option to play through the game with a friend, The Undergarden offers a very tempting package, for anyone in search of something a little different.
9. Angry Birds – Rovio Entertainment – $3.99 (PS3/PSP)
Everyone knows Angry Birds, right? Well, now you can play it on your PS3 and PSP. It features the same great game play as the iOS and Android versions, with over 100 levels of pig popping mayhem to work through. Some players may prefer the tighter analog controls here, although it is a shame that the Playstation Move functionality wasn’t implemented. However you look at it though, the game stands up as a modern classic, and every home should own at least one copy.
10. Alien Zombie Death – PomPom Gamer – $0.99 (PS3/PSP)
This is a turn up for the books – a game that actually costs less on PS3 than it does on iTunes. Alien Zombie Death is a frantic shooting game, in which your character fends off endless waves of incoming aliens zombies, armed only with a ray gun, and the occasional power. Play for local high scores, and to unlock new levels. Simple, but extremely fun in short blasts, and great value at under a dollar.
All of the above games can be downloaded directly from the PSN store, via your PS3 or PSP console. Purchases can be funded by credit card, or via a pre-paid PSN card.