According to a survey last year, worldwide gaming has seen a four per cent increase of since the start of the first lockdown, which means there has not been a better time to join online communities and fight it out in a battle royale or explore a new virtual map.
Of course, not all of us have the means to play many games, but this list involves some games that are easy on the hard drive and can support a plethora of devices. They’re also cheap, meaning they won’t take much out of your student budget, especially as you don’t have to factor in pub money for the time being.
Stardew Valley – £10.99
Stardew Valley is an open-ended country-inspired RPG where you have inherited a farm from your grandfather. The game involves restoring the old ways of life by restoring the community centre, taking part in different Pelican town festivals, exploring different areas and mines, and cultivating your farm. The game has taken inspiration from Zelda, Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, and has a lovely pixelated and retro look about it. You can play this game by yourself but also with up to four other people. It makes for a calm and fun experience – except maybe your first trip down the skull cavern.
This is a relatively simple but fun game that most normal laptops can easily run, I ran this on my old laptop and it was absolutely fine. It’s also quite cheap, currently going for £10.99 on Steam.
Don’t Starve Together – £10.99
Now if you wanted to play with friends but like a bit more danger in your game, Don’t Starve makes you manage your hunger, temperature, sanity and foes. You get to choose out of the listed characters and can play by yourself or with five other people as you attempt to survive for as long as you can in a bizarre world filled with strange creatures. Not only do you have to battle a handful of foes, such as a deerclops or tree guardians, you also have to battle with the figments of your character’s imagination should you become insane.
Don’t starve is an incredibly fun game to play with others, but requires a lot of teamwork and skill management to get by. It is very easy to die and quite hard to live, but the game is a lot of fun and also runs smoothly on most pcs.
Phasmophobia – £10.99
Phasmophobia came out last year and has been a huge hit with gamers. The game has given the horror co-op a fresh take and features one-four players as ghost investigators who have to identify what type of paranormal presence is haunting the location. With a few different types of equipment, a radio to contact the rest of your team when you are split up, and the van to monitor sanity and ghost activity, the game maintains an awesome creepy paranormal vibe whilst satisfying the need to play with friends.
The game has been made by a lone developer, but still features near-daily updates that fix bugs and improve current gameplay. The game is also interesting in terms of interactivity – you can pick up and throw items – even from beyond the grave should you be hunted by the ghost. Not to mention the ghost’s ability to react to your voice during hunts and answering your questions via the spirit box or the ouija board.
Valheim – £15.49
Possibly the best received recent game on this list, Valheim allows you to play as a dead Viking and adventure in the realm of the Norse Valheim. By yourself or with up to nine other friends, you get to conquer beasts and myths and battle bosses in order to absorb their powers. The game is mainly low-poly and is reminiscent of Minecraft-esque graphics, but also has beautiful light and water mechanics that make the game mesmerising to look at.
You also have the ability to build what you want with a handful of different items, meaning you can create a lovely home base, complete with a deerskin or wolf pelt rug, and even have a wall of enemy trophy heads.
You can also decide to work with friends or against them with the ability to turn on PvP.