These days cheap games are the lifeblood of any console. For every triple A, full priced title there are hundreds of reduced rate, low cost games waiting to hoover up your spare pennies. The Nintendo 3DS is no different of course, but being a console that is now considered long in the tooth, the sheer amount of budget games out there can be overwhelming.
Cheap games, indie titles or budget virtual console bangers, today we’re here to break down our favourite picks for the ageless little clamshell that is the Nintendo 3DS. We’re based in the UK so our prices will reflect this, but they’re no doubt just as cheap elsewhere too, and we’re generally judging anything below or around the £10 or $10 mark as viable games.
5. – Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner – Soul Hackers
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is a spin off from the main Shin Megami Tensei series, which itself dates back to the original NES system back in 1987. These days however, most people will be familiar with the most popular spin off series: Persona, and particularly it’s own fifth entry, which tends to overshadow the series as a whole.
Happily, despite that particular behemoth hogging all of the limelight, you can still find a significant portion of the Shin Megami Tensei back catalogue on our favourite little handheld, the 3DS. Soul Hackers is a particularly difficult entry into the series, and it tends to ask the player to manage even more systems than usual, but if you’re a lover of dungeon exploration, turn based battles and demon negotiation, it’s certainly worth that small price tag. Just don’t come crying to us when your Demon summons refuse to used the abilities you asked them to.
Yes that is a thing in this game, you’ve been warned.
4. – Pokemon Crystal
Price: £8.99 –
Yes, it’s a virtual console title, and yes we’ll probably have a list of those at some point too, but when a title such as this is available at a price like this, we can’t ignore it. Pokemon Crystal is essentially, an improved version of Pokemon Gold and Silver, which themselves originated on the Gameboy Colour.
We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you what it’s all about, but for those that have been living under a Diglett: You capture umpteen monsters and put them to battle, travelling the length and breadth of a region to challenge various others that have done the same whilst simultaneously increasing your stock. The reason we’re highlighting it here really is that it represents the zenith of the Gameboy generation. It’s considered really one of the most ‘complete’ Pokemon experiences out there with a huge roster of monsters, bespoke animations and even bonus content unseen in the original version. For such a low price it’s essential playing for fans of the series.
#3 – Etrian Odyssey 4
Price: £8.99 –
Yes this is another Atlus dungeon crawler, but we don’t care, especially when it’s a quality title such as this for a low price. The Etrian Odyssey series draws inspiration from old school, first person dungeon crawling games, which themselves stem from Dungeons and Dragons. Where this title differs most significantly is in it’s exploration and more specifically the map: You draw it yourself using the bottom screen on your 3DS.
This lends the titles a more personal feeling – not only are you picking your characters and classes, but you’re also charting your own exploration. The world is a blank canvass, ready for you to set out and make your mark upon it. This all makes for a wonderfully compulsive game that actively encourages you to push your boundaries, increase your sphere of knowledge further and further. This being an Atlus dungeon crawler it will of course punish you for going too far, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
#2 – Crimson Shroud
Price: £7.19 –
From one title inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, we come to one that almost mimics it entirely, right down to the dice rolls, and is as close to a table top RPG that any game is likely to come. Crimson Shroud is a title created by Yasumi Matsuno, the man behind titles such as Final Fantasy 12, Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story.
A fair few of you are probably already reaching for that purchase button, but for those of you remaining, Crimson Shroud is a dungeon crawler dripping with character and atmosphere, and one that actually requires that you roll the dice yourself during it’s turn based battles, through the usage of the lower screen on the 3DS console. Being a Matsuno title it’s also chocked full of lore, Gothic overtures and old world charm. It would be worth any RPG fans time at any price, but for this low amount it’s a complete steal.
#1 – Of Mice And Sand
Perhaps you were expecting another RPG? Well not quite, sometimes we like to take a break from summoning things and taking turns to do something a little more relaxing, something we’ve found Of Mice And Sand is ideal for.
The premise of the title will be familiar to those that have played Fallout Shelter, and it functions in a very similar fashion, albeit with some changes. You’re tasked with looking after a troop of mice on a journey to find El Dorado. On your way there you’ll have to keep your mice happy, alive and a seemingly most importantly, rich. In many ways it’s a clicker title, but one that adds more nuance to the genre, requiring a little more thought than usual to keep things ticking over.
Were that the entirety of it’s content it surely wouldn’t make this list, but things start to get a lot more interesting as you encounter unusual enemies, NPC and locations on your travels. Even gentle puzzles get introduced, which can be the antithesis of titles like these, but happily they’re not too obstructive. So if you’re looking to turn your brain off for a while, albeit it not entirely, you could do much worse than helping these charming mice reach their destination.