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Hello There! Since the announcement of the Steam Deck happened, I’ve been unseasonably excited about getting it. There’s some popular reasons to relate to – The latest PC games in an accessible and portable format, and unparalleled levels of emulation performance for the price. Having played… a lot on PC since our group of friends migrated from the halcyon days of the Xbox 360, the unspoken secret about the platform is that a lot of the best games on the platform don’t require a lot of graphics power, or money to actually fork out – Ironic, considering the hardware often touted in forum posts. But with a new wave of people onboarding with Valve’s new handheld, how can we expose such people to some of the best the PC has to offer, with Steam Deck verification chugging along on more prominent titles? Well, that’s what I’d like to explore today. Introducing the ‘BarGabe Bucket Challenge’ – Where, for the average price of a nondescript popular chicken restaurant’s family selection meal (£20 in my neck of the woods), I aim to provide you 10 pieces of Original Recipe… PC indie titles that you simply must try (I threw up in my mouth a little writing that). Either way, I enjoyed fellow forumite Treble's delve into making a PC capable of retro gaming for not a lot of money, so I wanted to do something similar with actual PC games. So, what’s the rules? - All games on this list must not be on any console format (up to now, the start of August 2022). Phones are okay, because nobody plays games on those. - The game has reports, or has been confirmed by yours truly, that it runs well on the Steam Deck. Note: be lazy, and run everything though ProtonGE7-14 or whatever the latest is. - Likewise, the game has reports, or has been confirmed by yours truly, that it’s not a big bag of shit. - When mentioning Free games, they must be free enough to play without interruption or need to spend money – No F2P models, otherwise Apex/Warframe/PoE is a thing and this list is too easy to write. - Games in their price brackets are exactly that – No Discounts, No Bundles, No Giveaways.- SOFT RULE: Try not to include existing videogame hacks and spin-offs, otherwise Streets of Rage Remake happens and this list is too easy to write. The aim, as mentioned, is to provide ten games. These will be split up in brackets of price later on with the alternatives, but for your reference, the default breakdown will be: Five games that are absolutely free, Two games that are under £3, One game for £4, and Two games for £5. With that out of the way, let’s get started with my initial foray into what could be had for some greasy shite: THE FLEX PICKS – MORE FOR YOUR MONEY While the default selection goes through the gamut of what can be procured, there’s certainly going to be those out there who might not like a certain genre, have already played something from being used to PCs in the past, or simply want more or less games to go through. And that’s quite alright – Here’s a selection of games that also fit the bill, although some might stretch the boundries of the rules originally set. FINDING FANTASTICALLY FRUGAL FROLICS (Alternative free games) SMASHING SPARE STIRLING STEAM SOMETHING-OR-OTHERS (1p to £5 Alternatives) ENQUIRIES ESTABLISHING EXTRA EXTRAVAGANT ENTERTAINMENT (Games in the £7 Range) As mentioned in the £4-7 Shit Vortex, a lot of steam games sit around the 6.99 mark to be easier to spot in the filters. But what ARE they? Well, I mostly omitted them due to the fact that it’s where the quality in games does increase dramatically – early PC ports of console games and top-tier older PC games normally languish here, alongside any of the deepest discounts trying to make some margin. So, let’s see what you would get by forgoing a couple of quid more. Note: this will include games that can openly break additional rules, but for good reason – either by being outstanding games that don’t have a home on existing handhelds, and such other reasons. Let’s get started: ..And everything else So, what the fuck would you buy, Siri? Hard to say, but I would be the type of maniac that would min-max. My top picks overall would be: Holocure, Space Funeral, Dominion, Helltaker, Rolling Bird, and The Looker for free picks (£0). Save Room (£2), Pony Island (£4), BallisticNG (£6), and finally Fallout New Vegas (£8). In fact, what I’d actually do is buy New Vegas: Ultimate Edition for a crisp fiver on CDKeys, but of course I’m accounting for pure RRP costs. Budgeting works, but don’t mug yourself by just buying on Steam. That’s what’s good about Steam. And now, onto the Q&A! So, how about you? If there’s a game that fits this extremely obscure range of rules, and is an absolute cracker, I’d like you to shout it out. Same format as I did – Name of the game, Price, Where you can get it. Tell us what it is we’re looking at (like, put up a screenshot, just find some shit on google serious dude), and if it’s good (and more than ‘yes’). Ideally, it should work on Deck (or as a surrogate, Linux), but feel free to look at both ProtonDB to find out instead. Let's hear it for the ABSOLUTE UNITS who have shared their choices: bradigor - Arrow Sudoku (£4.99), Pullfrog ($2), Pushamo ($4.99), Basket Belle (£3.99), Milkmaid of the Milkyway ($4.99) keptbybees - Don't Make Love, Super Auto Pets, Watch Me Jump, You Have to Win the Game, Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt for free picks, Shatter (£1.69), Super Amazing Wagon Adventure (£2.09), Why Am I Dead At Sea (£3.99), Reventure (£4.99) and Deathstate: Abyssal Edition (£6.99) Anyway, if you got this far after reading everything in the spoiler tags, seriously, thank you for putting up with it, and I do hope you'll find something you'll greatly enjoy on your new bit of kit. tl;dr play UT99