Building Your Backlog

Or, alternatively: Game deals and where to find them.

For many of us, finding new games to add to our overwhelming libraries isn’t really something we concern ourselves with overmuch.  But if you’re anything like me, and can’t resist a great deal, it’s important to know where to look.

FREE STUFF

Itch.io – a great first stop if you’re looking for free independent games. They also have some paid games available, but you’re likely better off looking elsewhere for a sale.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun does a regular column about free games all over the web.

Find free to play games on Steam.

GoG.com usually has some seriously old-school games, updated for modern systems, offered completely free.

If you really have a hankering for some classics, you can pick up some great abandonware on Old-Games.com.  Expect to have to tinker – not all of their stuff will work “out of the box” on all systems.

DEEP DISCOUNTS & BUNDLES

Humble Bundle is usually the first place that comes to mind if you want a bunch of loosely connected games for a really inexpensive price, and the good feels that come from giving a little of that money to charity.  The HB Store also has some fantastic deals from time to time.

Don’t let IndieGala’s name fool you – they also carry things by major publishers, and usually have five or more bundles available for less than $5.

Bundle Stars also has a great mix of games, both indie and not, as well as multiple bundles running at any given time.

Daily Indie Game has, unsurprisingly, a daily game of the day, as well as a few available bundles.

Groupees only sells bundles, but some are of the build-your-own variety.

You can also visit r/GameDeals to see deals collected from a multitude of sources.

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

If you like casual games, you might be interested in a Shockwave Unlimited subscription.  It’s $9.95 a month, or $4.95 a month if billed annually, and they offer a free 10 day trial.

OnePlay VIP service is something I haven’t actually tried out, but for $6.99 a month, it allows you to rent dowloadable PC and Android games.

Origin Access allows you to download and play a small portion of their catalog for $4.99 a month with no commitments.

WORTH CHECKING FOR DEALS

Green Man Gaming frequently has discount codes that can be combined with sales to get a really excellent deal.

Direct2Drive sometimes has really fantastic deals, but their support isn’t the best, and I’ve gotten burned buying from them, either by games that won’t install at all, or by getting “code already in use” errors that they send you to the publisher to resolve. Use with caution.

Cheap Digital Download is not a storefront, but a comparison shopping tool.  If you’re looking for a specific title, this site will help you find the best deal.

Want to be surprised? Buy a Random Steam Key or Steam Key Bundle on Ebay.

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