Greetings and salutations reader, I hope the day finds you well!
Have you ever had a date that went over the bill with what you were expecting? How about a surprise vet bill for your pet duck? Or maybe you wrecked your moped by crashing into a median when you saw that the Waffle House has waffles buy 2 get 1 free? Of course you have! I would bet dollars to doughnuts that everyone has had something happen that left you the better part of broke. I would also imagine that there are times when you were left unbelievably bored and without a way to pay for a 60 dollar game. Well, that’s where I come in. “What are you talking about Ken!?” You say with an exuberance that only infomercial actors can provide. Well, what do you know, a convenient list! Onward friend!!
#7. Card Hunter (Card Game, Browser based)
The first game up on the examining block is Card Hunter. This is a free, browser based game that mixes TBS (turn based strategy) and has CG (Card Game, obviously) elements. It has the theme of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, DM’ed (Dungeon Master. Too many acronyms!!) by your nerdy friend. If you enjoy some quirky humor, strategy, gameplay and a very awesomely nerdy D&D theme, then this might be a good option for you. The visual style is very interesting and doesn’t take much to run well, besides a good internet connection. The single player campaign is highly enjoyable and you can run through a quest in 20 or so minutes depending on your party and the difficulty. It also boasts a fairly interesting multiplayer mode; however, I haven’t fiddled with it so that is something you and a buddy might need to investigate!
#6. Hearthstone (Card Game, Battle.net client)
You know of Blizzard right? You know, the small and humble company that created World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo and of course their shining jewels, The Lost Vikings and Rock n’ Roll Racing. Of course you do, most people have. This is a very interesting road for Blizzard to take, a free to play online CG (C’mon, don’t make me repeat myself). This is a Warcraft universe based CG that has taken elements out of another popular CG called Magic the Gathering. While this game is free and you can challenge friends to play, it also gives off a very Pay to win vibe. Meaning you can buy booster packs and hopefully get good cards to use against others who very likely won’t have many of those cards. You also need a Battle.net account in order to play. Is it worth going through the motions of account creation to play this game? I would say yes. It is fairly easy to understand and also pretty fun. Most games generally last for 10-20 minutes, depending on the decks used in the match. Matches can get frustrating sometimes, but that is usually due to fate screwing you so bad you don’t get the cards you need. In any case, definitely worth looking into.
#5. Warframe (3rd person action, Steam)
Space ninjas. Enough said. On to number 5! Okay, okay, I guess I should give more information on this one. Warframe is a 3rd person game with ranged and melee options. Like stated above, it is basically ninjas in space. You are a Tenno, one of many in a sort of peace keeping mercenary group in space. It is a mission and objective based game where you complete missions to obtain objects and money to basically improve your Warframe (a highly advanced combat suit) . There are a wide variety of Warframes, abilities and weapons to use on these missions. Missions generally take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. You can play solo or with friends. This is a highly enjoyable action packed game with a fair amount of replayability. This is a game that also has microtransactions (what free to play game doesn’t?) that has the option of making things easier for you so you don’t need to farm for materials as much. It is a pretty fair business model overall. It isn’t game breaking, and that is key. Overall, yeah…. Space ninjas..woot! Also..You can do awesome Parkour moves off walls and such. Very cool stuff.
#4. Landmark (Sandbox MMORPG)
Now this one puts me in a bit of a sticky wicket. This one is still more or less unavailable to play to the masses (unless you buy The Founders Pack) at the moment. However, when it does burst from the chest of the beta process into the consumers hands, it will be free to play (with some caveats I imagine). Anyway, let us get into the meat and potatoes shall we? Landmark is an upcoming sandbox MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) with a high emphasis on building, crafting and land terraforming. Brought to you by Sony Online Entertainment, which honestly sort of surprised me when I heard it the first time. While at the moment it is still fairly sparse when it comes to content, they do plan on adding combat and a wide array of other things to compliment the games set up. As of right now, you control generic adventurer # 3 or something (extremely little character customization at the moment). Wandering the land and taking any and all resources you can find and remolding them to create something you wish. A game for the artistic at heart, you can create some fantastic things. Players can create castles, keeps, houses, tree forts, replicas of Minis Tirith, Winterfell, giant phalluses, little phalluses, and a giant statue honoring Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future. You can literally make anything your heart desires if you have the land and the resources to do so. When it releases, this will be a great game to sink your time into. Beta bugs, user interface issues, connectivity issues and other beta problems notwithstanding; It is basically a better and prettier version of Minecraft and it will only get better as time moves forward. I definitely recommend this game, even at this stage in development.
#3. Planetside 2 (First Person Shooter, Steam)
Boom! Headshot! A free to play FPS in a beautiful world with heavy emphasis on teamwork? Sign me up! Another game from SOE! Inconceivable! Planetside 2 offers quite a lot for the hefty price of nothing. As the game starts, you choose one faction from the three that exist. There is the Terran Republic (The status quo, the righteous government trying to keep order and conformity in check), the New Conglomerate (a ragtag rebel faction determined to beat the status quo into the ground, freedom of choice is their main ethos) and finally the Vanu Sovereignty (a technology based cult..er faction with the desire to update the entire way of civilization with advanced technology..and lasers..lots of lasers). They each have some interesting and differing weapons, but they all have a series of checks and balances to ensure one faction doesn’t get an unfair advantage over the others. With a wide array of weapons, vehicles and aircraft, this is indeed a fine addition to the FPS genre. With some numbers of around 2000 people on a continent at a time, the game play can get quite chaotic and intense. Playing alone is enjoyable and moving with the horde is a viable way to play, however playing with a friend or a group is what makes this game really stand out. Like most FTP games, this offers a lot of microtransactions, and some will argue that it has a bit of a pay to win mentality. However, with the amount of people that you come across during insane base defenses, only skill and teamwork matters. The measure of a person in this game isn’t their shiny weapons, but how they use them. The only main downside is that it takes up quite a bit of space on your hard drive and also requires a fair computer setup to run. However way you slice it though, this is a helluva great free to play game. If you have the wherewithal to play it, then give it a bash.
#2. League of Legends (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
If you have played Warcraft 3, then chances are you have come across a custom mod called Defense of the Ancients. If you haven’t, then stick with me and we shall journey down the road of skill, teamwork and anger together. You choose a unique champion from 118 or so and you battle against bots or other players to destroy the enemy team’s nexus (base). It sounds like it’s pretty straightforward and it basically is, however, it takes a fair amount of skill, map awareness, teamwork and oftentimes luck to play. All of that doesn’t come with just a few matches, but with time you can be a force to be reckoned with. It is definitely an interesting game to play and many times you will be on the receiving end of an ass beating. As difficult as it can be and as rage inducing as it probably will be, it is one of my top favorite games to play because I enjoy seeing myself getting better and having exciting matches. The MOBA community does tend to be quite a poisonous and toxic creature, however, there are plenty of jawsome and decent people lurking about who enjoy positive game play experiences. If you want strategic and fast paced, team based gameplay, definitely give it a shot.
And now it’s time for number one! Hooray! *cue fireworks and party sounds*
#1. Path of Exile (Isometric Action Role Playing Game, Steam)
Have you ever played Diablo 2? Did you enjoy it more than the 3rd one (or even as much)? If the answer to these were yes, then you should be playing Path of Exile right now. PoE is in many ways, the real spiritual successor to Diablo 2. It is an isometric adventure game where you kill stuff and loot stuff. The base prerequisites to most adventure games I suppose. It sports a very grim and dour theme. You are a criminal who was sent overseas to die on an incredibly dangerous continent. Think of a more brutal and fantasy version of the movie No Escape. People are downtrodden, beat down and defeated in this land. You show up as a hero with monster murder on the brain and kill bad stuff for your own ends (and helping people as a side note). It has a very cool story and great character progression. You can choose a character class from up to 7 possible choices. Each of these classes sport unique and interesting abilities and a governing stat or stats (strength, intelligence, agility, you get the picture). The ability and stat menu can be daunting at first, but it is pretty fluid and interesting once you get the hang of it. Most characters can use any weapons and armor if the particular stat on that item allows them to. While there isn’t that much in character customization, there are plenty of items to obtain to change the look of your character (they generally grant abilities or stat boosts also but who cares about any of that? This is all about vanity baby!). The microtransactions in this game are some of the most fair, I have seen in a Free to Play game. Levity aside, it is one of the best FTP games out there. If action RPG is your genre of choice, then this is definitely a good game for you.
Now there are quite a number of other FTP games out there that fill any number of different genres (however, most being MMORPGs and MOBAs) that are great and worth your time. Investigate and you may find one you can really enjoy! Tanks, mechs, magic, dragons, quests, missions etc. I won’t say the sky is the limit for FTP games, but there are definitely a fair amount of choices out there for you all. However way you cut it reader, enjoy a super fun game and stay farbot.