Sometimes the sticker shock of a $60 game can be anxiety-inducing. What if I don’t like it? What if it’s too hard? Lucky for you, the Nintendo eShop is stacked with endless classic and indie titles, many of which are under $5. Besides, buying a dozen games for $5 each sounds like a great alternative for that $60. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games for about the price of a latte.
Roombo: First Blood
Many household items can cause you bodily harm: kitchen knives, stairs, LEGOs. But what about your Roomba? Could your robotic vacuum cleaner be used as a weapon? The answer is yes in Roombo: First Blood. Take the reins of a deadly “roombo” as you fend off burglars in this bloody comedy game. Hack smart-home gadgets and set traps à la Home Alone while racing to stop the thieves before they steal all your valuables. Charge at your enemies, knocking to the ground so you can run them over with your sharp vacuum bristles. But make sure you’ve cleaned up all the blood before the family returns. You’re a vacuum, after all.
Laser Kitty Pow Pow
To quote the brilliant SNL digital short, “There are two things that everyone loves: cats and lasers.” So what better idea for a ridiculous arcade shooter? In Laser Kitty Pow Pow, you’ll choose from a selection of cats (including vampire, pirate, and zombie) to take on the world by shooting laser beams from your eyes. You know, like all cats try to do when you pet them in that one spot they hate. As you progress through the game’s adaptive challenge system you can unlock even more kitties and upgrade your feline laser powers for greater lethality. Hearing the cats frantically shout “PEW PEW PEW” is worth the price alone.
Great puzzle games need to have that right combination of mechanics and aesthetics—this game has just that. In Vandals, you play as a graffiti artist sneaking and painting your way across the world in a turn-based strategy game. Solve puzzles to infiltrate increasingly difficult-to-reach spots around iconic cities like Tokyo, Berlin, and New York. You can even make your own graffiti once you’ve reached the right wall, but be careful not to get caught by law enforcement. While Vandals borrows its turn-based strategy format from the popular Square Enix Go games, it still manages to bring something new with its stylish art and in-game paint feature. You may even consider not painting something obscene—who knows?
Bitten Toast Games
What the Box?
Adding to the category of things around your house you didn’t realize could kill you is What the Box?. This multiplayer shooter builds on the popular prop hunt format by changing hunter versus prey to hunter versus hunter. You are a simple cardboard box in an arena filled with dozens of other cardboard boxes. But which are simply boxes, and which are other players waiting for the perfect moment to strike? This is your challenge. With your trusty box cutter in hand, take on up to ten box players while searching for weapons inside even more boxes. Featuring a killer soundtrack and full room customization, this game offers a great change from your typical Switch multiplayer.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced slice ’em up game, this is a must. Akane features one-hit-kill combat dished out through your katana and pistol, set against a stylish cyberpunk Tokyo. But just as one hit kills enemies, one hit kills you. This gives the game a momentum that other arena shooters lack, forcing you to move around the square map more strategically as waves of Yakuza pour out. The art direction gives some serious Akira vibes, while the soundtrack beautifully underscores the combat in a way that gives the whole experience a sense of rhythm. Plus you’ve got a customizable loadout, killer boss fights, and near-perfect controls.
Twenty-seven years later, Doom is still one of the best shooters out there. Originally released on floppy disc, Doom combined state-of-the-art 3D level design with breakthrough gunplay mechanics to create a masterpiece of destruction. With that smooth gunplay came icon weapons like the chaingun and the BFG9000, which continue to appear in Doom’s many sequels. And though lacking in story, the narrative gives you just enough to set the stage, but not impede the nonstop action as you blast through demons on Mars.
In 1986, Dragon Quest established what it is to be a JRPG. Like all RPG games, Dragon Quest owes a debt to Dungeons & Dragons. But unlike PC dungeon crawlers of the ’80s, Dragon Quest presented RPG mechanics in a more accessible format for the home console market. It wasn’t an instant hit, but thanks to an amazing soundtrack and stunning art from famed Dragonball Z artist Akira Toriyama, Dragon Quest is a truly legendary game. It’s a grind, but this game represents a major step for RPGs on home consoles.
So what’s the best game you’ve played under $5? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image: QubicGames