Remember when you were younger and about 90% of your limited income went on video games? But now you’re a student, only slightly better off than you were as a kid, but have to buy pizza, cider, and… like, textbooks or something, I think… too? All that superfluous stuff really cuts into your gaming budget. Here’s four ways you can get round the pressures of Uni and get some games in your systems- if you can find the time…
#1: Don’t buy the hype- be a Patient Gamer
You don’t need to lag five years behind, but sometimes a year or two to wait on something isn’t too bad. Think to yourself, do you honestly need to play this game right now? Unless it’s online focussed, where you may find that in six months’ time everyone who played so enthusiastically on launch has now left for pastures anew, or a Nintendo game, in which case it will either stay in print forever at the same price or stop being produced and become a collector’s item. I don’t know why that happens, but it does. Patience is extra valuable nowadays as many games are released with major bugs, and get patches later. There’s a great subreddit for this that might be worth a look. Being a patient gamer also means looking out for sales. Steam is notorious for sales- in which people often spend more money than they would have otherwise. The best thing to do is not to look at the deals, but add games you definitely want to your wish list before the sale and snap them up when you get an email informing you they have decreased in price. You can do a similar trick on Amazon, and most consoles’ online shop functions. Also worth checking out (though mainly for PC gamers) are Good Old Games and the Humble Bundle, both great sites worth supporting. On the Humble Bundle, you can sometimes get deals on books and the like as well, so it is definitely worth a look.
#2: Convert old games into cash
You might be tempted to give all your finished adventures into GAME for next-to-nothing prices, and still end up paying a ton on your way out. Never trade in games to game shops! They’ll literally never give you a fair price. An eBay or Gumtree account is simple enough to set up, and you could even sell on Amazon if you have enough to sell to make it worth coughing up the startup fees. You could also sell to friends or people in common groups on Facebook. Perhaps one of your mates at the gaming society is looking into buying Fire Emblem, and he will certainly be happy if you give it to him for £10 cheaper than he can get it online.
#3: Shaving the pennies off new game purchases
Sometimes you absolutely HAVE to have that new game. You hopefully already know that bricks-and-mortar stores love to rip you off, and know of the wonders of Amazon. You may not have heard of some alternative methods, though. For starters, try using Flubit.com to get a few pounds off regular Amazon prices- they even have a browser extension for easy use. There is also HotUKDeals.com where you might be able to grab some Amazon voucher codes if you’re lucky. You could even consider stepping away from Amazon and trying some fresh alternatives such as Play.com or Base.com; which is where I got Super Mario Maker (reviewed this issue!) for £10 less than its Amazon asking price. In addition, there are several Twitter accounts that will notify you of good prices from a range of sites on games new or old, such as @UKVGDeals.
#4: Contribute to Quench Games.
We get review codes sometimes from developers, and give these out to contributors. If you’re a student at Cardiff University, it’s worth a shot. Send an email to [email protected] or Tweet us @QuenchGames, and we’ll get you started.
Do you have any tips for students who want to feed their pixel-flavoured cravings? Tweet us @QuenchGames and we might print some of the best next month.