While we all love a good bargain, cheap doesn’t always mean cheerful. Sometimes it leads to regret, and wishing you’d bought a couple of Freddo’s with your pennies instead. But there’s also always the chance you’ll stumble onto some real treasure. That’s why we decided to raid the bargain bin end of the Nintendo Switch eShop for the 10 cheapest games we could find to see if taking the risk on low-cost titles is ever worth.
We’ve ranked them from worst to best, and ruled out the best free-to-play games (that’s another minefield altogether) and anything on sale as that felt like cheating – the sort of games that won’t stay cheap forever! We also focused on picking just one title if it was part of a series, and aimed to try out as many different genres as possible. There’s a huge number of games that cost 89p, but are any of them worth it? The games here are the absolute cheapest ones you can buy on your Switch right now.
10. Jigsaw Masterpieces – Be The Cube – 89p
This is the only game on this list where I feel like I’ve been conned. It’s a very simple jigsaw game; move pieces one by one onto a canvas to make up the picture. That part of it is surprisingly satisfying, as pieces snap together to form a whole photo. However there are only a few images available in this version of the game – to actually get a decent amount of puzzles to play with, you have to pay more than you did for the base game. It feels really stingy and mean-spirited for what amounts to a set of stock photos of animals.
9. Super Meatball – Wowwow technology – 75p
This party game is essentially what would happen if you tried playing Rocket League on the dinner table. You pick a cute car and then try to bump a meatball into a giant shark mouth at either end of a table. This would be a cute take on the genre if it worked and maybe had more than one dining set up to play on. The single-player is just a ‘practice’ mode that has you drive around on your tod, and multiplayer is no fun when the meatball gets stuck to your kart and no one can score a goal. I wish I had spent the money on a Dairy Milk instead – I’d be a lot more satisfied.
8. Words With Freds – Mokuzai Studio – 89p
No, it’s not a typo, though sadly there are also no Freds to be found in this word game – it’s just a complete rip off of Wordle. Guess a five-letter word and it’ll tell you if you’ve hit a correct letter, then keep guessing within six turns to figure it out. The one thing this has going for it is that you’re not limited to one puzzle a day, but there are no extra twists or anything of interest. If you want to pay for an endless Wordle clone then this is for you, but why would you when there are so many better, free versions to find online?
7. Funny Truck – RandomSpin Games – 89p
Adding a laughter track and fart noises does nothing to hide the lack of hilarity in this tiny vehicle playground. You steer a red truck around a small arena filled with ramps and trampolines as people spill out the back and ragdoll all over the floor. This is very much a game for five-year olds, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A simple space with funny noises and bouncy movement with no end goal is perfect for a young kid, but if your preschool years are behind you this is a complete waste of your money. Save up for a Gregg’s sausage roll instead.
6. Escape Game & Card Search Game R01M – AlignmentSharp – 80p
Have you ever been stuck outside of an AirBnB trying to figure out how to get the keys from the lockbox? This is like that but in reverse; you’re trapped inside a small flat (with questionable taste in decor) trying to get out. There are a lot of little puzzles to solve that you can find the solutions to by poking around bookcases and peering out the windows. Unfortunately, quite a lot of them are really obtuse and it doesn’t feel like you’re actually puzzling anything out, and while the price tag feels about right for the experience, it’s not fun. Save up for something like The Room instead.
5. Toree 3D – Diplodocus Games – 89p
This 90s-inspired platformer is a throwback to the days when all animal protagonists wore sunglasses and the world was more angular. You play as a chick who jumps across rooftops collecting stars while chasing down a being that has stolen his ice cream. It starts off cute, with pink skies and smiling faces, but things get weirdly sinister as you go on and you start getting chased by groaning, distorted stars. There are nine main levels with a few hidden remixed ones and the weight of Toree’s jump takes a little getting used to, but once you get going the flow and layout of each level is really satisfying. It’s no Mario, but the platforming could happily go toe-to-toe with other, costlier games in the genre.
4. WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros – Konami – 79p
There’s no way this game should be this cheap. At less than the cost of a bag of crisps, this cutesy but surprisingly complex baseball sim is a steal. OK, so you need to actually know a fair bit about the sport to make the most out of it, but with a surprisingly active community and loads of throwing, batting and fielding options to experiment with there’s a lot here to tuck into. A word of warning though: you will get absolutely battered in online matches – the existing playerbase is hardcore.
3. The Rusty Sword: Vanguard Island – Plow Games – 89p
A short, zelda-inspired action adventure game that sees you land on a small Island in search of treasure. With retro sprites and some lovely art, The Rusty Sword is surprisingly well-polished for such a tiny game. With just the one dungeon to explore, and only a few simple items such as bombs to break walls and a sword for attacking, there isn’t a lot here – I completed the whole thing in 30 minutes – but what is here it does well. The enemies provide a decent amount of challenge, as do the puzzles. It may be small, but it feels just right for the price point.
2. Nicky The Home Alone Golf Ball – QuByte Interactive – 89p
A neat find from the bargain bin of Nintendo eShop, this is essentially a mini golf game, but instead of windmills and water features, you have to putt your way out of a house and across town to reach the big boy’s golf club. It’s more than simply navigating through platforms – there are puzzles to solve along the way, and it can get quite challenging. Nicky, your weirdly anthropomorphised golf ball hero, can’t walk (despite having legs). Instead, you have to pick the right angle and strength of hit to knock him over plant pots and the like, or into rolling footballs to solve obstacles and reach your goal. It’s a really simple mechanic, but it works well and makes for a satisfying afternoon distraction.
Republique: Anniversary edition -Camouflaj – 82p
The pricing on this one has to be a mistake. They must have missed an extra zero, because this star-studded stealth game shouldn’t be this cheap. David Hayter and Jennifer Hale lend their voices to this tale of a young woman captured by a totalitarian regime trying to make her escape. You play by hopping between security cameras and computers, guiding her through a facility while avoiding detection. It’s definitely not the best stealth game out there, the camera angles can get frustrating and the story lacks any kind of subtlety, but for 82p you get a good 6-10 hours of a thoroughly decent game.