It’s common to feel left out after year’s end, with seemingly everyone talking about all the great movies, shows and video games that you missed out on. Between games such as Celeste, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Florence, there were some real indie gems last year. That’s not to mention new ports to Switch such as Hollow Knight that sparked a whole new level of excitement around the game.

So what seems to be the problem? Indie games are generally short and inexpensive when compared to AAA titles, so shouldn’t they be easier to get around to? The problem for many people is that indie games, while often more creative and heartfelt than AAA games, seldom have the same level of graphical fidelity or marketing. Many of us will gravitate first and foremost to the big and flashy games, especially if they are a part of a series we already love, such as Assassin’s Creed or God of War.

Regardless of the reason, the result is the same: Many of us miss out on a lot of fantastic indie games in lieu of AAA games and other forms of media and responsibilities at large. We can’t give you extra time or money, but here are some tips to save both when playing indie games in 2019.

Play on the Go

As everyone and their grandmother knows, the hottest platform for indie games is the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to its wide versatility as both a console and portable device, mobile and console developers have been scrambling to get their games on the platform. The Switch is an excellent platform for indie games both new and old, but it certainly isn’t the only option out there for indie gaming on the go.

Although the PlayStation Vita and 3DS aren’t seeing many new first-party titles, the systems are small enough to fit in most pockets. They still have a wide variety of indie games available on them, from Shantae to Shovel Knight. If you want to carry around something even smaller, there’s also a huge variety of indie games available on your phone, such as Florence, Donut County, and The Witness.

If you want the best possible portable gaming experience, however, you can’t go wrong with a gaming laptop. Most indie games aren’t terribly demanding of most computers, and many are even available on Mac, so chances are you can already play a good number of indie games on the go with whatever device you’re using to read this article.

Look for Sales

Whereas many AAA games, especially from Nintendo, will maintain their $60 price for years with very few sales, indie games are going on sale constantly. Steam is well known for their “Steam sales” where you can get all sorts of games for next to nothing, but each console’s digital shop usually has a bunch of deals on indie games at any given moment.

You can also get a good deal of indie games for free! Many indie games launch as free-to-play with microtransactions or additional content available to purchase, but they can easily suck people in if they’re not conscious about how much they’re devoting to the game.

Another option is to join a service that gives free or heavily discounted games. PlayStation Plus, Xbox Gold, and Twitch Prime (which comes with Amazon Prime) offer a selection of free AAA and indie games each month. For PC users, Humble Monthly provides over $100 worth of AAA and indie games each month for only $12. Even if you don’t plan on playing them right away, you should always claim your free games so that you can play them later.

Take a break from AAA games

If you wait to get through every AAA game before starting any indie games, you will never get to those indie games. For some reason, it’s a lot easier for us to sink 10 more hours into Overwatch than it is to start and finish a game that’s 10 hours long.

If you find yourself constantly putting off games that you genuinely want to play, it may be beneficial for you to set aside a time, day, or even monthly goal for you to start or get through an indie game on or by a certain date. For example, you could play indie games on Sunday, or have a goal to play through one indie game each month. Whatever works for you.

Try not to make it seem like a chore. If you really have to force yourself to play something, you may not want to play it at all, and that’s OK. It’s fine to give that game a pass.

If, on the other hand, you really want to try out some great indie games in 2019, hopefully these tips will help you do so while saving both time and money. Happy gaming!

About the Author

Joseph Stanichar

Ever since he won a Nintendo GameCube and a copy of Spider-man 2 in a school raffle when he was seven years old, Joseph Stanichar has loved video games. He enjoys playing PlayStation and PC games, both AAA and indie, but his heart will always belong to all things Nintendo. When not writing, you can probably find him acting in a play, geeking out over Steven Universe and Doctor Who, or, you know, playing video games. His favorite series is The Legend of Zelda. He is attending Ohio University with a major in journalism, and will graduate in 2022. (If he doesn't screw it up, that is.)

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