5 Steam games under $15 that make perfect Christmas gifts
Steam, as always, is obscenely overloaded with fantastic indie games that are just gagging to be gifted to your nearest and dearest. At these prices, you'd be forgiven for buying a copy of each game for yourself, too!
It's also worth noting that Steam usually has a massive Christmas sale towards the end of December, where some games have their price cut by up to 90%. Steam games are all digitally-purchased and delivered instantly, so if you want to pick up some last-minute Christmas deals, check Steam around December 23.
I've tried to pick out something for everyone -- so don't give up if the first game doesn't tickle your fancy!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent for Windows & Mac (video trailer)
"The last remaining memories fade away into darkness. Your mind is a mess and only a feeling of being hunted remains..."
Amnesia is one of the finest survival-horror games out there. It's certainly not for the faint of heart -- but if you've never played a game of this kind before (Resident Evil, Silent Hill), Amnesia is the perfect introduction to the genre. Amnesia is one of the highest-rated games this year and will no doubt win a bunch of awards.
If you're buying a gift for a thrill seeker adrenaline junky, this should be your first choice. Be warned, though: it's terrifying.
AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity for Windows (video trailer)
With the rather ominous genre of 'other sports', A Reckless Disregard for Gravity is rather hard to describe. In essence, it's a 3D BASE jumping game, where you jump and leap and catapult your way around a virtual city. There are obstacles in the way, of course, and you get bonus points for gravity-defying stunt jumps. Yet again, this is a game for the adrenaline junky -- but it's so fun that I think almost anyone would enjoy it.
This game is only a couple of dollars at the moment, so just buy it already. Eets for Windows and Mac (video trailer)
Eets is an addictive strategy-puzzle game that doubles up as one of the cutest-looking games I've ever seen. Like Lemmings, you do not interact with the (very cute) protagonist -- rather, you place objects in his path to divert him towards puzzle pieces. Don't let the pastel-colored gayness fool you, though: Eets has a dark and weird interior that quickly makes itself known. Before you know it, you'll be immersed in a very odd world indeed.
This is the perfect game for a friend or relative that's mercilessly addicted to a banal game like Bejeweled... or FarmVille.
AudioSurf for Windows (video trailer)
Did you know that before Guitar Hero or Rock Band, there was a whole range of keyboard-based music games? They were the same kind of deal, just with the keyboard instead of a guitar. Which brings me onto AudioSurf, which lets you 'play' along to any song in your music library. You earn points for hitting the right blocks (which represent the beat of the music), and by avoiding the bad blocks.
This is a great gift for anyone that loves music. It's also a very good introduction to video games, if you're buying for someone that hasn't played them before!
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale for Windows (video trailer)
I saved the best -- and the only RPG in this list -- until last. Recettear is about a girl that runs a shop, and it's your job to stock the shop with items that will sell well. You can either head out into the town markets to pick up good deals, or head out into the wilds to beat monsters up for loot. There's a cute story involved, but ultimately it's about fine-tuning your store to make the most money.
Incidentally, don't let the rather odd name scare you -- it's a combination of the two main characters, Recette (the store owner) and Tear (her fairy companion).
This is another game that's best-suited to someone that's addicted to Bejeweled or FarmVille -- or someone that likes the Japanese RPG/anime style!