2008's best games cost less than $20

On PSN | Out Now (US) / 2008 (UK)

Though developed for PSN by Sony's own JAPAN Studio,EchoChromehas its roots in a little project called theOLE Coordinate System. It's a captivating journey into an MC Escher-inspired world, seeing you manipulating the structure of each level to guide a doll-like character to its goal.

In a similar vein to Fez, EchoChrome's boundaries are dictated by what you can see - spin a series of pillars around and they become a single pillar, or twist the world to bring two distant platforms into contact and form a single walkway. Both intriguing to watch and hypnotic to play, EchoChrome is a simply brilliant puzzler.Cost? Try $9.99, which ought to mean £5-£10.

OnPC / XBLA| Out 2008

If you've ignored Puzzle Quest then you ignored an alarmingly good mesh of RPG-lite exploration and... well, Bejeweled. The casual webgame adored by millions of bored housewives forms the basis of Puzzle Quest's severely addicitive action, andGalactrixpropels the series into new territory - both in setting and in structure. We're sure it'll be at the same great price too, say 800 to 1200 Microsoft Points (roughly $10-$20or £6-£10).

Now tiles are hexagonal, and can be moved in six different directions - a fact that ought to set the heads of Puzzle Quest fans spinning at the possibilites. With the same RPG stylings (missions, parties, upgradable weaponry, etc.) Galactrix is basically a Bejeweled-powered Elite spin-off. What could be better?

On PC / XBLA| Out 2008

The image below illustrates the star of Robotology, the new project from N and N+ dev Metanet Software. The idea is straightforward - a 2D physics-based platformer starring a robot with a grappling hook - but what Metanet is suggesting sounds, frankly, awesome. N+ costs just 800 Microsoft Points (approx $10/£6) on XBLA so expect the same for Robotology.

The dev's blog posts may occasionally be impenetrable, what with the discussion of C++ techniques and so on, but the concept already sounds solid and exciting. You can download a very (very)early prototype, which uses the N framework, and it's already basic fun. When finished, we reckon Robotology will be one of 2008's greatest games.

For more independent games, check out theIndie Games blog orThe Independent Gaming Source.