2008's best games cost less than $20

On XBLA | Out Summer 2008

Developer The Behemoth was behind the great-looking side-scrolling shooter Alien Hominid, and Castle Crashers boasts the same wacky design. It's out with guns and ammo, though, and in with gibbets and armour in Castle Crashers' medieval fightery, giving you control of one of four kitted-out knights on a quest to rescue kidnapped princesses.

Footage and screens promise tounge-in-cheek humour, vicious combat and supremely imaginative boss creations - like the slavering, bug-eyed beast above. And the instantly-gratifying Golden Axe-esque action appeals mightily in this age of dreary forumites whining that all games aren't 100-hour epics. It's bound to be value for money, too - Alien Hominid is just 800 Microsoft points ($10 or approx £6.80).

On PC | Out Now

Essentially, AudioSurf is a high-score chasing mouse-controlled racer. But that doesn't do it justice at all. AudioSurf raises its game by building tracks in response to your own MP3 library, laying out ribbony race strips in time with any tune you import. You then zip along the strips, collecting coloured lozenges and competing against players around the world while smiling in joy. And it's only $9.95 or approx £5.06!

On PC | Out 2008

Multiwinia is developer Introversion's adaptation of its own Darwinia, an intriguing action/RTS/puzzle game. With Multiwinia, players will be able to undertake huge versus battles in the game's 'Jurrassic Park for polygons' world, or team up for co-operative missions and challenges. Darwinia costs £10 or $20 right now, so expect the same for Multiwinia. The appeal of the game is almost impossible to describe in mere words, so try this dose of footage instead:


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