Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Budget Day 2012.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Budget Day 2012! The house is in session, once again!

Yes, carrying on from last year and therefore possibly making this an annual event, I've taken the day off work to write about 8-bit budget games. And what are these things, you might ask, if you're less than thirty years old and weren't here last year? Well, back in the Eighties you had a couple of price tiers for games. Full-priced games generally sold for between £7.95 and £9.99. Budget games were aimed at taking your pocket money, and cost £1.99 or £2.99.

At first, the budget market relied solely on efforts from bedroom programmers, buying them up cheaply and hoping to make a killing. And this, they often did. But after a while, when the market was much larger, companies that specialised in budget releases would buy up older games and re-release them at budget prices.

It was a good strategy, giving older games a new lease of life as young gamers that hadn't been able to afford games first time around bolstered their collections. The bigger companies, such as Ocean and U.S. Gold, even set up their own budget companies to reissue their own oldies.

I must have owned tons of budget games in my time, both original games and re-releases. For this exercise, though, I intend to focus solely on originals if possible. There was a certain spirit and charm to many budget games that was often lacking in full-priced efforts, even if the games weren't all that good. I'm going to play some games that were favourites of mine in the past, and some that I've never played before. Hopefully it'll be fun, and will keep our minds distracted from that other Budget that's going on today.


  1. (sits, smiles and happily waits for some retro budget goodness)

  2. You liked Gridrunner, yes? In that case, may I recommend you check out Voidrunner? Basically, Gridrunner 3.
    £2.99, Mastertronic ("Mastertrtonic Added Dimension" in fact. The added bit being the extra quid they cost)
    I couldn't get home quick enough when I saw it on the shelf in Boots that Saturday...I think I got Batalyx and Revenge 2 from Boots as well, come to think of it.
    Ahhh, Boots, why don't you sell games anymore?

  3. Voidrunner is on my list of 108, but didn't make my 16 for today (which I won't get through anyway). But I will be playing Voidrunner sometime, no question...

  4. It's no surprise to see Mr Freeze get 0 votes on your poll. Truly an awful, awful game even at a budget price.