The safe and sane thing to do this Thanksgiving is to stay the hell home and play some games. Thankfully this is one of the best months out of the year to buy games. Sales are everywhere. If you missed some of the year’s bigger releases or want to snag a few games you missed last gen odds are they are on sale for a hefty discount. The Evil Within 2 is a great example of this. I was told it is leaps and bounds better than the original but because the original was so forgettable I decided to skip over the sequel. Right now on the Microsoft store, it is marked down to just seven dollars. I have also seen it at Walmart for five bucks as a physical copy. That’s a steal. The games below are perfect examples of what to play this Thursday when avoiding your family like a responsible shut-in. Some of them even let you spend some quality time with friends, you know without actually having to be around them. Phasmophobia (PC) The king of cooperative horror games right now, Phasmophobia is a pretty solid way to spend your time. Whether you want to hunt ghosts alone or with a group of friends Phasmophobia offers superb scares. Recently, I played with a group of friends recently and had one of the biggest scares I’ve had in gaming. The ghost wasn’t quite responding to what we were doing. No EMF, not writing in the book or answering questions so I decided to get creative and taunt the ghost. I told the ghost I was going to rub my butt on the carpet in the living room then asked how it felt about it. The ghost let out a guttural growl that sent me fleeing from the house. It was such a fun experience with friends and well worth the fourteen dollar price point. The dev constantly fixes and works on aspects of the game. They plan to add two new maps soon which is nice. While audio can be a little funny at times there is still enough here to keep that from detracting. Rise of Insanity (PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One) This is the perfect game to kill about two or three hours with. It’s got an easy, although sometimes glitchy, achievement list that isn’t too time-consuming. Most of them were obtainable in one run sans the achievement called Masochist. It just requires players to die five times but there are only like three locations you can even die in. I had one achievement glitch that requires a second playthrough though. I guess I didn’t examine the three pieces of the child’s play armor long enough because it never triggered. Moving back to the story of the game. It centers around a patient who has split personalities and you as his doctor are trying to figure everything out. It intertwines with the doctor’s own narrative in a great way. The tragedy involving the doctor’s family has huge implications behind it and makes for an okay story that takes influences from various other games and movies like The Shining. Supraland (PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One) Much bigger in scale than the previous game Supraland touts itself as a Metroidvania RPG taking influences from Portal as well as both Metroid and Legend of Zelda. Every single area in the game has a massive amount of puzzles to it. Some of which help the player progress, some of which are meant to get the players much-needed coin to level up or get new items. It’s just charming enough to keep players interested in its’ game loop as well. The artistic choice to make everything feel like a child’s toy set is playful enough to make it appeal to kids while not too cartoonish to turn away fans of other games. The combat is pretty easy to spam so it really doesn’t feel too meaty and rewarding like Hellblade or Dark Souls does. It almost manages to tap into that Portal like the sense of wonder and accomplishment that comes from figuring out tricky puzzles. The story revolves around trying to figure out why things were shut off around town. Implications were shown that it was the blue clan across the way. I have not made it over to the other clan town yet because I keep getting distracted by side quests which isn’t a bad thing. The bad part is, I really can’t progress because I need the third iteration of ability but I only recently got the second one. It doesn’t really feel clear what to do next but I am still enjoying the challenge. Check out the game now on Xbox Games Pass or grab it elsewhere for twenty dollars. Pick of the Month: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S) I was pleasantly surprised that this game released so well. There weren’t a ton of multiplayer issues save for split-screen making the game run like saggy grandma ass. The story is captivating and the branching dialogue coupled with the various choices brings the game to three distinct endings. Set just after the events of the first Black Ops game this new entry feels right at home adding to the lore and story of the original beloved game. The zombies’ mode also had a much-needed facelift. The new map involves a timeline where the events of element 115 have sort of bled into our reality and that is why this world is only now experiencing the zombie outbreak. Fans return to Nacht Der Untoten, now as Die Maschine with much more to explore and do on the map. My only grievance with this game so far is the exclusion of split-screen in zombies. Players can set up the game but then receive a notice that the game mode doesn’t support the current part size of two or more. Why even let us set it up at that point? It is a huge mistake to remove a feature like this from Black Ops as a huge draw for a lot of people was the zombies’ mode and it’s split-screen shenanigans. I know a huge set of updates are coming soon with the inclusion of Nuketown as well as The Warzone integration update. Hopefully somewhere mixed in there is the split-screen capability that is notably missed. Still though for all the content it is packing the game is worth the sixty bucks to play, or the eighty to get the cross-generation bundle. It allows you to get the game on both the last-gen and the new current generation of consoles. Since its release, I have already put a day’s worth of time into the multiplayer alone. So concludes another Games For Budget Gamers. Stay safe this holiday season, avoid travel and mass gatherings as much as possible. I know I have no urge to go see any of my family members. Let us know down below what you’re playing lately and what games you recommend to save some money.