Gamer’s Paradise: Renting: an easy way to save money … but not time

It’s close to the big game season and if you are like me — out of cash from buying school supplies and a Costco-size bin of ramen (enough to get you through the next ice age) — then you need a cheap way to play the next big games. Being a game reviewer, I can’t spend $60 every time I want to review a game; if I did, I would have to take out another school loan. Lucky for me, however, I can rent games and I am here to tell you my favorite hot spots and tips.

Now, you can always try renting online — the most popular site being GameFly.com — although this website is not my first choice. Similar to the original Netflix, GameFly allows you to pick a game to rent and they will send it to you in the mail. Unlike Netflix, they have high demand and low supply: I have heard of some people receiving their games six months after requesting them. Take my advice and don’t spend $15.95 a month to never see your game.

A convenient way to rent games just recently hit its stride. Redbox, the one-day movie rental kiosk company, has pushed their way into the game market, winning over my vote in the process. For $2 a day, you can reserve the game online and rent it all day. Redbox’s only negative is a disappointingly slim library, but I predict it will expand in the future.

My absolute favorite place to rent from is Hastings. Located on 1601 W. Main, this store gets my top vote for fulfilling your gaming needs at a low price. You must sign up for a free membership and the selection is also restricted until you have been renting with them for a while, but I have been renting from Hastings for 10 years and still go to this day. Each game to rent costs $7.99 for seven days, which is cheaper per day than Redbox.

“But what if you play it the first night and don’t like it, did I really just pay that much for nothing?”

Don’t worry, my gamers. Return the game the next day and get $4 credit on your account. Now, you might be asking how Hastings can get any better. Well, when you rent a new game, they usually give you a credit coupon: If you like the game, this coupon goes toward buying it from them later, a sort of try-before-you-buy deal.

Now that you have your options and money in hand, you can go rent your favorite games. Look out for me though: I will be the guy with the dinosaur piggybank shaking out pennies at the front counter.