Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Some Cheap Steam Games

I've recently played a couple of games on Steam that I got pretty cheap. One was 16 cents, another was free as long as I traded one of the cards from the game away. Deal! I could have installed the games and left them running to earn the cards but it seemed like I should at least give them a try while they were generating cards. Maybe they'd be really good!

One of the games was Dead Bits, a first person shooter. To be honest it felt less like a game and more like a tech demo for the Oculus Rift. It did have three different weapons, a few different enemies, and some jumping to do. So it was really a game. Just not a terribly interesting one. It was pretty mediocre most of the time, and every now and then it would go into a 'bullet time from the Matrix' mode that sucked. It also doesn't seem like it actually has OR support, so it just felt like it would be cool to wander around in virtual reality wise. It isn't actually cool.

The other was Gun Monkeys. This is a one on one deathmatch game where you're jumping around trying to shoot the other monkey with your gun, or you're trying to pick up little cubes and carry them to your base to earn points. Get enough points from cubes or kills and you win. An interesting enough idea, but it failed on several levels. It played a lot like Awesomenauts, except you had no abilities instead of a huge variety of possible abilities. You only had one hero option instead of a dozen. And you couldn't play it single player against the AI. This was a particularly big deal when I tried to play because there were 3 people total logged into the North American servers. Two other people playing against each other and me, sitting around wishing I could play. I did eventually find an opponent after waiting around for a while. Killing each other seemed almost impossible with the way the guns fired so I just collected orbs. I was better at collecting orbs than the other guy so I won.

Really, both games were not very good. But they both came with Steam cards and I'm not unhappy to have tried them out. I won't be playing either one again. I have other games of those genres that eclipse these ones.

Hmm... I wonder if that's a real problem with games these days. There are so many games to play now, so a game has to have some interesting hook to justify spending time on it. A good story, or being a good implementation of a genre, or a good community. Just being mediocre and existing isn't good enough anymore. Not like it was when I was a kid... I played 'Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?' not because it was a good game, but because it was the one new game in the house. Novelty and convenience were big selling points. Now? With the number of options that are out there? It has to do _something_ special. Dead Bits and Gun Monkeys had Steam cards as the something special, but I have all those earned and the games themselves don't have anything else special to me.

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