It was August of 2009 when I bought my first game on Steam, and another year passed before I purchased a second game. I had no idea at the time that it would be my primary method of games acquisition someday, that PC games would be carried less and less in brick & mortar retailers, and that eventually, most games wouldn’t even be able to be purchased physically.
Three years before that, I subscribed to my first gaming service – Shockwave Unlimited. Although it was focused on mostly casual, coffee-break style games, and I have, in the years since, purchased games I played for the first time under that subscription.
In time, I moved towards a different type of gaming experience, and until recently, hadn’t given much thought to subscription gaming services. Of course, I’ve become aware of quite a few over the past couple of years: big names like Origin Access, PSNow, and XBox GamePass. The first one I was interested in enough to click the free trial button on, however, was Utomik.
There’s an interesting mix of games available to play through Utomik, although overall, I would say it is heavily weighted towards casual games, and I would never recommend it to someone who only wants to play the newest AAA hotness. I did find there to be a pretty impressive collection of indie games, including some pricey titles from niche genres, like Little Dragons Cafe.
I honestly thought I’d spend a day or two browsing Utomik’s catalog, play a few hidden object or time management games until I’d had my fill, and wander off. Now, I’m thinking I’ll keep my sub for at least a month, as there’s a handful of games that had flown under my radar that I’d really like to try out while I have the opportunity.
Do I need a game subscription service in my life? No, I most definitely do not. My Steam library is overwhelmingly huge, and it’s well supplemented by games picked up here and there on other launchers. But I’ve also been craving some bite-sized, low-brain gaming, and so I’m going to play Youda Sushi Chef, and a few hidden object games I haven’t seen in bundles yet, and the ridiculous looking (and poorly-reviewed) Sudokuball Detective.
Then I’m going to check out some games I’ve never heard of before: Dry Drowning, My Lovely Daughter, and unWorded. Finally, I’m going to spend some time with games that I’ve had wishlisted, but that I just haven’t been sure I wanted to buy, like Deep Sky Derelicts, Robothorium, and Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. I’ve definitely spend the $7 it’ll cost for a month of Utomik (after the 14 day trial ends) in a lot worse ways.
I’m also probably going to keep playing Little Dragons Cafe, because MY GOODNESS it’s adorable, but nothing I would ever spend $50 on.