The Cheapest Game I Ever Bought

Image: Igdb.com

Just 16p. The cheapest game I ever bought was something called Remaining in a dream, using one of those 80% off vouchers Steam sometimes gives you without warning. What few reviews it had were “mostly negative”, but I didn’t care. It was 16p. (I guess you could make a point that free games are even cheaper, but I didn’t actually buy those, so shut up.)

I would like to say that I embarked on some kind of Odyssey into an underappreciated genius’ outlook on life; however, that would be utter bollocks. Instead, do you remember Spore? EA game about raising life from a single-celled organism to a space-faring race so inept that it needs you to propagate and finance its entire existence? Well, that game had an expansion called Galactic Adventures, where you could beam down onto a planet and go through some player-designed levels.

The point of that excessively long tangent is that people have paid 79p for Remaining in a dream when they could have bought Spore and its expansions and then download a theoretically infinite number of shitey levels, as well as a handful of actually good ones. Like many Spore: Galactic Adventures levels, Remaining in a dream suffers from poor level design, an absence of narrative, and no music. Seriously. No music. There is a sodding music volume option, and it affects jack shit!

Too many poorly-designed games clog the market like a guinea pig in a hoover.

Remaining in a dream looks like Borderlands if the latter were released in 2001. I put the graphics onto highest (my Nvidia GTX 960 hasn’t had much of a challenge since Doom), whereupon all the grass turned fluorescent green and gave me a headache. I tried to take a screenshot, and that caused the game to bleach its appearance like a Hollywood film about non-Caucasians. I’m just glad I didn’t play this game at release, as stories of bugs abound in the reviews.

Image: Igdb.com

Image: Igdb.com

There isn’t a difficulty curve. It just flatlines. Enemies get progressively faster through the five or so different levels, but it doesn’t matter because I can just stand still and pick them off with five headshots. The weapon you get is a ray gun, which just screams how low-effort this is when all the other assets are medieval structures. The weapon has no projectile and no impact; the only time you know you’ve hit an enemy is when they die.

This game is emblematic of why Steam Greenlight was stamped on by Valve. Too many poorly-designed games clog the market like a guinea pig in a hoover. And while a one-man/woman dev team can pave the way for some unique stuff (such as Papers, Please and Thomas Was Alone), it more often than not ends up in some utter dross being forced out like a constipated turd. I myself have tried to develop games before, but I can neither code nor draw for shit, so my best bet is to go into management.

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