Ranking 200 Random Buy-to-Play Steam Games [Part IV: 84–73]

We are going to continue our journey through the borderline [neither recommend or not recommend, mediocre and middling titles] titles. We’ve already made it through the bottom 50% plus a couple more. We’ll finish up the borderline scored games in this article.

#84 Bean Battles

From Steam storefront for Bean Battles.

Developer/Publisher: Gupa Games
Release Date:
August 22nd, 2018
Price:
$0.99
Reviews:
94% positive of 4,498 reviews.
Tags: Multiplayer, PvP, Battle Royale, Shooter, Memes.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

This is a part battle royale, part last man standing deathmatch game involving some very basic bean models, a fair amount of load-outs, and serviceable controls and mechanics. No idea why so many people have given it a positive review unless it’s tied to some meme(s) I’m unaware of. It is a bit of a silly concept — beans fighting beans — but that seems insufficient for a 94% positive out of nearly 4.5k reviews.

Rampant hacking, including the ability of hackers to enter private rooms and make matches unplayable, definitely reduce the limited appeal this game already seems to have as a battle royale. There’s better and worse on the market, but most don’t charge you the 99 cents in the first place.

Grade: C — Rampant hacking. Nothing stands out as overly impressive. It’s playable but if it was humans and not beans, it would likely be sitting at mixed at best.

#83 Blood and Bacon

Screenshot from Steam store page.

Developer/Publisher: Big Corporation / Grunge Games LTD
Release Date:
February 1st, 2016
Price:
$0.99
Reviews:
95% positive of 21,203 reviews.
Tags: Multiplayer, Co-Op, FPS, Shooter, Zombies, Memes.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

This is another game that was apparently an admittedly high quality meme game, but a meme game nonetheless. It also has over four times the number of reviews as Bean Battles despite being a rather middling FPS with zombie waves, a bit of puzzle solving, and minor exploration.

Definitely not a bad title, but nothing overly impressive. Grainy graphics, optimization that could use some work, odd UI choices, and a cheesy story that may turn some off (I found it very mixed — added to the charm occasionally and detracted from the experience other times) create a game that will appeal to the meme game crowd when this was popular, but will likely only appeal to a small set of FPS fans nowadays.

Grade: C — Fairly typical FPS title with wacky stuff thrown in. Not very coherent game structure. Decent gun mechanics. Overall it’s worth 99 cents.

#82 Spookity Hollow

Developer/Publisher: Joure Visser
Release Date:
September 16th, 2021
Price:
$7.99
Reviews:
100% positive after 7 reviews.
Tags: Co-Op, Adventure, 3D, Open World, Cats, Exploration.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

A kids game where you play as a cat and explore a 3D world. Controls are above average but occasionally seem a bit off — whether delayed, floaty, or otherwise imprecise. There’s some items to track down but not much in terms of story, lore, or purpose. You can dress up your cat and play co-op with others, though.

To be fair, this game is geared toward a really young audience, so it’s probably appropriate for the 3–7 range. I recall playing Super Mario Bros and other NES games at 5 years old and would have scoffed at this game. I’m not typical, admittedly.

I couldn’t see this game having much staying power with an adult and at $7.99, I’d expect the option for more content or at least places to explore.

What few things it does, it tends to do above average in quality. However, it doesn’t do very much,.

Grade: C — Perhaps a good game for a very young child, but there’s not much here for older people.

#81 Ark of Loif

Developer/Publisher: 1/2OfOctahedron
Release Date:
September 7th, 2021
Price:
$19.84 (gifted to me)
Reviews:
100% positive after 1 review (and one review is from a player who refunded).
Tags: Co-Op, Action RPG, RPG, Post-apocalyptic, Isometric.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

Ark of Loif is a game that I didn’t have much hope for, especially considering I was gifted a copy near the release date and I hadn’t heard of it despite searching for multiplayer-enabled RPGs and MMORPGs on a regular basis. With expectations set low, I set out on adventure on release day.

The UI of this game is quite awful, and the graphics are quite blurry and out-of-focus. It’s occasionally difficult to tell what ;’s going on. Early game content is a tad too difficult for the new player and most of the regions just aren’t that interesting to explore. Controls are decent and the aesthetic is fairly unique for an action RPG.

This is about as middle-of-the-road and mediocre as you can get for a PC action RPG, but if you really, really enjoy action RPGs and post-apocalyptic settings, you might like it anyway.

Grade: C — Poor UI, blurry assets, poor performance / not optimized, early game too difficult for new player, and regions are rather bland.

#80 Imagination

Developer/Publisher: Creobit / 8floor
Release Date:
January 29th, 2020
Price:
$4.99
Reviews:
29 of 52 reviews are positive [56%]
Tags: Card, Casual, Social, PvP, Multiplayer.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

In this card game, you try to guess the card put down by the player whose turn it currently is based on their personality traits, etc. It’s a simple game when the computer handles the scoring and a fun, casual game.

This game does essentially nothing to help a new player learn, though. It also doesn’t seem possible to create private instances. There is a cash shop though.

Not a card game you’ll play long-term, especially with bots and online randoms.

Grade: C — A barebones casual card game that’s implemented well, but the underlying game is very basic.

#79 Teddy Floppy Ear — The Race

Developer/Publisher: Joure Visser
Release Date:
September 16th, 2021
Price:
$7.99
Reviews:
100% positive after 7 reviews.
Tags: Racing, PvP, Co-Op, Local Multiplayer.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

Racing games require precise and predictable controls, both which are lacking here. The art direction and sound are fine and even the characters are quite cute. The track designs, assuming the controls were precise and predictable, would be fine too.

It’s common to over-steer and spin-out as well as flip over from barely hitting something at an angle that wouldn’t actually cause a flip. It’s frustrating given it pauses the action so frequently and many of the stoppages can’t be avoided.

Better controls and everything kept as-is, and this game would be a recommend.

Grade: C — It’s below average in the most important area of a racing game: precise, predictable, and responsive controls.

#78 Alien Attack in Space

Developer/Publisher: Alien Jellyfish
Release Date:
June 21st, 2016
Price:
$1.99
Reviews: 8
0% positive after 147 reviews.
Tags: Co-Op, Shooter, Arcade, Space,
Supported Platforms: Windows.

This appears to be much better than a typical space shooter asset flip, but still lacks the polish, complexity, and quality one would expect from a seasoned developer. Hit detection is occasionally off. Controls are a bit loose. Maps are highly repetitive even considering the genre.

It’s not terrible for $2 but much better options exist for an arcade shooter.

Grade: C — Very mediocre space shooter by what appears to be a developer who just advanced from beginning to intermediate-level of whatever languages and toolchains are used for his/her games.

#77–76 American Patroits Boston Tea Party / Civil War: Battle of Petersburg

Developer/Publisher: Cult Software
Release Date:
September 19th, 2017/ February 8th, 2018
Price:
$0.99/$0.99
Reviews:
88%/77%
Tags: Board, Strategy, Turn-Based, PVP, Wargame, America, Hex Grid, War, Historical.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux (all 3 OSes for both games)

Cult Software has a total of three games on this list, with Stones of Sorrow still to come (it’s somewhere in the recommend range). These two titles lack the unique art style and gameplay and are simply a rather simplistic, generic board game based on the respective wars.

It’s completely playable and might serve as a good introductory game to someone wanting to learn how to play wargames. It seems to be balanced fairly well. There’s just nothing here to really separate it from other titles.

Admittedly, the board, pieces, and menu screens do create a certain aesthetic that looks great!

Grade: C — Each game is only 99 cents but are extremely simplistic and same-y compared to other offerings on the market.

#75 Centipede: Recharged

Developer/Publisher: Adamvision Studios / Atari
Release Date:
September 29th, 2021
Price:
$9.99
Reviews:
100% positive after 7 reviews.
Tags: Co-Op, Adventure, 3D, Open World, Cats, Exploration.
Supported Platforms: Windows.

I played this at launch and gamepad did not work properly. Seemed to have input lag for keyboard and mouse, too. The art style and music nailed it, but Centipede with substandard controls isn’t a good game no matter what is done to obfuscate it’s broken controls / mechanics. The challenges and extra modes mean nothing when the controls aren’t implemented fully or properly.

Apparently gamepad and trackball support has been added since I played this game. I played it briefly and gamepad worked. Keyboard and mouse worked somewhat better. I gave it a slight bump up the list, but this still seems a bit like a money grab.

Grade: C — No gamepad or trackball support at launch, input delay .

#74 Angeldust

Image from Steam Storefront.

Developer/Publisher: Frank Lucas / Metagaming B.V.
Release Date:
December 21st, 2019
Price:
$2.99 (picked up while still free-to-play)
Reviews: 871 OF 1373 reviews are positive [63%]

Tags: MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer, RPG, Multiplayer, 3D, Open World, Sandbox.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux.

I’ve fried to like Angeldust 4 different times I’ve attempted playing it. The developer is really passionate about the project and has been doing weekly update videos for over 2 years now. He can occasionally come across as a bit of a wise-ass in comments about his game but is mostly passionate and respectful. This game also takes place in one giant homeworld with over 275 creatures, 450 materials to build with, more than 25 landscapes, etc. Building is quite easy too.

The problem I had with this game was the lack of and story or lore for me to play off of to turn this into a roleplaying experience. I typically build a structure, search around for awhile, and log off. There’s not really a purpose I see my character having in game, and that might be due to the lack of an active playerbase. Art style looks great but it’s not unique.

Just not much here at all, even for $2.99. Might be worth a pickup if someone has exhausted Minecraft, Trove, and somewhat similar voxel-like building/crafting games.

Grade: C — Developer is enthusiastic and keeps community informed. Unfortunately, the game world lacks much to get excited about.

#73 Project Gorgon

Logo from website.

Developer/Publisher: Elder Game, LLC
Release Date:
March 13th, 2018
Price:
$39.99
Reviews: 84
% positive after 1,426 reviews.
Tags: MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer, RPG, Multiplayer, Fantasy, 3D, Open World.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Project Gorgon’s development team is led by two former Asheron’s Call developers: Eric Heimberg and Sandra Powers. It was mentioned as being a new refuge for Asheron’s Call players post-closure in many online and print publications. Even at $40, I figured this would be a steal. I should have sought additional information, though.

What drew me and quite a few others into Asheron’s Call was the massive world coupled with tons of lore. Lots of gameplay and story integration as well. For others, it was the ability to customize your character to a unique degree compared to other games, even though most players stuck with a specialized combat skill, life, creature, and item magic trained, and specific other skills trained. Some of the most fun I’ve had was with atypical builds, including a character specializing in life magic, summoning, dual wield, finesse weapons and shield. The Aun part of Aun Collective is named after a subgroup of one of the races: the Tumerok.

Project Gorgon is filled with silly quest names, puns, and wacky item names, quest descriptions, etc. Nothing is taken terribly seriously, which is a complete 180 from Asheron’s Call. There’s lore, but it’s not serious or coherent really. The gameplay is slow-paced, oddly feeling more dated than the original Asheron’s Call. Even the graphics, sound, and music, while likely objectively higher quality than Asheron’s Call, I’d rather have the no music and post-upgrade patch Asheron’s Call art style.

There’s tons of character customization, lots of opportunities for roleplay, and a decent-sized world to explore. It’s definitely not a bad MMORPG, but it’s not anywhere near a $40 MMORPG in my opinion. At least it’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, though.

Grade: C — Too expensive compared to other MMORPGs on the market. Jokes often fall flat. Combat is slow. There’s a lot of unrealized potential here.

--

--

--

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

«Project Q», the next Multiplayer of Action of Ubisoft, announces its first details

Platinum Quest: An Introduction

Big Bad Con Recap — Elemancers(Playtest)

The Strict Scholar Behind Supper Mario Broth

THE INEVITABLE WAR OF THE FUTURE

Review — Descenders

UNSIGHTED is the Cyberpunk Game I’ve Been Looking For

Destiny 2 Witch Queen: HOW TO SOLK THE FOOD ERROR (CAT, TRITÓN, OLIVA, HOUSE)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Aun Collective

Aun Collective

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

More from Medium

SEISMOLOGY LAB REPORT #1

What is Plastic Pollution and Micro-Plastic?

ExpressVPN review 2022: privacy-focused with solid security features

Potpourri