Utomik, the game rental service that prides itself on progressive download techniques, of all things, has left beta. The official launch sees the service’s library at 760 games, all of which you can start playing for a monthly fee of $7. They’re going to keep adding stuff, but if you’re interested, give the existing library a look. They’re offering a 14 day free trial, if it seems like something you’d enjoy.
Don’t let the number fool you – most of the stuff is hidden object games and old things. Stuff like Marie-Antoinette and the Disciples of Loki, the first Borderlands and a bunch of Irem arcade ports. To be fair, there are good games on offer – games like Arkham City, Alpha Protocol, Defense Grid, Shadow Tactics, Risen, the old Star Wars games, Space Rangers. It’s just that most of it is Twilight City: Love As A Cure. Caveat emptor and all that.
At first it seems like Utomik is just the latest in the long line of doomed-to-fail cloud gaming services. On closer inspection, it turns out they’re not. Not cloud gaming, I mean. The jury’s still out on the doomed-to-fail part. What Utomik actually does is literally let you rent their whole library for a whole monthly fee. You still need to download the games, and your PC still needs to be able to run them.
As far as I can tell, the crux of their pitch seems to be “being able to play games without long downloads and installations”. With Utomik, you’ll be allowed to start playing as soon as the bare minimum required to run the game has been downloaded. The rest will be delivered in the background, while you play. I’ve never felt like that was much of a problem, especially with a little basic planning, but hey, you might feel different. The downloads, patches and installations mostly hurt folks with data caps, and Utomik isn’t going to solve that.