We’re all familiar with the big names in game content, whether you’re buying your games from Steam, the Epic store, or Blizzard. These are all quality places to pick up some major titles, and sure, Steam has a few smaller, undiscovered gems hidden in there too, but I’m here to tell you why you should be seriously considering itch.io for your newest games.
Itch.io has been around since 2013, and if you’ve ever been watching your favourite gaming youtuber play a bizarre horror game, chances are they found it on itch.io. The website is a hub for all the gaming content you could imagine, from actual games to additive material for when you’re making your own games! Some famous titles to have come from the website include, but are not limited to, Doki Doki Literature Club, Celeste, We Become What We Behold, and Baldi’s Basics. These are some massive titles, and clearly horror dominated. So, if this is what’s come out from Itch.io before, what is there currently being posted on the website?
My most recent interactions with itch.io started way back when I purchased the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality This Bundle has 1000+ games and all the money went towards support for the Black Lives Matter movement. This isn’t the only time that itch.io creators have gotten together to raise funds, with a recent Bundle created to fund those in need of aid in Ukraine, raising over $6 million in aid. These Bundles are something to keep an eye out for if you’re looking to lend a hand, as well as fuelling your own love for games in the process. Plus, as well as helping those in need, you’ll be supporting small independent game creators, which in itself is always a plus. There’s always a variety of Bundles up for sale, so check them out if you want to get a collection of good quality games and content for a really reasonable price!
Some of the titles I got in my Bundle included Celeste, Night of the Consumers, Democratic Socialism Simulator, Pikuniku, The White Door, and Death and Taxes. Some of these are titles I had seen before when scrolling away on YouTube, but I really cannot recommend some of these smaller titles more. The White Door was an extremely experimental and explorative emotional rollercoaster that left me in tears by the time I had finished playing it. Death and Taxes is hilariously grim and boasts hundreds of different endings. It’s been two years since I bought the bundle and I’m still working my way through it!
It’s more than just video games too, included in my bundle, to my surprise and my delight, were various tabletop games and additional content! These games include printable content you can download for your next game night. Some of them play a little like Dungeons and Dragons, but one that especially stood out to me was Agents of O.D.D. This roleplaying game has you and your friends play as a mysterious agent defending the world against the paranormal and supernatural. The printable content for this game is meticulously thought out and exciting!
Now, I know, you might be thinking to yourself, what else could there be on itch.io? There’s no way there’s even more content? Well, you would be wrong! There’re all sorts of little additional bits that are just all in all, handy or cute. My Bundle had a digital pixel fireplace that I can leave on in the background to give my room a lovely Minecraft style warmth. It also has digital planners for me to pretend to get organised with. Plus, the game creation elements I mentioned before! You might not have a current use for those little elements, but if you check out the Game Jam section on itch.io then your mind might be changed!
Game Jams are opportunities for those interested in creating games to give it a go, without the pressure of a full-scale project. Generally, you get together with a random team of creatives, and make games under a theme in a time crunch. If any of that sounds interesting, there’s a Newbies Game Jam starting on April 18th, so maybe sign up and try your hand at creating a game!
All in all, itch.io should without a doubt be added to your roster for finding new and exciting games. It’s a hub that allows all sorts of creators to share their work, and if you’re in anyway interested in horror, you can get ahead of the trends here and find some mind-blowingly terrifying creations.