Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Today if you want to play a game you have to do two things, buy the game and clear space on your harddrive to play said game. Games like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Call of Duty Cold War can end up taking hundreds of gbs in your hardrive. When I bought Deathloop, I was starting to think of the games that I would need to delete in order to play this highly anticipated title. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Deathloop’s install size. At only 16gbs Deathloop carries a lot of game, for very little space. My eyes couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A triple A game that didn’t require half of my hard drive, what kind of sorcery is that? I wish more developers could do what Arkane did with Deathloop and keep their games at a reasonable install size. The technology is there, so why not use it? Deathloop is not only great because of its small install size, but the game itself its fantastic. If you have ever wanted to live your John Wick fantasies, Deathloop is the game for you. The writing is smart and hilarious at times, while the gameplay keeps the perfect combination of stealth and action that you need in a game like this. If you are looking for a game that wont take too much space on your console and that will keep you engaged every time you play it, well look no further than Deathloop. When 2021 its all said and done and people are voting for their Game of the Year, it will be no surprise to see this game in that conversation.
Developer: Gabriele Cirulli
Publisher: Solebon LLC
So this is the hardest one to date in this series. I had to go and do a deep dive on my phone and tablet to see what games were below the 1GB threshold. At the very bottom of that list is a game that has never been deleted. I have had it on multiple devices since it was downloaded 12 years ago. It clocks in at a staggering 55MB and still gets monthly updates. This magical game is none other than 2048.
2048 is a fun puzzle game that I am ashamed to admit I have spent countless hours playing. Trying to come up with theories and strategies is what keeps bringing me back. Every time I think I have the perfect rhythm, it gets thrown into a wack and gotta start from square one. The highest combined tile score I have ever scored is 4096. The thought of deleting the game crosses my mind multiple times, but I delete a photo or dead meme instead and keep the game.
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Space can be at a premium when searching for my next game. So, when ye olde laptop needed a game that wouldn’t take up too much space, I looked no further than Wolfenstein 3D. Some shot demons in Doom; I shot Nazis. My dad’s friend had it on his brand new computer. It was 1994 and huge to own one. This 13 year old’s new nickname was then “Bloodthirsty Heather” for a bit. When we were finally lucky enough to own a computer ourselves, this was our first purchase.
The labyrinth that is before you isn’t about choice but survival. You must escape Castle Wolfenstein without allies or aid. Use your wits and reflexes to shoot everything in site, and I’m not even going to ask where he’s putting all that treasure.
This game weighs in under 1 GB for the PC and only uses 512 MB of RAM. It’s hours of enjoyment (or at least it has been for me) for under $10. While the third game in the series, it comes in as many a geek’s introduction to FPSs. Secret passages with forbidden treasures and better munitions await if you are patient enough to find them. Each level ends with an elevator to the next floor that will let you know the your percentage of failure. There are 4 difficulty levels and 6 full levels, I’m looking forward to rediscovering this classic without stressing my old rig.
Kaze and the Wild Masks
The idea of a big game in a small file size often can be dependent on art design and graphical style. Developers can create an expansive adventure while maintaining a file size under 1GB. Kaze and the Wild Masks is an excellent example of robust 2D platformer contained in a small download.
Released in March 2021, Kaze is a small game from a first time Brazilian developer, PixelHive. Furthermore, Kaze is a love letter to Donkey Kong Country, Yoshi’s Island, and other 16-bit platformers. PixelHive acknowledges this inspiration and leans into it successfully.
The game contains four worlds and 30-50 levels, depending on the secrets and unlocks uncovered. Consequently, since this is inspired by 16-bit platformers there are plenty of secret exits, collectibles, and power-ups throughout each world. The titled “wild masks” in the levels provide transformation abilities similar to Yoshi’s Island. Movement and gameplay aligns with Diddy and Dixie Kong’s jump, hover, throw. The game encourages exploration, but also includes speed run targets as well.
Kaze’s character design ooze personality in an appropriate 90’s feel. The enemy animations are expressive and engaging, while never feeling too over-the-top. PixelHive creates levels with a sense of character and space, while still maintaining the geographic tropes of 16-bit era.
Players with a fondness for the era of16-bit platformers have a lot to love in Kaze. But beyond nostalgia, Kaze and the Wild Masks stands up as a solid 2D platformer in any era.