These days streaming and digital rental services are all the rage, and we are seeing new options surface even more often in recent years. While most of us can name at least several, many that come to mind focus on hosting video content like TV shows and movies, yet fewer delve into the largely untapped field of gaming. This is the exact genre that relatively new video game subscription service Utomik has decided to go after, and currently they have done so quite well. Unlike some of the existing services which focus on a more narrow offering, Utomik offers a plethora of genres and games from not only indie developers, but well-known AAA developers as well. You can subscribe to Utomik for a very reasonable price per month, with either single person or family plans available.
In order to access Utomik’s ever-growing library of content, currently at 660 games at the time of writing, you download a simple program on your PC, log in with your credentials and you are ready to start gaming. The home screen is easy to understand and searching for games is a snap. Searching for games is quite easy, either by selecting an entire genre (Action, RPG, Shooter, etc.) or through pre-populated lists like ‘Most played’ or ‘Highest Rated’. Using the search bar will return titles similar to the game searched if the title is not in the library yet, which helps find new games to try out. Once you select a title to play, click the install button and depending on the size of the game you’ll be playing within minutes. It does this by downloading a small portion of the game in sequence, then continues to prioritize the game download in the background using smart download technology.
The whole process functions in a sense similarly to Steam, as the application must be open to launch the titles and you access everything from the singular hub. There is also an offline mode for Utomik which allows the use of installed games if you find yourself without an internet connection, which is great for gaming on the go with laptop or notebook computers if you travel frequently. As a streaming service I was worried that an internet connection would always be required, but the offline mode curbs that concern. Utomik also has been working on getting Day 1 releases of games, most recently adding Yono and the Celestial Elephants to the library for streaming on release, and has partnered with companies like Ubisoft to gain access to some old and fantastic series, including a personal favorite Prince of Persia.
During my time with Utomik I sampled a wealth of the offering on the service. I played a number of indie games including EvoLand and EvoLand II; both wonderful journeys into the past which detail the evolution of gaming since the earliest titles of the 8-bit era. Yono and the Celesital Elephants ran well on Day 1 on the service and was a wonderful addition to the Utomik Library, and a surprise enjoyment. I also tested out some more intensive games like Borderlands and Saints Row: The Third, which both ran great with no noticeable issues. My only other concern was that during high-action sequences in games requiring more power that I may start to see frame skips, and was relieved when that was not the case. Utomik offers a sizeable amount of solid titles, ranging from some absolute classics like the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 and the Sonic CD to some more recent titles including the Metro Redux and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. While you won’t find a brand new AAA game on Utomik yet, it’s clear the library is expanding.
Utomik has a relatively standard pricing structure, albeit one that is affordable and offers a little bit of customization. They offer two plans currently: ‘Single User’ and ‘Family Plan’. Single User allows one person access to the streaming library for a fee of $5.99 USD per month, whereas the Family Plan is a little more expensive at $9.99 USD per month but allows up to 4 users access to the library with parental controls if needed. Both pricing options offer a 14 day free trial, can be canceled at any time, and all gaming is unlimited. Comparatively to similar digital subscription services Utomik prices are fairly standard. While some companies like the longstanding Gamefly are priced at $15.95 USD and give you far more limited access to games, services like EA Access and Nvidia GeForce Now offer a similar baseline price, but for a less eclectic library one might argue. For gamers who are primary PC players, Utomik is a worthwhile option for the relatively low price point.
While it may not have all the newest games, Utomik is a great service with a large amount of potential. They seem to be taking the steps in the right direction to add more Day 1 titles and well-known series to their library, in addition to growing the amount indie and older classics at your fingertips. The program is easy to use and understand, and there is minimal time spent waiting for games to download and become ready to play. The single longest wait time I experience was about 5 minutes, and it was for one of the larger games in the library. I never experienced any issues with Utomik application not working correctly, and the service picks up plugged in controllers on the PC as well if that is the preferred method of gaming.
At the end of the day with a fairly limited number of these subscription services currently running for each platform — roughly 1-2 on each console and only a small handful for digital PC games — Utomik offers a relatively niche library of games that is constantly expanding. Gamers looking to play harder to find classics or more eclectic games than you’ll find on the other platforms are definitely recommended to check out Utomik and take advantage of the 14 day free trial. With proper marketing and a focus on expanding the current offering of games, it’s possible that Utomik could become a household name among gamers in the future.