Games on a bandwidth budget

If you’re on a tight bandwidth budget but still want your gaming fix, check out these great lightweight games

December 17, 2013
Stealth Bastard header

Broadband access has come a long way since the early days of its introduction to SA, with uncapped ISP accounts being more common place now – but there are still a lot of us who are reliant on capped Internet access.

For those watching their monthly quota, there are still great games that can be found at the cost of only a few MB’s. Great games can come in very small packages. Here are a few notable examples.

Please note: Install size refers to the physical space taken by the game on disc. It may not be an accurate representation of the download size, however in general the download size should be less that the install size.

Papers, Please!

  • Metacritic score: 85
  • Install size: 34MB

Stamp, stamp, stamp, and get paid for it. Your sole purpose in life is just that: sit at a border post and stamp (or not) away at visitors’ passports. It falls on you to decide whether their passports and accompanying documents are in order before letting them through. One mistake, and you’ll be penalised. Too many mistakes, and it’s game over.

This game has length and depth that is not obvious looking at its size, and it’s all thanks to a risk and reward balance: let more people through by spending less time scrutinising their papers to earn more and have enough at the end of the day to just live, whilst risking missing a crucial piece of info that would point at an illegal immigrant which might cost you your job. Do not be surprised if you’re up at 1am looking at yet another denizen’s passport.


  • Metacritic score: 88
  • Installed size: 98MB

A dark game that can feel like it’s over too quickly, but with enough atmosphere to leave a lasting impression. You control a boy on a perilous quest through a lonely and unfamiliar world, given few details on your objective, it is up to you to figure it out as you go along.

The plot turns out to be pretty run-of-the-mill, but quite different in terms of how it is all presented. The mood is creepy, the environments and the few inhabitants mysterious and unwelcoming, and the soundtrack is devoid of any music, being content instead with emphasising the loneliness of your adventure with just a few environmental sounds.

A bleak game, but a memorable one.

Stealth Bastard Deluxe

  • Metacritic score: 80
  • Install size: 148MB

You gotta love the title on this one, although it can be misleading, both because it is hard to take such a title seriously, and because you’d expect a one-dimensional, slapstick journey out of it.

You will be surprised at the dark humour that comes with this little puzzler, in which you are one spy clone out of many undergoing tests machinated by your superiors to test your wits and skills. Each test is conducted in a room, and your sole purpose is to get to the exit whilst sticking to the shadows and avoiding deadly traps. Failure equals death, and just as in games such as Super Meat Boy, expect to be spamming the retry button a lot.

Which games would you suggest for those on a quest for a lightweight download? Let us know in the comments.

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Tags: headline, Limbo, Papers, Please!, Stealth Bastard Deluxe

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