So. As I mentioned in my last podcast, I signed up for GameTap. I got it working, and I’m generally pleased.
One thing to be aware of is that it is definitely a broadband service. My cable connection at home is a bit slow and spotty, and the client does all sorts of weird things, including crashing and failing to start up. It also takes forever to download stuff. And I suspect the client of being unstable in other ways, although my laptop has issues with a lot of applications.
But the service works. You can, like, download stuff and play it. The selection’s decent, and the added content, well, is indeed content. It is aimed at (I’d estimate) 12- to 16-year-old boys, which is a little disappointing, especially considering that I’d place the primary retro gaming demographic at 18-25. But that’s fine; I don’t have to watch GameTap TV if I don’t want to (and am fast enough on the mouse to make it go away).
I’d probably recommend the service most to parents of young children. The parental controls and wide selection of educational games, in addition to the lack of access to questionable material, make it a great service for parents who want to expose their 3- to 10-year-olds to games. Once the kids get much older, though, I think they’d be more insistent on newly-released games.
Right now I’m downloading The Last Express. They’ve got a bunch of other must-tries: early Sierra adventure games, Bioware RPGs (including the phenomenal Planescape: Torment), the Myst games, and Beyond Good and Evil. Beyond that, Sam and Max: Episode 1 comes out tomorrow, and Uru Live comes this holiday season. So I’m stoked.