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Daddio's Weekly Picks #12: $1 or less hidden gems on Steam

Skyhook screenshot
Darron Dixon
Darron Dixon
May 24 • 4 min read


I found some pretty cool gems this week from genres I have not really covered before. From a Tower Defense to a Smash Bros-like games, there should be something for everyone. Hope you find something to enjoy, happy gaming!

Ultimagus screenshot

Ultimagus



Ultimagus is an excellent example of not judging a book by its cover. The first thing you may notice is that the visuals are simple, I know that I did. The sprites actually look good while you're playing even with everything being small. The core gameplay is what makes this game so enjoyable; it takes place on a battlefield, and the goal is not to let any enemies pass you as it causes damage leading to eventual defeat.

You can unlock a variety of new magic spells that act as barriers, attacks, or support. Be sure to plan out your attack as you can only take three spells with you at one time. The most enjoyable spell I found was the ice knight that summons an ally to fight by your side. It's a tough game but finding the right combination of spells to beat a mission brings the same satisfaction as solving a puzzle.

While this is set up like a tower defense don't let that turn you away from trying it; I usually can't get into the genre, but this is one of those rare treats that makes it fun anyway. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for a challenging yet addicting experience.



Amaranthine screenshot

Amaranthine



Amaranthine is a mouse only shmup that has good music and a cool space aesthetic. I haven't ever used the mouse for playing shmups before so you can imagine that I didn't get very far. I like that you can upgrade your shield and your energy capacitor. (Better weapons have higher energy usage levels). You find weapons during levels as cores that seem to follow a ranking system of normal, rare, and legendary. You can sell weapons you don't want for money to use for upgrading purposes.

If you really like shmups and can look past the mouse control, I recommend you pick this one up! I also wanted to note that the dev has another game on Steam that's a turn-based strategy game if shmups are not your thing. It's not on sale currently, but it looks like a lot of fun!



Clarent Saga: Tactics screenshot

Clarent Saga: Tactics



Clarent Saga: Tactics is a strategy RPG that reminds me of Fire Emblem with the anime-inspired sprites. I'll start this off by saying that if you'rea fan of the genre then pick this one up right now! I highly enjoy it and I am just a casual fan of SRPGs. The music is beautiful and the dialogue is pretty solid from the time I spent with it. I definitely see myself coming back and working my way through the game.

It features several different difficulty options so you can make it as easy or hard as you want. I was also impressed with all of the options they included in the settings; you don't always see that from budget titles.

Keep in mind that the game will be getting more updates with only a slight price increase, but you can grab it now before it's implemented. I plan on revisiting this once the update happens to see what all the dev adds and I may write another article about it. If you want to support the devs even further, their other game is currently on sale for the same price.



Skyhook screenshot

Skyhook



Skyhook is an excellent little co-op game that feels and plays like Smash Bros with hooks. I only tried it out in single player, but I still enjoyed the hook mechanic. When we find the time, I plan on trying this out with my wife as I'm sure multiplayer takes this game to the next level.

The only downside is it has no online co-op, so you are limited to couch co-op. For the low price, it's definitely worth picking up because it looks good, sounds good, and lets you beat each other up. The perfect kind of party game!

I will leave this off by mentioning that the presentation is well done. It made me smile when I found out you can move around the character select screen to practice the controls.



Thanks for reading the article! I try to do this weekly, but I end up skipping some weeks to highlight individual games occasionally. Either way, I will be back with more hidden gems before you know it!

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