There are quite a few sites popping up in favor of small-time game developers, and Itch.io is one of them. The site has a vast library of small indie games that have recently made a comeback amidst the sea of Dark Souls and Minecraft. But how safe is this site and what should you do before downloading these games? Read on to find out.
What is itch.io?
Itch.io is an indie game development support system for many a game developer. The site takes small-time developers and gives them a platform to present and sometimes sell their games. The site works on a commission basis, where they get a small cut out of the profits earned by the developers.
Active since 2013, Itch.io has gathered a library of over a million games under its shed. The platform is a great place to search for quick and quirky games that are not mainstream or traditional in their gameplay. The platform also has some big names like Vlambeer publishing content.
Itch.io caters to the niche crowd looking for something beyond the regular styles of gameplay. Since they do not have to appease such a huge audience, the game devs do their own thing, and people love it!
Is Itch.io safe?
Itch.io is basically a hosting website. They allow other game developers to upload their content and sell it on their site. The website actually has gained quite a lot of popularity. While they cannot control every single bit of code that is uploaded via a game, the site does claim to scan every game that is uploaded to their platform.
As with downloading anything off the internet, it is always wise to show caution. Unfortunately, you cannot see user comments, since Itch.io redirects you to the game developers’ website. Generally, the site is known to host decent and safe games. If you’re still worried, check out the section below on what you can do to prevent getting a virus.
How to prepare your PC
Once in a while you might find an infected game on Itch.io, that is why it is best to go for the most downloaded games. Basically, if you choose a game that no one has downloaded, you’re taking a gamble.
The best thing to do is simply scan your games when you download them. When you download a game, you receive it in a zip file. You can scan a zip file before you open it using your antivirus. Simply right-click the zip file and choose ‘Scan with *antivirus name*’. if you notice any highlights on your Antivirus, simply do not extract the zip file and get rid of it. Also, you should report the game to bring it to the attention of the site devs.
Another way you could play it safe is by downloading the Itch.io PC client which runs all the games in a sandbox, thus protecting you from any malicious attacks. While it is not as robust as the website, you do have the added benefit of not having to scan each game before you play it,
Itch.io is a safe site as long as you are cautious about what you download. Always scan your download to make sure there isn’t any malware. There are no complaints about any problems with payment on the site. In fact, Itch.io has a very good return policy. You can contact their devs if you think you have been cheated and want your money back. There are also a ton of free games on the site worth exploring, though most games are just a few bucks anyway!
Have you tried out any games on Itch.io? What do you think about the site? Let us know in the comments below.