GAME suddenly have a download service

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GAME, the high street retailer whose name must be SHOUTED because of the CAPS, have launched a download service called GAME Downloader. They're selling Mafia II on it. Wait, what? You don't have to go into a shop, or put on trousers, or anything? Watch out Steam! Your days are nu- oh, you still need Steam to play Mafia 2 anyway.

The site, GameDownloader , is surprisingly full of content. The first thing I saw on the front page was a Stalker mod, the Metro 2033 demo that just dropped, and an ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead patch. They require that you download their little application first, though, so I took the plunge and started it up on my work machine. The result? It scans your hard drive to see what games you have installed. There's a "yes, please do that" option, and a "no, I don't want to use your service in ANY CAPACITY" option - you can't just, you know, use it to download files from their site.

It found eight games on my PC, and asked if I'd like it to find any more. I have more than eight games on here, of course, but it caught the big ones: World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Blizzard Hipster Fanboy Simulator, SupCom2, Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, etc.

"No," I said. "Do not pillage my PC for more games. You've HAD ENOUGH." Now it's got this little "G" symbol in my system tray, and I can launch games from it - including Just Cause 2, which I own via Steam. If you click it, it logs you into Steam, fires up the game, and then whistles nonchalantly.

It's worth noting that I didn't have to enter any information at all, let alone personal information, before I could just download the Ruse demo from there. It put it in some weird folder, but it doesn't have to be run through the downloader - it's just a zip file.

In summary, it's not as bad as you might think - despite putting you on the spot to scan your hard drive and hanging around in your system tray for longer than it has to, it does what it says on the internet tin and doesn't stick around if you don't want it to. Just remember to prowl around in your settings and make sure everything's to your liking.