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Just buy Ratz Instagib already, would you?

Ratz Instagib (opens in new tab) is one of my favorite games and I almost never play it, because almost no one else plays it. After beating up on a bot for five-or-so minutes, I can sometimes find an opponent or two, but it's a struggle. When Ratz launched in 2016, it was littered with CS:GO players who'd use it for practice when they weren't defusing bombs. Where'd you all go?

If you aren't familiar, instagib is an Unreal mutator that now generally refers to FPS games in which everyone starts with a one-hit-kill hitscan weapon. Though I wish some of the most-commonly played levels in Ratz were less spacious and more Unreal-like, and it doesn't replace Unreal Tournament 2K4 instagib for me, it is one of the best instagib games you can buy.

It's a polished sphere of a shooter. You have unlimited ammo and there's a brief cooldown after each shot. Bunny hopping increases your speed Quake-style, and you can 'rocket jump' by firing a pulse out of your gun with the right mouse button. The respawn timer is pretty short. That's all you need to know, really. You'll dance with other players, balancing your own erratic movements against your need to aim, and trying to predict their trajectories. It's beautiful.

What makes Ratz a great package, and not just a rehash of an Unreal mutator, is that just about everything, from your crosshair to the color of opponent players, is customizable, and there's an easy-to-use level builder. 

I don't know why Ratz didn't stick—it is simple, sure, and the players who dominate really dominate, so that's part of it—but maybe we can get a couple months of full servers in to start the year. Ratz is just $2.24 right now on Steam (opens in new tab), and you can get four copies for $6.24. The CTF mode is great fun. Just sayin'.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.