Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Plenty of games require you to rescue the princess, but not many examine the missing woman’s agenda. Maybe Princess Toadstool and Bowser were secret lovers, afraid to reveal their love for fear of political blowback from anti-koopa bigots. Perhaps Princess Zelda was actually a disciple of the wizard Ganondorf, manipulating Link to dispose of her dangerous master once she gleaned enough of his Triforce knowledge.
In Sought, a maze game drawn in black and gray, you’re told that the young girl in question wasn’t kidnapped, but instead ran away. The reasons are unclear, but your character—a female hunter—is tasked by her father to bring her home. The hunter explores the middle of a dark forest, where the missing girl was last seen. Shadowy, amorphous creatures attack you, but your trusty crossbow turns them into shadowy, amorphous vulture jerky. As the search progresses, Sought switches perspectives. Instead of controlling the hunter, you direct the missing girl herself. She’s not defenseless, but neither can she survive alone in the wilderness for long. Linking up with the hunter, you control both parties at once and fight together to escape the woods. Rescuing the princess isn’t a foregone conclusion. The game has six different endings, depending on how the search goes down—if you decide to immediately leave the forest without looking for the girl, there’s a story for that. The forest labyrinth is randomly generated, but the game still has little variation. It’s a simple quest—not a quest to rescue a damsel in distress, necessarily, but rather to unveil all of her possible fates.