Everybody loves a bargain and what could be a better bargain for a bunch of games than the Humble Bundle? Humble Bundle, a site that lets you get a small quantity of games for the price you set, is a haven for budget-conscious gamers. If you set your price equal to the the price given (this week it’s 6 dollars), you get the rest of the games in the pack, as well as the soundtracks for some of them. This week’s Weekly Humble Bundle showcases the Open Source Games and this may very well be one of the most accessible bundles yet. Gamers and non-gamers alike can easily pick up some of these games for a very cheap price.
“Magical Diary” from Hanako Games: The first game from the bundle is “Magical Diary”, a visual novel RPG game whose plot is reminiscent of a love child between “Harry Potter” and “Twilight”, with a little anime sprinkled in. This is a case of “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” the game incarnate. At first, the game doesn’t make a good impression, but gradually shows that it can offer a lot more than it seems. Without giving too much away, don’t let the bright colors and ridiculously anime art style fool you: this game is packing a lot more heart than it appears. It’s a relatively easy game to pick up and the game itself lightly hints to you what you should and should not do. At times, it’s a the game is a little unforgiving when it comes to the difficulty spike of dungeons and the discussions with people. The conversations can be as mundane as “How did you find out you were a magical being?” but this can lead into a long conversation were the smallest error can lead to disaster. There are multiple possible romances in the game that have some delightful twists and turns that the player might not initially expect, considering the games presentation. The good thing about this game is that there is a walkthrough for people who want to have the “perfect experience”, but it is highly recommended to play this game blind at least once just to see what happens. It’s an odd, unique experience that is worth the price it’s being offered at.
“NEO Scavenger” from Blue Bottle Games: Are you a fan of constantly micromanaging your characters inventory while fighting off bandits, were-beasts, and other lovecraftian creatures all while the environment tries to kill you? Well, “NEO Scavenger” might just be the game for you. While “Magical Diary” is very accessible and playable to gamers and non-gamers alike, “NEO Scavenger” has the opposite effect. This game isn’t bad; it’s just a lot more difficult than expected. To compare the difficulty to something in real life: imagine trying to chop down a tree with a hammer and you’ll have a pretty good idea of a first timers experience with this game. It a RPG game where you are some random guy that starts out with nothing but the skills the player picked for them at the beginning of the game and then progresses into a survival RPG. This game does not hold your hand in a any way—it’s very basic on what it gives you and what it gives you is next to nothing. This game is an exercise in humility because it is unbeatable: it’s a survival game and the object is to survive for as long as you possibly can before dying. When the player dies, they have to start all over again . The game isn’t finished yet, so essentially the consumer is paying for a beta. That said, for those of us who stubbornly try to survive long enough to find out what the post-apocalyptic world, it’s worth buying “NEO Scavenger” .
“Offspring Fling” from KPULV: Moving from the grim dark world of “NEO Scavenger” to the happier world of “Offspring Fling”, this game is one of the cutest looking games on the market. It’s a puzzle game where you play as a mother creature who accidentally loses all of her babies and has to transverse the forest to find them all. The flinging comes into play in the form of the puzzles: most of the puzzles involving you, as the mother, picking up your previous babies, and throwing them as hard as you can toward the goal. Don’t worry, they won’t die from hitting the wall; however, they can die from you not knowing where to throw them or accidentally dropping them in acid There are over 100 levels to this game and multiple opportunities to replay if you want to improve the time you took to solve the puzzles. This game is gamer and non-gamer friendly to the ultimate extreme: a good puzzle game is easily accessible to nearly everyone and, since this one has no blood in it or anything like that, it can be fun for the whole family.
“Planet Stronghold” from Winter Wolves: A Sci-Fi RPG system with a visual novel style character interaction system, “Planet Stronghold” is certainly an unexpected treat for this group of games. The game starts you off as Private Nelson, who has been assigned to Planet Stronghold, and, while training there, ends up getting sucked into an intergalactic conflict. It plays out like some sort of space opera and gives the players choice with how they interact with the various people on the planet. The battle system is turn based and relatively easy to learn if you listen to the tutorial. One of the strongest things about this game is that it gives you the option to listen to all the tutorials and learn about the whole game or you could just skip them and learn them yourself as you go. It might not seem like much, but the fact that the player doesn’t have to sit through every screen and press the next button as quickly as possible because they know all this already is a welcome change. The game gives you a chance to learn its instructions and then throws you to the wolves; the majority of the game’s difficulty has to do with how the player plays the game, however, there is an option to change the difficulty around in the game for those who want to change it to something easier as they go along. The relationship system for romances is also a factor in this game and it’s pretty straight forward to figure out. This game is easily accessible by gamers and non-gamers, giving non-gamers all the help they need to succeed, while giving regular gamers the option to just dive right in, no questions asked.
“Anodyne” from Analgesic Productions: Does anyone remember “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”? This bears a striking resemblance to that in gameplay style. This isn’t a bad thing by any means; in fact, having the top-down RPG system is in this games benefits the player. “Anodyne” is a game about a young man named Young, who enters into the dream world and wanders around, attempting to learn its secrets. His weapon is a broom which can sweep up enemies and produce dust clouds to block lasers. The game, while simultaneously taking itself seriously, also breaks the fourth wall and occasionally mentions the ridiculous parts of itself. There isn’t much to say about “Anodyne” without massively spoiling the entire game, but it is safe to say that this is a very bizarre game that could either turn some people off or intrigue them just enough to keep playing. Trust me, this is only the second most bizarre game in the Bundle.
“Defender’s Quest” from Level up Labs LLC: “Defender's Quest” is the quintessential tower defense game, a must for anyone who enjoys them. Your tower is a living person named Arza, who has the ability to pull people from the mortal world into another world to help defend her from the various creatures that dwell in the world. “Defender's Quest” has a lot of strategy that goes into it and it’s fun to think of the various ways you, as the player, can build an impenetrable force to protect Arza. The game teaches the player how to play, but, like some of the games above, also lets you get defeated time and time again until you get it right. If anyone wants to get into tower defense games and doesn’t know where to start, then I’d suggest starting with “Defender's Quest” first. Too much will give away the plot and will take away from the overall experience, so settle with knowing this: this game has the strongest writing out of all of the games in the bundle. Keep in mind that all these games are written well, but “Defender's Quest” takes the cake for its story and characters. “Defender's Quest” is a fantastic entry in to the tower defense genre and is perfect for players old and new.
“Evoland” from Shiro Games: If you ever want to teach a class about the evolution of video games, this is one of the best way to teach them. “Evoland” is a hybrid of multiple gaming genres that, while telling a coherent story, also shows the evolution of games. The chests in this game not only contain treasures, but the landmarks in gaming , going all the way back to black and white with no music and all the way back up to our current HD. This is a wonderful love letter to the entire gaming world, showing just how far the games have evolved over the years. There are a few mechanics to switch back and forth through gaming “times” to solve puzzles and the innovation here is just simply breathtaking. Gamer or not, this game needs to be played by as many people as possible, just so they can experience the magic of gaming as seen through the years.
“Incredipede” from Northway Games: Remember how “Anodyne” was the second most bizarre game in the bundle? This is the first. “Incredipede” is a very strange inventive puzzler game that has to be seen to believed. The main characters name is Quozzle, a young incredipede who must save her family from kidnappers. The gameplay involves is her stretching, contorting, regrowing, and moving her body in various ways to solve the multiple puzzles on her island. Each puzzle tells you the different controls to use at the start of the puzzle, so you’ll never be in the dark; however, the game is a little hard to get used to. A lot of the puzzles are based on correct rhythms of movement and timing things in order to get the end of the level. There is a bit of a learning curve as the levels go on and some of the puzzles can be pretty frustrating. Nevertheless, this game is a lot of fun and the confused laughter that might escape the player’s lips as they managed to beat a level in a way they didn’t think possible is more than worth the six dollars for the bundle.
Overall, this Humble Bundle is filled with amazingly innovated games that are recommendable to almost anyone. Whether you like games or you just want something to do, these games are highly enjoyable and are more than worth the price paid for them.