Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Best Games You're Not Playing

Would you like to get over $100 worth of games for a fraction of their price?  I've been a longtime Humble Indie Bundle fan, but this latest bunch is by far the best I've ever seen.  When the bundle first came out, I thought it was an amazing deal and the best bundle they'd done up to date, but they've added even more to it and I just had to share.

Here's the official introduction to the bundle, with plenty of nerdy memes:

First off, let me review the games.  They are:

  • Gratuitous Space Battles:  This game does away with all pretenses of story and just jumps straight into the explosions.  You don't actually control the ships, you design them, program them and then watch things blow up.  The challenge is winning a map with the minimum size fleet possible.  You have to build your ships to fit a role, while programming them to match that role.  Like 40k, deployment is key.

  • Cave Story+:  I've just started this game, but it is a platformer/RPG.  It plays like Castlevania or Metroid.

  • Jamestown:  A space shoot-em-up but takes the alternate history premise that the New World is actually Mars.  You play as Sir Walter Raleigh fighting the Spanish and indigenous Martians.

  • Bit.Trip Runner:  A platformer/rhythm game.  Your actions in the game influence the music.  This is a hard and frustrating game, but still addicting.

  • Super Meat Boy:  One of the more famous Indie games out there.  It's a platformer that once again is maddeningly frustrating at times, but gives you a real feeling of elation when you conquer a level.

  • Shank:  I haven't played this one yet but it's a sidescroller beat-em-up.

  • NightSky HD:  I haven't played this one yet either but it's a sidescroller platformer where you control a glowing sphere with unusual abilities.

The above games were the Bundle as it first appeared.  Just yesterday they added the contents of the third Indie Bundle if you pay more than the average.  Those games are:

  • Crayon Physics Deluxe:  It's a simpler version of LittleBig Planet.  You use crayon drawings in a full physics engine to solve puzzles.  You can create your own levels.  Every level has multiple solutions, some far more complicated than others.

  • Cogs:  A sliding puzzle game, but set in a 3D steampunk environment.  The puzzles play over a variety of 3D surfaces.

  • VVVVVV:  The most maddeningly fun platformer of the bunch.  You can't jump in this game, instead you reverse gravity.  There's only three buttons to the game; forward, back and flip.  Despite this the game is extremely difficult, incredibly frustrating and extremely fun.  The soundtrack is a fun, peppy chiptune score that gets stuck in your head.

  • Hammerfight:  Possibly the most bizarre game among the bunch.  You control a flying ship with a weight at the bottom.  Flipping the mouse around swings the weight like a ball and chain.  You fight through various levels against giant bugs and such.  Of the ones I've played it's my least favorite, but it's not a bad game.

  • And Yet It Moves:  A platformer where instead of jumping or flipping gravity, you rotate the entire level.  This is a tricky mechanic and requires a bit of practice to get right.  The art style is like torn paper, everything has rough deckled edges.

Yet that's not all.  In addition to all these twelve games, you get the soundtrack to each one.  The soundtrack to VVVVVV alone is worth the price, but there's quite a few good ones among this.  Bit.Trip Runner and Super Meat Boy stand out, but there's many others.

So how does it all work?  The Humble Indie Bundle is a pay-what-you-want deal.  If you beat the average price, which currently is $5.18, you get the bonus games as well.  Even if you just play one or two of the games it's worth it.  All the games are cross platform, Windows, Mac and Linux.  Portions of the funds go to charity, and you can split up the payment as you wish.  All games are DRM free, and you can activate most of them on Steam if you want.

The bundle will only be up for six more days as of this posting, and then it's gone forever.

What are you waiting for?

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