Humble Choice January 2020 Review – New twists, but not the strongest selection of games

Hello, it’s another month, and that means it’s time for January 2020’s Humble Choice Review. Welcome to the first video of the New Year as well. Happy New Year.

The reaction to last month’s video was excellent, so I’m thrilled to be back, and this month… there are some changes to the Humble Choice.

I do want to give you a heads up if you can’t hear it already, I’m under the weather a little bit. Christmas left me with a nasty cold and it’s put me out of action for about 10 days. That’s why the Sonic Retrospective hasn’t kicked off yet but that’s should arrive shortly. I did want to get the Humble Choice Review out though, so here we are and if you like this video consider subscribing.

With that out of the way, let’s talk, what has changed with Humble Choice in 2020. First, this month, we have 12 games. That sounds great, and it is, but remember how I talked about people only having 3, 9 and 10 choices with the different tiers? Yes. There is no way to buy all 12 games without buying a bare minimum of 2 tiers. Even the Classic tier that was supposed to not change how the games were provided, only gets 10 picks. With 12 games, you have to choose 2 to give up.

People have said they were clear on this in streams, but I didn’t see anything on the FAQ, or the main page, so personally I feel this was a little underhanded. You can think what you want, I know people want to defend Humble, which I don’t really understand. Unless you work for Humble, you should allow others to be critical of them.

The good news, we need to talk about the best and worst of this month and with a bare minimum of two games not being picked, I’ll still give you my five favorite games, and I’ll list my five least favorite games and don’t worry, I’ve just played at least an hour of most of these, Why not all of them, well I already fully covered two of them.

Speaking of fully covering, well I’m already playing the first game, Middle-Earth Shadow of Warand I admit, I only played 15 minutes of this game to cover the game for this video, because I already played 60 hours of this according to Steam.

How is Shadow of War? This is the big title game again this month. But I again don’t really like it. I loved Shadow of Mordor the first game, but the sequel really doesn’t feel great. The opening 20 hours or so has our main character Talon so underpowered that it is a shame.

The game also feels really grindy, and if you haven’t heard, the final act to get the true ending is a grind fest. The nemesis system is bigger than ever before, but not better, the experience is far weaker, and overall, it’s just not as fun. You’ll spend 60 hours playing but man it’s really underwhelming.

But as a fan of Lord of the Rings this game just seems to slap around Tolkein’s corpse and write its own history, and no, this history is FAR worse than even the Hobbit. The Hobbit had a Tolkein story, this one just feels like someone made up fanfiction and somehow got it made as a game?

Will I play more? Well, I already beat the game, and gave a 3/5 but sitting here today, I might want to drop it lower. I don’t like Shadow of War that much, and while this is a big title, I think I would rather skip it and go back and play Shadow of Mordor again. I’ve played that twice and I wouldn’t mind playing it another time.

Next up Graveyard Keeper, and wow. I already owned this from the TinyBuild Humble Bundle a while back but I wonder why I didn’t play it because now that I have, I can tell you, this is fun. It’s like a macabre Stardew Valley, and that’s really interesting.

The graphics are a little weak, I mean you know, like Stardew, but the gameplay feels like there’s a ton going on. I might even say you want a wiki up while you play it. There’s a lot here, and a lot of it is confusing. I need nails, and scraps of iron. Where do you get those? I still don’t know, and I’ll have to hunt for them. But there are so many things you do as well.

Want to make new paths, find new tunnels, mine, chop down trees? All of these can be done and more. There’s a ton of quests the game throws at you early on and most aren’t easy, and overall there’s a ton to see here. The art style works for what this game is doing, but the game itself will get you hooked before long and it has that dark humor that really works here.

Do I want to play more? Oh yes! I really do. Graveyard Keeper is a VERY solid game, and while it might be a 40-50 hour monolith, I want to go further. I’ll go even a step further, I imagine reviewing this within the next month. Maybe not by February, as we have a few games before then, but this game has my interest currently.

And we come to the second game I’ve already reviewed. Two Point Hospital, now officially I did get a copy to review from Sega, for it, I should disclose that here, but I love this game. I was a huge fan of Theme Hospital, and this is everything I liked about the original concept but done better.

If you are a fan of Theme hospital, welcome back, and if you never played Theme Hospital, this is a hospital simulator with a lot of humor. We have everything from a Freddie Mercury disorder to characters with light bulbs for heads.

It’s a lot of fun, and the main campaign’s progression is solid with a lot of small challenges for you to accomplish. A few of the end game hospitals are a little grindy but that’s after a very long campaign. Overall it’s a great game and well worth experiencing. Also, you might want to read up on how to build a proper hospital as there are a few not so obvious things about the layout you might miss.

Would I like to play more? YES! I played 15 minutes for footage, I played 36 hours about a year ago, but if I had to do it again, I’d gladly replay this game. It’s a really solid and fun game, and worth checking out.

Oh boy…Dirt Rally 2.0 I’ve played EVERY Dirt game, 1, 2, 3, Rally, 4, Rally 2.0 now. I played 30 minutes of this one, that’s enough time for me to realize that I don’t like where this series has gone and I honestly haven’t liked it since Dirt 3, maybe even Dirt 2. Rally 2.0 is an ultra-realistic attempt to capture rally racing, and, ok, that’s a noble idea.

But it’s not going to be for anyone who doesn’t already love this series, and if you already love this series you probably need to be buying these games at launch. This series is going to go the way of iRacing, Ascetto Corsa, or even the F1 racing games.

Though I do have to call out the level of DLC here, it’s pretty gross, more than 35 pieces of content, 4 season passes all in the span of A SINGLE YEAR, this came out in February of last year. I honestly thought that there would be a bare minimum of 2 years. Come on, guys.

This game is going to be very hard for anyone other than the hardest core fans to play. There are no actual difficulty settings in career mode, though it’s supposed to ramp up, the racing at the beginning is hard, and honestly…I’ve played 5 of these already. I really don’t need another.

I also tried for a bit in VR and… I don’t know, it didn’t feel right but again. I didn’t play that long with it, I don’t have fun with these games anymore.

Will I play more? I didn’t even finish the hour here. I’ve gotten to know this series very well and they seem to want to make a racing game that I don’t want to play. No thanks.

Speaking of DLC, Street Fighter V. And to explain. 40 pieces of DLC, over 3 years. A little better, but… yeah.

This is the base Street Fighter V, you get 16 characters out of 40 characters. And if you don’t remember how many characters there are you’ll remember because it shows up EVERY time you start a match. This is gross. I know they talked about showing ads in the game at some point. They put that in, removed it, but left this, and it’s far worse in my opinion.

Overall it’s a fun fighting game but the fighting game genre really is starting to smell with things like this, DLC and more. This reminder of you being a second class citizen comes up every Arcade mode, versus mode, and even online ranked matches. I do mean EVERY match. Come on Capcom?

Also, Chun Li has man legs.

Will I play more? Listen, I really like Street Fighter IV, but this leaves a really nasty taste in my mouth. Giving 16 out of 40 characters could have worked, but not being reminded of it constantly.

Well, that’s the core of the big titles, let’s see if the Indies fare much better. First up we have Bad North and this game is cute. It’s like another Viking game, and after last month, I wonder if someone at Humble has a weird love of the Vikings.

Enemies will attack your island, and you’ll have two, three or four units eventually to defend it. You then move on to the next island to do it again. Beware though, if all of the units in a squad dies, you’ll lose your character permanently. At least unless you get a holy grail.

There’s a lot to like here. The music and sound are really cute, the graphics are light, but not minimalist, and overall it’s an interesting game.

Will I play more? I just might. It’s a solid game and worth more time. I kind of want to see what happens next. It seems like a rogue-lite, so restarting the game will give you a new look at the world and people, and maybe you’ll find new things.

Following that one, we have Trailmakers. Now, I need to go on a tangent. Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts was an amazing game that was released in 2008. It was all about piecing together Lego blocks on your cart and then creating all new vehicles, and if it wasn’t for Minecraft and the fact people couldn’t get over that this wasn’t Banjo Kazooie 3, people would be talking about how revolutionary Nuts and Bolts was.

Trailmakers is Nuts and Bolts circa 2019. It’s really interesting, you can easily create new vehicles, add motors, add pieces to them and design new cars, boats and more.

At the same time, it seems like the campaign is a bit short, and unless you want to be overly creative, you’ll just kind of design what works and call it a day.

The big thing is this seems short and not as in-depth as Nuts and Bolts, but I can’t help it, I really enjoyed playing what I have seen, and if you have someone who likes Minecraft, and likes cars, they will get a kick out of Trailmakers. Even if you don’t, it’s worth checking out because it’s fun to create your own vehicles. It even looks like it has a fairly active workshop for a game that came out in September, about 40,000 objects already and some look pretty cool.

Will I play more? Uhhh I don’t know, I want to check out some workshop objects so probably a little more. Though there’s not enough to do in the campaign. Guys, you need a couple of challenges and missions, besides collect pieces for your ships. This could be great but as it is, it’s creative.

Then we have Unrailed. I hope you have two players, because… well, Unrailed really is made for two players, and I’m not exactly sure why. You can play the tutorial with one, but unless you have a second player the game won’t start. Though you can try to play two players on one controller but that’s complicated. You also can play online as I did, and I actually did find someone to play with me.

The game is just about resource harvesting. Get a wood and stone, and then build train tracks. Don’t let the train get to the end of the tracks, and.. .that’s about it. I played an hour with one guy, got 200 meters and ok.

I really don’t know what else to say, it’s pretty simplistic and that’s about all I saw in the hour, I don’t even know if there’s much more. You can buy different components to the train car, but I really don’t know if I get this one.

Will I play more? If someone said. “Let’s play a game together” I might throw out Unrailed, it’s a fun little game. But I don’t think I’d actively want to play it, and after 30 minutes I’d probably get bored of it again. Interesting concept, not exactly an exciting game.

Next up, we have Whispers of a Machine. It’s a point and clicks adventure. But there is far more than that. Rather than just a point-and-click adventure, we actually have some interesting additions here. The main character is augmented up and has super strength, as well as biometric readings, and a scanner.

Yet it’s still a point and clicks adventure, these are new and interesting twists on the formula, but at the end of the day, it’s a mystery game where you click around and use your abilities. In the first hour, I haven’t seen any real “moon logic” or pixel hunting, and the scanner hopefully will keep that away.

I also think I have a good idea of what’s going on with the game so far, it’s an interesting story focused on this idea that creating AIs is illegal. The puzzles are really interesting, and those augments do give a very nice feeling of something fresh.

Will I play more? You know, I probably will. I definitely want to see more of this, and it’s interesting. I’m kind of curious about what it does with this story and what happens next.

Them’s Fighting Herds is next and I’m a little nervous. I know there are people who like My Little Pony… a lot, and yeah, if you do, you probably know this game. This was originally called Fighting is Magic.

The fact is I don’t know much, I’m not a Brony or a My Little Pony fan. Them’s fighting herds though is trying its hardest here, but this is somewhat similar to Dirt Rally, I think many people who would be interested in this would already have this.

If you like something like Skullgirls you probably will like this, I could feel there was some link, and yeah, it’s using the same engine. It’s also a brand new fighting game, so if you want to be on the ground floor of something new, you can.

However this is Early access, the story mode is supposed to be here at 1.0, there’s supposed to be even more. Really, if you want to try a My Little Pony game, go for it. But realize there are only 6 playable characters here, which feels small.

Will I play more? I might check it out again when 1.0 comes out, but honestly, this is a strange one. Personally, you probably won’t see me playing more, but I totally get it if other people like it.

Then there’s Mages of Mystralia, which is a fantastic game. The Kickstarter called this Zelda meets Harry Potter. I agree. You play a young mage and you’ll gain some spells, from there you can cast four types of magic, and have to explore a world.

The art is good, admittedly not amazing. But the adventure is really solid, and the story seems interesting. It is only 10 hours long according to How Long To Beat, but the hour here was really good, and I liked the boss I fought as well, it’s very…Zelda-esque.

The magic system is solid and there’s this setup where you have multiple add ons to spells and they become plug-in switches. So your little flame that you summon when added with the “move” command becomes a fireball, adding that to your shield gives you a dash instead. I only got one command but there are rooms for tons more on a long list they showed

Will I play more? Absolutely. This is a really solid game. It’s very interesting, and I want to see what else goes on with it.

Finally, we have Grip. Every time I pick up Wipeout or Redout, I want a game that’s all about speed but also control. One that you don’t have to memorize the whole course but actually have interesting and unique paths.

That game is Grip. This game is fast but all about control, and is really slick about it, Your able to transition from the ground to the ceiling, wall, or really any surface in the game and drive at speed. There’s also great visibility for the track so you can tell what’s coming up and make adjustments.

There is rubber banding AI in this game, and I don’t think they could have avoided that as there are projectiles, explosions and it’s easy to get knocked off course. Falling off course once would destroy the experience if it wasn’t for that speed boost.

This one is really solid and worth checking out. Think a more Mario Kart version of Wipeout and you’re almost there.

Will I play more? Yeah, I’m sure I will. This seems like a solid game, and definitely worth checking out further.

Finally, we have a bonus game, and its name is Unparellel. Truthfully, watch the video, and see what it’s like. This comes as part of any Humble Choice order, but I’ll be honest, I finished this game in 10 minutes. An interesting concept with these mirrors, but 10 minutes length really makes it seem like a quick thought more than a full game.

With that said it’s time for the rating. So the idea here is five recommendations, in case you’re only going to be picking up three games, you should be able to find those three in that list. On the other hand, if you’re getting nine or ten games, This month you have to skip two or three games, so I’ll give you five games that are on the bottom of my list. Let’s start with the bottom. Number 5 being the most liked or least worst, and number 1 is the one you should avoid.

Number 5. Trailmakers. I want to play more of this game, but something had to be on the bottom list. It’s a great concept but there really needs to be more to this game, it feels like half a game. But like I said, if you have kids who like to build, this would be a high recommend.

Number 4. Them’s Fighting Herds. Nothing’s really wrong here, but I didn’t really want a My Little Pony Fighting game, if you do, you probably already had this one.

Number 3. Street Fight V. I know people might get this month’s for this game, but those ads will piss you within a week, trust me. Even if you want it, this version usually goes for 8 bucks on Steam sales.

Number 2. Dirt Rally 2.0. Same things as Them’s Fighting Herds and Street Fighter, if you want this, you probably already have it. This is a very hardcore racer and will be unfriendly to everyone else.

And the Number 1 game I suggest you skip, Unrailed. Unrailed is a cute game and charming, but it doesn’t just HAVE two-player mode, it pretty much requires it. You can rely on internet people or matchmaking but unless you’re looking for two-player games, this one is a safe skip.

So that’s the worst of the month, let’s go on to the best, and honestly, there were a lot of interesting games this month. Let’s go through them.

Number 5. Grip. I like this game a lot. As I said, it’s Wipeout and Redout but feels a lot better to pick up and play.

Number 4. Graveyard Keeper. I like the look of this game and the gameplay. It seems like it has a lot of content, so it might be worth checking out.

Number 3. Two Point Hospital. This is a really funny and interesting hospital simulator. If what you saw, has you curious, definitely pick this up. It is well done and will keep you busy for a long time. I’ve done a full review on this one and will tell you, it’s great.

Number 2. Whispers of a Machine. It’s a point and click adventure game with some interesting twists. If that doesn’t get you excited, maybe miss it, but this game had me interested from the start, and after an hour, I just want more.

And Number 1 Mages of Mysteria. Yeah, I said a Zelda game meets Harry Potter, that seems perfect. The gameplay is great, and I really want to get more magic spell components to mix and match with my magic. It’s absolutely worth checking out. Another game I might review… eventually.

Now that’s the best and worst of this month. I hope you enjoyed this video. I know I enjoyed making it aside from what it’s doing to my throat. If you like what you’ve seen, consider subscribing and ring that bell if you want to see more videos from me, including being the first to see next month’s Humble Choice Review. You can also share the video with people curious about the Humble Choice, that’s the best way to help grow the channel and I’d appreciate that. It also should give them information about what’s in this month’s Choice.

I’m going to pop up two reviews here from almost a year ago. We have Middle-Earth Shadow of War and Two Point Hospital that should give you more information about what I really think about them.

Until next time, I’m Kinglink and thank you for watching.