Hello once again. It’s time to talk about the Humble Choice for February 2020.
There are once again 12 games and with a maximum of ten games available per purchase, it seems people will be needing help. Good thing I’m here to give you a monthly rundown of what’s in the bundle. Though I’ll be honest, this month is weak, let’s talk about the games first.
If this is your first Humble Choice review from me, I play each game for an hour, and I’ll let you know what I think. The idea isn’t to give a full review of the game but rather tell you what is interesting about the game as well as if I would want to play more.
With this many games we might as well get started, but do remember to subscribe if you want more. I do this on a monthly schedule so you’ll be able to get the information first if you ring that bell.
Let’s just go in the order that Humble Bundle presents the games, and that means we’re starting with
Frostpunk is interesting. It’s a mixture between a resource management game and a bit of a city builder with a strong flavor of a survival game. It is an interesting mix, however, this definitely has a limited length and I’ve checked online it can be a bit short, like ten hours depending on how much time you spend on high speed.
The focus of the game so far is about surviving in a very harsh tundra and avoiding freezing to death. In the first hour, I’ve figured out the way major items are added to the game.
There are a lot of interesting features here. Law system that’s timed so you can only institute one law at a time. There’s also a solid technology tree and more. Frostpunk feels like it also could be replayable with the choices you have to make, and this comes with one of the DLCs for the game
So do I want to play more? A bit, but I also have to be honest, this game feels like a real downer. Two resources are Hope and Discontent… You get the idea, this isn’t going to be a happy shiny people game. I might not come back to play more, but I know a lot of people will like this and I’ll recommend it.
This is similar to Baldur’s Gate. It’s not exactly that, but this is a D&D isometric view, with a lot of combat and talking.
The conversation system is pretty good. The major scene at the beginning of the game, everyone is voice acted surprisingly well. After that scene, the game falls back on silent dialogue, but the writing is good and it remembers the urgency of the moment.
It’s typical D&D rules but you’ll fight big battles, like 6 of your characters versus maybe 10 enemies, traps can be used, special abilities and more. Combat is deep, and you can multi class characters as well.
At the same time, there are some interesting effects from your early actions in the game, so choose wisely. But this is also a long game. Maybe 80+ hours. That’s a lot of content.
Will I play more? I’ll be honest, the answer is probably no. But there’s nothing wrong here. I just don’t know if I want to give 80 hours to a Baldur’s Gate game. I like what’s here, and I can highly recommend it to those who want this style of game. I think I like this game more than Frostpunk but that’s me.
Book of Demons
This is a hack and slash, deckbuilding rogue-lite. This should be everything I like and yet, there’s a lot here I feel I have to call out.
First, this game feels like a mobile game including having an option to share the news when I unlocked something. They claim that they are bringing out a mobile version soon so that might make sense, but doesn’t make for a great game.
The story is based on the original Diablo which is not a deep story in the first place, and that bothers me since it’s blatant.
And finally, the gameplay is linear as you have to stay on a path and move forward and backward, and that becomes a problem. There’s a decent amount of ranged attacks that come at the player and I’m not sure if the game expects you to dodge them but that seems to be the point. It’s not a very engaging system.
The card aspect is nice, but it’s just not enough to get excited. Book of Shadows has interesting ideas but it is not a great game. There’s some technical issues I had as well, which got resolved but never a great experience.
Will I play more? No. Honestly, this was one I was excited for but after playing it for an hour, I’m good. The story isn’t special and the gameplay feels very similar to a rogue-lite, but not an interesting one.
This is an early access game that honestly plays a lot like many free to play games. You can build your own house on a server but you also have newbie protection, when that has run out, other people can smash your buildings and steal all your stuff.
The biggest thing though with CryoFall is nothing here really stands out. It’s a building game like Minecraft but it is really weak, and the entire gameplay loop is.. Boring. I want to talk about Farming games, but Humble Monthly had My Time at Portia, and last month we had Graveyard Keeper. Both of those are well developed and solid games. This is just a typical Multiplayer that doesn’t have a strong soul.
If you somehow want to play an early access Multiplayer game, this is it. But I’d recommend playing the demo on steam. You get the whole game for 8 hours, which would be enough to make up your mind before using a choice on it.
Also, they wipe servers every month or so… so there’s a weird level of permanence here.
As for me, I’m glad to be done with this game. I won’t return after my hour. There’s enough good crafting, and farming games that I think developers have to bring something big and new. Cryofall is the same solution a lot of companies deliver. Make the same game as someone else but add multiplayer and it never works out.
If you don’t already know what this game is, this is Okami, one of the more beautiful games during the PS2 era and now re-released for PC. It’s a game about the sun god in Japanese lore and to properly show respect I won’t try to pronounce her name. She’s in the form of a wolf and goes around helping people.
The graphics of this game during the PS2 era were amazing, and the cel-shading and style still hold up. The core of the game focuses on using a paintbrush with combat techniques and it’s really solid.
This game plays a lot like a Zelda game, though I will call out the opening 10 hours or so have a lot of really annoying dialogue and tutorials. You can skip it, but if it’s your first time or you want the story so you have to sit through it..
if you like what you’re seeing you’ll probably fall in love with this game. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants an old school Zelda game.
Do I want to play more? I played this game back in the PS2, the slowness gets to me on a replay but, I had already fully experienced the magnificent quest. Pick this game up though, and enjoy it. It’s a very solid experience.
Let’s start with the oddity. This is a visual novel made by Zachtronics. Honestly, I think that alone really makes it a strange game, and I know other fans of Zachtronics games agree.
I picked Eliza up at launch because I love everything Zachtronics makes, and I liked Eliza a lot. But it really is just a visual novel made by Zachtronics. It does have great voice acting in all the scenes though so kudos for that.
The story is interesting where the main character is a programmer who worked on an AI who runs therapy programs. It’s a game that explores a lot of concepts and doesn’t take a strong stance on many of them, but rather lets the player consider where they stand on the situations
There’s not much here outside of the visual novel. There’s the typical Zachtronics bonus game, but otherwise, you’ll play through the story, maybe play it a second time to choose a few alternate choices, but then call it a day.
Would I play more? Well like I said I played the entire game and I like it, but I also would say this is only for fans of visual novels. Which means I might not recommend it.
Oh boy, another Zachtronics game, and this time it’s a perfect one. If you’ve ever played TIS-100 or any Zachtronics game, you probably already know if you like the style of these games, and I personally do. I’m a programmer and every one of his games is about programming at some level.
TIS-100 was all about programming assembly in a processor to do minor things. Shenzhen I/O is the exact same thing only you get more of a design your own microprocessor setup.
You still use assembly, you still get interesting tasks, you have a nice story which you can ignore if you wish, and you still have the three leaderboards, speed, size, and cost in this game. It’s extremely solid.
That being said, It is a programmer game, and I do stress programmer. You’re writing assembly the entire time you play this game, and while I love it, I do it for a living, your mileage might vary.
Would I play more? You know, I never finished it, and I probably should go back and play it again. So yes I would, but as I said, this is tailor-made for me, it’s a programmer game, made by a programmer for programmers. If you really don’t want to program, I understand.
This is a game that was released in 2018, which is a Doom clone. And not the Doom from 2016, but the doom from 1993.
Doom clones are still being made and I understand that, but the addition of one here really doesn’t work. We did see Speedrunners From Hell recently and that’s an interesting game. This games… There are so many questions I have.
Dear devs, why did you think Doom needed an arcade-style lives system? Why does any game in 2020 need a life system? When you already have a life system which requires restarting from scratch, why then throw in RPG elements including experience and leveling? Why does it feel like each difficulty doesn’t change the difficulty of the game but instead changes the lives system, so even casual with infinite lives is still as hard as normal? Why does the magic staff sound like a gun?
Also, these choices mean there is limited save and load functionality…. I can’t explain this one.
The thing is if you like Doom clones, you’ll like this game, it’s frantic, but if you aren’t looking for only Doom Clones, this is probably not going to be a major game to you. It also is in the wake of Doom 2016, so it’s a game that feels very out of date.
Will I play more? No, I spent only 30 minutes on Project Warlock. I know people love it, and if you love this style of game, great. There is a demo so feel free to try that out and see if I’m wrong, but I think you already should know if this is for you.
If you’ve ever heard of Pony Island, and want to play the next game by that developer, you’re in luck, here it is.
The Hex is hard to explain without spoilers, but there are six characters in a bar, each one from a different game and genre, and a murder is being planned, you have to uncover who will commit the murder and you do so by looking at the memories of each character of the games they were in.
I don’t want to give anything away, but the game here is more focused on the story than the challenging gameplay. Still, there are some good levels and designs here, as well as some clever use of gameplay to develop the story. I love the tropey nature of the games on display. The characters in the game are really strong and similar to Pony Island, this is a game that people will want to recommend without being able to say too much about it.
I also have to say the story here is excellent. It was so good I replayed the game after beating it because I loved seeing how it all fit together.
Would I play more? You know I played the whole game, I gave it a 4.5/5 and I’m thrilled that all of you will get a chance to check this out. I highly recommend this game. I should note I did get the game for free but I still am a huge fan of this one, check it out.
If you don’t know what a Tower Defense is, it is a style of game that was popularized on sites like Kongregate known for free flash games Tower Defenses are focused on building towers to attack a horde of enemies who come in waves, and players have to use strategy and tactics to keep the enemies from reaching their goals.
And that explanation is also one of the issues that I have with Warstone TD. This genre has been well-trodden by the Kongregate market, and there’s a lot of free Tower Defense games. If you want to check out the genre, I can recommend Gemcraft, Kingdom Rush, and the bloom games. All of them available free on Kongregate
So, How’s Warstone TD? It tries to build a story that I just didn’t connect with. The game itself feels very similar to many others, especially Kingdom Rush, and I didn’t find anything that stood out outside what’s normal in this genre.
Ok well, there’s one thing. There’s a PVP and a Co-op mode for multiplayer that could be interesting, but my one attempt for co-op resulted in a partner that was over-leveled and had far better units so my units did only a fraction of the work they should.
The thing is I don’t hate Warstone TD but I feel much of what has been done here has been done for free on Kongregate so I don’t know if this is going to be a popular game.
Will I play more? You know I found out one of my favorite Tower Defense games GemCraft has a version on Steam, I might play that one, but I probably won’t return to Warstone. Much of the gameplay is very passive, which is normal for Tower Defense but not exactly something I’d recommend.
Underhero is a unique game. It’s very similar to the Paper Mario, or Mario and Luigi RPGs. The game is based on real-time combat in your encounters with enemies and has solid platforming for exploration.
In the first hour, the inventory system is light and the writing is good. The game starts with a hero being killed by our main character, a typical enemy. From there the big bad wants him to go deliver three stones to three bosses. I honestly don’t know if he’s going to become a hero or assist the villian, but like I said the writing is well done.
The game should last about twelve to fifteen hours. The combat does require you to learn the pattern of enemy attacks but it appears to use the same enemies so they don’t change that often.
Think of Paper Mario but pull it back a bit, this is a small indie studio, not Nintendo but the same style and gameplay are here, so it’s worth checking out.
Will I play more? I don’t know for sure, but I’m having a blast with it so far, so I might play this whole game. It’s fresh and unique and that’s what I want in these games. It reminds me of WanderSong in that it’s “out there” but still recognizable.
You’re a cab driver who talks to his passengers and starts piecing together a major crime. At least that’s what I think is going on in Night Call.
There are three cases, so I assume this is how all three cases work, and in the first case, called The Judge, you were attacked by the Judge previously. You then return to your cab and go around talking to people and learning what you can.
The strongest part of the game is the conversations you have. This is another game where the writing is well done and I found the stories fascinating. Such as this one where you’re talking to a cat. Odd, strange, wonderful.
The character stories apparently go on beyond just one drive and there’s a list of people you can meet and their personal stories. It’s pretty interesting and feels like more than a simple visual novel. However, I do have to call out the weakness of the actual investigation mechanics. Sadly it’s just putting notes on a board, there’s not that much beyond that, at least in the first hour.
Will I play more? I’m not sure, I think the game is interesting and strong, so I probably will at least play through the first case if I get a chance, but it hasn’t fully hooked me yet, sadly.
Those are your 12 choices, but with this being a Humble Choice, you get a bonus game with any bundle. These tend to be small games, and this month the game is Tales from the Off-Peak City, let’s take a look
Tales from Off-Peak City Volume 1 is weird. About 18 months ago I reviewed The Norwood Suite and found a bizarre surreal, crazy game that was over too fast but I could never forget. Ten seconds into Tales from Off-Peak City, the Norwood Suite was back in my mind, and why shouldn’t it be. This is the sequel and … it’s even stranger than the previous game.
Sadly this is only volume one and it takes about an hour to play, at least that was my playtime for it, there could be more exploration allowed in the game. However this game is brilliant, strange and bizarre.
Everything is “off” in the game, and it makes for an even better experience, there’s a clear and interesting story in the game, and similar to Norwood Suites, it only gets me interested in this series, and everything else Cosmo D has made.
I really can’t explain this game, I can’t tell you anything about it, but if this type of game interests you, make sure you check the game out.
As for will I play more? I beat the game in under an hour, and I just want more. I’ll probably replay it because it’s just wicked interesting and I can dive in deeper on a few of these pieces.
So that’s it for the looks at the games. I want to take a moment and think about this entire month, and I’m going, to be honest, I’m not really feeling this month. I know I already have played Okami, The Hex, Shenzhen I/O and Eliza, but most months I think there are a number of solid games for all players is rather high.
This month, there’s a lot of specialty games. If you don’t like Visual novels, Eliza won’t be for you. Tower Defense is kind of a specialty, as is the Twitch gaming, and Cryofall is definitely for fans of whatever that is. Even Frostpunk and Pathfinder are a bit of specialty games themselves and I’m not sure how widespread the love will be this month and that isn’t what I was hoping for with Humble. Also, there’s really not a big 60 dollar title this month so I’m not saying avoid it, but I also can’t say this is the best.
With that said, let’s get on with it. I have five bottom picks, for games, you might want to skip if you’re going for either the 9 or 10 choice options and 5 games you should pick, for those only choosing three games. Let’s do it.
Number 5. Eliza. I like Eliza a lot, but if I’m honest with myself, I like Visual Novels. Eliza is a little bit of a weak choice here, even though I do enjoy it. I would also recommend Night Call as a different type of Visual Novel.
Number 4. Book of Demons. This just didn’t click with me, I’m sure people like it enough, but for me. Book of Demons just wasn’t fun and I can only imagine it gets worse as the game goes on.
Number 3. Project Warlock. I’m sure there’s a diehard audience for Doom clones and twitch shooters. It’s not me and I find this game difficult. Grab the demo on steam before you pick it up and figure it out yourself.
Number 2. Cryofall. I see what they were going with and the idea but it’s a 2d version of Conan Exiles in some ways. It’s just not something that interested me. Again there’s a demo that lets you play for 8 hours if after that time you want to go on choosing this game, it will let you roll your demo account over to a full account.
Number 1. Warhorse TD. This is a pretty popular category and there’s a lot of free to play options both on Steam and on Kongregate. I like the genre, but I don’t see a reason to pick this one.
That’s my thoughts on the worst of the month. Feel free to disagree, but let’s talk about what I think you SHOULD be picking up. Though I will say Night Call which is on in the background was my unofficial number 6. And I love Shenzhen, but I’m trying to remove myself as much as I can from the top 5 lists.
Number 5. Under Hero. It’s Paper Mario, I mean come on. That’s a great style that isn’t overused. The gameplay is solid and it’s an interesting story so far, Definitely worth a look.
Number 4 Frostpunk. It’s a downer but it’s also really well developed and I get the hype it’s gotten.
Number 3. The Hex. This game is so good, it’s only this low because it’s length is less than ten hours. But it’s a must-play for the month.
Number 2. Okami. If you want a great Zelda style adventure you have it here. It’s 30 hours or more, and it’s still very good looking. Just too talkative.
Number 1. There’s a lot of reasons why games get on this list, uniqueness, gameplay, just quality, solid writing. But this month I’m giving the top spot for one category. Length.
Pathfinder Kingmaker is just going to be a quantity game at over 80 hours to beat the main game, and over 120 for people who want to do it all. It also feels like a quality game at the same time which is why it was eligible for this spot, so definitely check it out. If you don’t like D&D and don’t like RPGs, this isn’t for you, but in just a pure bang for your buck, I don’t think any other game this month comes close.
And that’s my bottom and top 5, thanks for coming this far. So if you enjoyed this, consider subscribing I try to get these out as fast as possible after the Humble Choice’s release. I hope you enjoy it. Ring the bell to be notified first when I put out my videos.
Next up we have a Sonic Retrospective review, and after that. I’ll be honest, I want to change some things I’ve been doing, I’m going to try to focus more on mechanics than the games themselves. If that interests you, well stick around.
I’ll be putting up my video review for The Hex and Eliza if you would like to see those videos to get a further look at either game.
Until then I’m Kinglink and thank you for watching.