I’m Kinglink and it’s time to do the Humble Choice June 2020 review.
As always, I’ll go through each game from this month and give my opinions on them, tell you what I liked, didn’t like, and who should check it out. There’s a lot of variety and it appears to be a good month. Stick around until the end and I’ll give you the top and bottom 5 games of the month.
I have chapters enabled so if there’s a specific game you want to hear about, you can just jump to that part of the video. Let’s get started.
Supraland So the first game this month is interesting. It gives an odd first impression but this is an adventure game with a focus on exploration and puzzles, not story or crafting.
Supraland is at it’s best when presenting puzzles. I enjoy puzzles that aren’t immediately obvious when you see them and so far that’s what I’ve found here, very well designed and interesting puzzles without too much precision necessary.
There’s a good exploration system as well, with a lot to see, and a bit of a collect-athon going on to get all the coins, treasure, and more, including several secret areas. After an hour I’ve only seen about 10 percent of the game, but I am enjoying myself.
The one issue I have is that the combat is bad. If it was limited to arenas maybe it could work but I don’t enjoy itl. The game also lacks a lot of polish and a few times there have been moments where I understand what the game wants me to do but not an easy way to do so. Minor tweaks, like giving an outline of the cube that you can summon, could have improved the game and would be appreciated.
If you like what you see, and want a great adventure game even if it’s in first person and a little rough, this is for you. If you hate fiddly puzzle games (like portal at times) or are only interested in a perfect game, this isn’t it. Still, I enjoyed it, I probably will play more in the future.
If you aren’t sold yet, there is a demo on Steam, check it out there.
Grid (2019). This is last year’s Grid and if you’ve ever played Grid you probably know how this goes. There’s a huge number of different events and a lot of cars, go race.
Racing games are always going to be an acquired taste, though if you want to win, you can turn down the difficulty, if you want a challenge, the game often doesn’t require you to win a race to advance, and overall, the experience is pretty good.
At the same time there’s a lot of different events, and a lot of different experiences here. On Medium the AI seems extremely aggressive as you’ll see on the screen, but it’s all racing at the end of the day. Get in a car, try to get first, and then get in another car and do the same. The experience is really solid, you get a ton of DLC here, and there’s a lot of content. But after an hour I had my fill. Enjoyable but… Racing.
So if you enjoy Grid, or you like slightly arcadey racing games, Grid is very good, it’s top-notch. I currently play The Crew 2 while watching Ozark with my wife, and I like Grid more. At the same time, if you don’t like racing games or aren’t dying for another racing game, Grid could be a safe pass.
Finally, If you only are here for Grid, Fanatical has a Kingslayer 2 deal going on, it’s 5 bucks to get Grid and a bunch of other games, that might save you some money, though I think the number of people here just for Grid might be on the low side, I wanted to give you a heads up on how to save some cash.
Quick Disclosure: I originally reviewed Hellblade on a review copy, it has not changed my opinion but I feel like I should disclose that.
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice is my little problem child this month. As a game, this is phenomenal, it’s almost perfection. The audio design is brilliant, and it’s one of the only games that I will say you NEED headphones for or 3d audio. Trust me when I say that.
Hellblade is all about Senua and a journey she takes to travel to Helheim. It’s well reported that this game deals with mental health issues and honestly, it’s done very well, being one of the best stories of all time and worthy of a ton of praise.
Yet, Hellblade’s combat is repetitive and a bit weak. The opening hours are very entertaining but Hellblade never evolves the combat beyond that opening. There are only a couple of bosses, and almost no new enemies, yet there’s a lot of combat. It doesn’t ruin the game but the combat is a bit groanworthy by the end.
The real problem is Hellblade was already available in July 2019’s Humble Monthly Bundle. I love this game, and I think it’s worthy of a huge amount of praise and gave it a game of the year award when I played it… but you might already have it from that bundle. Still, if you don’t have it, I would highly recommend the bundle for just this game and if you do have it and haven’t played it, try it out.
I recommend this to anyone who values stories in video games, and really, I think everyone should at least give this one a shot. It’s remarkable at all levels and I only hope Hellblade 2 can be even half as good as this.
And if you are somehow not sold yet. There’s a free VR version of the game that’s pretty amazing which comes when you own the base copy.
The Messenger. Speaking of games I’ve already reviewed and loved: The Messenger. This is a bit like a modern take on Ninja Gaiden and I’m not sure how much to say about this game.
The thing is I would say that the genre of the game is a bit of a spoiler, but the developer gives it away… so this is a Metroidvania and involves time travel, and that reveal comes about halfway through the game. At that moment, the Messenger goes from a great game to an amazing game.
But it’s not just that this is a Metroidvania. The Messenger is an outstanding game due to the writing, the gameplay, and the experience. This takes an NES or Super NES game and updates it for a modern release on almost every front delivering on an outstanding game.
I recommend The Messenger to any fan of retro games, platformers, Metroidvanias, funny games. If you’re not into platformers or Metroidvanias, I might not recommend this as strongly, but I would say you’re probably missing out.
Oh, and The Messenger was one of my games of the year for 2019. It’s that good.
Barotrauma. Let’s just say this is the type of game I like to see in Humble Choice, the type of game you never heard of but you want to try out.
Barotrauma is a 2D submarine game where players are members of the crew of a submarine. It appears that each character has skills and stats of a specific type of crewmen, so you might have a medic who’s there to heal people, a captain who should be commanding the crew, or a security officer built for combat.
The game tells you not to play it in single-player, as it’s not fully implemented but I ran through the tutorials that it suggested which took me about an hour for 5 classes. I also played for 5 minutes in the single-player, and yeah I’m not sure about this game.
It is interesting though, your crew can take on missions and try to kill targets, run supplies and more, at least that’s my understanding of the game and the goals of it. A big component of the game is multiplayer and with what I saw in the tutorial, this could be quite enjoyable with the right team. Have four or five friends and want to command a vessel and try to survive an adventure? You’ll probably have a great time, and you will want to play multiplayer from what I’ve seen.
Still. I kind of have a problem here. This is Early Access, and while it’s claiming to be a .9 which I hope means almost out of Early Access, why not wait until you release your game to sell it for full price. I have theories, but it’s just odd to get an Early Access game here.
I do like what I’ve seen, but it’s not for me. If the idea of being a crew member on a submarine, that’s apparently on another planet, or you want a different multiplayer game, Barotrauma seems like it. It might even be worth picking up in the hopes they release in the next six months to see the final game, but for me. I probably won’t return, it’s just not the type of game I’m interested in.
Felix the Reaper. This is a puzzle game where the player has to create situations that cause target’s deaths at least that’s the stated purpose. In reality much of Felix the reaper is about moving certain objects to goal locations, and in that way, it’s a solid puzzle game.
The story is that Felix the Reaper is in love with Betty, a Maiden of Life, I don’t know if puzzle games need stories. But something is endearing with the story of Felix the Reaper. However, I do have to call out there’s very suggestive imagery here. It’s not awful but this game is pretty much geared towards adults.
The fact that Felix is dancing the entire time on the screen is also really funny, and I love how he moves. Rather than having a set of standard walk cycles, Felix seems to boogie all over the board and the game shouts out famous lyrics when you do something right. Like I said this game can be charming.
Much of the game is moving the sun back and forth between two locations and trying to build a bridge in the shade to various targets, usually moving the target object from one location to another. It’s a simple concept but there’s a good challenge in almost every level here.
The downside of the game is that there’s not a ton of levels, though there are a couple of standard “challenges” such as moves, correctness, and timing. There’s also a Hard mode for every level in the game and each hard level is brutal, and then collectibles on those hard levels as well.
If you love Puzzle games this is an easy recommendation, though it probably isn’t worthy of the full bundle price on its own. It’s a very solid game and worth playing. On the other hand, it’s a relatively simple point and click puzzle game, if you need more than that, probably leave this one on the shelf.
Men of War Assault Squad 2. As I started to play Men of War: Assault Squad 2 I felt like I had played this game before, and I kind of have. This is very similar to the first Assault Squad with some improvements, but ultimately this is the same game.
If you’ve never played either of these games, they could be described as a simulator RTS. Normally in an RTS, players take armies and go to war, by ordering troops but Assault Squad takes that as far as it can. It offers direct control of units, inventory systems, and focuses on skirmish battles. The focus of the game is to get players into multiplayer which is normal for an RTS.
There are a lot of cool thoughts put into this game, but there are a few issues I have. I already have Assault Squad and if I wanted to play this game, I don’t see a reason not to just play that one. Granted Assault Squad 2 does have Workshop support but I see that for the die-hard fan. Though I will mention there’s Warhammer 40k, and Star Wars skins for the whole game so that might be worth it.
The gameplay left me unsatisfied. I know it’s trying to be a simulation but I feel direct control over units felt too powerful. It’s also a 6-year-old game at this point, and it’s currently on sale on steam for 5 dollars, Assault Squad 1 is going for 2 dollars. That sale will end the day before this video comes out but I also see a steam sale will happen this month so watch out for that.
Should you get Assault Squad though? Well, do you like RTSes and want a little more hardcore gameplay? You have to resupply your troops, and you’ll have a lot of control over your units but, I’ll be honest, I think it’s way too fiddly. But I’m not the biggest RTS fan and I know there’s a solid community for it.
Styrian: Reign of the Old Ones. This is a Lovecraftian horror RPG. I’m not going to go too far into Lovecraft but if your first question was “What’s Lovecraftian” this probably isn’t for you. Also, look up Lovecraft’s cat’s name because… yikes.
For everyone else, who is really into this style of writing, I can assume this will be enjoyable for you. I am not a fan of Lovecraft, I find the writing to be very prose heavy, with specific words using, and I don’t love horror. If you’re a fan of the style, you will probably enjoy the writing. The gameplay here works well with the theme and the experience is what I would expect from what I’ve seen of Lovecraftian games before.
On the other hand, I wasn’t a big fan. The game is a little too slow for me, and much of the game is wandering around and hoping to run into quests. The main quest seemed to stall out for me, and after looking online it seems that quest may be unfinished. I looked further online and several people are saying the entire game is unfinished and buggy, I didn’t run into that many bugs but be aware.
If you’re into the style of writing though, you’ll enjoy the theme and experience of the game, though it does feel like this game could be a little hard on the difficulty. On the other hand, if you haven’t heard or played a game in the Lovecraft universe, I don’t think this is the one to try out. This is just a strange game that will likely appeal to a specific group of people, but I did have fun trying something new.
Remnants of Naezith. Probably saying that wrong but this is a 2d speedrunner with a heavy focus on using a grappling hook, swing mechanics, and short levels.
There is an opening cinematic story when you boot the game but it has no connection to the gameplay or the game after that point. Much of the game is running levels and seeing ghosts of other players to chase after. The game is always showing you someone who is better so you have a chance to improve. In a lot of ways, this reminds me of Celeste or Super Meat Boy, though it is different, the same type of mentality is on display here.
My one complaint here is it’s not always clear why certain moves work or don’t work, particularly skipping on the water, and there are only a few limited tutorials. Still, I was able to make significant progress through the game in an hour and beat about a fourth of it along with a speed run of all those levels. The difficulty does seem to rise in the second area, which will challenge players.
I also like the fact that the game tracks your “Dominance” I would say that’s the position on the leaderboard but after closer examination, I think that’s wrong. Anyway, your Dominance level is how the game tracks your skill. It’s a great way to take a large number of long and short levels and create a single overall value for the entire game.
Though, if you want to feel good about yourselves, don’t check the top tier players, they’re ridiculously good.
I like Remnant of Naezith, the speedrunning aspects are a big part of the game, but the level design is good, the gameplay is fun, and the presentation of the speedrunning aspect and length of the levels make it easy to replay levels over and over. But there’s no story, or theme to the game outside of the grappling hooks so it might be too much for some people.
I need to disclose this. I backed this game on Kickstarter because many of the people who created this game gave me my start in the game industry. I’ve worked closely with some of the people on the team. I didn’t even give this game a score when I looked at it previously because I am biased.
Overload is a return to the era of Descent. I think Descent was the first 6 Degrees of Freedom game where the player flies around a mine to blow up the reactor and escape. Overload is essentially the same game though made a couple of decades later.
Much of Overload is exploring large environments and trying to find keycards, stranded civilians, and the reactor, all while dealing with modified mining drones that will attack you on sight. This isn’t the stand and shoot type of game, but more focused on constantly moving and dodging attacks while shooting the enemies as well. It’s very different from anything that is currently out there in the video game market.
A big piece here is that 6 degrees of freedom. What that means is the game allows you to move and rotate your ship in any direction, similar to how planes would operate, but without the force of gravity it creates a very strange experience with trying to move through the large bases you’re on.
I would recommend this to anyone who remembers Descent or anyone who wants a very different style of gameplay. Overload is made to replicate the original game so if you’re not interested in a game like Descent, this might not be for you. There is also a slight chance of motion sickness because you can move in all six directions but I didn’t experience that myself.
There is also a VR mode for the game so if you like VR, you could check that out but I would also caution on that because I find that VR mode hard to play and it’s a bit sick inducing.
The Stillness of the Wind. I don’t get this game, I don’t understand it, I don’t like it. It seems like this is an art game where the player is forced to deal with the idea of loneliness and isolation as you play a farmer who lives a very meager life and maybe that’s the goal.
But if that’s the case, why not have something interesting in the game. The UI is dreadful, the experience is boring, and… nothing happens. I was trying to find something to do for about 20 minutes and the only thing I felt was boredom. Maybe that’s the idea, but it wasn’t boredom of the character’s life but boredom of playing the game.
While people say the entire game takes 3 hours and some change to play, after 40 minutes, that might mean I’ve seen a sixth of the game… and I’m not a fan. Reviews seem to hint that more goes on such as dreams and such so maybe my copy is glitched but I don’t think so. I also couldn’t find a way to read letters that were delivered. As I said, the UI really could have been far better.
Grab this game if you want something experimental or far more art than a game, but I just don’t understand this game at all or what it’s trying to do, nor do I have any desire to learn more about the game. I even was reading forum posts about the game online and … I found myself too bored to go on with the game or hear about it.
The King’s Bird. This is a platformer that is just uplifting. There’s something beautiful about the King’s Bird. It’s not just the art but it’s the whole package. The music especially makes each level a joy to play through.
I particularly like the feeling of motions and momentum here. There’s almost a flow to each level that makes the player moving through it wonderful. There’s a good challenge, but when it clicks everything works well. There are also bonus collectibles that will give players a little challenge to gather them.
The game starts with a story and yet after the first ten minutes, it disappears into a rather standard level based game which includes flying through the area and dashing on floors, walls, and even ceilings. The experience is like nothing else.
Some people online have complained about the controls and I don’t see it here. I’ve had an absolute blast and found this to be quite a solid game, but like usual I have only played a single hour of The King’s Bird so perhaps there are issues further on.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to play a platformer or wants a happy upbeat game, which I needed after The Stillness of the Wind. If you want action or combat though, it doesn’t appear to be part of the game so avoid this if you need more than beautiful music and solid controls.
So that’s the 12 Humble Choice games for this month. Before we get into my thoughts on the bundle, let’s quickly touch on the bonus games.
First up is Before I Forget. unsurprisingly you play a character who is suffering from dementia in a general sense of forgetfulness of her past. You walk around, look at objects, and start to remember things Sadly, the game is really obvious where it’s going. I even guessed the story about five minutes in then came up with two or three AMAZING twists, that didn’t happen.
It’s still a fun little experience and if you pick up the bundle I’d recommend it. I like how the art expands out and adds color to the room as you’re exploring but I’m glad it was a bonus game and not a choice because it’s less than an hour long. Still a good addition to the Bundle.
Then there’s IkenFell Sneak Peek. This is a Demo of the Ikenfell game. It seems like it’s a bit of a Harry Potter RPG. magic school, stuff. I’m not a fan of the demo. It’s an RPG but it just drops you in the middle of Chapter 2 and the game starts making references to what you’ve done previously. It does have a good art style and the battle system is tactical but… I probably will not be picking this one up. If you like RPGs, check this out as it’s free with the bundle. Also, I recently did a video on Ni No Kuni 2 you should check out… just saying.
So that’s everything in the Humble Choice except for a bonus game. I will give the same advice that I gave two months ago. Don’t buy this bundle for this game, we don’t know what it is or anything about it, and if it was anything of value they should have announced it. Don’t expect it to be a 60 dollar title.
The last bonus game we got was Train Valley 2 so imagine a game around that value. So yeah, don’t buy the bundle assuming you’ll get anything you want there and you should be fine.
So with that said what about the entire bundle here. I think there’s a lot of solid choices, and this is the type of Humble Choice I like to see, there’s different genres, solid games, and surprising choices.
While I love Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice, the fact is that it was already in a Humble Monthly previously and that sucks. The King’s Bird and The Stillness of The Wind were both in weekly bundles before, and they must have been somewhat good because I owned both of them. Also there’s currently a bundle on Itch.io which includes those games. It’s the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality which is a massive bundle with over 700 games. If you want to support that, you can and get those two. And as mentioned, Grid is currently in a Fanatical deal with the Kingslayer 2 Bundle for 5 bucks.
Still, let’s talk about the best and worst of the month. The Top 5 and Bottom 5 games. I struggled with the bottom 5, there’s a lot of great games this month but I’m going to find the five I would least recommend.
The fifth worst Barotrauma. Now listen I think Barotrauma is interesting and unique but it could have been on the top list. My issue is it’s not fully out, and I can’t tell if the single-player will be fun. I’m hopeful they can deliver but as it is right now, it’s a multiplayer game. It’s quite interesting but it’s the bottom of the list this month.
The fourth worst Grid. This is the same story. I enjoyed my time with it. If you love racing games, this will be one of your favorites of the month, but it’s not anything outside of a semi arcadey racer. Fun but on the lower side of a very packed list.
The third worst Men of War Assault Squad 2. This feels like a remake of the first game. There have been some improvements, but not many that most people will care about, though Workshop support is good. It’s a Simulation RTS, I just don’t see this to be a top tier entry for most people.
The second worst Styrian: Reign of the Old Ones. It’s an interesting Lovecraftian game, but I wasn’t drawn in. If you’re a Lovecraft fan, this would be a heavy recommendation, but otherwise, you can skip it, and the fact that it sounds unfinished yet fully released… It’s probably fine to skip this one.
The worst The Stillness of the Wind. The only game I disliked this month was The Stillness in the Wind. I won’t even say I hated it, but nothing happened, and I’m not sure who is going to go for this game. Still… It’s not even “bad” just not for me.
Those are the Bottom 5 games this month, with me enjoying almost all the games at some level the top was a tight race but let’s go through those now. Though I will say I put Overload aside both because it’s so limited in its fan base (it’s made for fans of Descent) and that I worked with most of those people. I wasn’t sure where I could honestly put it and feel right about my list. Its absence is a failure of the reviewer, not of the game itself.
The fifth best Remnants of Naezith. I had a really good time with this game and the way it presents the leaderboards and dominance level is solid and made the whole package work. The level design is good, and the grappling hook feels both natural and novel as does the controls.
The fourth best. The King’s Bird. Speaking of solid controls, The King’s Bird is another great platformer with a lot of charm. There’s just a light-hearted nature to this game that made it feel really pleasant even while it was asking the player to complete some challenging moves. The music here is key to the whole experience so try this game out with the sound on.
The third best Supraland. I always wonder if the order I play these games matters to my opinions, but even though Supraland was the first game I played, I enjoyed this one and am going to be playing more of it. There are not many amazing puzzle and exploration games, so this one is worthy of your time.
The second best, The Messenger. This is one of the best games I’ve played in a long time and one that understands the idea of being a game based on retro games. There are tons of little features here that will make you smile but the entire game works well. The Messenger continues to offer a great experience and when you finish it? Free DLC is already released with a great finale. There’s a reason this won a game of the year award from me.
The best game of June 2020 is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Yes, I got this game for free, but I also adore this game. I’ve had the opportunity to talk about it twice before. To put it simply, this is an experience you should not miss. The story alone would be worthy of praise but the entire game is brilliant. Though I HIGHLY recommend headphones or surround sound, I can’t stress that enough. There’s so much more I want to talk about but I’m going to leave this spoiler-free.
That’s my opinion for the Humble choice in June 2020, it’s been another big month but I’m glad to see it and I think this is a great month. Even removing Hellblade for Humble Monthly fans who already have it leaves the Messenger which is equally fantastic, and if you remove both of those, it’s still a solid month.
So what do you guys think about June 2020? Anything you disagree with? Feel free to let me know down in the comments.
If you’ve made it this far, you know what happens, The subscription plea, but this is a special month. I just hit 950 subs, so there are less than 50 subs until I hit the big 1000, and that’s a massive milestone. It won’t be changing anything with the channel, no ads, no sponsorships but when I started the channel I never thought I’d get 100 subs, I’m almost to 10 times that. Here’s my request. If you can do anything to help, I appreciate it. If you haven’t subscribed, please consider it, if you have, maybe share the video with a friend, or on social media. It means a lot to me and I want to give a thank you to anyone who has supported me even just by watching one of my videos. That’s all I have to say about that but thank you all.
With that said, I’ll be popping up three videos here. We have a spoiler-filled review of Hellblade, I just couldn’t talk about the game without spoiling key pieces, but if you want to see that, it’s there. There’s a review of The Messenger as well and I’ll gush about that. And finally, we have a very old retrospective on Overload. It’s a scoreless review that I did specifically for that game, but if you want to know more about Overload, check that video out.
Until then, I’m Kinglink, and thanks for watching.