Humble Choice October 2020 Review – Humble, we have a problem

I’m Kinglink and it’s that time of the month, this is the Humble Choice October 2020 Review.

So I play one hour per game, and once again, we get 12 games for the premium and classic subscribers and this is kind of a bumpy month. Let’s just get started and I’ll talk about it later.

Tropico 6. Tropico is the game where you run a caribbean country that is totally not Cuba, where you’re a dictator that’s totally not Castro… yeah ok, I think it’s clear what this game is referring to.

This is a series where it’s all about fulfilling demands by people and building up your country. I skipped the tutorial and jumped right into the game and it’s very similar to previous titles. Starting in the early periods the focus was more on keeping the crown happy, so they’ll give you extension to your mandate, though the game was hinting that future eras would allow you to become a dictator and deal with elections like the previous games.

Tropico is a strange game to evaluate in only an hour because it really requires ten to twenty hours to start to see the issues, but in this case, nothing felt too out of place other than an aggressive pirate horde. I’ll probably return to sink many more hours in here.

Pick this up if you like Tropico, Civilization, Sim City. This is a president simulator, though it has some twists where you don’t have to be a benevolent leader and can guide with an iron fist.

Fae Tactics. The demo of this game was available in the Humble Choice of May 2020. We now have the full game. The strange thing is this had a demo on steam and it’s been pulled, but good news is if you played the humble choice demo your save game copies over.

Fae Tactics is in the same vein as Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea, though I feel it’s a little more on the Disgaea side of that line, only without the insane leveling. I picked up the game shortly after the demo and I’m having a great time with this again.

This is a bit scaled back for a Strategy RPG but there’s a lot of tactical ability here, and again, I like the art, the style and the experience. Even collecting cards from the enemies so you can summon them yourself is a really nice change to the formula.

I recommend it for fans of strategy RPGs or people who want to try the genre and want a relatively easy game. Hardcore fans of the genre might be disappointed but I really like the streamlined controls.

The Sunless Bundle. This contains both the Sunless Seas and Sunless Skies. I played The Sunless Seas as you will see on the screen. I’m not sure I really understand what this game is. It seems to encourage frequent deaths and exploration but also doesn’t feel like it changes much.

I’ll admit, an hour isn’t enough time for a roguelite to see how it changes but after two deaths it seems mostly the same, so I don’t know whether my experience is the same as others. I’ll also say that the feeling of the game is drab. It’s supposed to be a horror game, and I suppose I was fearful of getting attacked but, in general, I just felt like the entire game was a downer. Sailing the seas felt more like a monotonous voyage than an exciting journey.

Maybe this game isn’t for me, I’m not a fan of the writing. It does simple things like call the sea the Zee, Z E E? Why? It’s trying too hard to be flowery but it also seems to lack much substance at the same time. Also 2020 is getting to me, a game that is so dreary is probably coming around at the wrong time. It’s also entirely possible that 1 hour isn’t enough for this game, but for me. I probably won’t return.

Pick it up if you want a roguelike, maritime exploration game that starts off slow. I’ve heard amazing things about this game, but I haven’t really seen anything that interesting yet.

Note: Sunless Seas and Sunless Skies are different keys so if you want one and want to give the other to a friend, you can.

Iron Danger. Ever feel like you wanted another chance in a video game to fix a mistake a few seconds ago? That’s Iron Danger. The main character here dies and then gets the magic power to go back about 7 seconds. From there she can change any action that she or another character makes. So suddenly instead of taking damage, she can dodge out of the way.

It’s an interesting concept but it feels like it gives the player entirely too much power to balance. I’m sure there’s a difficulty to the game, but it’s like being Superman. You have to come up with ludicrous ideas to even get a balance.

Also this is a level based game, rather than an open world, though it certainly looks like a MMORPG or a typical Western RPG.

Pick this up if the concept of manipulating time interests you at all. It’s done very well, and I do applaud the developer. But it’s very fiddly, so you’ll be jumping back and forth multiple times in the hopes of surviving each encounter.

Autonauts: Age of Enlightenment. It seems every month there’s at least one of these nerdy games just for me, and this month it’s Autonauts. It’s a cute colorful game where players give orders to robots to automate parts of their day to day.

It’s a good concept though I’ve seen it done in a few places. The programming here tries to be simple but it really relies on players being able to give clean instructions and this is where Autonauts breaks down. If you make any incorrect move you have to start over or try to modify the instructions and that becomes annoying.

The issue is once you’re trying to do something more complicated, Autonauts quickly becomes complicated and I honestly find the programming here to be the messiest part of the game. Personally, I prefer Automachef from August, or Zachtronics games from earlier this year.

Pick this up if you want another programming game, especially one that involves telling robots what to do, but all I want to do after playing this is go play Factorio or Satisfactory. I think they are better experiences.

Shadows: Awakening. This is an interesting take on the classic diablo style. In Shadows: Awakening you play the role of a demon called the Devourer. Your character is supposed to eat human souls and then have the ability to become those characters.

It’s a way to give the player two planes of existence to explore. You can be a normal human and talk to people and then switch to a spirit realm and see the map change. A number of puzzles are offered with this system and, in general, it’s a pretty interesting game allowing the player to switch characters at will.

The Devourer also gets multiple souls so the party is made up of the souls that he consumes, however the second soul I found was pretty weak and I barely used him, but in general this seemed to feel fresh. The story is the one part of Shadows: Awakening that I wasn’t really feeling.

Pick this up if you like Diablo and want to try something different with the formula. I’m not sure if it will be consistently solid, but the first hour made me interested in what else they could do with the potential of this game.

Fantasy.Blacksmith. I try not to shit on games especially in the Humble Choice because someone might like it. Fantasy Blacksmith is a Blacksmith Simulator.. I think that’s what it’s going for. However, it is just terrible.

The lighting is far too dark, you’ll lose items in the darkness, the gameplay is awful, the tutorial glitched for me the first time and wasn’t that helpful the second time, the experience is questionable. The idea has been done better, in fact, I would say that Kingdom Come Deliverance does this in a far more interesting manner. And by the end, my sword looked like a tube rather than a blade.

I know I say Fun with Ragdolls was the worst game I played this year.. I don’t want to say that every month but this could be the worst I’ve EVER played. It’s just so bad. It’s been out a year, there’s no reason for this state. I get it, indie game, they didn’t know how to make something better. But this feels insulting, and it being in the bundle makes me question Humble Choice’s selection policy.

I don’t think anyone should get this game. I personally couldn’t play this for more than thirty minutes. This just feels unfun and repetitive. It’s not even interesting like a normal simulator game, it’s just dull.

The Sucide of Rachel Foster. If you’re hoping for a happy game, check the title again. This is a walking simulator where the main character is going through a hotel, that she left ten years ago, and is now looking at it after her father, who owned it, died..

This is a hard one to talk about, I saw some negativity about it, The first hour here is very compelling and quite well done. The main character and the person she talks to on the whole is interesting and the story seems compelling. So I was a little confused about the problem. I broke my rule and I did research.

Without spoilers. This game goes to places, and some people think it’s great, and some people think it’s too far. Without talking about the major point which is a massive spoiler, all I can say is there is potential for mishandling the subject matter. At the same time even knowing a decent amount of spoilers here… I am willing to see more, just to make up my mind for myself.

If you like walking simulators and the title doesn’t turn you off, you’ll probably enjoy this one. Though the game does seem to be playing up horror aspects which… I don’t think it is really needed. I plan on doing a full review on this one, it’s not a very long game.

Goat of Duty. Just to quickly say, if you play this game and no one is online, bots will join your game so you can still play. That’s the good news. The bad news is this is a dead game, and again Humble… what are you doing?

Thursday before the bundle, this game had a max of 18 concurrent players according to steamspy. On Saturday it peaked at 54 users, Friday I found one game, and it was a packed lobby but no other games were seen. Now technically this game doesn’t show full rooms, but I have a feeling this game will get a bump in users and a drop after the month if not sooner.

This was free at one point, there’s one or two hundred thousand copies out there, according to steamspy, but …. Listen, this is a dead multiplayer game, and again. Humble shouldn’t be putting dead games out. Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Rapture Rejects… this really needs to stop.

I don’t think anyone should be picking this game up, it’s going to be dead again after October. It plays a bit like a weak version of Quake, but Quake Champions is free to play, I don’t see a reason to play this instead.

The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day. This is a point and click puzzle game, where the player is a robot in a future society where all humans are dead… except they’re not because that’s the story.

The dialogue here is very flat. The characters are trying to be robotic, but it makes me miss the emotion humans would have. The writing doesn’t help much to liven up the game. Much of the game is walking through locations and finding the right objects and then using it. Somehow this game found a way to do pixel hunting puzzles as well, and has no way to find all the interactable objects on a screen. Point and click Adventure games are much better than this today.

Yet as a game, it’s still pretty good. If you like point and click adventure games this one seems alright. I’ll be playing more of it I think. Though it is a little aggressive with the achievements, I already received almost a third in the first hour.

Pick this up as a point and click adventure but it’s not a great one. Still I found the topics interesting even if the writing was a little weak.

Basement. This is a game similar to many drug empire simulators. I remember when Dope Wars was popular over 20 years ago so this sounds fun.

However, Basement becomes brutally hard fast, and checking online there’s apparently a lot of difficulty spikes. The second level drops the facade and you really have to manage your money quite a bit. It’s a shame because as a concept a drug selling simulator can be fun, but Basement seems more challenging than interesting.

It doesn’t help that there are a number of swears, and while swears can be interesting, funny, or help build a story this seems to be just trying to be edgy. Such as saying fuck in the tutorial, or asshole a lot. Also they use the N word, though drop the er for an A.. Maybe it’s common in Belarus where they come from, but these are three white guys from there. I feel I have to at least bring that up.

Pick this up if you want a very hard drug simulator game. Also if you’ll be offended by the swearing (I found it to be more eyerolling then anything) then skip this one.

Lightmatter.. Wow, this is great. This is a game focused on light and deadly shadows. If you step in the shadows you’ll die, but you will be fine if you walk in the light.

So let’s keep this brief, this game is trying to be Portal, and oddly enough, I kind of think it succeeds. The levels are really well designed, the writing is engaging. The main character who talks to you has that sarcastic style that is similar to GLaDOS.

I’d say it’s easy to just imitate a popular game, but I’ve seen at least four games try to pull off this style and all fell far short. Lightmatter had me interested in the first 20 minutes and I’ve seen a few really smart puzzles in the first hour. I’ll probably finish off this game this month. Really good job, Tunnel Vision Games, you deserve a lot of praise for this.

Pick this up if you’re a fan of solid puzzle games, or great writing. Portal fans really should check this game out in some format, there’s a free trial version if you’re unsure.

That’s what we have for the choices this month, we also have the two bonus games, rather than a game and a demo. Starting with the full game Syzygy, I think that’s how it’s pronounced.

This is a puzzle game where you can change the shape of the world. It’s completely played with the mouse and you can move around the world or reform it. There are a few puzzles but many of the puzzles feel like guessing rather than a rewarding experience for getting something right.

After playing for fifteen minutes, I stopped. I just wasn’t have a good time. I can understand the concept and there’s something interesting about it, but the gameplay here just doesn’t feel that entertaining.

I normally won’t recommend a bundle based on the bonus game and I won’t be changing that policy today. This just feels strange and odd.

I feel like I’ve been down on a number of games this month. But Fate of Kai, the second bonus game is wonderful. This is a beautifully drawn comic where the player can use words in thought bubbles to change the story and experience a huge drama.

The art here is very good, the story is interesting and there are a few different pieces of the game all doing something unique. I really like the concept and somehow even with a simple system like this, there’s a few interesting moments.

However I finished the game in under an hour, it’s short, but if you do pick up the bundle at any level, I really recommend you check out Fate of Kai. It’s a perfect add-on. I’m going to let it play while I take Humble to task, none of this belongs on Fate of Kai.

So that’s what’s in this month’s Humble Choice. To be honest… this is not good. Let’s go over a few pieces.

Starting off I want to call out Goat of Duty again. This is a dead game, and not a hidden gem. This shouldn’t be in the bundle, at the same time, Fantasy Blacksmith… I don’t have a clue why that game is here, but neither of those games should remain.

Also Goat of Duty was free on steam, as was the Uncertain. Autonauts, and Light Matters was free from Prime and I personally grab all those prime games because, free games. Four games were free previously, that’s really bad. Autonauts was free last month on prime. According to IsThereAnyDeal, 7 of these games have been bundled before, not necessarily through Humble, but that’s over half. What is going on here?

Then there’s Tropico 6, which probably should have been in the Tropico bundle from last month.

The fact we got Fae Tactics is a bad decision, in that I feel that we’ll see other demos come to Humble before long. I want Carto, but if I wait long enough, do I get it as part of a bundle? Maybe.

I think there are also discussions of quality that people can have but this month did not impress me. Usually I can find one game that makes me excited and while Tropico probably will be good, it’s not enough.

We’ll do three of the worst, but I think you’ll know most of them. And five best, which … I’ll tell you it’s a struggle this month.

The third weakest of this month is Basement. This game just isn’t that fun. Like I said, the subject matter was really fun in a number of other games. They’re trying to go for a marijuana version of Breaking Bad, but it’s crude, rude, and at a time weed is getting legal, it’s really out of place.

The second weakest of this month is Goat of Duty. It’s a dead game. That’s really problematic, and while there are bots, the bots don’t seem that intelligent. Yet, who wants to play a multiplayer only game with bots. The concept also really doesn’t work. It’s a shooter with goats. I’m just going to play Goat Simulator.

The weakest this month is Fantasy Blacksmith. I don’t like this game, I find it weak and boring and it feels like an indie title that is someone’s first game. It probably is, but that doesn’t mean it deserves a spot in the bundle.

With that said, let’s quickly move on to the strongest of this month which are

The fifth strongest is Iron Danger. This is a novel concept and I kind of remember someone doing this, but I might have been watching Iron Danger, with that said, it’s worth a look if you want to see something different.

The fourth strongest is Shadows: Awakening. Conceptually this is a fresh game, and the gameplay is interesting. It might get very grindy and monotonous, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s different, again that’s something I value a lot.

The third strongest, is Fae Tactics. I liked this game in May, I like this game now. It’s bright, colorful and the story is interesting. I don’t know if I’ll dive into an SRPG so easily, but if I do, this will be on the top of the list. Wish there was more achievement though.

The second strongest is Lightmatter. It’s like portal but is almost a meme at this point. Light matter doesn’t really have a but, or at least it’s “but it’s light rather than portal”. If the game is as strong as the opening hours this could be rock solid.

The strongest of the month is Tropico 6. I actually played every game before Tropico, order is available in the description, and while I’m not sure how good Tropico 6 will be. I’ll probably play it more than the playtimes of all the other games on the list to even make that decision. Fans of the series like it, though it does lack the campaign, which is both positive and negative. I think it has both quantity and quality, which is a reason it’s my game of the month.

So that’s what I think of the bundle. Honestly, if I wasn’t covering it for my viewers, I’d probably skip it or consider the 3 game option. I have classic, so that’s a better deal, but for anyone who doesn’t. This is far weaker than it should be.

Thanks for watching until the end, let me know what you think in the comments, and am I right, or what did I get wrong. If you like what I’ve done, consider subscribing that helps the channel and ring that bell. I’ll even give you quick sneak preview, This month I’m going to be changing my format a bit, I’ll be doing a teardown of the beginning of Disco Elysium, an amazing RPG, and then I’ll be throwing Hades and Dead Cells in to a ring to see what they do right and what they do wrong and which is my favorite Roguelite.

I’ll be popping up some random videos including my last video on Titanfall, where I deconstruct a level there. Check it out if you want to see something else.

Until then, I’m Kinglink and thanks for watching.

One thought on “Humble Choice October 2020 Review – Humble, we have a problem

  1. I mentioned this on Twitter. The Sunless Sky is an RPG and supposedly completely different than The Sunless Sea, so I wish that you’d had the extra hour to play it as well. I have had the same experience with Sunless Sky in that it didn’t hook me and I always mean to get back to it. Otherwise, your reviews rang very true for me based on what i saw and I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into these reviews! You’ve gained a follower here and on Twitter, I look forward to your next review! (Also, I keep putting off a purchase of Factorio, I keep thinking it’s going to pop up in a bundle or on Game Pass the moment I click buy). Do you feel the same/do you have it already and think it’s a buy no matter what?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s