I’m Kinglink and it’s the first week of December which means it’s time for the Humble Choice December 2020 Review.
There are a few new twists this month. Once again, Humble is giving all the games for premium and classic subscribers, but this time there are fourteen games! Not a bad change. Also if you are a new subscriber, or just appear to be, you get a free month of EA Play Plus, which… honestly, isn’t a bad deal.
I’m not going to review EA Play Plus here, but you can play Titanfall 2 which is awesome, Star Wars Squadrons which if you have VR, trust me, play that, and Fallen Order, which I hope to play soon.
If you are an existing member you get like five bucks off… truthfully not as compelling. But let’s talk about the games you actually get in the bundle this month. Starting with
Overcooked 2. I actually owned this one. I was going to play it with my daughter, and honestly, in co-op this is a pretty easy game for most players. It’s a game about strategy and planning but my daughter and I 3 starred the first 11 levels in two attempts at the most.
Still, this is a fun and inventive game. Every level has some mechanic that changes, and there’s even a level that transforms from a level in a hot air balloon to a standard restaurant with even more orders in the middle of service.
Yet, it’s really lacking a heavy challenge at least for the beginning and I’ve heard and know this game will get hard but it’s a struggle for the pair of us to keep playing it. Though single-player makes this game feel really unbalanced, and difficult, it’s like this game was made for co-op.
Definitely pick this up if you like the visuals or have new gamers who are interesting in the game. It’s perfect for co-op with friends. It’s mostly a cooking puzzle game though so there’s not a lot of action at times.
Children of Morta. This is a story based Roguelite. The first twenty minutes has a decent amount of story, but then you get to the dungeoning section that is a little more action-focused. The art too is incredible at times, and this game looks great.
There are two characters at the beginning but a feeling that over time, more members of the family will become playable. I’m already seeing signs I’ll get my next character after a couple more runs. Characters also gain permanent levels and gold for permanent upgrades in the family home, in addition to temporary items for the current run.
Now the one issue I see with this game is it may be a bit short. Meaning I hear 14 hours for the story, 30 hours for completionists. To me, that’s probably on the short side of a rogue-lite. But I also think the story is really good and how it weaves into the gameplay is solid.
Pick this up if you like the art style, like rogue-lites or like dungeon crawlers. Skip it if you dislike the art, this is how the game will look, or want more story than gameplay because you will have to replay the same dungeon multiple times most likely. Personally, I’m going to play more.
One Step From Eden. Oh man… We got the demo for this game in March 2020, and it was awesome… now here’s the full game. Just look at this. This is Megaman Battle Network meets Slay the Spire, and it just works.
This game is really active and high intensity, but there’s also so much here. I’ve already noticed you can spare the bosses for bonus HP. I’ve even had one boss take pity on me and not finish me off. There’s a decent amount of new characters, each one feels that they have their own deck of spells.
This is going to be a game like Slay the Spire where you can sink hours and hours just playing random games, and the active battle system makes this feel so right. Like I mentioned it has that combat from Megaman Battle Network, which I’m thrilled someone has brought back because this is a really fun system to play with.
Pick this up if you like Roguelites, Slay the Spire, Megaman Battle Network, or just intense action games. Skip this if you want a story, or an adventure because it feels like what you’re seeing is what you’ll get. But man, this is so good.
The Beast Inside. I’m going to start with a disclaimer, I’m not a fan of horror and I actively avoid horror games, but I did spend a full hour with The Beast Inside and I will never pick it up again.
But hold up, the exact reason I don’t want to play this game again is exactly why The Beast Inside is good and people will love it. This game has great production values and an interesting system, almost like a walking simulator, but has enough terror in that first hour where I almost quit two or three times, because I was scared enough, and it feels like it was just getting started.
Now, most of the scares so far were jump scares, though because they fit with this story they are effective and they inspired a terror that is exactly how horror games should be.
Pick this up if you want to be scared and are willing to accept some jump scares. Don’t play this if you’re a scaredy-cat like me who just skipped the end of chapter 2 in the game because I was afraid something bad would happen. Oh dear, did I say that out loud.
Indivisible. This is an RPG with a focus on exploration and platforming outside of the combat system. The combat is an active time battle system that allows players to block attacks and then combo enemies.
The art is beautiful and the levels are interesting. The platforming controls take a bit to get used to but the writing and characters are interesting. I was really curious what might happen next and had a solid boss fight at the end of my hour.
At the same time, my buddy who plays a lot more RPGs than me said that this game gets a little button mashy, and I trust his opinion so I’ll tell you that. Honestly, I can see a bit of it even after the hour.
I still would recommend people check this game out because of the art style and interesting character. But this is an RPG, and the combat does feel like it’s going to go downhill at some point, so be prepared for that.
Also, Lab Zero Games who made this is the studio most known for Skullgirls, which has been shut down, there were claims of harassment, and due to that, promised backer rewards for this game that won’t be given out. If that matters to you, keep it in mind, but I also think you don’t have to judge the game solely on that.
Shining Resonance Refrain. This is an RPG where the main character can turn into a dragon. That’s probably going to sell people on the game, and that’s a good thing because… I’m limited in my knowledge.
I only had about 20 minutes of gameplay because I watched 40 minutes of the opening and just skipped until I got to the main game, but the game does look beautiful, and the combat was fun. There’s a focus on dragons and music with the story, the latter giving me hints of Eternal Sonata that I enjoyed, and the combat feels similar to Ni No Kuni 2 from what I’ve seen, where you can just drop in and out of an active combat system without loading screens, something I really like.
I have heard that the game goes downhill over time, so the first hour might not give a good impression, but from what I have seen here, I’m actually really interested in playing more, that is if I could just pick up a random 30-hour game.
Pick this up if you love RPGs and like this active combat system. But this is a standard RPG, with levels, equipment, and gear, along with large town sections and at least in the first hour, entirely too much story. So if you don’t like RPGs, you can safely skip this one.
Zwei: The Arges Adventure and Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection. I’m going to combine these two games for a couple of reasons. They are in the same franchise and came out within a year of each other. Though technically Ilvard came out first on Steam, Arges is the first game in this series.
These are RPG dungeon crawlers. At least it really feels like an RPG would on the Playstation 2, and also has players running through dungeons, probably multiple times. This series does have a really interesting twist. Players won’t level up by killing enemies but rather by eating delicious food that they drop. That’s also how they heal HP, but if players get more than 10 of one food item, they can go to town and make a better meal. Interesting idea and it actually does work.
You’re seeing Arges Adventure, let’s switch over to Ilvard Insurrection. While this is a similar game, obviously Arges is a 2d dungeon crawler, and Ilvard is 3d. I actually think Ilvard is a far better game in most ways, but I did have some controller issues with it, which I didn’t in Arges.
Still, both of these games are really interesting, the most interesting thing is they were made in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Arges actually released on the PS2. Neither game got localized until 2018, and 2017 respectively. Like I said they came out in reverse order.
These games are rather good, but they definitely feel old. Not nearly as bad as Turok has in the past or Capitalism, but… This feels like it should be part of a random bundle, not a Humble Choice. Just my opinion.
However pick these games up if you want an interesting dungeon crawler or if you are a fan of retro games or PlayStation 2 era games, these are really good. If you want a more modern sensibility, you probably should skip this, like I said, they do feel old.
If you want my personal take, I’m probably going to come back and I’ll play both, these are actually really fun.
Tabletop Playground. Let’s start with the positives. This feels like a well-developed tabletop simulator where players can play games, download mods of new games, and play in a controlled environment with no cleanup. The game runs pretty well and pieces can be moved as they should. There’s even VR support.
With the positives out of the way, there are a few issues, there’s no AI, which would be hard to add for just one of the games, like Chess. Rules aren’t actually codified in the game, so I could move chess pieces any way I want, and I had to promote myself. The base games are lacking but the mod support does help.
And the bad. This was clearly made with Tabletop SIMULATOR in mind. Problem is, this is not popular at all and it’s in early access. Maybe that means this will get a lot better, but more likely, it will struggle. If you have friends who have it then this is fine, however, this has only 32 simultaneous users peak of all time. Right now, Tabletop Simulator has around 10,000 simultaneous users.
This might be the better product, but this is a program you will need to play with other people, so I’m going with a tabletop simulator.
Check this out if you need this exact program to play with friends, but even then maybe tell them to check out Tabletop Simulator. I don’t hate this game, I think it’s unfortunate they chose to compete with an ultra-popular program and tried to do the same things, but for me, I’m good with the simulator.
The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game and Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard. You know when you’re on a time crunch it’s great when you can speed through a game. I beat The Haunted Island in 37 minutes and was able to beat Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard in 55 minutes, though I still have a few achievements to collect on that one.
These are not very long games, but I also am not sure I really like them. There will be people who like the writing and style of the Frog Detective, it’s just not for me. The gameplay of both games are just fetch quests, and the experience is lacking, I wasn’t a fan of the humor either.
The real problem with them is they’re really short, and while they only sell for 5 bucks, that’s two games that together go for 9 dollars in a combo pack. The second game is slightly improved but not enough to really change my opinion on them.
Pick this up if you like what you see on the screen, but that’s the style and humor of both games. Otherwise, I think it’s safe to skip these games unless you want a fast game.
Still There. This is a strange puzzle game. Much of this game is similar to games like Booth which we saw in August 2020. However much of this game is about giving the player a task and letting him figure out how to do it. There’s a ton of weird and strange devices here that the player has access to but very specific tasks that he must do.
Still There also doesn’t hold your hand. It has a good hint system in the form of an AI, but even then he doesn’t give you very specific instructions. I’m currently stuck trying to find out how to get an oscilloscope so I can try to match the frequency to communicate over a satellite.
The concept here is really good, even though the person in this role probably should have hundreds of hours of training on how to do most of these tasks. I love playing with the system and trying to make it work, though a progressive hint system wouldn’t have hurt. The developers have pointed people to a steam guide, and I feel like that’s a cop-out. Still, this is a very unique puzzle game.
Check this game out if you like puzzles that may stump you. The concept at the core here is you have relatively simple tasks and you have to understand a strange space station and the hardware within it. Skip this if you aren’t ready to be really challenged by what should be a simple task.
Struggling. So many potential jokes, but truthfully, I don’t like this game. The concept of a physic basic platformer where you control both hands has been done before. In fact, we got Heave Ho this year and that was too short but had great controls.
Struggling does not have great controls, nor a good feeling for the game’s physics when you play. I constantly fought against the control scheme and found my character was annoying to control. The movements required were usually not too bad though some timed sections really increased my dislike of the game.
The real killer, though, is this game looks hideous, and I know this is an art style someone will enjoy but for me, I disliked the look, disliked the control, disliked the screams the character makes, disliked the level design, I’m just not a fan of this one. Thirty minutes in I gave up. I could play for an hour but it would only make me hate this game with a white-hot passion, but currently, I just don’t like it, even though I’m sure some people might. I even went back and played Heave Ho and realized how much I enjoyed that control scheme.
Check out this game if you like the look of this. This is a very stylistic game. I’ve heard some people think it’s better in co-op, others think it’s easier in single-player, so maybe if you have someone you want to play with, but personally I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.
Path of Giants. This is a puzzle game where you take on the role of three adventurers. I immediately thought of the Lost Vikings or Trine, but it turns out that none of the characters have a special ability.
This is just a point and click puzzle game. You move each character, have them hit buttons, and solve simplistic one-screen levels. Each Chapter has three or four rooms but I was able to make good progress. Perhaps too good. I got through 9 chapters out of a total of 17 and really didn’t struggle that much.
Truthfully, it’s a good game, but it has almost no challenge for puzzle fans. It is a serene or chill game, but as a fan of puzzle games, I want a little more. Something that literally puzzles me. If it wasn’t for the move animation I probably could have beat even more puzzles.
If you really like puzzle games and like the look of this game, it’s kind of charming in that way, but I’d really say most people should avoid this. The puzzles are just too easy, and the experience almost feels passive, which is a bad sign for a puzzle game.
So that’s fourteen games this month, that’s actually a huge number, and yet there’s more. You get the free game. Let’s take a look.
The Corridor. WOW! Ok, this is a hard game to explain, but it’s kind of like The Stanley Parable in that there is a narrator who interacts with the player. The game is all about pressing a button and when you… the game closes. But of course, this is just part of the story. The program itself actually does close and you have to manually reopen it but the game itself will do something different each time.
There’s so much I love about this concept, and it’s extremely well-executed. I laughed a lot, there’s a ton of clever moments, and so much more.
Sadly though this game is only about 20 minutes long. But those were 20 amazing minutes and I’m thrilled to have experienced them.
Anyone who buys this bundle NEEDS to try out this game. It’s free so that’s great. I also liked this game so much I picked it up on Steam to support the devs a little more, it’s only 2 bucks there, so if you decide to skip the bundle, I’d still recommend checking it out or picking it up.
With that said we have 15 games this month. That’s so many. And I said premium and classic subscribers still get them all. I wish that would become the standard, choosing games to skip is kind of dumb.
At the same time, there’s also the EA Play Pro, but that’s only for new subscribers, which honestly kind of sucks. There are advertisements that this is part of the bundle and apparently most of us only get 5 bucks off. Come on Humble.
As for the games itself, it’s a pretty good month, if you like RPGs. There are RPG elements to a lot of games this month and they are pretty unique. Zwei especially, even as an older game. But both Children of Morta and Shining Resonance look really good.
There also is a lot of variety here, and I do applaud that, this bundle goes to some strange places and most of the time it’s great, but some of the time it’s a little too out there. Personally, if this was where the Humble Choice stayed, I wouldn’t have a major problem with it. Though without a huge 60 dollar title I know fans will be mad, at 12 bucks, I see quite enough games that I want to play more where I might be able to get at least 100 hours of game time out of the bundle this month, and that’s not even counting a One Step from Eden.
Still, there are going to be winners and losers, or as I call them the Strongest and Weakest. I have the five strongest, and three weakest, starting with the bottom.
The third weakest is… the Frog Detective games. So let me just be clear, these aren’t bad games, they’re just very short and very cheap. At 10 bucks to buy both, that’s not a lot of money. But also, I finished both games in under 90 minutes total. And if that’s not enough, Haunted Island has been in two other Humble Bundles and an Itch.io bundle. This should be better.
The second weakest is…. Struggling. There are only two games that I didn’t last a full hour with and Struggling was one. People might enjoy this one, but for me, this was a heavy miss.
The weakest is… Tabletop Playground. I’m not sure I would say this game should exist, I Think Tabletop Simulation has the market cornered, and there should be more challengdfs. Playground has 32 simultaneous users and that was from the Humble Choice. Before it was in the bundle the highest number of players was 11. I just don’t see this working.
As for the other side, the strongest of the month.
The fifth strongest is…. The Corridor. I have never put a bonus game on either list, but I really think The Corridor is exceptional, and I would say if you don’t get the bundle, still consider picking it up on Steam. I laughed a lot and enjoyed the experience, and while it’s short, it’s worth a couple of bucks.
The fourth strongest is… The Beast Inside. This game wasn’t for me, but I think horror fans will have a great time with it and should check this out. It scared me but to be honest, that’s probably not saying much.
The third strongest is… Still There. I like this type of puzzle game, where you know what you have to do but you don’t know how to do it. A lot of games confuse this with moon logic, but here it’s about understanding the world and environment you’ve been placed on. It might not be the longest game, but it interests me the most.
The second strongest is One Step From Eden. Megaman Battle Networks is a great game, and marrying that to Slay the Spire makes for an even better experience. I’m going to have to put in some serious time on this. I might not enjoy this game after thirty or forty hours, but by then that’s more than most games, so we’ll see.
The strongest game is…. Children of Morta. Something about this game speaks to me. I recently gave Hades a glowing comparison to Dead Cells and one strong thing there was the way they delivered the story even though it’s a rogue-lite. Children of Morta seems to care about both story and Roguelite aspects and if so, that’s worth checking out.
There’s a ton of potential in Children of Morta, and having a huge party with tons of items and trinkets you can grow will make that into a great game.
So those are my thoughts on this month’s Humble Choice. Thanks for watching. So just in case you want more from me, I’ll give you the December schedule. I’m planning on a comparison between the three Yakuza games on PC, versus the newest Yakuza game, Like a Dragon. All three of those Yakuza Games have been in Humble Choice, so check that one out. At the end of the year, I’ll be doing an end of year wrap up kind of in the same format as this, with short looks at the games.
If you want to support the channel or are interested in those, Like, Subscribe, ring the bell, and share this video. Comment down below to let me know which games you’re looking forward to playing, or which games you’ve enjoyed the most.
Finally, check out these videos. So I mentioned a video my daughter and I did last week on Co-op games, with a small mention of Overcooked 2, I’ll link it here. Since I mentioned the story and rogue-lite aspects of Hades, here’s that comparison with Dead Cells.
Until then I’m Kinglink and thanks for watching.