Hello, I’m Kinglink and it’s time for the Humble Choice April 2020 Review.
There’s a ton of great choices this month, so let’s get started. We have 12 games this month, 2 additional games, they are a full game and a demo, and a hidden surprise. I’ll discuss that when we get there.
The rules as always, I play each game for an hour and tell you what it’s like, what I think, and who will like it. At the end, we’ll recap and choose the 5 weakest, and the five best games of the month. Let’s get it started.
Hitman 2. Agent 47 is back again to solve large interesting 3d puzzles of how to get your target into the ground most efficiently, or just to shoot up places because why not?
Each level has a target but they are massive levels with multiple artful ways to kill targets, and it’s a lot of fun to explore the spaces. This is the second mission in the game, but there’s so much to do in these games, 150 some achievements, tons of challenges, each level has its own progression system which I normally hate, but they work so well here as a way to unlock new tricks through gameplay.
After filming this I went back and played the first mission for about 5 hours trying to unlock everything I could in it, there’s just a ton to do if you want to master the level rather than just beat it, and that’s only for the challenges, there’s a ton of additional modes as well.
This game is perfect for people who want to play a stealth game, a puzzle game, or just an immersive sim. The new Hitman games are unique and worth checking out.
Oh and if you got Hitman 2016 during the Humble Monthly Bundle a while back, good news, that game works with this one, and essentially you can play both versions in one game. Don’t know if that’s a huge win as you already have both games, but it’s a very cool feature.
Gris. Gris is a beautiful game as I’ll try to show you here. It is colorful, and peaceful with a focus on exploration and simple platforming. I originally thought that the name Gris would have a drab look to it, at least for a major part of the game, but it’s clear that the game uses more color in its design.
In the first hour, I’ve gotten one upgrade that was used in a couple of interesting and unique ways as well as gotten through many puzzles, and quite a few are rather clever. How long to beat says, this is going to be a three to four hour game and I can believe that, but it’s one of those journeys you’ll enjoy from beginning to end. I even found myself chilling out as I played and that’s a great feeling.
This is going to appeal to fans of Journey, Gorogoa, or any game that’s more style than substance. It’s not a bad thing but I get the feeling this is going to run out and I’m just going to want to double the length. At the same time, if you want combat or action, this is not going to do it for you.
I also will be playing this game to completion so it’s evoked some passion in me. I can’t wait to see more.
This Is the Police 2… This Is the Police was a hamfisted story that I just hated, giving it a 1.5/5 This Is the Police 2 feels worse. The first hour had close to 50 minutes of story, and it’s one of the worst stories I’ve ever heard.
There’s no subtlety here, there’s no art of storytelling, there’s just “corrupt cops”, “females being talked over even as sheriff”, and just tons of exposition. This is supposed to be a game, not a visual novel but the first hour seems to forget that.
The story again doesn’t connect to the gameplay at least in the first hour, and it’s similar to the first game. But this isn’t good. I’ve heard from others on the full game and it’s all the same problems as the first, your choices don’t seem to matter for the majority of the story.
This game is probably fine for people who loved the first game, but I found that to be one of the worst games I ever played, This Is the Police 2 makes me stress “one of, because this feels even worse. I had no desire to play the game after 20 minutes, but I also didn’t have to play the game in the first hour. There is gameplay but seriously…Ugh.
And the opening showed an Xcom style gameplay, how did they screw this up?
Opus Magnum. This is another of Zachtronics games but don’t worry, it’s not a programming game this time, at least not an obvious one. You need to use alchemy to change elements and form specific elements that the game requests of you. It seems easy and honestly, this is one of my favorite games.
I’ve already professed a deep love of Zachtronics style but in Opus Magnum, this is the most welcoming and accessible of his games. It’s not really programming more of a puzzle game in some ways with a focus on scripting actions onto the different arms to do your will. It’s interesting and it’ll keep you coming back to see what is the next task required of you.
At this point, we’ve had two Zachtronics games already, so you probably already know if you like Zachtronics, this is still a Zachtronics game. It’s more welcoming, no real programming at all, but well you can see how the game is. I do think this one is worth a try though.
Molek Syntez. Yeah, this isn’t a different mode for Opus Magnum, this is a second Zachtronics game, and again it’s not exactly a programming game, even though it kind of is. I will admit, I haven’t played enough of Molek-Syntez, but I do want to play more. I’m not yet ready to say if this is on par with all of Zachtronics work but I also will say if you like his work, check it out.
The whole game has you making drugs by manipulating molecules and trying to form the right bonds. It’s nerdy but again… I mean programming games, alchemy games, you already should know how these games go. It still has a great feeling to it especially when you solve a puzzle and then you get a little more if you try to master those puzzles on the leaderboards
If you’re interested enough to grab Opus Magnum, play it a bit, and if you love it, consider this one. It’s solid, but I think it’s a bit deeper and more challenging than the other games by Zachtronics, so beware.
Raiden V. Here we have a classic top-down shooter, where players have to pilot their ship through millions of enemies and shoot ‘em up, that’s why it’s a shoot ‘em up. This is a classic old school shooter and it’s still a lot of fun to play through it. Too bad there are a few things I can see an issue with.
There are multiple paths in the game, but they seem similar. I also beat the game in just over an hour, and while there are multiple paths, I’m not sure how much replayability there is outside of achievements and leaderboard tracking. There’s nothing wrong with this, I had a great time playing through it, but I always think that unlimited continues ruins a major part of the fun of these games.
This is a great game for fans of shooters or players who want to chase leaderboards or master games. I enjoyed it a lot even though I’m not into that but… I probably won’t return. It’s worth a look, though.
Driftlands: The Magic Revival. What if you mix Civilization with a little Warcraft, you’d get something kind of interesting. Driftlands is that game. It takes on the 4x strategy genre, but does so with a real-time strategy slant, with a focus on commanding your units rather than building arms individually. There’s a skirmish mode, as well as a full campaign with a story.
Driftlands wasn’t a game I was looking forward to but, now that I played it, I had a great time. The exploration aspects are good, the domination aspects are an interesting twist to the real-time strategy genre, and the magic and floating island ideas worked well. Honestly, I played the Skirmish first and found it interesting, and then I realized there was a full campaign with a proper set of tutorials that filled in the small mistakes.
This is a pretty interesting game for anyone who is really into 4x games or wants a unique RTS. It doesn’t seem as heavy on combat, but that could be because I avoid combat in 4x games.
Turok 2 is… Turok 2. Similar to last month this is just a modern version of the original game, though I will say that Turok 2 looks a lot better than Turok. It is also quite fun, it still is a very old game remastered. I’m not sure exactly what they fixed, the main character looks ok, the female character looks like a blocky mess. The levels look a lot better than Turok 1 but… this still looks like they belong on the Nintendo 64.
Turok 2 is fine, though it’s heavy on the exploration and you’ll spend probably at least an hour and a half on the first level trying to find everything. I got to the end of the level and warped through a portal and returned to the beginning, not sure why. I then closed the game, found out there’s no autosave so 90 minutes gone.
It’s not a bad game, but it’s the same as Turok, this is mostly aimed at fans of Turok 2, who already should own the game. It’s not bad, but… not exactly what I think people will look for in a Humble Choice.
Truberbrook. This is a point and click adventure, and it sounds interesting, with a sci-fi slant, but outside of seeing potentially an alternate universe version of the main character. It’s a pretty standard point and click adventure and I’m only guessing at alternate universes, as the main character is a quantum physicist. Sure.
The game is good, and it doesn’t have much guesswork. If you have the pieces to solve a puzzle, the game gives you a button to use the correct object, there is far less guessing what you should use in each situation. However, I’ve heard later puzzles are going to be harder, and there’s a bit of moon logic there. It probably could have used a hint system. Also, you have to exhaust all the dialogue options to get more options as in simply to buy a beer, that I knew I needed but thought I couldn’t buy.
This is going to be one for the point and click fans, but I do know that some people found this to be underwhelming. If you liked Whispers of a Machine from a couple of months ago, this might be for you. It’s also kind of similar to Deponia but with a character you might like versus one you’re going to hate.
Bard’s Tale 4: Director’s Cut. This game is really impressive. I think you could say this is almost like Elder Scrolls in that they took a concept from the 80s, updated it for the 2000s, and did a great job. You have a vibrant world with a lot to do in the first hour, a ton of quests, battles that appear but you have to consider each one and avoid a couple of them, and you start to get the idea.
The combat here is tactical and turn-based. There’s a decent amount of puzzles already in that first hour. I loved my time with this one. I like the feeling that there’s a ton to do in the world and exploration pays off. There’s a few nitpicks like a code wheel you have to go to a website to get, which is odd, but overall… Yeah, I like this.
This is great for fans of old school games, and people who want to get that immersive feeling into a fantasy game. Fans of Elder Scrolls will want to check this out if you like the combat on screen. And a special bonus, at least for me, I got Bards Tale Trilogy as well. Note though, that’s an updated version of 80s games, which is still… going to be a bit rough. But additional content is never a bad thing, and this is a series where you don’t have to play the previous game, but it’s nice to have that too.
Shoppe Keep 2. The shopkeeper genre is a genre that I’ve constantly searched to find a great game. Recettear is still one of the best after 13 years. And as a new contender, Shoppe Keep 2 is rough as you can see. The character models are not that appealing, the gameplay is mostly buy stuff on order, put stuff out in your shop, make a huge markup and profit like mad.
There’s a lot of stuff here but there’s also a lot of bugs, and this was in early access but … this doesn’t feel like a game that came out in the last two years. The quest system also just seems to stop and overall, the experience here doesn’t feel that special, it’s a game trying to reach the simulation loops that games like Stardew Valley have, but doesn’t do anything near that level of quality. It’s not an awful game, but it’s not a great one.
Grab this if you have to try another shopkeeping game, but I’d rather go back and play Recettear or Moonlighter than this one. It’s also only 10 bucks on steam, and often goes on sale for 2 bucks including last month, so there are better ways to pick it up.
Capitalism 2. Released in 2001, that’s not a mistake, this game literally came out in 2001, and in it the game suggests you check out a 2012 version, Capitalism Lab. I have to ask, did we get the wrong game? Even a 2012 game would feel out of date, but 2001 is ancient, and man this game feels like it’s an artifact of 2001.
The UI is horrible and unresponsive at times, the tutorials are terrible, to the point people suggest not trying to complete them after it explains the ideas to you. The experience isn’t that fun, and the whole game is a mess. The thing is, this is a 20-year-old game, and I can accept most of those complaints, but we’re comparing against good or great games from 2018 and 2019. It doesn’t stand up.
This is also 10 bucks, you can grab it yourself on steam if you want, but I don’t think many people are dying to have this one. Just my opinion but … no thanks. This feels like a company pulled out at the last minute.
So that’s the twelve games available this month, but as always there are bonus games, and I’ll go over these quickly as well.
Divinoids. On the screen right now it might look like Rampage, though oddly the graphics feel weaker than the arcade version of Rampage, this is a modern take on the formula. Take one part Rampage, and… Well, it’s a bonus game from Humble so add in rogue-lite elements. I’ve reached the point where I’m so sick of rogue-lite elements, but yeah. You go through worlds, destroy buildings, fight attacking enemies, and have a good time.
It does feel like a modern take on Rampage, though I think the controls could be better, using a controller is better, yet not perfect. Overall though, it was a fun game, and worth playing since it’s a free bonus game. There is a two-player mode it looks like as well, so you can try that out. It’s probably not worth the price of purchase itself, but you can have fun with it.
Ring of Pain The second bonus game is a demo from Humble Publishing and… it’s rogue-lite.. Seriously guys, can we stop? At the same time, this is a card-based rogue-lite… god. It’s not a bad game, but how many of these things are there? We had One Step from Eden last month, and this one… It is pretty good. It’s based on the theme of rings, in that everything is circular. Before long you’re moving right and left as you explore rings of enemies, or ambushes, or even multicolored doors. I don’t know exactly what the color on the doors mean yet, but I had a great time here, and I’ll probably pick up the final game whenever it comes out because this was interesting.
Again if you have the bundle, it’s worth playing, probably not worth the entire bundle itself, but you know, it’s a demo.
Before we get to the Best and worst, there’s a hidden game. I know nothing about this, and in fact, my work laptop and my home computer don’t show this information, I don’t know why. But here’s a banner I have on my home laptop if you haven’t seen it yet. The hidden game unlocks comes out as next month starts, May 1st. I thought they got away from Humble Monthly to avoid hidden games, but I also wonder if Capitalism is a sign something went wrong. Don’t know, we’ll find out next month and I may give it a mention then.
The FAQ that I’ll try to link in a pinned comment says this is not intended to be a consistent thing, but a special event. Alright.
So let’s go over the list, the best and the worst of the month. I want to call the worst, the least good because most of them are decent games, but there are two games on that deserves the real title, let’s start there.
Fifth least good game. Molek Syntez. I love Zachtronics, but I’m going to fully realize that this is really nerdy and probably going to appeal to a small group. I think it’s worth a try, but I’m fully going to realize this is a niche game. I like it. You might not.
Fourth least good game. Turok 2. It’s Turok. 2. It looks better than Turok and still fun to play but it’s feeling dated just like Turok was last month. I would rate it higher overall though.
Third least good game. Shoppe Keep 2. It’s a perfectly functional game, but I’m not a fan of this one. It really needs more work, and now that it’s released, I doubt we’re going to see it get up to the level I think it should be at, but as I said, this is least good, I had fun with it.
Second worst game. Yup, we’re on to the worst, and this surprises me, because for 11 games. I thought this was going to easily take the crown. This Is the Police 2. The way this game tells its story is infuriating and made more so because this feels like better gameplay than the original, but it also didn’t solve the most important problem I had with the original. Sorry, not sorry, 2nd worst.
And the worst game of the month? Capitalism 2. It’s a 2001 game that feels like a 2001 game. Turok 2 came out in 1998 and feels better, and that’s partly because it’s a remaster, and partly because it’s great game design. Capitalism 2 feels like a game made for Windows XP, and there’s NO reason for it to be part of any bundle in 2020. Humble, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Alright, that’s the least good or worst list. Let’s move on to the highlights. 5 games, that I would call the best and there was a lot of competition for this one, so let’s just go down the line.
Fifth best. Driftland: The Magic Revival. I don’t know if I’ll want to return to it myself but I know there’s going to be a lot of fans of this one and it deserves it. It’s a great twist on the 4x genre and feels well made. Check the campaign out first and you’ll be fine.
Fourth best. Opus Magnum, I haven’t given a top title to Zachtronics because I fully realize programming is a niche genre, but Opus Magnum is one of their best, and worthy of people checking out. This is the best entry-level Zachtronics game, and you really should try it.
Third best. Gris. This game is beautiful and I get why people go crazy for it. It’s lovely and worth playing. The only reason it’s not higher is it’s a bit short. But it’s still worthy of praise.
Second best. Bard’s Tale 4: Director’s Cut. This game floored me. I was not expecting a game I’d like this much and while there’s a lot of dialogue the combat is solid, the world feels great, and I want to explore more. It’s a long game, too, so there are quantity and quality, and it’s worth checking out.
And the best game this month… Yeah, it’s the headliner, Hitman 2. I try to find the actual best, not the biggest name, but I know how much time I put into the original Hitman, having somewhere over 30 hours on it, and I know this one will be just as good if I get hooked in. I plan on playing the full game soon.
So those are my thoughts on Humble Choice April 2020. What did you guys think about this month? Out of curiosity, do you normally grab the classic bundle, the premium with 9 choices, or do you get the 3 choice bundle?
If you have enjoyed this video consider subscribing and ringing that bell so you get updated when I have a new video. After this one, I’m working on something for Doom Eternal to talk about its gameplay, and then I have another wrapup of what I’ve played over the last month and a half, so look forward to that.
I’m going to pop up my review of Hitman and my coverage of This Is the Police, so you can see what I think about each of those series, they are old and rough videos but I still stand by their content if not their delivery. Check out those videos and I’ll be back soon.
Until then I’m Kinglink and thanks for watching.