Humble Choice – January, 2021

Another year means another month means another Humble Choice. It’s 2021 and alas, it’s time to turn a new leaf. Since Humble Choice has been the most consistent series of posts, I was thinking of making it its own category and basically leaving them like that. Initially, I was thinking of adding a sub-category under the Gaming Journal but I’m honestly not happy with how that’s named and organised and I’ll have to change everything somehow anyways eventually… For now: New Category called something along the lines of “Humble Lich” (Name to be changed) and that should make it more organised in general. 

Alas, what’s up with this month’s Choice? Well, it returns to its roots by giving us a lot of value with just twelve games instead of fourteen like last month. Apart from that, I’ll have to link Naithin’s post and other bloggers’ posts later as well… but they’re not out yet, so there’s that.

Here’s my ranking of them:

RankGameDeveloperGenre
1Pathologic 2Ice-Pick LodgeRPG, Survival, Thriller
2Ancestors: The Humankind OdysseyPanache Digital GamesRPG, Open-World, Survival
3Tales of the Neon SeaPalm PioneerAdventure
4MinoriaBombserviceRPG, Adventure
5Song of HorrorProtocol GamesAdventure, Horror
6Warhammer: ChaosbaneEko SoftwareHack n Slash
7DeleveledToasterfuelPuzzle
8The Ambassador: Fractured TimelinesTinydino GamesAdventure
9Vampire: The Masquerade
Shadows of New York
Draw DistanceVisual Novel
10Total Tank SimulatorNoobz from PolandStrategy, Action, Simulation
11Not TonightPanicbarnSimulation
12PC Building SimulatorThe Irregular CorporationSimulation

Now, as you can see I placed Pathologic 2 right up there on the first spot because I love the setting and the idea behind it. Its tutorial is played on a stage, the story is dark and disturbing, and the game seems to be rather challenging. UltrViolet wrote about this game the other day and it seemed more than interesting, so this was the most certain title on this list. As for the other games, it was hard to rank them in any way…

Take the second space for instance, where I’d make room for Tales of the Neon Sea, a rather interesting neon-styled adventure with pixel art and a cyberpunk setting and… you can play as a cat apparently… Uh, so this title looks very interesting and I’m looking forward to *eventually* playing it but Ancestors has been on my wishlist for ages now and looks like something that I’d really enjoy. In Ancestors, you basically take control of the ancestors of humankind and try to survive, explore, expand, and evolve to become the humans we know today. 

Next up we have Minoria and Song of Horror. I don’t know the Minoria games that came before this one as I’m uneducated in the genre, but the graphics looked cute and the game’s combat looked cool and it kind of reminded me of Hollow Knight, so I placed it up there. Song of Horror, on the other hand, is a title that I’ve seen a bit of now and then while watching KingArgaroth (go follow him!) play it on Stream. It’s a bit of a Horror-Adventure with puzzles in it and I honestly can’t remember the story, which is a good thing because I’d like to experience it myself eventually. I’m not the biggest Horror fan, which is why I ranked Minoria higher than Song of Horror but from what I’ve heard SoH is great!

Alas, we get to the hard part. I’m not entirely sure what to say about the other games as I don’t really care about them. I mean, I already own a few Warhammer games, which is why I’m looking forward to giving Chaosbane a go eventually… but Deleveled seems like just another gravity-based puzzle game… or rather a game with a different world that is on the other side of your world… and I’ve seen that formula in a lot of other games as well, so I’m sceptical about this game. 

The Ambassador seems interesting to a degree but I’m not a fan of the art style and I also think that I know at least three other games that are older than this title with a similar premise, which is worrying. As far as Vampire goes, I’m not a fan of the franchise, so I placed it rather low as well. It’s gonna be another title to give away to people that actually like it a lot and can’t understand why I’d not like it.

Total Tank Simulator could be fun but it also be just not my cup of tea. Judging from the description and the art style alone, I don’t really have an opinion on it, just yet.

And well, as far as Not Tonight goes, I don’t really think I have to say too much else. I had to google the studio to make sure that they didn’t work on Papers, Please… but it’s a separate studio. It’s a game that utilizes the Papers, Please formula… five years after Papers, Please came out… but it’s not as “Soviet” as the original game but plays in a dystopian British setting where Brexit failed and where you’re a… Bouncer? I mean, according to reviews, the game doesn’t really add a lot to the formula apart from being a bouncer and being able to sell drugs to people in line… and the Brexit of course, but I guess I’ll have to see for myself if it’s just a rip-off or if it feels like a different game. I mean, a lot of games share similarities or are based on the same idea. *winks at Rogue and the whole roguelike-genre until my eyelashes start bleeding* But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, inspiration is important… It turns into a problem when people make money off an idea without adding anything to it or without even trying. So, I don’t know if that’s the case here or if it’s going to feel like a different game or like a rip-off. I’ll have to see for myself.

At last, PC Building Simulator seems like it’s just not up my alley. I mean, I have built one PC… and it was interesting… but I don’t want to do it again unless, of course, it’s IRL. I just don’t usually enjoy simulation type games where you do mundane tasks without any form of expressing creativity. I mean, House Flipper at least leaves you the option of having fun and wrecking the house or doing a little bit extra for the job… Euro Truck Simulator is weirdly relaxing and rather enjoyable… PC Building Simulator could also be quite relaxing but I’m just not enough of a technical person to play it, I think. 

Alas, there are a lot of games that I have strong and positive opinions of while there are also a lot of games in this month’s Humble Choice that I have negative opinions of… and there are titles that are just not my cup of tea. It’s a weird mixture but I think it’s still a Choice that is worth grabbing, especially due to the first six games in my ranking up there. I feel like there is a lot of value to grab there.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, let me know what your ranking would be like. Do you think you’ll go for this month’s Humble Choice? Do you pass? What’s your opinion on “Not Tonight”? 

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

5 Comments

  1. I am pretty miffed about PC building simulator being a headliner there, after I bought it in Aug 2020 to exorcise a compulsion to build PCs. But well, not sure I could have held up for four months without playing it either.

    It’s a good game if one enjoys systematic problem-solving, a little planning ahead and zen repetition. You read sometimes pretty hilarious emails about people having PC issues, and then take their PCs, determine what the problems are, and fix it for them while remaining within budget. It’s a chill relaxing sort of game, if one likes PC innards.

    It makes deciding on the bundle a little harder since I already own that, AND Ancestors on Epic. Ancestors was a little janky, but fun if one has the patience to slowly learn the vagaries of the world – which are a little abstracted and game-y in parts, rather than simulatory. (Enemies are best fought off using certain methodically repeated tactics, etc.)

    Horror games are not my cup of tea, especially Russian / Polish / Eastern European horror, which I find tend to combine a sort of lonely Dark Souls atmosphere with bizarre abstractions and plague doctor beaks. The disjointed dreamlike lack of logic tends to kill enjoyment for me. So Pathologic 2 ranks a lot lower for me personally.

    Yet I’m moderately curious about Tales from the Neon Sea and it might be nice to add the other Vampire VN to my collection. The other games are ‘meh’ for me, I might taste test them if I own them and they may surprise me; but I probably wouldn’t miss them if they were missing either.

    I might sulk a little longer and pick it up in late Jan, if only to just get Ancestors on Steam and replay it for achievements when I have the time.

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    1. It’s always a bummer when a game you bought ends up in the Choice that you’d pick anyway. I bought Void Bastards at one point and didn’t enjoy it too much. Had I waited a little longer, I could have tried it out from Humble Choice and wouldn’t have regretted the purchase 😀

      As for PC building simulator, I get the appeal and it probably can be quite fun but I don’t see myself playing it tbh. I mean, I’ll own it since classic subscribers get all of the games, I think… but still, not entirely sure if I’ll like it so it won’t get played any time soon 🙂

      I’d imagine that the choice gets harder the more games you already know… I mean, if you’re gonna grab it and you don’t know what to do with the keys, you can give them to friends or whatever… and if none of your friends want it, there’s probably someone out there that can make good use of it.

      Ancestors really looked interesting. Saw that it is getting heavily promoted on Twitter and Steam right now and it has been on my wishlist for ages now, so I gotta look into it eventually. It’s an interesting premise and I really hope that survival in that game is gonna be fun.

      I mean, the fact that Epic doesn’t have achievements is such a let-down… I wouldn’t mind buying games on there (especially due to the bigger cut for indie devs) if it weren’t for all the features that are missing there. Screenshots, Reviews, and Achievements are quite important to me 😀

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  2. I played a bit of Tales of The Neon Sea, a while ago. It was interesting, but a kind of lacking English translation, and some obtuse puzzles caused me to lose interest.

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