Humble Choice July 2020

I forgot to pause July’s Humble Choice so here’s what I got this month – actually wasn’t too bad, so that’s quite awesome! 

As far as June went: I did get the bundle but I forgot to post about it and with exams and everything going on, I ended up not caring enough about it. For anyone who’s interested, here are my choices for June:

Either way, it’s August already but I wanted to talk about my July games as you can still claim them if you want to! Overall, I’m quite happy about the July games. The selection this time around consisted of:

  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall – DELUXE EDITION
  • Void Bastards
  • Railway Empire
  • Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
  • Yuppie Psycho
  • Beat Hazard 2
  • Sigma Theor: Global Cold War
  • Metal Unit
  • Don’t Escape: 4 Days To Survive
  • Verlet Swing
  • Basingstoke
  • EARTHLOCK

Now, most of these games seemed awesome but due to the 10 Game Limit, I couldn’t take them all and honestly I wouldn’t have needed to. The games I didn’t pick were Verlet Swing and Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock. 

I have no clue about Battlestar Galactica, so I didn’t go for that one… and Verlet Swing seemed a bit too fast-paced for me and I thought that I’d probably burn myself out too fast with it. Alas, I picked all the other games as I (worst case) can gift those away. 


Either way, let’s get into the choices!

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

I wanted to play more 4X and Strategy Games in general, so this one was a given. I’ve heard good things about Age of Wonders and this one is relatively new, so I’m looking forward to getting to this one eventually.

Void Bastards

While I didn’t recommend it in an earlier review, it felt like a better choice than the two that I didn’t pick… so, I’ll just gift this one away in one of my streams eventually and someone else is going to like it.

Beat Hazard 2

This title somewhat reminded me of REALLY BIG SKY but with the option of using your own music? Hell yeah! 

Yuppie Psycho

This title has been interesting from what I’ve seen. Alas, I thought I’d go for it. It’s a horror game. Spooktober is going to be crazy! Looking forward to it!

Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

Mi-Clos Studio’s title Sigma Theory seemed interesting… but I’m not too sure if I’ll get into it. While it is turn-based strategy and management, it felt a bit off. There was something about it, that I didn’t like but at the same time I knew that I should in theory like it. Weird feeling I had with this one. Alas, this one is on the “maybe I’ll redeem it later… or I’ll gift it away”-list. We’ll see!

Don’t Escape: 4 Days To Survive

This game seemed interesting. I’m not a fan of point n click games BUT the setting seemed cool and it has survival elements in there, so I’m looking forward to what the blend of the two genres is like! 

Railway Empire

Personally, I love management games and really am enjoying myself with them. Railway Empire has been on my wishlist for quite some time since it seemed absolutely stunning and since it does not only cover industrial management and simulation options but also tourist attractions and a vast variety of trains! Really excited to play this one eventually!

Basingstoke

Four Words: Action. Roguelike. Cute. Style. – It’s been on my wishlist as well for a while, so I’m looking forward to playing this one! 

EARTHLOCK

Snowcastle Games’ take on the JRPG genre seemed quite adorable, so I thought I’d give it a go. It has “a fresh take on turn-based combat and character progression” (according to the description text), so I thought it may be a good fit for a review as well, alas it’s in that collection on Steam as well, waiting for its time to shine. 

Metal Unit

JellySnow Studio created with Metal Unit a cute little side-scrolling platformer with rogue-lite features. It’s futuristic and combat seems cool. In its core, it’s an Action-RPG but I was intrigued as to what the rogue-lite features would be and why there is no “rogue-lite” tag in the Steam Store. Either way, I like the style and thought I’d go for it (even if I’m not a fan of platformers). 


As part of this month’s Humble Choice, we also received DRM-free sneak peeks for Grotto and Popup Dungeon – two games that I wanted to write about anyways in our Lookout Post! Alas, I hope that I’ll be able to get to these soon.

Overall, this month has been quite successful. It’s been a nice selection of games that I’d actually play and not just “like but never get to”. Just the other day, I finished Outer Wilds but I didn’t get to write about it just yet… and with one game done, a ton more have joined the library, resulting in an ever-growing library… a scary backlog is getting scarier by the day. 

Indietail – Before I Forget

In today’s Indietail, we’re talking about „Before I Forget“ by 3-Fold Games, a one-hour-long narrative experience, that shows us the story of Suni and Dylan Appleby.

Developer: 3-Fold Games
Publisher: 3-Fold Games
Release Date: July 16th, 2020
Genres: Indie, Exploration, Walking Simulator, Narrative, Adventure
Reviewed on: PC
Available for: PC
Copy received from Humble Choice.

In the beginning, we’re just thrown into this apartment, blurry sighted and left with little to no instructions. The only thing we know: We need to find Dylan. Who is Dylan? Where is he? Why is he so important to us? All these questions were going through my head while some beautiful piano music was luring me from one room into the other.

From the get-go, I was astonished by the vibrant colours and the art style that slowly pieced itself together. We can’t go anywhere. There are locked doors and other pieces that are missing, so we need to explore. Find postcards, letters and other objects to trigger certain memories and piece the story together, slowly completing the world like a puzzle of sorts.

You don’t see the bigger picture until you’re fully immersed in the game.

And being immersed isn’t too hard in this case. The story is wonderful and lovely at the beginning but slowly changes pace as the small world we live in gets completed and as more options unlock themselves before us. We can’t proceed through some hallways and cannot open some other doors. I quite literally got lost in the world and the apartment or did I? Did I move through this door already? Why is this one closed again? I could swear that I was here before? I’m confused.

Time and space seem to be mere concepts, rather abstract ones at that. The protagonist’s movement resembles that quite well. Throughout the game, the mouse and player controls feel sluggish or slow down at least, which resembles our confusion quite well. Then everything seems fine again and everything is back to normal…

We forget ourselves. We end up questioning who we are and what we have done. We know nothing about the character that we’re playing… and apparently, the protagonist doesn’t know much more either… at least yet.

The experience reminded me a lot of Answer Knot, where a relationship gets established through notes, photographs and different memories that we remember.

It’s a neat concept that is well executed.

Throughout the game, we’re accompanied by a very interesting soundtrack (by Dave Tucker) and some interesting design choices. Partly, we’re left in the silent, only hearing our footsteps while slowly moving around… partly, we’re accompanied by some nice little piano tunes that become more frequent as the game goes on… and partly, we hear this ominous humming that seems to threaten us while a black hole of sorts stops us from proceeding further into the apartment.

As time goes on, we remember more. Time doesn’t stand still. We find out about the couple and their wishes and careers. Snippets of different conversations. We read about Dylan’s tour and Suni’s research. Here and there we travel back in time to where Suni’s aunt is showing her the stars and explaining the stories and meanings of the different stars and constellations, not all of them were happy but overall it was beautiful.

And well, I’m not sure how to tackle everything else about the game. Being an immersive experience, I can’t talk about the plot too much. I’m afraid that I might have already taken a lot away from the game by only talking about less than the first half.

I guess what I could say is that I loved it. The end was beautiful, the soundtrack was superb, the art style and the shift from the vibrant colours to a darker palette was fluid and just lovely. I loved how the „world“ (aka the apartment) slowly completed itself. And speaking of the apartment, I loved how the two cultures that collided in this relationship are resembled in the flat itself, with British/Western objects and furniture on top of Indian (I think? Correct me if I’m wrong!) paintings and influences scattered throughout the flat. I loved exploring all the rooms and I loved how turning the lights on and off, changed so much about the atmosphere! I also loved how objects and furniture shifted and changed as we remembered more. Oh, and don’t get me started on the voice acting! Just lovely!

Near the end of the game, I had goosebumps from all the metaphors and symbols found in the last sections of the game (can’t talk about that as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone) – and when it was over… I was in awe.

It’s a great game. I highly recommend it.

The only thing that I could criticize would be that I would have loved to put different pieces together by myself. I would have loved it if certain things wouldn’t have been explicitly mentioned by the game. I feel like making the player think is a much stronger way of telling a story instead of actually spelling it out. It didn’t bother me too much. This way of storytelling is obviously more direct and allows more players to reach the same experience, so I guess it’s not bad… I just would have liked to find secrets or maybe even create theories about the characters, by myself, instead of finding everything out in the end… and despite most of the game being rather direct, the ending still leaves a lot of things open. If you enjoy theory-crafting, the ending is going to be lovely for you.

The game’s coming out soon, so you may want to wishlist it on Steam.

So, that’s it for the review. I guess I somehow managed to create a spoiler-free review of this short but beautiful experience. I hope that you will enjoy this experience as much as I did.

Cheers!

Humble Choice May 2020

It’s May and thus, there will be a new Humble Choice – and this time, I thought I’d give you my choices and thoughts.

So, while the idea isn’t new or anything (after all, Naithin and others probably are on it for this month!), I’ll try to do something about this month and talk about why I’m choosing my games and that kind of stuff!

Jurassic World Evolution:
I enjoy playing Tycoon games and also really liked the Jurassic Park films, so this one is more or less of a given. I used to play a lot of Zoo Tycoon a few years ago as I got the complete collection at one of my birthdays and really liked creating these areas for dinos and animals… and eventually pitting penguins against T-Rexes and uh… realising that penguins are a lot stronger than I thought they were.
So, JWE is not only a great fit but also a real bargain. If you think about it, you get this game (and all the other titles) for 12€ (based on where you live) which is thirty bucks less than the steam-prize with no sales… hence this is a no-brainer, I guess.

Rise of Industry:
I like games about industrialization and city-building and resource-management, similar to Banished and Sim City. I remember liking the concept and general playstyle when I used to play an early alpha-version of it… so, I’m excited to play the full version soon.

The Sword of Ditto:
I actually know little to nothing about this one, story-wise. It’s been on my wishlist for a while now and the style of it seemed quite neat. I like RPGs, so this one works for me, I guess.

MO: ASTRAY:
This one looked interesting but I don’t understand the full concept just yet. Apparently, you’re a small slime-like organism with different abilities that let you stick to surfaces and move around. There also seems to be combat but I’m not too sure about how you fight. Overall, I’m intrigued by this one and will definitely check this one out soon, even when I don’t necessarily know a lot about it.

Warsaw:
Warsaw is a WW2-themed tactical RPG similar to Darkest Dungeon but the general theme and presentation of it seemed more amusing compared to DD, so I thought I’ll go with this one and figure stuff out later on.

Warhammer 40k: Gladius:
I own a couple of Warhammer games and I used to paint the small Warhammer 40k figures and whatnot… but I know little to nothing about this game. It’s a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) game, so I thought I’d take it as I wanted to play more of those anyways. I already own Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 3 and Warhammer 40k: Space Marine… so this one is gonna be quite cool, I guess, once I wanna get into the games and once I’ve played through the other two. After all, Space Marine is older than Dawn of War 3 who is older than Gladius. And Gladius only came out two years ago, so that’s actually quite neat, too.

XCOM 2 (+2 DLCs):
XCOM 2 is another turn-based tactical RPG similar to the Shadow Run franchise… and I already own and love XCOM: Enemy Unknown… at least I used to play the heck out of it a while ago until they killed my favourite unit and character… Alas, I hope that I won’t get attached too much to the characters in the second game… So, that’s why I took this one. I like the genre and the franchise, so a no-brainer here as well.

Neoverse:
This one looked interesting but I don’t really understand it just yet, so I just took it as the other options didn’t seem too alluring.

(Bonus Game) Train Valley 2:
As I’m subbed (yet) again, I’m also receiving Train Valley 2 this month, which I’m actually also quite happy about. I played the first Train Valley game and really liked it… Train Valley 2 adds a few new mechanics to the Puzzle-Tycoon-Mix and I’m looking forward to playing this one!

Horace
I already own Horace on the Epic Games store and while it wouldn’t harm to have it twice… I don’t really like it and hence will probably give this game away to anyone who appreciates it or maybe in a game-giveaway on a special-occasion on-stream.

Niche – A genetics survival game:
I love Niche. Niche is great. I sadly already own this one… but since I like this one, I’ll give it away on-stream as well, at some point in the future.

The games that didn’t make the cut are Heave Ho, as I just don’t like the game and as it’s not anything that I’d give away (as it didn’t seem too interesting either…) and Chess Ultra.

When I play chess, I usually play it offline on an actual board… or I play it in a web browser. The problem with chess-games is that the player base is generally spread across all the different sides and games and because of that it can take ages to get a game… and even when you get into a game, you can get people that are roping or that are not playing their turns at all or people that are just too bad or too good for you, leading to uneven matchmaking and situations where it’s actually a lot better to just play against the A.I. – so that’s why I won’t choose Chess Ultra.

As for the extras, we’re getting a sneak peek of “Rainy Season” (which is a bit of an atmospheric game about a family that spends time at home during rain) and Fae Tactics, which is another tactical RPG that is getting published by Humble Bundle.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this month. I got a lot of games that I really am looking forward to, as well as two extra games to give away that will find their place eventually. The sneak peek on the two games are gonna be interesting and in the end, this is a good month to be subbed to Humble Choice. 🙂

I hope you liked my take on the “Humble Choice Review” kind of post.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!