Humble Choice – September 2020

September’s Humble Choice is out now and this one is somewhat tricky!

The bundle contains a lot of games that I want to own… but also games that I already do own, so I’m still not sure what I’ll do about this. I think what I’ll do here is that I’ll list the ten choices I would make if I didn’t own any of these games from the 10th spot to the 1st spot!

10 – Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair 

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a brand-new 2.5D platformer from some of the key creative talents behind ‘Donkey Kong Country’. With their arch-nemesis Capital B up to no good, the buddy duo needs to spring into action once again to save the day. To thwart his evil plan of using a “Hivemind” device to enslave an entire kingdom of bees, our heroes need to take the fight to Capital B’s “Impossible” Lair. Things look tough, but with the help of Queen Phoebee and her Royal Beetallion, Yooka and Laylee might just have a chance! 

While I like the idea of it being a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, I never liked that game due to my hate for platformers. And I’m not going to like this one either. But it’s better than the other two remaining games and it’s probably going to be a good gift to someone who’s more fond of platformers.

9 – The Shapeshifting Detective 

The Shapeshifting Detective is a supernatural-noir murder mystery FMV game where you play as a detective who can shapeshift into other characters, allowing you to unlock secret conversations and private encounters. 

The game features more than 1600 full HD video responses, a simple questioning interface with unique ‘delete’ mechanic, and a randomly chosen murderer at the start of the game. – This seemed quite interesting but I don’t usually play games that are based on video responses made by people. Hence, this is one of those games that I’d give away to other people. 

8 – Lethal League Blaze

 Lethal League Blaze is an intense, high-speed ball game, with unique characters, outta sight sounds and none of that weak shit. In Shine City, the anti-gravity ball game has long been illegal. The group who kept playing was dubbed the Lethal League. Even now, with their sport pushed underground, players and crews compete in the League for challenge and respect.

Lethal League was quite a lot of fun but nothing I’d constantly play… Lethal League Blaze is a better version of Lethal League and I’d love to play it with friends.

7 – Golf With Your Friends

Why have friends if not to play Golf… With Your Friends! Nothing is out of bounds as you take on courses filled with fast-paced, exciting, simultaneous mini golf for up to 12 players!  

Every now and then people want to play Golf… but online… and then some people have Golf it! while others have GWYF… and I already have Golf it but don’t own this one, so I’d go for this one in case that I really wanna play Golf with my friends… through crazy Parcours and stuff… yup.

Honestly, these last four spots are just on the same level.

6 – Evoland Legendary Edition 

Evoland is a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming, allowing you to unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as you progress through the game. Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture, Evoland takes you from monochrome to full 3D graphics and from active time battles to real-time boss fights, all with plenty of humour and references to many classic games.

I already played Evoland but I’d actually go for this since it includes the second game and the first game… and I have yet to play the second one. Evoland was a very cute and fun journey through the ages of RPGs that is constantly referencing and mocking stereotypes and features from other games, such as Zelda, Final Fantasy, and others… It takes itself not too serious while also providing you with a bunch of entertainment. Honestly, just great – and with the Legendary Edition, you get two games for one choice!

5 – Strange Brigade

Egypt, 1930’s. Erased from ancient history and buried in a nameless tomb for 4,000 years, Seteki the Witch Queen has risen once again. Only one troop of daring heroes can stand against the fearsome power of Seteki and her army of mummified monstrosities: The Strange Brigade! Explore remarkable ruins, solve perilous puzzles and uncover tantalising treasure while blasting your way through an array of undead enemies in thrilling third-person action that’s certain to bring out your inner adventurer! 

Strange Brigade looked interesting… it’s a Co-op Action-Adventure game that you’re able to play with up to three other players and that features Zombies – or rather Mummies! It kind of reminded me of Left 4 Dead 2 but with an Indiana Jones setting of sorts… and even if I’m not the biggest shooter-player, I think I’d enjoy myself a fair bit with this one since it, again, seems a bit similar to the likes of Serious Sam and L4D2. 

4 – The Occupation

The Occupation is a fixed-time, investigative thriller set in North West England on Saturday 24th October 1987. Your role is to uncover evidence as a journalist by sneaking through restricted areas and questioning people on their actions through a series of one-on-one interviews. All this takes place in a detailed, systems-driven world where people will react to your actions and where time is your biggest enemy. 

This title seemed really interesting to me since it fills the need for another Stealth-Adventure game that is more along the lines of an Immersive Experience. It’s also another Indie game so I may review it in the future once I’ve played it. It seemed quite interesting and has a lot of positive reviews, hence I thought I’d go with this.

3 – Generation Zero

Welcome to 1980’s Sweden. The local population has gone missing, and machines of unknown origin roam the streets. Explore this vast open world to unravel the mystery of the invaders, perfect your fighting strategies and prepare to strike back. In Generation Zero, living is winning.  

Generation Zero has been something that I have been aware of… but I never really looked into it since I didn’t want to the game for myself in case I ever play it… and well, here’s the game in the bundle. This one might very much be a reason for me to go for this bundle. It’s a Survival game that can be played with up to three friends and where you have to strategize a bit and be stealthy instead of brute-forcing your way through the game since the machines are quite strong and they do not forget!

2 – Forager

Forager is a 2D open-world game inspired by exploration, farming and crafting games such as Stardew Valley, Terraria & Zelda. 

I reviewed this title a while ago and really enjoyed myself, especially with the newer content. It’s a great game that gets you a lot of content for relatively low bucks and a relatively simple but addictive game formula!

1 – Catherine Classic

Explore the pleasures and horrors of love as Vincent, a man with a hard choice to make: marry his long-time girlfriend Katherine or move on to the incredible blonde he just woke up next to — named Catherine! But beware! Make the wrong choice, and you could end up dead. Delving into themes of free will and the delicate nature of relationships and the choices we make, this action-adventure-puzzle game is an experience unlike anything else.

This game is an all-time favourite for me. I loved it when I first played it and I still, every now and then, play through it again. I love the characters, the story, the different endings, the game mechanics. It’s a unique mix of a puzzle game and sort of an Anime Romance-Horror-story where your choices matter. The soundtrack is great, the puzzles are quite challenging and a lot of fun, and there are some interesting sides to everything in this game… my favourite part probably is the bar in the game: The Stray Sheep. There, you’re able to decide what you drink, you can get drunk, talk to others and help them with their problems, which is really cute. Oh, and then, of course, there is plenty of room for humour, philosophical themes and other lovely features, making this an excellent game that I can highly recommend to everyone that loves games where you influence the outcome and games with challenging puzzles!

Dropouts: 

  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York 
  • Fun with Ragdolls: The Game 

I own the other Vampire game from last month’s Choice but this one is a Visual Novel set in a universe that I have no clue about. It just didn’t feel like the right choice. Fun with Ragdolls seemed like it was a game along the lines of Human Falls Flat and some other Simulation-type games with janky controls and janky physics… and I’m not a fan of those. I get quite frustrated with some of the controls and hence didn’t go for this one.

Now, out of these ten choices, I own Forager, Catherine Classic, and (technically) Evoland… I think it might actually be worth it to go for this. I’ll be able to give Forager and Catherine Classic to friends or give it away on Stream since these are great games, and as for Evoland, I get to play the second one, which is quite excited and I may replay the first game as well while I’m at it!

Overall, this month seemed mixed a lot better compared to the other months. There seems to be something for all kinds of people but I could see how it maybe is a bit rough to choose for people that aren’t particularly into Indie stuff or that don’t know or appreciate games like Evoland or Catherine. Honestly, I’d say that Catherine Classic is a real powerhouse in this one as it essentially “carries” the whole Choice this month. If I didn’t own it already, I would have immediately gone for this Choice. In the end, I’ll probably still go for this month’s Choice due to Generation Zero, Strange Brigade, The Occupation and Evoland – and I’ll make sure to give these extra-copies to people that like and appreciate these kinds of games.

The extras include Alt254 and a sneak peek of Carto, two cute little games that I’ve never heard about. But they look adorable and I’m looking forward to playing them!

Anyways, that was it for this month’s Choice. I hope that you enjoyed this post and in case you’re wondering where I got the idea from, check out Naithin! He’s another lovely blogger and I thought providing people with my opinion on Humble Choice might be also quite good. Be sure to check out his post here! 🙂 

Cheers!

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 – Void Bastards

What does it take to become a good mercenary? What does it take to outwit your opponents, to survive? What does it take to escape the Sergasso Nebula?

Well, according to today’s game, Void Bastards, it only takes water, prisoners, and a whole lot of sneaking.

In today’s Indietail we’re taking a look at Void Bastards, a rogue-lite Stealth-Shooter that could probably be best described as FTL meets System Shock. You play as one of many prisoners that get sent through the Nebula to eventually just escape its fangs. On your way, you’ve got to manage resources, fight or outwit enemies, chose between different paths to take, and routes to walk through.

Developer: Blue Manchu
Publisher: Humble Games
Genres: Stealth, First-Person, FPS, Action, Rogue-lite
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Reviewed on: PC
Available for: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4

The framework gameplay revolves around you navigating your tiny little escape pod through the nebula by choosing different paths and ships that seem to be procedurally generated. This aspect reminds me heavily of “FTL: Faster Than Light”, which was quite pleasant as it directly contrasts the seemingly action-heavy inner gameplay-loop that revolves around sneaking and shooting. There are a lot of different ships to explore from shopping ships, manned with only gun-point-turrets at max, to medical bay ships or cargo ships. Each of these come with different supplies, loot tables, allies, and enemies.

When you board these ships, you’ve got to find the next exit and loot the ships for items, resources, and materials. Obviously, you can also just move past the ships and skip out on potential dangers at the cost of loot but I usually ended up just going for the looting-experience as I felt that it would be too much of a waste.

The different ships all feel different.

There are different musical pieces as well as different layouts that these ships can have, resulting in a unique experience whenever you board a ship.

In the beginning, you’re only equipped with limited ammo as well as weak(er) guns but over time you’ll upgrade them – and throughout your runs, you’re able to keep all the upgrades as merely your player dies and as there are plenty of other convicts to send out in the Nebula, each equipped with their genetic traits, making the experience rather unique similar to how your genes make you taller or colour blind in Rogue Legacy.

While I used to just run and gun every ship, trying to get as far as possible with my limited ammo, I quite often ended up dying prematurely due to missing ammo and/or drastic actions, but that’s not what Void Bastards is about. In the beginning, I also didn’t see the comparison to Bioshock but over time I came to realize:
It’s a stealth game.

Awww, cute! It’s a tourist!

Just because you have a gun, that doesn’t mean you’ve got to use it.

You don’t have to kill most people and usually, you’ll end up getting killed if you take on too many or the wrong enemies. Essentially, the best way to survive in this game is to sneak past enemies, to lock doors, potentially trap enemies in different rooms while looting ships and making it further and further into the void. Your gun is your friend but more often than not you should just rely on sneaking and immerse yourself into the unique atmosphere that each ship has.

Every sound you make can be the last sound you make. A neat little gimmick that the game has is the fact that it displays sounds made by you or enemies on the screen. Thump, thump, thump… Step, step, step… BAM! BAM! You get the idea! It felt similar to XIII, a game for the original XBOX that used to utilize a similar comic-gimmick with the sound-displays, the cell-shading and generally the vibes that this game has as well.

But despite being able to take a trip down nostalgia-road with all the gimmicks and references to System Shock, XIII, or Bioshock… the game still has flaws that can’t get ignored, in my opinion.

For instance, the game gets rather monotone and repetitive over time.

Monotony-wise…
The soundtrack is monotone and seems to be lacking something as it only features 23 different tracks that all sound way too similar. The game doesn’t shine when it comes to the music, which is – in my opinion – a bummer as it really could have done more there and as it really could have been more fun if the soundtrack accompanied you during stealth- or action-passages.

As far as repetitiveness goes…
Part of the reason why I always wanted to rush through the levels was the fact that I felt rather uncomfortable having to face a game like this with its monotone music and all the stealth going on without any action at all. Once you realise that Stealth is your best friend, you have to get married to the idea of being sneaky. Sneaking through ships, looting caches while not getting seen… it’s the most successful way of playing this game and essentially you’ve got the whole game figured out if you get to that point.

And well, the whole gameplay loop may be flawed at this point…
I know that every run can’t be completely different when it comes to rogue-likes but I personally found that there wasn’t much replay-value there past the first few hours. You already have seen plenty of the game after a few hours of gameplay. Same goes for the campaign… I didn’t find it too entertaining for something that is supposed to take “12 to 15 hours”, resulting in a bit of a negative experience for me personally. The humour and the initial impressions with the comic-like presentation are rather cool and entertaining, I’d say, but they don’t outweigh the other issues in my opinion.

Alas, I don’t think that I really can recommend this title. For a game that costs thirty bucks without any discounts on Steam, I would have expected a bit more. If you aren’t bothered by repetitiveness in stealth-rogue-lite-shooters, I’d say go for this game… at a discount.

Either way, I hope that you enjoyed this post and I wish y’all a wonderful day. I was really excited about playing Void Bastards but in the end, I got a tad disappointed as the game became stale over time, which is a bummer.

Oh well, cheers!