August Humble Choice

For a bit, I tried to do reviews of the monthly Humble Bundle, largely in an effort to write off video game expenditures as a business expense. Ultimately, I gave up on the plan, because it turns out I really dislike playing a half-dozen new video games for an hour or two each in order to squeeze out a sloppy first impression of them. These days I’m doing exactly the opposite: Assembling a list of video games that I want to play all the way through (or in some cases, get 100% completion on). Once something goes on the Incomplete list, it has only two possible destinations: The Complete list once finished, or the Regrets list once I determine that actually this game is bad and I never want to finish it.

But this means I am now once again analyzing the Humble Choice (successor to the Humble Bundle) more closely, just for different reasons. So what are the games in August’s haul, and after a quick glance at them, are they going on the Incomplete list? I mostly haven’t played any of these, I’m going purely on advertising and reviews.

The Ascent is a solo or co-op action-shooter RPG about fighting through a cyberpunk arcology somehow. The details are a bit scarce, but it’s definitely a cyberpunk top-down shooter/RPG of some description, which sounds cool. This is going on the Incomplete list.

Hot Wheels Unleashed is a racing game for people who are nostalgic for Hot Wheels, I guess. Pass.

A Plague Tale: Innocence is one of those artsy story-focused indie games. This one in particular seems like it’s trying and failing to be a Sad Game like This War Of Mine and Frostpunk. I like Sad Games, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested in watching A Plague Tale go “look, a puppy! Now the puppy is starving! Please clap.”

Gas Station Simulator is one of those work simulation games that seem like they shouldn’t exist and yet here we are. I sometimes like to zone out to podcasts to these, so this is going on Incomplete, but once I get around to actually playing the damn thing there’s decent odds it’ll get kicked to Regrets if it doesn’t manage to hit that zen groove for me.

In Sound Mind is some kind of puzzle-y adventure game-y type thing. Cool concepts are involved, but I hate everything about that gameplay.

Mind Scanners is one of those “the future as envisioned by the 80s” retro-futuristic dealies, this one about a psychiatrist in a dystopia. Basically what if Papers, Please had arcade mini-games that let you erase someone’s traumatic memories instead of stamping passports. This might be one of those indie games that never really developed their ideas past the point necessary to make them sound good for Kickstarter, but since it’s in the Humble Choice either way, I’ll toss it on the Incomplete list and see for myself.

I’ve talked about Emily Is Away ❤ already. I tried the first installment in the series, which is free, and found it both failed to hit my nostalgia and wasn’t very fun to play, and Emily ❤ is unlikely to fix either problem. It’s closer to my nostalgia window, but also my teenage years were kind of weird and Emily ❤ will probably be bad at reminding me of them, plus I don’t think they fixed the thing where you have to bang randomly on your keyboard for a few seconds to “type” the message you’ve already selected.

Omno basically just looks like Journey but worse. It’s a puzzle platformer-y type thing, but there’s no multiplayer and the world looks slightly less interesting to explore than Journey’s.

So that’s three new games for the Incomplete list, although two of them are only getting in on the grace of “eh, I may as well double check to see for sure whether they suck.”

2 thoughts on “August Humble Choice”

  1. >A Plague Tale: Innocence
    You are way off the mark. Plague Tale is a AAA style action-adventure, neither artsy nor indie. I fucking hate this game because it came out the same month as Pathologic 2 and made infinitely more money, while Pathologic is superior in every regard except for casual accessibility. Play Pathologic. It’s kino.

    >Mind Scanners
    Mind Scanners is the game I thought would be cool, but was shit. I wanted Papers, Please but cyberpunk. I got really shitty minigames.

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    1. I didn’t look super closely at Plague Tale, since it came across as eye-rollingly pretentious so strongly and so quickly.

      I thought Mind Scanners was alright, though. Some of the minigames were annoying, but for the four-ish hours the game lasted, I didn’t find them bad enough to ruin the experience, and some of the other ones were fun. The setting was alright. C-tier game overall, not amazing but I don’t regret playing.

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