Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Humble Indie Bundle

Recently picked up the Humble Indie Bundle #3. An interesting concept – five indie games, DRM-free, and you can pay as much or as little as you like, distributing your payment as you like between the five developers and two charities. Plus a bunch of free games – the entire Humble Indie Bundle 2 plus two “bonus” games.

I’m all for indie games, rejecting DRM, and even charities, but I’m not convinced that the bundle was a good idea. On one hand, some of the games have such critical acclaim that they never needed a bundle to bring them any more publicity (ie. Braid). While on the other hand, some of the games are worse than your average school Flash project.


  • Cogs. It’s slider puzzles.That’s it. But with so many interesting puzzle mechanics integrated (pipes and gears to name a few), that it can keep you going for hours. A professional-grade engine keeps the game polished.
  • Crayon Physics Deluxe. An enhancement to the iPhone classic – solve simple 2D physics puzzles by drawing any machines you want. So simple, yet so many possibilities.
  • Atom Zombie Smasher. One of the “bonus games”. The main gameplay is almost insultingly low-tech – rescuing 'people (yellow pixels) from zombies (purple pixels) in a top-down city view (rectangles). It’s not even all that well balanced. Yet it’s scarily addictive, and I’ve lost many nights to it already.


  • VVVVVV. Side-scrollers may be retro, but when your graphics makes the XNA example code look like high-tech, you’ve better have the world’s best gameplay to make up for it. This game does not. After about 5 seconds, you get bored of the single novel gameplay mechanic, about 10 seconds later the insane difficulty has you uninstalling.
  • Hammerflight. Way to take a really interesting 2D air combat gameplay mechanic, and wreck it by forcing a ridiculously bad story on you. Then repeating it every time you die (which is a lot).

Also, I find a bit of irony in the fact that I’m playing the HIB games, DRM-free, through Steam.

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