Review

Humble Indie Bundle 18 Review

We take a look at the games in this week's Humble Bundle.

This week’s Humble Bundle is a return to the roots of the Humble formula. Indie games were the driving force behind the original popularity of the Humble brand and I will be taking a look at the games that are in the 18th Indie Humble Bundle.

Ziggurat

Ziggurat is a first person dungeon crawler rogue-like developed by Milkstone Studios. It is a visually impressive game and I really do like the art style. It is similar to Binding of Isaac as a rogue like with the dungeons and similar mechanics such as keys and bosses. You are randomly given a variety of weapons and spells as you progress through the dungeon with the difficulty ramping up considerably. This is a hard game and I only just made it through to the third floor. It isn’t really as fair as Binding of Isaac though as while the first person perspective can be intense but it means projectiles and enemies can be attacking you from behind in very contained spaces. While the pickup spells and weapons are fun to use, the basic wand isn’t fun to use as it doesn’t feel like its making an impact the way guns do.

There are a wide range of enemies that seem varied but I feel that on repeat play they would get rather samey. That is how I feel about this game as a whole. Binding of Isaac is the shining example in the genre for me because of the way that the items would interact with each other. Here it is just wave after wave of enemies. I don’t mind this game and there appears to be a lot of content here but I can’t imagine spending too much more time with it. While I know that the small enclosed rooms would make it difficult, adding co-op to this game would just make it so much more entertaining. Without co-op it just feels like horde mode with only one player.

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Windward

Windward is a sailing game developed by Tasharen Entertainment Inc. It allows you to live the life on the sea taking trade assignments and pitting you against pirates. This is again a very beautiful looking game, especially the water which glistens majestically. The game is procedurally generated with distant seas becoming more challenging with more pirates and loot. There is some basic ship combat but the majority of gameplay I experienced in the first couple of areas was peaceful sailing between cities. I’m told that it gets more hectic later on in the game. Co-op multiplayer is a welcome feature here and I can imagine ship battles with friends would be good fun.

From what I’ve seen at the start though there doesn’t seem to be enough gameplay to keep me engaged. Ship battles appear to be simply trying to move in front of the other ship to stay out of their range. I’m sure that there will be multiple ship battles later but the physical gameplay just isn’t that interesting. The game also has a bit of information overload and I couldn’t find a tutorial in the game which is unfortunate. I’m sure that some people can appreciate this game and for those looking to sail the seas it might scratch that itch. For me though, there isn’t enough engaging gameplay to keep me playing.

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Information overload with no tutorial.

Steamworld Heist

Steamworld Heist is developed by Image and Form. It is a turn based 2D tactical shooter in a steampunk style with a story about space cowboy robots and pirates. That is one hell of a premise and I would say that this game is very good. The art-style is truly beautiful and the cutscenes at the beginning are fantastic with a similar style to the Fallout games. Gameplay here is turn-based with a set distance you can move before shooting. Personally I think that this works between in a top down game rather than a side on view but it works ok. I like that shooting is actually aimed and you can hit weak spots if you time it correctly. The characters seem to be well written and the world is well established. I would say that most people will have fun with this game but it is nothing mindblowing. Worth a play but I can’t see myself looking back in a few years and remembering my time with it.

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Verdict: I think that this week’s bundle is a very subjective decision. These games are pretty niche in my opinion and wouldn’t appeal to a broad audience in the way that some of the Humble Bundles have before. I would say to pick it up if you have previously seen and wanted to try one of these games because I highly doubt all three games will be appreciated by the same person.

 

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