Trouble Thinking

December 15, 2010

Humble Indie Bundle 2: Humble Humbler.

So hey, you remember during the spring, when there was a bundle of good indie games for $whatever you want for sale?

Well, apparently enough people paid more than $0.01 for the whole shebang, and a bunch of indie developers have decided to give it another go! A combination of independent game titles that would cost $85 all told if bought individually are being offered as a pack for the low low price of anything you feel like paying.

The new bundle includes

Braid: A puzzle game that centers around the concept of manipulating time. It’s really quite excellent in all respects. It’s very pretty looking, very interesting, and solidly fun to make your way through. Highly recommended by every single critic ever, too. If you haven’t already played, I’d say dropping $5-$10 for the bundle moves from a convenience to a necessity.

Cortex Command: A game so indie, it’s site couldn’t handle the extra traffic coming from people checking out the bundle! I know absolutely nothing about this game except for the fact that the very few user reviews I’ve found seem to be positive. But hey, it’s not like paying anything at all for it is taking a huge risk.

Machinarium: Adventure games were once kings of the computer. Every household in America owned two copies of Myst, one for playing and one for praying. But that time has passed and will never return. The good part about adventure games, though, is that you don’t need a triple-A budget to make a great one. By all accounts, Machinarium looks like a really well constructed and interesting puzzle adventure starring just the cutest little robots ever. They really make WALL-E look like some kind of monster in comparison. The fact that it’s all hand-painted beautifully just makes it even more perfectly story-book.

Osmos: Is a game about gobbling up little dots, but in a clever way. Basically, you grow when you gobble, but in order to move you need to expend energy, and therefore shrink. So the game becomes something more than Easy Pacman and becomes an exercise in using your resources efficiently. It’s also beautiful and calming, as you’d expect from a game by the same guys who did flOw.

Revenge of the Titans: Is a weird but cool looking little combination of Tower Defense (that game you play at the office) and Real Time Strategy. So basically you construct a little military base, complete with elaborate defense system, and then you strike out at the enemy when you’ve got a big enough force to make a go of it. This is another game whose artwork just immediately appeals to me. It’s pixel art done well, instead of just for a retro flair.

And just for good measure, you can donate to two worthwhile charities at the same time!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation: Basically protecting innocent internet denizens like yourself from constant attempts to make everything so much worse that it is almost crazy. They tend to stand up for reasonable copyright as well.

Child’s Play: As I mentioned previously, Child’s Play is a charity that gives toys to little sick kids. It’s a great cause, and the overhead is crazy tiny so all of your cash/gifts basically go directly where you mean for them to go. Pick your favorite hospital, look at their wish-list on Amazon, and if you’re a decent human being you will not be able to resist giving a kid with leukemia “Goodnight Moon” or something.

There really is no legitimate reason not to go and buy these games and donate to these charities, I mean you literally cannot possibly not afford them. But make me proud, and pay what you can actually afford. These developers are going out on a limb, and we should reward them for that, not rob them.

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