September 18th, 2012 | By Dominic Tarason
Well, hard to argue that this is going to be anything less than the deal of the day. It’s Humble Bundle time again, and it’s one of the big ones. A minimum price fluctuating around the $5 mark for six of the best indie games of the past year (or two), all in both Steam and DRM-free formats, with Linux & Mac editions included. It’s standard form for a ‘numbered’ Humble Bundle, but still… Whoa. Here’s the official launch video:
Six fantastic games. The only one that is questionable in any way, shape or form is action-RPG hit Torchlight, and only because the developer are no longer technically independent – still, the game was released as an indie title, and you can’t fault them for using that to drum up press for the upcoming (and supposedly rather great) sequel. Hitbox Team’s Dustforce is one of the better platformers out there, happily sharing virtual shelf-space with Super Meat Boy & They Bleed Pixels.
Personally, I think everyone needs to give Vessel some time and love. A very clever steampunk platform-puzzle game based around fluid dynamics and physically driven automatons. By placing ‘seeds’ in bodies of water, you construct simple Fluro robots, which perform basic tasks such as following people, standing on lit buttons and avoiding/following light sources. There’s even a dash of Metroid in the game structure, although the general flow is mostly linear.
The rest of the games are great. Shatter is one of the best takes on the Breakout concept ever released, and has one of the best electro soundtracks to grace a game. SPAZ (Space Pirates & Zombies) is a compelling – if slightly grindy – space shooter/strategy adventure across a huge procedurally generated universe, and Rochard is a solid run and gun platformer with some physics-heavy puzzling, and a rather non-standard (Portly, middle-aged mustachioed space-trucker) protagonist sharing a voice actor with Duke Nukem.
Being one of the big ‘numbered’ Humble Bundles, this means that bonus games are almost inevitably going to be thrown in to sweeten the mix around the halfway point, and those buying in now are still getting some extra treats. Five soundtrack albums, and several of these games have quite notably great music. Torchlight’s soundtrack (by the original Diablo composer) fits in great with any dark and dreary dungeon crawl, and Shatter’s music is unlikely to ever leave my iPhone.
The business model is Humble Bundle standard form. Pay what you want (although going over the average gets you Dustforce, plus any bonus items down the road), divide your payment up between developers, a couple of charity organizations and the bundle organizers themselves. By this point, you probably know the drill.
Personally, I already own each and every one of these games, so I’ll just be sitting on the sidelines, keeping an eye on any upcoming bonus items. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to watch the highest donators box again. Last year saw a running battle between the Humble Brony collective and Minecraft maestro Notch in a race to give away as much money as humanly possible. The Humble Bundle is live now, and will be running for the next two weeks.