Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

Humble Opinions

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Many of my favorite games are free, but I’m not opposed to spending a few bucks here and there.  I just find it embarrassing to tell my spouse, and paralyzing to think of everything else I could and should be paying for.  So it took me until the ninth Humble Indie Bundle to actually bring myself to send some money their way.  Contributing some to charity helps me feel much better about the whole operation.

FTL had been on my wishlist for long enough that I had forgotten everything about it.  My first experience, after the tutorial, didn’t go so well.  I raced through the first two sectors, got boarded after my first jump in the third, and lost all my crew.  Thinking of it as a roguelike makes all the difference:  Yes, there is a fleet you need to stay ahead of, but you have plenty of time to prepare carefully and gather material before descending to the next level.

Eets Munchies is cute in the same way as Angry Birds, with an even more compelling vision for the three stars.  Many of the puzzles are downright simple, but a few are frustrating.  Or perhaps I just hit my level before moving on to another game.

Trine 2 and Bastion are beautiful, and marvelously narrated in the third-person present for both storyline and hints.  Granted, meeting Bastion’s narrator makes you wonder why he’s letting the kid do all of the work…

Limbo skips the narration for straight-up immersion into the creepy world; there’s technically a backstory, but it’s not really important.  The controls are simple, but the puzzles devious.  Prepare to die.  Somehow, it has grabbed more of my time than any other in the bunch.

Mark of the Ninja falls somewhere in between; the tutorial is taught by an in-game companion, while you make your way mostly on your own.  My completionism make me explore every nook and cranny for the optional items, but the game itself is largely linear.

Rocketbirds is the only one that truly disappoints me.  Parts of it want to be more like Mark of the Ninja, but parts are simply a bad Contra.  Being occasionally unable to see your character just adds to the frustration.

Brütal Legend starts off strong with a fantastic opening sequence, so it took me a bit to notice when I was supposed to be playing.  Unfortunately, excessive lag due to an underpowered machine combined with an occasionally awkward camera mean I won’t be picking it up again for a while.

FEZ has an interesting concept, but clunky execution.  Playing up the two-dimensional nature of the village only serves to highlight how much they already use the third.

A Virus Named TOM may well be my favorite.  I’ve spent hours on pipe connection games, and the action element is a wonderful innovation.  The retro-futuristic flair is absolute icing on the cake.  Granted, at least half of my time has been spent on a very few levels, where I so often get down to one last turn before exploding.

Time’s almost out on this batch, but I’ll be sure to watch for other surprisingly good games in future bundles.

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Written by eswald

24 Sep 2013 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Entertainment

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