I had a friend Mike who was awesome enough to buy me something called the Humble Indie Bundle 3 (HIB3), back when it had 5 games. It now has 7 more. If you don’t know what the Humble Indie Bundle is, it’s basically where you can pay whatever you want for a compilation of Indie games, and these aren’t just hobbyist creations either. I haven’t gotten into all of them either, so there’s always that. The ones I am not able to review because I haven’t gotten around to them yet are: Revenge of the Titan, Atom Zombie Smasher, Cortex Command, Hammerfight, and Steel Storm: Burning Redemption.
I’ll start off with Cogs. It’s a short simple puzzle game where you move cogs, pipes, and the like in a series of sliding puzzles. The goal in the main game is to just solve the puzzle and get the steampunk-esque machine working. Along side that there’s a mode where you try to beat every puzzle in under 30 seconds, or one where you beat every puzzle with ten moves or less (the puzzles are slightly altered to make this possible). The moves puzzles are insanely easy and the timed puzzles are insanely hard. However, the main puzzle game is pretty good. The puzzles are rarely frustrating, but incresingly get more and more difficult until they start appearing intimidating, especially when (spoiler) you start using both sides of a sliding board. I’m not much for puzzle-only games, but I haven’t had this much fun in a puzzle game since Pandora’s Box or RealMyst. I don’t know many puzzle games.
Then there’s And Yet it Moves. I never really got into it. The surreal art style actually kind of freaks me out. Despite that, the game’s main mechanic is the ability to alter gravity in any direction you wish, and you need to use this ability to navigate throughout caves. Fall too far and you obviously die. Checkpoints are silloutes of yourself. It gets stranger when these giant lizards appear and eat you unless you distract them with bats. It’s fun, but weird, and like I said, it kind of freaks me out.
In a similar vein there’s VVVVVV. In this game you also alter gravity (up and down only). Don’t let it’s simple art style throw you off. This game is incredible fun, especially if you like platformers. You will die. A lot. But it has some of the most upbeat music I’ve ever heard and that really tears the frustration apart. The story is that you are Commander Viridian stranded in some random dimension looking for his crew members in outer space. The game is half open exploration and half leveled. Each level has its own special gimmick such as trampolienes that launch you in the opposite direction uncontrollably, or a rising floor of spikes. This is one of the games that really sells Humble Inde Bundle. If you can, buy the soundtrack (PPPPPP [I don’t get it either]).
Another high selling point of the Humble Inde Bundle is Braid. I really don’t need to describe Braid, it’s just that popular and I never expected it to be in the Humble Indie Bundle. Heck, the HIB3 before Braid was in it. If you don’t know Braid is a platformer where time travel is the main theme. Each artistically drawn (the art style is the biggest feature here. The whole appearance is breathtaking) level has a different type of time travel. The story is that Tim (the protagonist) made a mistake and the love of his life had fallen victim to a monster. It does get a little more complex than that, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Moving on, Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game that stars a little robot in a world of junk. I haven’t played it much (at all), but it definately seems interesting. It’s actually pretty popular and well recieved. If you don’t believe me, check out YouTube. it’s another game that I was actually surprised to see on the Humble Inde Bundle.
Then there’s Crayon Physics an amazingly fun game where you draw stuff… with crayons! The goal in each level is to get a little ball to roll to a star. You do this by drawing objects, bridges, or whatever. That’s the crayon part. The physics part is that the physics in that game are sort of unique, but I won’t get into details. You’ll have to buy the HIB3 yourself to find out. This game is almost exactly like Scribblenauts, come to think of it… except you draw stuff instead of spell it, so it’s gaurenteed that the game will have the object you think of. It just won’t be as “polished.”
The last game I’m going to review is Osmos. You take control of some kind of bacterium and your goal is to move into other, smaller bacteria to make yourself bigger. If you move into bigger bacteria, you become absorbed and have to start the level over. To move you push your bacteria with the mouse, but moving causes you to shoot bacteria in the opposite direction, thus making yourself smaller and more susceptible to loss. It’s actually a lot more fun than it sounds and it gets pretty complicated after the first few levels. Unfortunately, it gets kind of overshadowed by VVVVVV and Braid.
I don’t really have much of an idea about any of the other five games because I’ve been distracted by these here. These games are all amazing and any of them makes it worth more than the price of (“pay what you want.”) If you want to buy this, then just go here: http://www.humblebundle.com/