The end of the work-year is so close I can practically taste it. Just this week to go and then four weeks of relative freedom. Eeeeeeee!

Exciting.1

As for my feelings on the December 2021 Humble Choice bundle though. Eh. I think I can best describe my feelings coming into this post with a bit of an analogy. You know the difference in the feelings you have between waking up on a workday vs. waking up on a day off? This feels like waking up on a workday. I know I have to do it. And I will. But… five more minutes? No? *sigh* OK then.

Here we go. As always, I’ll attempt to rank the games in order of preference, starting with my most preferred and ending with my least preferred. Where I own a game already, I will pretend for the purposes of this list that I don’t.

My Picks for December 2021’s Humble Choice

Maneater: Imagine Ekko the Dolphin on steroids and a hunger for human flesh.

There was a time when I was quite into the prospect of picking up Maneater. It launched to PC as an Epic Game Store exclusive though, so ended up having to wait a year — and then the Tripwire CEO caused a stir by coming out in support of the Texas Abortion law change, including the $10k ‘bounty’ on dobbing people in. So off my list this thing went.

Although perhaps in a lesson the Activision Blizzard Board should really crib some notes from, 53 hours after the tweet was made, the CEO lost his position. It wasn’t a perfect outcome, Gibson (the ex-CEO) still holds a significant stake in the company and its hard to know whether he has truly born any consequences as a result of this or whether with the public satisfied he still controls things from the shadows.

It was enough to stop me from purchasing the game in any event. But as part of a Humble Choice bundle? Well… OK.

RankGameGenre(s) / Notes
1ManeaterDay in the Life of an Angry Shark Simulator
2Endzone – A World ApartDay in the Life of a Post-Apocalyptic Mayor Simulator
3Partisans: 1941Day in the Life of a WWII Partisan Simulator (Reminds me a lot of Commandos!)
4The SurvivalistsDay in the Life of a Monkey-taming Island-survivor Simulator
5MordhauDay in the Life of an Angry Medieval Person Simulator
6Greak: Memories of AzurPuzzle-Platformer. … What?
7VoidigoEarly Access, Roguelite, Top-down Shooter. (Yes, the Day in the Life of Simulator thing kinda ran away on me a bit there!)
8Lacuna – A Sci-Fi Noir AdventureSci-Fi Noir, Dialog Driven Adventure, Branching Decisions
98Doors: Arum’s Afterlife AdventureMetroidvania, Sidescrolling Platformer, Korean Folktales
10TohuPuzzle, Adventure, Point’n’Click
11Beyond the WireEarly Access, MP Only, WW1 FPS, 50v50 Battles
12Fling to the FinishEarly Access, MP Only (Local or Online), Racing, Silly — Has something of a Fall Guys vibe to it
Bold titles are ones I’m sure I want, absolute top tier titles. Italic titles I might not bother to redeem even with the choice to do so.

If Fling to the Finish had been local-only MP, it would’ve received the italics treatment. But the fact it allows for online play saved it from that treatment.

At the other end of the scale — only Maneater warranted bolding. And… as noted in the blurb for it above, this isn’t without some controversy and reservation. They’re not the only one on this list though with some concerns. The Mordhau devs once famously said they were considering a client-side toggle to prevent the display of other ethnicities. Ultimately, they decided not to. But it was considered seriously enough that it came up in an interview with seemingly no understanding of why this even might’ve been a problem.

🎶 So this year for Christmas, Humble gave to me- 12 mediocre titles and a side of controver-seeeey. 🎶

*sigh*

I guess it’s hard to be too surprised. Christmas the last two years running haven’t exactly been top-notch either. Last year. The year before — and incidentally, the launch of Humble Choice. I gave my thoughts on the change and was a lot more positive back then about the format than I think I am now. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something like Shadow of the Tomb Raider included too.

Maybe my New Year resolution should be to, if not outright cancel this thing, then at least be a lot more ready and willing to hit the ‘Pause’ button than I have been to date. Despite my general dissatisfaction for a while now, I’ve only actually done it a few times!

Footnotes

  1. I do however apologise if you’re a frontline worker or otherwise in a role that doesn’t get this sort of end of year break. I shan’t go on about it any longer. ;)

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

5 Comments

Nimgimli · December 14, 2021 at 3:39 am

FOUR WEEKS!!?

I used to like you. :)

My company is giving us the week between Christmas & New Year’s. This is the 2nd year they’ve done it. Otherwise we just get 1 day each for Christmas and New Year’s.

    Naithin · December 14, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Haha. It would’ve been three weeks, I used some extra leave to extend it out a little.

    It’s summer in NZ, so all the schools are out, a lot of childcare is closed so corporate environments saw a lot of leave taken over this period anyway, with a lot less getting done.

    Then a lot of companies realised they could eliminate a whole bunch of annual leave liability by having a shutdown over this period.

    Honestly, even 3 weeks is longer than a lot of places do. I think it’s more typically 2 weeks — and the longer period actually gets complained about in some quarters.

    But I’m way here for it. Annual shutdown ftw! ;D

paeroka · December 14, 2021 at 7:30 am

I’ve just paused. I am interested in Lacuna, but decided that I can get it on its own during a sale sooner or later. My backlog is big enough anyway and it’s not urgent… ;)

    Naithin · December 14, 2021 at 7:58 am

    I may yet pause too. Try put that NY resolution into action a bit early.

    Although a little surprised you don’t also want to try out Endzone? Seems up your ally — unless you already have it, or just don’t like the setting? Or I suppose just don’t think it’s very good? It doesn’t have the strongest of reviews after all.

      paeroka · December 14, 2021 at 10:08 am

      It must be the setting because I didn’t even look at the game… I have “Surviving the Aftermath” and like it enough, but haven’t actually touched it lately. It definitely is the setting… post-apocalyptic. yawn (Although… I don’t care about the xth fantasy genre game or medieval settings…)

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