Humble Choice: February 2020
The February 2020 Humble Choice pack is here, and it looks really strong for the top few picks. Possibly a little too strong as the big two are ones I, and possibly you, already own. With that being the case, a ‘Pause’ month gets at least put on the table for consideration.
Once again there are 12 titles to choose from though — perhaps this will be the stable number of picks going forward — and while there are a good number that hadn’t previously crossed my radar… There might be just enough here to keep me from hitting that Pause button.
In any case — as I have been for the first two Humble Choice sets — I’ve been playing around with how to present this. The consistent aspect so far being that I rank my games top down in order of my personal preferences. I’m on the Humble Classic plan, so I get to make 10 choices. If you’re on a different plan (and, bigger if — your game tastes run similar to that of mine) then you can just pick the top x that your plan allows.
I’m going to list in order of most preferred to least preferred, without regard to whether or not I already own a game. Right! Let’s go.
My Picks for February 2020’s Humble Choice
1) Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Official Description: Pathfinder: Kingmaker is the first isometric party-based computer RPG set in the Pathfinder fantasy universe. Enjoy a classic RPG experience inspired by games like Baldur’s Gate, Fallout 1 and 2 and Arcanum. Explore and conquer the Stolen Lands and make them your kingdom!
Clear top pick for me. Pathfinder: Kingmaker came out to a remarkably rough release, rife with bugs big and small. But Owlcat games kept at it, released patches tirelessly and we’re now sitting at the point of having an ‘Enhanced Edition’. If you haven’t picked this one up quite yet, February’s Humble Choice seems to be a prime opportunity.
Official Description: Frostpunk is the first society survival game. As the ruler of the last city on Earth, it is your duty to manage both its citizens and its infrastructure. What decisions will you make to ensure your society’s survival? What will you do when pushed to breaking point? Who will you become in the process?
Almost as much as RPGs, I love ‘builders’. City builders, colony survival builders, or the near cousin of tycoon games even. 11 bit studios — the devs behind Frostpunk — also made This War of Mine, further cementing a high rank spot for this game in my list. Expect some brutal decisions to be pushed your way, though.
Also of note, included in this choice is Frostpunk’s ‘The Rifts‘ DLC.
3) Okami HD
Official Description: Experience the critically acclaimed masterpiece with its renowned Sumi-e ink art style in breathtaking high resolution. Take on the role of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess who inhabits the form of a legendary white wolf, on a quest to defeat Orochi, an eight-headed demon and tyrannical monster responsible for turning the world of Nippon into a ruined wasteland.
Okami has been around for a long time. It originally came out in 2006 on the PS2 — and yet in all this time, with all the ports it has received (not quite as many as Skyrim), I hadn’t yet played it.
Looks like now I’ll get the opportunity to!
4) Project Warlock
Official Description: Project Warlock is a first person shooter that fans of Doom, Hexen and Wolfenstein cannot miss. It serves you an exploding cocktail of bullets, spells and monsters. Battle through 60 levels of non stop action packed with bloodthirsty enemies and challenging bosses.
The top three picks I’m fairly certain about. The next ones are a little shakier in rating. Project Warlock I heard about and saw some of when it came out. And I chose not to grab it.
Now granted, no small part of that will be the realisation it was pretty much inevitably going to be in a Humble Monthly (Choice) bundle at some point. But there is also the fact it perhaps leans a little too hard into the old tropes. That said — it really is something to see the mix of old 2D sprites and modern lighting effects in the same game space.
So I’m fairly confident of Project Warlock being high up my list, but I could probably be easily talked into shuffling some of these next few around. Which might be important if you’re on a smaller Choice pack, so take a look through ’em yourself, too. :)
5) Book of Demons
Official Description: Book of Demons is a Hack & Slash Deck-building hybrid in which YOU decide the length of quests. Wield magic cards instead of weapons and slay the armies of darkness in the dungeons below the Old Cathedral. Save the terror-stricken Paperverse from the clutches of the Archdemon himself!
The ‘Add to Cart’ button for Book of Demons has hovered beneath my mouse cursor more than once in the past little while, especially after discovering just how much I enjoyed Slay the Spire.
Even as I write this, I’m tempted to bump it up above Project Warlock. The reason I haven’t (yet)? Slay the Spire exists, and I have it already. Nothing like Project Warlock has really come about in a while… Still… It’s close.
Official Description: Welcome to the world of CryoFall, where a catastrophic crash landing has stranded you — and dozens of others — millions of light-years from home, trapped on a hostile planet and in constant danger. Your only hope for survival is to make use of the resources around you as you develop your skills and advance your technology to conquer this new land, tame its harsh wilderness and build a new life for you and those who have found themselves marooned on CryoFall. Together with many other survivors you can create your own cities, establish an active economy, industry and agriculture, or pillage the fruit of labor of fellow survivors.
Cryofall is an Early Access title. I… I don’t know that I’ve ever seen another Early Access title in a Humble Monthly or Humble Choice bundle before? I mean… It might’ve happened. But it struck me immediately when I saw this, enough so that I don’t think I’ve seen this before.
While feelings person to person will vary on this, I’m actually pretty A-OK with Early Access forming part of the bundles. As to Cryofall itself, I’m very unlikely to play it solo. But given it’s part of this bundle — and a few friends also subscribe — it’s entirely possible we’ll get some fun out of it.
Official Description: Eliza is a visual novel about an AI counseling program, the people who develop it, and the people who use it. Follow Evelyn Ishino-Aubrey as she reconnects with people from her past, gets to know the people of Seattle who use Eliza for counseling, and decides the course of her future.
Visual Novels are not typically my thing. But the subject matter of this one perks my interest.
Also, as a side note? Developed by Zachtronics (and also not the only Zachtronics game in this month’s Humble Choice set).
Why that’s interesting to be is that Zachtronics is most known for their puzzle- well… Perhaps ‘puzzle’ is the wrong word. But logic… Problem… Optimisation and planning… Type… things? Yeah. Those. Like Space Chem or Opus Magnum. I had no idea they were working on anything like this. Could be interesting to play just as a curiosity!
8) Shenzhen I/O
Official Description: BUILD CIRCUITS. WRITE CODE. RTFM.
Heh. Incidentally — this is the second Zachtronics game in this bundle, and much more closely aligned to what I would expect out of this group.
Except more. It goes beyond just the logic and thinking aspects required of the examples I mentioned, and into actually requiring you to write blocks of Assembly.
There are even actual manuals ingame for the ‘components’ you use in your microcircuit design. There might be times when I would rank this one higher in my list, but that time is not now — as I expect this game to really require you to set some time aside to learning it. Unless, of course, you’re already Assembly language proficient.
9) Warstone TD
Official Description: Warstone is a Tower Defense game, with RPG, Strategy, and even city building elements. Detailed Hi-res graphics and beautiful illustrations combine with a deep storyline to draw you into the world.
There was a time when I quite enjoyed Tower Defense games. But that time was during the heyday of Warcraft 3 Custom Maps (EleTD, Woo)!
Still, occasionally they can be good time filler games, or something to just ‘do’ that doesn’t require a great deal of attention or thought while watching a TV show or similar.
10) The Hex
Official Description: In a creaky old tavern, in a forgotten corner of the video-game universe, a storm is raging. An anonymous caller suggests that there is a murder plot. Six video game protagonists are the only plausible suspects…
Close call between this one and Night Call. Both crime games, although one is… Well… This and the other is much more Noire in feel.
Honestly at first glance, I thought I’d take Night Call when it came down to it. Complaints of repetitive gameplay in that one though, vs. the amazed wonder some expressed (while also not wishing to give spoilers) at the additional game elements which lie under the surface of this one to change my mind. Apparently The Hex is a game best played blind, so I’ll stop there!
The Drop Outs
Night Call I talked about above — Underhero… Hmm… It wasn’t as hard of a no as last month’s Them’s Fightin’ Herds. But still a no. It’s a side-scroller platformer with RPG elements and one of those (ugh) ‘zany’ colour palettes. It claims to be inspired by Paper Mario though, and I know some people quite enjoyed that.
So perhaps if that’s you — it’s worth a closer look!