After perhaps a bit of a disappointing start for Choice with December’s lacklustre line-up, January looks to kick the year off in much better style. Not only that, but even for us on the Classic plan, there really is a choice this time around!

There are 12 titles to choose from. I have one clear ‘not gonna pick it’ option, but the other is much more difficult. Or would be — if I didn’t already have a few of these. Still, there’s a good few in here that I would make fantastic gifts.

I noted last time I wasn’t really happy with the layout I was playing around with for December’s overview — but I did at least like the idea of attempting to rank my interest level in picking up a given title. And I’ll continue to rank them on the assumption I don’t already own a game, even if I do. I figure that way it’s more likely to be more broadly useful.

January’s 2020 Choice Titles

  1. Middle Earth: Shadow of War
    Official Description: Go behind enemy lines to forge your army, conquer Fortresses and dominate Mordor from within. Experience how the award winning Nemesis System creates unique personal stories with every enemy and follower, and confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths in this epic new story of Middle-earth.
  2. Unrailed!
    Official Description: Unrailed! is a chaotic online and couch co-op multiplayer railroad construction game where you work together with your friends as a team to build a train track across endless procedurally generated worlds. Master encounters with its inhabitants, upgrade your train and keep it from derailing!

    Note: I didn’t know this existed before yesterday. But I was considering it as potentially good game for co-op when our time is short! Awesome to see it turn up a day later in this bundle. :D
  3. Two Point Hospital
    Official Description: Design stunning hospitals, cure peculiar illnesses and manage troublesome staff as you spread your budding healthcare organisation across Two Point County.

    Note: I have this already, plus it’s less comedic cousin — Project Hospital. Of the two — Project Hospital is my preferred option. Still, this one can be a lot of fun!
  4. GRIP: Combat Racing
    Official Description: GRIP is a high octane, hardcore combat racer, packing ferocious speed and armed to the teeth with heavy weapons. Inspired by games like Rollcage, Wipeout, Motorstorm and Star Wars Podracer, it’s like nothing you’ve ever played before.
  5. Trailmakers
    Official Description: Build sports cars, jet planes, helicopters, or walking robots and take them on missions of exploration or breakneck rally races.

    Note: I tried this out muuuuch earlier on in its life, shortly after it came out in Early Access. The game has seen much change then, including a complete reworking of how the core exploration campaign even works. Pretty keen to try it out again now. The concept of strapping jets to legos and giving them the ability to also be transformers as you unlock more and more component pieces still appeals greatly.
  6. Bad North: Jotunn Edition
    Official Description: Bad North is a charming but brutal real-time tactics roguelite. Defend your idyllic island kingdom against a horde of Viking invaders, as you lead the desperate exodus of your people. Command your loyal subjects to take full tactical advantage of the unique shape of each island.
  7. DiRT Rally 2.0
    Official Description: DiRT Rally 2.0 dares you to carve your way through a selection of iconic rally locations from across the globe, in the most powerful off-road vehicles ever made, knowing that the smallest mistake could end your stage.

    Note: This could see its way higher up my list. But I prefer my racers very much on the arcade side of things. DiRT has often veered too close to the simulation end of the spectrum for my tastes. And yes, I say that knowing I’ll no doubt cause some retching in some quarters to even suggest DiRT is related to sim racers. Still firmly placed within my 10-to-pick though.
  8. Graveyard Keeper
    Official Description: Build and manage a medieval graveyard while facing ethical dilemmas and making questionable decisions. Welcome to Graveyard Keeper, the most inaccurate medieval cemetery sim of the year.

    Note: Right or wrong, I imagine this as a darker Stardew Valley. If remotely true, I’d prefer it on Switch!
  9. Street Fighter V
    Official Description: Experience the intensity of head-to-head battle with Street Fighter® V! Choose from 16 iconic characters, each with their own personal story and unique training challenges, then battle against friends online or offline with a robust variety of match options.

    Note: This is the last of the titles I recognised. The remaining three I had to look into, and decide which of them would make the cut. I’m terrible at fighting games, so I’d likely never have bought this for myself. But occasionally they can be a bit of fun, so definitely makes my list!
  10. Mages of Mystralia
    Official Description: In a world of magic, your mind is your greatest weapon. Learn the ways of magic and design your own spells to fight enemies, navigate treacherous terrain, and right past wrongs in the kingdom of Mystralia.

So the two that didn’t make my cut?


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.

8 Comments

Krikket · January 4, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Before I forget – if you’re looking for a darker Stardew on Switch, I’d like to point you towards Gleaner Heights (https://www.gleanerheights.com/).

Humble Choice was also a hit for me this month – I already own Graveyard Keeper, and I’m still not really excited about 10 games from the pack, but there’s five I definitely want to check out, and a couple more I might dabble in, but I also find myself feeling closest to neutral about the games that I expect Humble looked as as the big draws (Shadow of War, Dirt Rally 2.0, and Street Fighter V). Still, a far better month for me than December was. I like the way this seems to be going, and wouldn’t be at all sad to see a dozen or more choices every month.

    Naithin · January 4, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Agree on loving at least a few options beyond the 10! I hope this keeps up so that there is some decisions needing to be made each month.

    Two Point Hospital is also a pretty big deal to be included, at least from a price perspective. It’s more expensive than Street Fighter V even. If I didn’t already own it, I’d be quite excited by that one.

    I think what I like the most is there is only one groan/cringe-worthy inclusion in the entire set, which isn’t something we saw in last month’s ‘choice’ bundle or many of the monthly packs before that. Hehe.

    Thanks for the recommendation, too!

Rakuno · January 4, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Definitely a lot of better picks this time… Most that I already have already too so it isn’t even tempting to me start subscribing. XD

Whispers of Machine, GRIP and Trailmakers are all games I never knew about and find interesting though. So they went to my Wishlist. :)

By the way, you ended up linking to GRIP instead to Trailmaikers on your post.

    Naithin · January 4, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks for highlighting the link error! Sometimes I find Steam doesn’t refresh the URL bar for some reason, so I get this a little more than I’d like. Sorted now!

    Looks like Trail Makers has done a bunch of stuff since I last looked into it. Submarines. Podracer type things. All sorts. xD

Tessa ~ Narratess · January 4, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Played graveyard keeper for a bit and it definitely has the stardew vibe. Get it in switch, but do get it. It’s a fun little game :)

    Naithin · January 5, 2020 at 12:03 am

    I’ll give it a try on PC, see how it goes and look at whether i’d wanna pick it up on Switch but sounds promising if you were into it! :D

Jeromai · January 5, 2020 at 8:49 am

I was not super pleased with this month’s reveal, mostly because I already owned a bunch of them.

Shadow of War, Graveyard Keeper, Whispers of a Machine were already all sitting in my Steam Library list and actually currently installed. Which I guess is how one might know there’s more hits than misses this time around. (On the other hand, none of them I’ve actually completed either.) Bad North was given away over on Epic’s end, so I didn’t strictly need it on Steam either.

If not for Mages of Mystralia, which I have been patiently yet greedily craving on wishlist for the longest time, I might have paused a month. I eventually talked myself into it with Two Point Hospital as the other main pull. The rest looked okay as bonus bundle games aka I’m sure they’ll be fun to try out, but not something I would have bought separately. Maybe there’ll be a surprise gem in there when I finally get around to them.

    Naithin · January 5, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Interesting to hear Mages of Mystralia is so high up your want-list! I had no idea it even existed until this bundle. Of the three that was true for, it was a clear winner but didn’t look like quite enough to push it up higher on my list. But your interest in it might. Hmm.

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