Humble Choice: January 2021

I’m not sure how globally this applies, but, under the Fair Trading Act legislature of New Zealand it is considered a breach to advertise something as ‘limited time’ or being something special when it isn’t. If a particular deal is so entrenched as to be reasonably considered ‘normal’ then to continue marketing it as a special isn’t something you can do any more.

Unless you enjoy fines.

The natural consequence of this is that any specials that are going to run for an extended duration need to come with an end date attached and advertised as well.

Now- like I say, I don’t know how globally this applies, but this time around Humble have added an end date to their ‘Get ALL THE THINGS’ version of the ‘choice’ bundle.

I don’t recall whether this was the case last month or the month before that. It may’ve been. But it definitely hasn’t been there since the beginning. Either way, it caught my eye this time around and made me wonder.

Because this limited time special has been running quite a while now. Since August, it looks like.

In any case – I digress. I’m also very late on this post. I contemplated simply not doing one as I grow ever less enthused with the humble choice offerings. Magi and I flipped roles this month, as I typically go early and he typically catches the end of the month. So there was already a post out there for anyone interest.

I think I might also be at the closest to hitting the cancel button than I’ve been in some time, despite the fact it would mean the loss of being grandfathered in to the ‘Classic’ plan.

Although it isn’t to suggest that this month’s games are particularly bad. They just carry on the trend of being aggressively mediocre picks. Nothing Humble Choice has offered in a while has really got me all that excited. But I know. KNOW. That if I do go ahead and hit that cancel button within a month or two I’ll be made to regret it.

And that’s what keeps me locked in. My own fear of missing out.

We’ll see though. I might be coming around to it. While Humble is still, without a question, a good value for money proposition, the market it operates in with Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft all running quite good gaming library services is quite different to the one Humble Monthly (as it was before known) operated in when it launched.

In any case, enough rambling for now. And having said all that, I’m still about to go ahead and rank out the ones I’m most interested in. And there are a few.

My Picks for January 2021’s Humble Choice

RankGameGenre
1Ancestors: The Humankind OdysseySurvival, Evolution
2Pathologic 2Survival, Adventure
3Warhammer: ChaosbaneARPG
4MinoriaMetroidvania, 2D Sidescroller Souls-like
5Song of HorrorHorror
6Total Tank SimulatorToy Soldiers, Physics, Simulation
7The Ambassador: Fractured TimelinesTop-down Twin-stick Shooter
8Tales of the Neon SeaSidescroller Cyberpunk Adventure
9Not TonightPapers, Please clone
10PC Building SimulatorManagement, Simulation
11Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New YorkVisual Novel
12DeleveledPuzzle
Bold titles are ones I’m sure I want. Top tier titles. Italic titles I might not bother to redeem even with the choice to do so.

No bold ‘must have’ titles this month. But I suppose to be fair, neither are there any italic ‘wouldn’t even take it for free’ titles in here.

My top 3 picks though despite not earning the bold treatment are fairly solid. From 4 down though there is plenty of room to reshuffle depending on mood in the moment.

For example; Puzzle games are often something I do quite enjoy. Certainly more so than a visual novel. But the first trailer that loaded for it struck me as more of a humble-brag, very smug, ‘look at me, aren’t we so great’ style thing in tone and instantly turned me off.

I’m going to admit though, I’m in a bit of a sour mood more generally at the moment (Wife’s car in total breakdown at the moment, and we only bought it in August. Dealer will have to come to the party of course, just a lot of hassle.)

So it’s possible I’d be able to watch that same trailer again another time and wonder what triggered my grumpy old man ‘get off my lawn’ response right now.

Likely even.

In any case, I’ll continue to ponder. I think I might make next month’s bundle be my decider. Nothing I really want in it? Might consider pulling the pin on my subscription. Or at least becoming more liberal with usage of the ‘Pause’ button. Something I’ve not really done so far and probably should do more of even were I to continue my subscription. It’s certainly the less nuclear option in any case.

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.

6 Responses

  1. Krikket says:

    It’s weird how differently people see these – I paid immediately because Ancestors, Not Tonight, Tales of the Neonsea and Song of Horror were all games that I was interested in, and there were a handful of others I might try out. That said, I highly recommend pausing over cancelling if you don’t mind the few minutes it takes once a month.

    • Naithin says:

      Ancestor’s is one I am quite interested in as a concept, but early reviews called out the problems with the controls as being quite severe so I’m somewhat wary. Possible those issues have since been resolved, but I’ve not really followed along enough to know.

      Not Tonight was much higher on my list initially too, but seems to have less presence than Papers, Please did. There is no real sense of consequence or importance to the proceedings, apparently.

      That might not be a deal breaker in reality, but was enough to drop it down for me at least.

      But as you say, main thing I like about this sort of post is seeing the differences in how we rank things in importance to ourselves. :)

      And I probably will pause over cancel if next month doesn’t blow my socks off, then take it for at least a few months, month by month and maybe reassess then.

  2. paeroka says:

    I’d been interested in the Vampires game because I do enjoy visual novels once in a while. :)

    My husband has the Classic plan as well and he decided to pause. I want the Vampires one, Tales of the Neon Sea and Not Tonight. These aren’t games he’d be interested in. So even if he did end up wanting a game from this list, I can just gift it to him. This way, we save money and he can just unpause next month, should the games be better then. ;)

    • Naithin says:

      I like that your husband and you are able to share games like that. :)

      My wife is into The Sims 4 and various mobile-style games, and that’s about it. Oh- and the occasional family play of Mario Kart on the Switch. And some Final Fantasy from time to time.

      OK, so not entirely limited, but certainly Sims4/Mobile games are about 90% of her limited gaming time. I’ve tried on occasion to introduce to things like Stardew Valley (which I thought would be a sure thing!) but nope.

      Anywho, for a moment I thought the Vampires one was a duplicate — but no, was in fact next in the series. So maybe will take a look at ’em in due course. :)

  3. Jeromai says:

    Speaking as someone who played Ancestors when it first came out on Epic, I don’t think the controls are that much of an issue. I got by fine with mouse and keyboard and didn’t even feel a need to plug in a gamepad. I think where most people would have an issue with Ancestors is its uneasy uncanny valley in-betweenness between open world sandbox exploration and repetitive game-y mechanics.

    It’s hard to explain. One might look at the screenshots and sales pitch and imagine a freedom to explore and discover in an open world setting, but in truth, the game boundaries can be felt and are quite distinct, as opposed to more freedom-to-create games like Minecraft or Terraria or even Satisfactory. You’ll get tired of seeing the same enemy types just re-spawning over and over randomly; the solutions to fighting them off have simple numbers math behind it (Y item = 3 points, Z item = 6 points, X number of apes with you will scare or not scare certain enemies, etc.) and obviously, get the quicktime events right, or fail miserably.

    Yet the game does not explicitly spell out its mechanics and expects you to either trial and error “discover” aka uncover via revealing fog of war or trial and error experimental combination (or resort to third-party guides) before it then presents the “discovered” recipes or knowledge in neat organized game-y encyclopedia entries which one can then refer to.

    So it seems like it makes neither subset happy here. The open world explorers would want more freedom; the guidance cravers are left bereft of obvious objectives and forced into tedious unlocks that purport to be “discovery.”

    You are then expected to repeat these more optimal choices repetitively to slowly make progress and advance through the game… or you can risk it all and very possibly wipe yourself, your family and your entire species out if you get unlucky. At some point, I got a bit bored with the former and just put it down and never got back to it.

    That said, if one is open to the game as being its own individual thing, it certainly lets you experience pretending to be a primitive prehistoric ape and wandering around the wilderness for a bit. I enjoyed it while the discovery lasted, but the gameplay itself is not as solid or captivating to repeat as other games.

    • Naithin says:

      Thanks for the insight into it! From your description it’d probably fall down my interest list to below Chaosbane, but… Still somewhat interested in giving it a go.

      Almost certain though, that like you, I’ll end up walking away from it at some point before I’m done. Although to be fair, making that prediction is a little like predicting that water is wet. ;)

      The lack of direction is something I’d heard about too, but often those complaints are to be taken with a grain of salt. Recent example of that being Green Hell is ‘too hard, very brutal’ etc — but it seems of a fairly reasonable difficulty and learning curve so far.

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