I would be willing to bet Humble Choice has been shedding subscribers rather than growing their base over the last little while. The latest numbers I can find that are specifically dated go back to 2019, when the subscriber count was given as ‘over 400,000’. Since then, the Humble Career’s page they quote has been updated to say over 500,000 — but without indication of when this milestone was reached.

Likely with some diving into the Internet Archive (aka The Wayback Machine) one could find at least a rough range of when this might’ve occurred — but like I said at the outset… I’m willing to bet this subscriber base has been shrinking.

Or — and I can’t discount this as a possibility — I’m just further evolving in my grumpy-old-man form.

But certainly, the excitement and joy once found in these bundles of games have been missing for a while. Yes- even when there has been something I’ve marked as a ‘most definitely do want’. Reflecting on how few of them I’ve actually installed and played… Phew. Not many.

My preference would be for Humble to rethink their approach again. Cut down on the number of titles on offer, but make them… better titles. Spend the same or more on fewer titles, and put just the cream of the crop indy titles alongside rather than just any ol’ thing they can get their hands on.

Personally? I’ll be pausing this month. Not something I do terribly often — even with the issues I feel are currently present — if I didn’t own Amnesia: Rebirth this might be a different story. Buuuut putting that to the side, 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 October 2021’s Humble Choice

Amnesia: Rebirth might not be the highest-rated entry in Frictional Games line of works — but honestly? I even enjoyed their lowest-rated, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs; so I hold some hope that I’ll enjoy this one too. It isn’t like a lot of developers are falling over themselves to make these sorts of games anymore! I’ll just have to go in not quite expecting the level of greatness found in SOMA whenever I do get around it.

As for everything else? Well!

RankGameGenre(s) / Notes
1Amnesia: RebirthHorror
2112 OperatorEmergency Dispatch Simulator
3Katana ZeroAction – Time Manipulation, One-hit-death
4John Wick HexIsometric Superhot (aka, time moves when you do)
5Ring of PainCard Game / Dungeon Crawler mash-up
6Black Future ’882D Procedural Rogue-like
7Syberia 3Adventure
8The TextorcistBullethell/typing game hybrid… Yep, it’s a thing!
9Garage: Bad TripTop-down Action – Lots of Undead, inspired by straight to VHS movies
10Guts and Glory3D Happy Wheels
11Hiveswap FriendsimVisual Novel
12Tools Up!Local Only Co-op
Bold titles are ones I’m sure I want. Top tier titles. Italic titles, on the other hand, I might not bother to redeem even with the choice to do so.

Frostilyte wrote a review of Katana Zero shortly after it came out, which sees me considering it for the number two position on the list. The one-hit death style would normally be something of a death-knell for the game to me; but this one isn’t about perfect execution as much as you might expect. Or at least — it isn’t required of you in real-time. The time mechanics, and other tools, give you options beyond flawless, pixel-perfect movement.

John Wick Hex I ranked fairly well, despite the fact it holds only mixed reviews at the moment and the trailers did little to convince me the reviews aren’t warranted. I like the IP though, and I like the gameplay concepts first seen in Superhot with the ‘time moves when you do’. However, with a lot of the negative reviews being on the execution of said mechanics, it’s possible the game deserves a lower spot on the list… Maybe a much lower spot.

But like I said — I’m going to pause this month.

And it raises the seemingly everpresent question — should I do more than pause and just cancel the whole thing? It’s largely FOMO that keeps me going, truth be told. That and the fact each time I seriously consider it they pull something out of the bag just good enough to warrant kicking-the-can on the decision a little further down the road.

So! November! Action’s on you.