Along with all of the good that Humble Bundle already brings to the table, they additionally offer players the chance to snatch up a mixed bag of video games for a whopping $12 the first Friday of every month by becoming a subscriber. Varying from popular titles to indie games you’ve probably never heard of, Humble Monthly generates a diverse curated bundle to help establish the most paramount game libraries. Not to mention, every subscriber also automatically receives 10% off titles in the Humble Store. You can’t beat the facts, folks—that’s one heck of a deal.

This month, subscribers got to experience the growing multiplayer shooter Destiny 2 along with seven other unique experiences. Was June’s bundle anything to write home about? Check out my first impressions of the eight distinctive titles to see if June’s bundle is worth delving into.

Styx: Shards of Darkness

The first thing I noticed about Styx: Shards of Darkness was how visually appealing the open environments were. Styx’s obnoxious attitude, however, was a close second. In this be-stealthy-or-don’t-bother escapade, goblins are viewed as a tainted species that ought to be disposed of. Luckily, Styx and his cunning disposition aren’t about to surrender to such atrocities but rather do what he does best: kill.

My first hour or so of sneaking, jumping, assassinating, and poisoning was a bag of marbles. I lost count of how many times I met my doom by accidentally falling into a dark abyss due to the clunky controls. Additionally, the crude humor tends to be a bit much. He goes the extra mile to tell you how much you suck, but in a way where the jokes are downright bad and fall flat. On the bright side, the craftiness of maneuvering around foes without being seen proves to be invigorating. Don’t even bother engaging in a knife fight with the bad guys, though. Styx may be perceived as a badass goblin, but combat is not this game’s forte.

Yay or nay?
If you’re a fan of stealth adventures and open world environments, Styx: Shards of Darkness may be worth tipping your toes into. Don’t be flabbergasted when Styx starts flipping the bird at you in addition to the relentless degradation. I just assume he was never loved as a child.

Check out our full review of Styx: Shards of Darkness right here.

styx shards of darkness

Yikes.

Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee is a one-of-a-kind platformer displaying an open-world feature to its players. Our two happy-go-lucky heroes correlate flawlessly with the colorful atmosphere, along with an abundance of other memorable characters. As they embark on their journey, the dynamic duo must acquire new abilities to solve vibrant puzzles and reveal exquisite new worlds.

A lot of Yooka-Laylee involves running and jumping with a side of occasional combat. The gameplay demonstrates an enjoyable experience at first but loses its flair after a couple of hours. The camera angles are also awkward, making it difficult to at times to get from point A to point B. Aside from the quirks, Yooka-Laylee houses a collection of laidback minigames within its distinctive worlds as well. It’s nice to unwind after a long day of jumping around aimlessly, you know?

Yay or nay?
I personally enjoyed immersing myself into the imaginative world of Yooka-Laylee. The characters are unique and adorable, but flaws are present and at times difficult to overlook. If you find pleasure in cutesy characters and repeatedly pressing the “jump” button, Yooka-Laylee may be your cup of tea.

Check out our full review of Yooka-Laylee right here.

yooka laylee

In a worrrrld of pure imagination.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 was one of the more well-known titles in this month’s bundle. Mirroring a lot of its predecessor’s features, Destiny 2 is popular for its online multiplayer campaign and, of course, blowing enemies to smithereens with an arsenal of firearms. However, the overall gameplay received positive feedback and the visuals were quite satisfying. What’s not to like?

Your goal as a Guardian relies on reuniting humanity’s heroes and saving the world from the bad guys. Though Destiny 2 provided a stronger foundation story wise for its players to follow, the game lacked player choice. However, the vast exploration, arsenal of cool weapons, and multitude of awesome loot compensates for the disappointment. Not to mention how fun it is to team up with some buddies and obliterate other players. Or cry as they obliterate you. It goes both ways.

Yay or nay?
Destiny 2 basically received a standing ovation from around the world after its initial release. There’s usually always something to conquer, abilities to learn, and foes to kill. Conversely, my only gripe about Destiny 2 hangs on its online-only feature. I’m sorry, but it is super embarrassing when you have to keep getting revived because you’re not a seasoned player.

Check out our full review of Destiny 2 right here.

destiny 2

To kill or be killed.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!

Simulator games are either a hit or a miss. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is a little bit of both, depending on the situation. If you’re quick on your feet, figuratively speaking, you may just thrive. Your goal is to be a superlative chef and master recipes in record time. The journey to fashioning that golden chef hat, however, is not a piece of cake.

Luckily, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! provides practice tutorials. You know how you typically skip tutorials because you think you’re too good for them? You really shouldn’t this time. The step by step instructions are incredibly helpful. There’s so much to learn that it’s actually overwhelming at first. The game throws so much material at you to the point where it’s problematic. Luckily, players can choose their preferred difficulty. “Zen”, for example, is perfect for beginners or laidback experiences. Scenarios are times, so precision and speed is important. Not only do you have to perfect meals (well, if you want to run a decent restaurant anyway), but multitasking and completing chores also makes or breaks your business. Let’s be honest here, no one’s going to want to eat at a restaurant with clogged toilets and insect infestations. It’s just not sanitary.

Yay or nay?
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is definitely one of those hardcore simulation games you could binge on once you get the hang of its general mechanics. There’s always too much happening around you, so stress may weigh heavy on your chef shoulders. You’re also able to customize aspects of your restaurant, but it’s tedious and challenging to do. Some of it doesn’t look so hot, either.

cook serve delicious

There’s just a lot happening all of the time.

Ken Follett’s: Pillars of the Earth

A lot of point-and-click games have a knack for mediocracy. Ken Follett’s: Pillars of the Earth offers player choice combined with real-life circumstantial dilemmas. The stories embedded originate from author Ken Follet’s world-bestseller, Pillars of the Earth, which I thought was a cool concept to begin with. Taking place in 12th Century England amid a war where poverty was the norm, lives intertwine to tell the story of struggling to survive.

Pillars of the Earth commences with a family stranded in the woods, warming themselves by a fire in the middle of winter. You control a bearded man who does his darnedest to care for his two children and very, very pregnant wife. Early on, she begins to bleed out and gives birth to a seemingly healthy child. She then proceeds to sit against a tree, sulking in her own blood. The scenario was wild start to finish. Pillars of the Earth introduces another character following suit, thus expanding the plot and opening the doors to new adventures.

Yay or nay? You’ll either love this game or you’ll get bored of it in ten minutes. The story is rich with historical facts and experiences from that era, but moves at a snail’s pace. Ken Follett’s: Pillars of the Earth is basically an interactive way to experience his book without actually having to read it. You just have to point and click at stuff every once in a while.

Check out our full review of Ken Follett’s: Pillars of the Earth right here.

ken folletts the pillars of the earth review atomix 1

A woman with a pregnancy that far along naturally has to birth her child in the woods during the middle of winter.

Bear With Me

Bear with Me happens to be another point-and-click escapade in this month’s bundle, but takes the genre in a different direction. The cartoon episodic noir-style adventure tells the tale of Amber and her detective teddy, Ted E. Bear seeking clues to uncover the mystery of her missing brother. By solving riddles, interviewing witnesses, and combining random items, Amber and Ted E. Bear must work together to prosper onward.

The first episode is fairly quick to get through, but I struggled at first. You receive the general lay of the land and have the leisure to encounter unique characters. Humor is present and Ted E. Bear is undoubtedly one of a kind—you can’t help but adore him. In retrospect, key items are a pain in the butt to spot and pixel-hunting becomes aggravating when solving puzzles. You’ll want to throw your hands up in surrender sometimes. Honestly, I may or may not have done so myself a couple of times.

Yay or nay?
Bear with Me has its flaws and questionable riddles, but the characters and their puns make the gameplay less demanding. If you bear with the game and overcome the flaws, you’ll unmask some shocking discoveries. See what I did there?

bear with me

Interviewing suspects is one thing, but paying close attention to detail is another. AKA the mysterious red cloth.

Acceleration of Suguri 2

I had no idea what was expected of me in Acceleration of Suguri 2, except the obvious fact that I was supposed to vigorously shoot at my opponent. Fortunately, a Training mode is accessible through the main title screen. Unfortunately, this so-called training mode was nothing but a page drowning with text. Thanks, but no thanks.

There’s a story mode to venture through, along with a preferred difficulty and an array of anime-style female protagonists to choose from. Because I have never experienced Acceleration of Suguri 2’s predecessor, Easy mode appeared to be the safe option, except it wasn’t. The easiest difficulty was equivalent to what I’d expect Hard mode to be like. Since this game failed to put together an interactive tutorial, it’s almost impossible to comprehend what’s transpiring around you. Not to mention how mundane the gameplay gets after a while. You can only button smash for so long.

Yay or nay?
Text tutorials are the worst. You’ll get destroyed on the easiest difficulty, but if you’re a hardcore fighting genre fan, this game might pique your interest.

acceleration of suguri 2 screenshot 5

I couldn’t even begin to tell you what was happening in this photo.

Subserial Network

Subserial Network was June’s Humble Original, which is a special video game created specifically for Humble Monthly subscribers. There really isn’t much of an introduction to Subserial Network. You boot up the game and three windows pop up: a music player, internet browser, and the player’s email inbox. There’s no such thing as a save option either.

The apparent goal of Subserial Network is to destroy defective synthetics by the means of navigating through the multi-window communications setup on your desktop. From my brief experience with maneuvering through the browser, Subserial Network’s complexity makes for a bamboozling experience. Nonetheless, the secrets you expose through the means of detective work are pretty cool.

Yay or nay?
Subserial Network isn’t for everyone, but I’d say it’s definitely worth poking around at. You really have to be invested if you want to prevail though. Where’s a save option when you need one?

subserial network

There’s a lot of reading between the lines to decipher clues and secret navigation tools.

________________________________________________________________________

 

Overall, June’s monthly bundle was a medley of good, bad, and in-between. We saw a good chunk of indie titles finally acquiring some recognition in the spotlight, but others failed to hold my interest. I personally had a ball mutilating my foes in Destiny 2 and frolicking through vibrant worlds in Yooka-Laylee. What were your favorite and least favorite games in June’s Humble Monthly package? Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: Humble Bundle works with TechRaptor for affiliate partnership, and TechRaptor earns a small commission off purchases made from links in this article.


Amanda Bower

Staff Writer

I'm so awkward when I have to talk about myself. I'm an avid video game player (obviously). When I'm not avoiding reality in imaginative worlds, you can find me trying to master a kamehahmeha while simultaneously devouring buffalo chicken wings.



E3 2019 Coverage

Comment Section