August 2020 Humble Choice Overview

Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 11:00 | By: Luigi Savinelli
Horn of Plenty

Along with all of the good that Humble Bundle already brings to the table, they additionally offer players the chance to pick up to nine video games per month from a curated selection (10 if you're on the classic plan). Varying from popular titles to indie games you’ve probably never heard of, Humble Choice generates a diverse curated bundle to help establish the most paramount game libraries. In addition, every subscriber automatically receives up to 20% off titles in the Humble Store. You can’t beat the facts, folks—that’s one heck of a deal.

This month, the fine guys over at Humble Bundle decided to spoil their subscribers. Only this month, subscribers to the Classic or Premium bundle, won't have to pick and choose what games to unlock as all the 12 games will be available to them. It's great news considering there are pretty good games in this month's bundle like Vampyr, Wargroove, and Automachef. So if you're not on the Premium bundle yet, this is a great time to upgrade.

 
 

Vampyr

We all know vampires, the dreadful bloodsuckers that populate old folk tales, everyone’s nightmares, and blockbuster movies. What would happen though if someone with a strong moral code (say, a physician) was turned into a vampire and struggled between his oath to protect people and his own self-sustainment? This is the premise of Vampyr, an narrative action game by the makers of Life is Strange.

Back in London after World War I, Dr. Jonathan Reid finds himself in the aftermath of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. Torn between its human side and his new monstrous nature, he will have to investigate the horrific origins of the epidemic while, at the same time, helping the helpless people and finding a way to feed himself.

It’s really interesting how helping people improves the quality of their blood, which makes them worth more EXP. You’re encouraged to help people, but in doing so, the people you help present an even bigger temptation to give into your dark side. It’s not like you can ignore the “vampire” side of the story since action is a big part of the game, and you’ll need fuel for your vampiric powers to stand up to the challenge.

Why pick Vampyr?

  • Interesting morality mechanics
  • Great soundtrack and atmosphere

Why skip Vampyr?

  • Narration is a bit lacking

Read our Vampyr review.

Hello Neighbor + Hello Neighbor Hide and Seek Collection

What if your weird neighbor had some creepy secret hidden down in his basement? it would of course fall to you, the little kid next door, to uncover this mystery. It’s a pretty simple premise, but Hello Neighbor makes it work with its cartoony yet creepy style.

 

Having heard some weird stuff happening in the house next door, the main character of the game decides to sneak into his neighbor’s house to find out what’s happening. Of course, this means not being caught by the neighbor himself and navigating his attempts at keeping us out.

One of the most interesting parts of the game is the neighbor’s AI learns from the player’s actions. For example, if the little kid uses the same entrance often to sneak in, we can expect bear traps or cameras waiting for us next time.

While the puzzle design is definitely questionable, the interesting gameplay and the prequel DLC Hide and Seek Collection gives the game a good deal of replayability.

 

Why pick Hello Neighbor + Hello Neighbor Hide and Seek Collection?

  • Playing around the AI is great fun
  • Cartoony but creepy art style

Why skip Hello Neighbor + Hello Neighbor Hide and Seek Collection?

  • Many puzzles rely on trial and error

Wargroove

Fans of turn-based strategy games had their eyes on Wargroove since its announcement in 2017, and with good reason. Advance Wars is still a cult classic but hasn't had a new release in a loooooooong time, leaving fans only the Fire Emblem saga and few other games to scratch that scenario-based tactical-action itch. With the release of Wargroove, there was much rejoicing in the community as the game is now regarded as one of the best in the genre.

Wargroove wears its inspiration on its sleeve as both in terms of gameplay and aesthetics, it much resembles Advance Wars. The player will have to command its units in a map made of several locations connected by roads. There is a lot of focus in the uniqueness of each of the many units. Learning to master them, along with the terrain advantages and unique leader abilities, will be the key to victory.

While the campaign is quite short, Wargroove offers a Gauntlet mode, Puzzle mode, and even co-op mode to keep the action going even after the curtains fall on the main story.

Why pick Wargroove?

  • Absolutely great strategic gameplay
  • Many game modes, including a map creator

Why skip Wargroove?

  • Main story isn’t very interesting

Read our Wargroove review.

Call of Cthulhu

The works of Lovecraft inspired a plethora of products in other media. one such product is the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG which, in turn, inspired this digital adaptation of the pen-and-paper system.

The player takes the role of private detective Edward Pierce, hired to find out the truth behind a mysterious house fire in a small town in the year 1924. As one would expect, this investigation quickly starts taking a direction that involves a secret cult, secrets, and outworld powers.

While the inspiration from the tabletop RPG is palpable, Call of Cthulhu plays much like an adventure game with RPG elements than a straight RPG. There are skill checks and skill trees that work just like in the pen-and-paper version, but the game revolves around the narration and the puzzles. The game’s atmosphere is on point, although some puzzle design and the questionable graphics sometimes take you out of the world.

Why pick Call of Cthulhu?

  • Great atmosphere
  • Amazing story

Why skip Call of Cthulhu?

  • Lacking on the technical side

Read our Call of Cthulu review.

Little Big Workshop

Start small, become an empire. This is the motto of Little Big Workshop, a deceptively simple management and automation game that hides a lot of potential behind its cute art style.

The game starts in a small, empty lot to build your workshop in. The player has to buy manufacturing stations and hire employees in order to take and fulfill orders from clients. As the game progresses, more clients will be available, with more complex product requests which will require you to create an entire assembly line that starts from raw materials to the final product (which can be anything from electric guitars to vehicles).

While the game is nothing unseen for those who played other management games or complex automation games like Factorio, Little Big Workshop manages to build up the challenge in a way to not overwhelm those who are not used to the genre.

Why pick Little Big Workshop?

  • Charming visual style
  • It’s fun to manage your factory and make it grow

Why skip Little Big Workshop?

  • Requires a fair bit of micromanagement

Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition

I love space roguelites. There’s something special about traveling from planet to planet, caring for your trusted vessel, and filling hostile alien lifeforms with hot lead. Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition has all of that in spades.

The main character is the last hope for humanity. After the Earth was depleted of all natural resources and plagued by over-pollution, the Genesis Alpha One project was created in order to explore the cosmos in search of a suitable new home for humankind. As the captain of the Genesis starship, it's up to the player to succeed in this task.

Players will have to manage all aspects of life in space in Genesis Alpha One. Creating a habitable environment for the crew, expanding the starship with new modules, shooting aliens that snuck onboard while gathering resources, cloning new crew members from dead aliens’ DNA—you know, the works.

It does not take a lot for the main gameplay cycle to set in. You explore planet to planet, gather resources, blueprints, and alien technology to improve the ship, and travel to other planets with better loot. Of course, you will also have to fend off the aliens that will try to shoot down the starship. It’s a classic loop, but it’s satisfying to create your own spaceship and walk around in it, looking at your accomplishment—especially when the construction editor is this easy and well-made.

Why pick Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition?

  • Great editing system for the spaceship
  • A lot of replayability

Why skip Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition?

  • Crew AI is not great

Read our Genesis Alpha One review.

Automachef

Man, if you like automation games, this month’s Humble Choice must be like an early Christmas. After Little Big Workshop we have an automation game that errs more on the engineering-puzzle genre than the management. In Automachef, the player takes the role of the designer of a kitchen where all the dishes are prepared by a series of conveyor belts that bring the raw ingredients to a series of machines that prepare and assemble them. Think of Factorio but with way more calories.

There are many modes, from campaign to sandbox. In the campaign missions, the player will have to create a series of dishes using the given instruments. As the missions proceed, everything becomes more complicated.

The building blocks of the game are easy to understand and manipulate. It doesn’t get long before the number of the usable machines starts to grow and the complexity of the system skyrockets in a beautifully ordered chaos.

Why pick Automachef?

  • Easy to pick up
  • Quirky humor

Why skip Automachef?

  • Gets real complex real quick

Through the Darkest of Times

While we all know the horrors perpetrated by Hitler’s Nazi Germany, there are not a lot of stories going around about the good people of Germany which tried to fight the regime from within. Through the Darkest of Times is a narrative-driven adventure game that tells the story of the German resistance between 1933 and 1945.

The game revolves around decisions and hard choices. From the resistance’s dimly lit headquarters, the player selects available missions from a map of Germany. The main focus will be on gathering recruits and resources to hinder the chancellor’s plans. To do so, each member of the resistance has their own set of skills, political affiliations, and contacts. As time goes on, events happen where we will be asked to take a stance. Do we want to face the brown shirts beating up an old man, or do we turn our head away in order to not expose ourselves?

While dramatic, the game is charming in its aesthetics. It is also obvious that the developer took a great deal of care in historical accuracy. Events happen at the right dates, and even snippets of Hitler’s speeches are accurate.

Why pick Through the Darkest of Times?

  • Morally challenging
  • Historically accurate

Why skip Through the Darkest of Times?

  • Some activities repeat often

Read our Through the Darkest of Times review.

American Fugitive

A man, convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, has to escape prison in order to find who framed him and get justice. How to do that? By committing way more crimes, of course!

American Fugitive is an isometric sandbox action game that closely resembles, intentionally or not, the aesthetics of the old Grand Theft Auto games. Will, our main character, will have to navigate the country roads of the American southern states in the '80s in order to get the means to identify who framed him for his father’s murder. To do so, there are a lot of burglaries, robberies, and shootings involved.

When the game is at its best, it’s really cool. Stunt jumps, shootouts with the police, and destructible environments make the action parts really great. Sneaking into a house to steal as much stuff as possible is also really cool since you’ll only have a few moments before the police get on the scene. In between those moments, there is some downtime where the game is not as engaging.

Why pick American Fugitive?

  • A lot of minigames
  • Really good action

Why skip American Fugitive?

  • A lot of downtime between the good parts.

The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters

There are a lot of horror-themed games out there. In indie ones especially, the fear is often provoked by cheap jump scares or excessive gore rather than setting tension in a satisfying way. In The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters we have, instead, a carefully crafted horror experience where the world that the main character is forced to explore is often creepier than the monster that chases her.

Mina Park is a high school student that suddenly finds herself stuck in a nightmarish version of her city. Here, a murderous creature eerily resembling her teacher hunts her down. Mina is then forced to seek refuge and understand what’s happening in order to fight the creature.

The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a narrative-driven survival horror that plays with a side-scrolling perspective. Everything is hand-drawn, and it’s both beautiful and creepy to look. The main gameplay loop is your classic survival horror stuff. Explore crumbling areas looking for keys and puzzle pieces in order to proceed in the story. The execution, though, really sets this game apart.

Why pick The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters?

  • Really builds the tension
  • Interesting world

Why skip The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters?

  • A lot of backtracking

We Were Here Together

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is one of the more renowned asymmetrical multiplayer puzzle games out there, but there aren’t many other titles that are designed around that similar niche. For that reason, the We Were Here series, of which We Were Here Together is the third chapter, can be considered a rarity.

In We Were Here Together, the players take the role of two hikers stuck in a weird castle during a blizzard. While in this place they, are separated but can communicate through radios. The point of the game is to navigate the building and solve its puzzles by working as a team. One of the players will actually navigate the castle and find themselves with puzzles to solve. The other player will be in a room filled with clues on how to solve said puzzles. The two characters will have to communicate perfectly what they see in order to open the next door. It really reminds me of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes with a more adventurous vibe.

Why pick We Were Here Together?

  • Clever puzzles
  • The asymmetrical gameplay is interesting

Why skip We Were Here Together?

  • Sometimes clues are too obscure

A Case of Distrust

It’s always surprising to see how some developers can create an enchanting atmosphere and environments with very minimalist visuals. A Case of Distrust sports mostly silhouettes and extremely simple animations. This simplicity is not a detriment of the game but rather one of its strong points as it allows the player to be fully immersed in the noir story set in San Francisco at the time of prohibitionism.

As private investigator Phyllis Malone, the player will have to investigate a threatening letter received by a client. To do so, they will have to talk to many stereotypical noir characters and gather evidence by clicking on the silhouettes of the many environments of the game. New information will allow the private eye to contradict someone’s lie or will offer new dialogue options. This is all accompanied by a charming soundtrack that perfectly fits the setting.

Why pick A Case of Distrust?

  • Great minimalist presentation
  • Very good writing

Why skip A Case of Distrust?

  • Many characters are archetypal

Read our A Case of Distrust review.

Zodiac XX

Humble Originals are extra games already included in the subscription and don't factor into the choice count.

There are plenty of arcade shoot ’em ups around, and they usually stick to the usual settings. Space battles, air warfare… what if, for once, the battle was underwater? This is where Zodiac XX comes into play.

In Zodiac XX, we take the role of a pilot of a hyper-advanced underwater fighter in the battle against the Annovian regime. There is a wide roster of pilots to choose from and a banging anime rock soundtrack to pump the action to the next level. What’s not to love?

Booth

Humble Originals are extra games already included in the subscription and don't factor into the choice count.

While Booth wears its Papers, Please inspiration on its sleeve, it tries to differentiate itself and mostly succeeds. The dystopian, famine-riddled world of the game is bleak and gray, and the life of the main character is a lonely one.

In their new job as a food inspector, our hero will be able to meet weird characters that might put them in a difficult position and even, at some point, force them to take a stand about the state of the world. It’s a small, interesting game with many mechanics that work to the same goal: tell a sad yet fascinating story.

Wildfire Sneak Peek

If you had not the chance to check out Wildfire, this is the perfect occasion.

Wildfire is, at its core, a stealth game, but the stealth, in its case, means “don’t be caught” rather than “don’t be seen.” The main character has access to magic and learns to manipulate fire right at the start. While it might not be apparent how throwing fireballs is related to stealth mechanics, the game makes it work.

The game expects you to manipulate the environment using the elemental powers at your disposal. Set a bush on fire to make a guard panic and sneak after them, burn a bridge behind you so you can’t be followed, and so on. Possibilities multiply as you go on in the game and unlock new elements to manipulate like water and earth.


 A lot of games rich with atmosphere this month. Be it the smoky noir of A Case in Distrust, the creepy vibes of The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, or the dark and gloomy London in Vampyr, there's a lot to pick and choose this month. Oh wait, you don't have to. You have all of them!

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


Share On:

Featured Video (All Videos)

 

Luigi Savinelli profile picture
Writer

Gamer since I can remember and now writer for your enjoyment. Can't say more. Those games will not play themselves