December 2020 Humble Choice Overview

December 2020 Humble Choice Overview Header Overcooked 2

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December 2020 Humble Choice Overview

December 28, 2020

By: Luigi Savinelli

 
 

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 (you can get all 14 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.

2020 is a year that no one will forget and very few will miss. While the end of December comes to an end, we can all be grateful to video games for keeping us company in these times of isolation. The Humble Choice Subscription definitely granted a lot of people some new stuff to play to cope with all the challenges of the year, and the folks over at Humble Bundle decided to end it with a bang by offering the choice between 14 games instead of the usual 12 this month. Furthermore, if you're on the ultimate or classic plan, you get to keep all of them! Considering that said games include some fan favorites like Overcooked! 2 and Children of Morta, you can say that Santa outdid himself this time.

Overcooked! 2 + Too Many Cooks + Surf 'N' Turf Pack

Overcooked! has been, since its release, highly regarded as one of the best coop games out there. The sheer amount of laughter and mayhem resulting from a group of friends trying to cook a simple dish in a kitchen that moves around, collapses, and provides all kinds of hindrances is legendary. With Overcooked! 2, the developers played even more on the chaos with new kitchen, recipes, and even more mayhem.

While the game plays similarly to its predecessor, Overcooked! 2 introduces several improvements, including the ability to throw ingredients which, by itself, drastically improves the gameplay possibilities. Other than that, it’s basically a better version of the first game in every aspect. Add a couple of DLC packs to the mix and you have the perfect recipe for a great time with friends.

 
 

Why pick Overcooked! 2 + Too Many Cooks + Surf 'N' Turf Pack?

  • Amazingly chaotic fun
  • It’s everything the first game was, but better

Why skip Overcooked! 2 + Too Many Cooks + Surf 'N' Turf Pack?

  • Maybe too similar to its predecessor.

Children of Morta

Who said that roguelites can’t have a good narrative? Sure, most roguelites relay a lot on the procedural generation and randomness of the powerups, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t have a great story and a great narration. Children of Morta is proof of this.

The game follows the story of the Bergson family, a clan that has sworn to protect the world from the corruption that every so often comes down from the mount Morta. To do so, they will have to awaken three gods and goddesses to fight back the corruption.

There are six playable family members of the Bergson clan, each with their own playstyle and skill tree. The Bergsons also have their own personalities and their interactions keep the story moving for the entire duration of the game. Between each run, we’ll be able to see how the family is doing and witness more snippets of their individuality.

 

While the gameplay is extremely enjoyable and the pixel art is very well crafted, it’s the fascinating narration that keeps the player locked to the screen.

Why pick Children of Morta?

  • Amazing gameplay
  • Great story and narration
  • Gorgeous artistry

Why skip Children of Morta?

 
  • At points grindy
  • Not as replayable as other roguelites

Read our review of Children of Morta here.

One Step from Eden

One Step from Eden is definitely one of the most celebrated indie games of early 2020. It’s, at its core, a deckbuilding game with roguelite elements. While most of you surely thought about Slay the Spire as I mentioned those two elements, I can assure you that the two games are nothing alike.

One Step from Eden is frantic, pulse-pounding, and extremely action-oriented. At each node of the path, the player will have to fight opponents on a grid-based battlefield by slinging spells and avoiding enemy attacks. It reminds a lot of a bullet hell with strategic components and not much time to think about your next move.

As the character roster expands, so do the possible strategies and card synergy. There are over 200 cards available, and their value fully depends on the character you’re playing and what else is in your deck. A lot of strategic layers on top of a frantic action game on top of great pixel art and music.

Why pick One Step from Eden?

  • Hard but satisfying mechanics
  • Great visuals and music

Why skip One Step from Eden?

  • Extremely difficult to master

Read our review of One Step from Eden here.

The Beast Inside

Do you like ghost stories? Look no further!

The Beast Inside is a horror adventure set in both the early 1960s and the late 19th century in a weird mansion which is our main character’s family country estate. The discovery of a diary sends us straight into the past, with our new main character having to explore the extremely more sinister building, filled with ghosts and menacing shadows.

The horror is provided via environmental storytelling, with each painting, corner, and shadow cast from the furniture staring threateningly at the player. There are some cheap jump scares here and there, but all in all, the experience is genuinely creepy.

Adam also has a thing for cracking codes, which gives us the other gameplay element: puzzles. These revolve around Adam’s job skills (he’s a CIA agent) and the use of a sci-fi gadget capable of seeing quantum particles left by memories (which definitely feels a bit out of place).

Why pick The Beast Inside?

  • Good environmental storytelling
  • Many genuinely scary moments

Why skip The Beast Inside?

  • Some bad stealth sections

Indivisible

Indivisible is one of those games that, depending who you ask, can be either a crowdfunding fail or a crowdfunding success story. There’s a lot to like in Indivisible but also a lot that left many fans disappointed.

At its core, the game is a mix between JRPG and platforming. Anja, our main character, has the remarkable ability to absorb some people into her mind and summon them like Pokèmon when she needs their ability, either in combat or exploration. The roster of characters is wide, and each character is really unique, each bringing their own set of skills and combo possibilities. This, paired with the simple but effective combat mechanics, make the fighting in Indivisible its strong suit.

On the flip side of the coin, we have the platforming. It feels a bit wonky and, more often than not, the platforming sections outstay their welcome, resulting too long and frustrating segments, which is not great considering that platforming is about half of the game.

Why pick Indivisible?

  • Great visual style
  • Fun combat system

Why skip Indivisible?

  • Some questionable design decisions

Read our review of Indivisible here.

Shining Resonance Refrain

I love this recent trend of Japanese IPs coming to the west as time goes on. Shining Resonance Refrain is a remastered version of the original Shining Resonance, which was only available in the Japanese markets before and adds all the released DLCs to the mix, along with a new mode called “Refrain."

The game itself covers most of the traditional JRPG tropes. We have the usual evil empire, the usual predestined main character, and many overdesigned characters in full Japanese style. There are also a LOT of dragons involved, which is never a bad thing.

The combat is a classic action RPG. Fairly engaging but rarely difficult if you have some JRPG experience under your belt. Nevertheless, Shining Resonance Refrain is generally worth playing if you’re into the genre.

Why pick Shining Resonance Refrain?

  • Interesting, if predictable, story
  • Great characters

Why skip Shining Resonance Refrain?

  • Does not offer much of a challenge

Zwei: The Arges Adventure

Another instance of a game from the land of the rising sun making its way into the west. And this one is just a charming cuteness overload!

Zwei: The Arges Adventure was first released in 2001 but it is not until 2018 that it came to the west. The game is a charming 2D adventure RPG which takes heavily from the early The Legend of Zelda games. The main characters are two step-siblings with their own personalities and abilities, and you can switch between them at any time during exploration and combat.

Despite showing its age, Zwei: The Arges Adventure is a charming experience thanks to the quirky humor and cute aesthetics. It also features a food-based leveling system for some reason.

Why pick Zwei: The Arges Adventure?

  • Charming and enjoyable atmosphere
  • A lot of minigames

Why skip Zwei: The Arges Adventure?

  • Mechanically simplistic

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection

Another lost gem from the past. Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection is the sequel of Zwei: The Arges Adventure, and it retains a lot of its predecessor's charm, despite the switch to a 3D-isometric perspective.

Just like in the first game, Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection will have the player take charge of an unlikely duo: a vampire princess who lost her powers and the knight she saved in order to help her regain them. The main elements are very similar to The Arges Adventure with the player having the skill to swap between the melee-oriented character to the magic user at will in order to unleash heavy combos. The humor is still there and so is the cute aesthetics. Even characters from the first game make cameo appearances in this one (although it’s not necessary to play The Arges Adventure to fully enjoy the sequel).

Why pick Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection?

  • Great soundtrack
  • Quirky humor and aesthetics

Why skip Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection?

  • Simplistic combat

Read our review of Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection here.

Tabletop Playground

If you’re a tabletop gaming enthusiast looking for something to play with your cardboard and plastic miniatures in a virtual space (especially during a pandemic), your only option has been Tabletop Simulator for quite some time. Not really a huge amount of competition in the genre. Tabletop Playground wants to affirm itself as a viable alternative and, I have to say, it has all the right cards.

In its core, Tabletop Playground has everything Tabletop Simulator does, with a different coat of paint. It has nicer graphics for sure and has great scripting tools. While there is a lot of community content, there’s not as much as its competitor, although it’s growing steadily. It’s definitely a great way to play some tabletop with some friends.

Why pick Tabletop Playground?

  • Nice graphics
  • Steadily growing amount of community games

Why skip Tabletop Playground?

  • Only worth it if you have other friends that have it

The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

Here we have a small, short, and charming adventure and investigation game with some cool writing. The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game is definitely not a looker, but what it lacks in technical prowess and longevity is offset by its simple yet engaging writing.

In The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game, the titular Frog Detective is called to investigate the mystery of a ghost that no one is able to track down. We will have to gather evidence and interrogate suspects with just our wits and our trusted magnifying glass (which has no purpose in the game other than make the player feel like a little Sherlock Holmes).

Why pick The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game?

  • Charming characters
  • Cute Child Book aesthetics

Why skip The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game?

  • Extremely short (about 1 hour)

Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

Our favorite amphibian investigator is back in action!

Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard is the direct sequel of The Haunted Island and plays basically the same with some improvements here and there. With our magnifying glass and notebook, we will have to solve the mystery of the sabotage of the celebration in Warlock Woods.

After decorating our notebook with quirky stickers, we have basically the same gameplay as the first game with some improvements. For example, the evidence we gather and the suspects we meet are nicely gathered inside our notes. It is another charming and short game of this small but very interesting series.

Why pick Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard?

  • STICKERS!
  • Even more charming and quirky than its predecessor

Why skip Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard?

  • Similarly to the first game, it’s extremely short

Still There

We remain in the domain of adventure games but with an extremely different tone. Still There is a relatively short point-and-click game that explores themes like loneliness, melancholy, and being tied to one own’s past.

Still There puts the player in the shoes of Karl Hamba, a space lighthouse-keeper stationed in the Bento Station with the company of the sarcastic AI Gorki and a pet iguana. While the game mechanics themselves are pretty straightforward (keep the station functioning by solving a series of puzzles by consulting a manual), the gameplay is dotted by moments of deep introspection and interesting, well-written dialogue designed to pull on your heartstrings.

Why pick Still There?

  • Well-written narrative
  • Clever puzzles

Why skip Still There?

  • Dialogue choices are inconsequential

Read our review of Still There here.

Struggling

Horrifying flesh abominations, physics-based platforming, mutants with multiple personalities, and a kick-ass soundtrack. This and way more are offered by Struggling.

If you ever played Heave Ho, you will probably feel at home with Struggling’s mechanics. The player controls a mutant made by the fusion of two personalities, and each of those control a single appendage of the main character. Using the analog sticks of a controller, you can move the arms independently and have them grab things. This will allow the player to slowly make their way through the levels which, by the way, keep getting crazier and crazier by the minute.

While being extremely hard at points, Struggling offers a challenge, humor, and an extremely well-crafted audio design, all encompassed by a surrealist visual style.

Why pick Struggling?

  • It’s weird… in a good way
  • Simple but engaging mechanics

Why skip Struggling?

  • At some points it gets way too hard

Read our review of Struggling here.

Path of Giants

I can only describe Path of Giants by borrowing a term from the developers themselves: “serene.”

Path of Giants is a traversal puzzle game where the player controls three little explorers in a Nordic environment trying to reach the top of the titular path. The player can select and control any of the three characters individually in order to solve the spatial puzzles offered by the game. They will have to work together by working as counterbalances, pressing switches, and even climb on top of each other to reach the correct platforms to stand on to end the level.

The game is short and sweet. The puzzles are not very hard but pleasant nonetheless, the visual style is cute, and the gameplay offers a nice time. The only flaw is that it ends in a flash.

Why pick Path of Giants?

  • Interesting puzzles
  • Cute visual design

Why skip Path of Giants?

  • A bit too short

The Corridor

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

Do you like The Stanley Parable? You will love The Corridor!

This month’s Humble Original wants to play with your expectations and does so wonderfully. The purpose of the game is to walk down a corridor and press a button. I would say more but it would be a disservice to this wonderful, little experience.

Just play it. It’s literally already included in the deal!

Read our review of The Corridor here.


14 great games and way more time than usual to play them. This year instead of going out to watch the fireworks or to eat with friends, be safe and cocoon in a blanket to play some cutesy investigation game like Frog Detective 1 and 2, or explore deep dungeons with Children of Morta, or even release the weeb in you with some Shining Resonance: Refrain.

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

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

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