Gaming News, Reviews, and Articles

October 2019 Humble Monthly Overview

Gaming article by Luigi Savinelli on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 13:00
Feature

Past and future

Along with all of the good that Humble Bundle already brings to the table, they additionally offer players the chance to snatch up a medley 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. In addition, every subscriber 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's Humble Monthly is deceptively futuristic. While most of the October games are about robots, mechs, and weird planets, they are all coated in a veil of nostalgia. Battletech has strategic gameplay reminiscent of the classic RPGs with many nudges to the old MechWarrior saga. Puss! takes an old concept present in many web browser games in the '90s and tries a new spin on it. Sonic Mania is the return of one of the most beloved franchises of the industry perfectly carried to the present. Also, we have Planet Alpha, Spiral Scouts, and Avernum 3 that take really old concepts and carry them to the modern day, further reinforcing this welcome contrast between past and future in this month's bounty.

 

Battletech

Turn-based strategy and an X-COM vibe dance with each other like in a waltz in BattleTech.

The game puts the player in the shoes of a MechWarrior in control of a team of giant bipedal Robots in a series of story-driven battles set in a huge battlefield where positioning and strategy will be the key to success.

 

Players are able to customize their mechs to adapt to different strategies. Lighter mechs have huge mobility and act first but are pretty frail while heavier ones pack a stronger punch but can be sitting ducks.

The arsenal available allows the mechs to be equipped with many different weapons and armor, from long-range missiles to lasers to mortars, allowing the players to create their own ideal war machine.

 

Yay or Nay?

BattleTech takes a pretty deep combat system, pairs it with great customization options and places it in a believable war-torn galaxy with great lore. Definitely a must for fans of X-COM-style turn-based strategy games or giant robots.

Read our review of BattleTech here.

Sonic Mania

With all the changes that the Sonic franchise went through in the years following Sonic & Knuckles, it's nice to see a sorely needed return to origins. Sonic Mania comes from the love and care of a team of fan developers that Sega entrusted the brand to, and they nailed it.

Sonic Mania takes everything that made the old Sonic games masterpieces and improves it in every way. No 3D, no attempts to a meaningful theme, no Final Fantasy vibes, no gun-wielding anti-heroes. Just untethered, pixel-perfect, and enormously enjoyable high-speed platforming action.

 

Veterans of the series will notice a plethora of improvements in historical levels and enjoy all the new zones while those who missed the original games will be able to enjoy all the magic of the Sonic games as they used to be.

Yay or Nay?

Sonic Mania managed to improve a formula many considered perfect and to capture the magic of playing the original games in the '90s. If you ever even only glanced at the Sonic franchise, you gotta play this.

Read our review of Sonic Mania here.

Spiral Scouts

As the newest member of the Spiral Scouts, our heroine Remae will find herself tasked to save the founders of the organization that has been sealed in their own realms. To do so, she will have to explore a colorful world full of wacky characters, challenging puzzles, and a lot of cussing.

 

Spiral Scouts is an enjoying mix of adventure, exploration, and puzzle solving. It seems innocent at a first glance but its brain teasers can be deceivingly hard to solve.

Yay or Nay?

Spiral Scouts is slow-paced and fun to play. Its puzzles and interesting, wacky characters give the game a unique appeal.

Read our review of Spiral Scouts here.

Planet Alpha

Planet Alpha is one of the examples of how a game can be engaging and interesting even with barebones gameplay. Stranded in a foreign planet, the main character has to explore the unfamiliar surroundings to survive. The game plays as a 2D exploration game. The hero moves towards the right and needs to overcome platforming puzzles and stealth sections to escape the robotic enemies that swarm the planet.

The scenery is the strongest feature of Planet Alpha. The art style is gorgeous and well made with an alluring sound and music direction to make the exploration worthwhile.

Yay or Nay?

Planet Alpha is not a challenging game most of the time, but this amazingly crafted world is worth a visit.

Override: Mech City Brawl

Giant mechs, destructible buildings, and a lot of rocket-powered punches; Override: Mech City Brawl offers all of this and more.

The game is a fighting/brawler game where the players control huge mechanical warriors inspired by a multitude of anime and cartoons. We have the Gundam-inspired one, the Kaiju-inspired one, and even an Aztec-themed mech.

The game offers a single-player campaign, but Override: Mech City Brawl definitely shines online, with multiple people exchanging devastating blows in the arena in either free-for-all or co-op modes.

Yay or Nay?

Override: Mech City Brawl is a great game to release some steam. While the gameplay is not perfect, throwing a mechanical Godzilla through several buildings is always satisfying.

Puss!

This is a weird one, and not necessarily in a negative way. Puss! takes a pretty old gameplay concept and puts it in an extremely surreal world. The game is about saving our titular cat by dragging it with the mouse across a maze without having it hit the walls or any obstacles, just like many flash browser games of old.

The levels have an extremely weird aesthetic, with electronic music, crude 3D models, and a lot of blinking lights. There are so many blinking lights that anyone that is at risk of seizures should skip this one.

The gameplay is simple in concept and difficult in execution as the levels get more and more complex until you get to the boss fight. Yes, they managed to put in boss fights in a game about dragging the drawing of a cat through a maze.

Yay or Nay?

Puss! is a game that needs to be experienced, even once, even for just one level, just to savor the surrealism of it all. Unless you have photosensitive epilepsy. In that case, stay clear of this one.

Avernum 3: Ruined World

The Avernum saga is one of those franchises which is well known and loved in many communities of CRPG fans but never were extremely popular with the general public. Avernum is the quintessential Classic RPG, with a lot of choices to take and deep lore.

Avernum 3: Ruined World takes place in a world that feels alive and ever-changing. What the game lacks on the technological standpoint, it makes up for with an interesting world to explore that evolves as time passes following the player’s actions (or lack thereof). The story, as one would expect from the conclusion of the Avernum trilogy, is compelling and the customization options numerous.

Yay or Nay?

The Avernum saga always was a franchise for those who like the CRPG experience in the purest form and, for this reason, might not be for everyone. Nonetheless, Avernum 3 is a game that you should not miss if you’re looking to lose yourself in a masterfully crafted world.

Roman Sands

This month’s Humble Original is a visual novel that will make you question your sanity. In Roman Sands, the player finds themselves in a resort where all the guests seem to be unaware of the time passing and the abrupt leaps in space and time that everyone incurs to.

Even more than that, the sun is getting bigger and for some reason, no one thinks it’s an issue. It’s up to the player to unveil the mystery of what is happening in the resort by immersing themselves in the oneiric atmosphere of Roman Sands.

Yay or Nay?

It’s hard to pinpoint the style of Roman Sands. It’s somewhere between surrealism and a fever dream. Definitely an interesting exercise in style.


This month's Humble Monthly will have you live moments of nostalgia and moments of wonder for the future. Between clashing robots and our beloved blue hedgehog, this is definitely another great month.

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

About the Author

Luigi Savinelli profile picture

Luigi Savinelli

Writer

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