Gaming News, Reviews, and Articles

September 2019 Humble Monthly Overview

Gaming article by Luigi Savinelli on September 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Feature

Decisions, decisions

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.5

Do I take the path towards the elite monster or towards the encampment? Do we rush the capture point or barricade the building to set up a trap? Should I add some status effect on my weapon or attach a rocket launcher to it? These are only some of the questions you'll be asking yourself while playing this month's Humble Monthly. Each title of this month's package will require you to make the best decision to proceed. Sometimes this means talking to your teammates in Squad's voice chat to choose a strategy, sometimes you have to choose a direction in a split second in Distance,or maybe you have to pick the best card for your deck in order to form a strategy in Slay the Spire. In any case, this month's titles will have you question your choices a lot.

 

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire is one of those games that kind of came out of nowhere and blew everyone out of the water. Even back in its early access days, this deckbuilding game with roguelite elements charmed everyone with the intricacies of its deceptively simple gameplay. Finding the best cards and implementing the best strategies will be pivotal for the success of the run, as well as choosing the best path to get to the boss in order to maximize the chance to get new cards, relics, and other resources.

Each game feels different than the previous one as the player is hit with a ton of possible options and strategies for their deck after every fight. Add a small but pretty diverse roster of characters (each with their own characteristics and pool of cards) and numerous relics and we have the recipe for hours and hours of great games.

 

Yay or Nay?

It’s amazing how balanced Slay the Spire is considering the great number of variables that gravitate around its gameplay. Fans of either deckbuilding games or roguelites should definitely not skip this one.

Check out our review of Slay the Spire here.

 

Squad

While the Arma series grabs the attention of many people for its highly tactical gameplay and less frantic approach to warfare compared to other FPSs, its high skill ceiling and steep learning curve discourage many players. Squad attempts to address this issue without sacrificing what makes tactical FPSs interesting, with a particular focus on team play.

In Squad, players of opposing teams face each other in large maps for the control of the territory. The particularity of this game is that players are split in different squads with different voice channels. There’s a voice channel to talk to any team member within hearing distance, one to talk to the entire squad and one for the squad leaders to talk between them in order to coordinate strategies. Just the presence of different channels of communications is sufficient to encourage players to act as a team instead of as units. Squad leaders can agree on a strategy, prioritize objectives on the map and set up locations to build tactical structures. THe mix encourages emergent gameplay, and for a game still in Early Access, that's great value already.

Yay or Nay?

While it doesn’t sound like Squad is much different from other similar titles, there are situations that I never faced in other online FPSs. On one occasion, the enemy barricaded itself in a warehouse, and it was impossible for us to approach. Our squad leaders set up build locations so the teams could put up a wall (that we nicknamed “The Trump Wall”) long enough to provide cover until we were able to get close enough to the capture point. It was awesome.

Distance

Racing and platformers meet in this driving game where the player will control a futuristic car in a neon circuit running through desolated sci-fi scenery. Distance challenges the player’s reflexes and speed of execution by throwing many different obstacles at them—obstacles that only with a fine eye and quick movements they’ll be able to avoid.

The car has the ability to jump, run on walls, boost, and even fly for short periods. The game is a race against time as the player will have to make use of all these tools to complete the circuits before the clock reaches zero. While this might not be a great challenge for someone with decent reflexes, the game is still fun to play thanks to the great atmosphere and chill music.

 

Yay or Nay?

Distance offers a literal race against time that doesn’t stress out the player and lets them enjoy the good soundtrack and visuals while, at the same time, still dangling the threat of the time limit over them.

Check our First Impressions of Distance here.

Guacamelee 2

The original Guacamelee charmed both the public and critics with its vivacious art style, great humor, and absolutely stunning gameplay. The sequel reminds everyone that all of that is still a thing as our luchador has to travel to different timelines in order to prevent a catastrophe that might destroy the entire Mexiverse.

Guacamelee 2, like the original one, is an action-packed Metroidvania heavily inspired by Mexican folklore. The main character is a luchador that fights using many different moves that are used both for fighting and navigating the map. A flaming uppercut is exactly what’s needed to gain those extra few inches to get to a higher platform so he can grab and toss an enemy towards its allies.

It’s also great to play it in coop as the silliness of the weird characters and situations is best enjoyed when playing the game with someone else.

 

Yay or Nay?

Guacamelee 2 is a great Metroidvania that offers outstanding gameplay united with a brilliant art direction. Finding all the new abilities to explore the map is a joy, and the bosses are interesting and engaging to challenge.

Check out our review of Guacamelee 2 here.

Mothergunship

Most roguelites revolve around the concept of giving the player the tools to proceed, often in a randomized way. There are not many that allow the player to build said tool themselves. Mothergunship relies on the concept that the player’s creativity should be what makes a successful run.

In Mothergunship the player does not receive weapons to use during fights but weapon parts. They will then be able to assemble what’s been acquired in a variety of destruction machines. A weapon that shoots rockets but also bouncing bullets? Sure, why not. A grenade launcher with a machine gun attached to it for support? Go ahead, mate. A big square with 12 rifle ballers coming out of it? That would be interesting!

Players are encouraged to experiment in Mothergunship. Of course, the more stuff a weapon can fight, the quicker the energy will deplete, but that’s the price for massive firepower.

Yay or Nay?

Mothergunship is a roguelite that gives the player the option to construct their arsenal themselves rather than just giving to them. While this might not be enough for some people to make it interesting, it can be extremely rewarding for those that want to fiddle with the system.

Check out our Mothergunship review here.

State of Mind

Technological utopias and/or dystopias are a common theme in video games. While many games just use these themes as settings, some try to dig deeper into them in a series of what-if scenarios. State of mind explores the possibility of a digital utopia for humanity, where conscience becomes data; there are no illnesses or wars but also freedom is illusory.

Without telling too much about the story, the focus of State of Mind is to explore this possibility through the eyes of its characters, all with their desires and flaws. While the low-poly graphics of the game suggest the low budget nature of the title, the world is still well-characterized and interesting, with good writing and visual direction to carry the story forward.

Yay or Nay?

State of Mind definitely is a graphic adventure for people who enjoy a good near-future dystopia. It’s a what-if scenario that makes the player think thanks to its storytelling.

Check out our review of State of Mind here.

God’s Trigger

Top-down shooters go religious with this game. In God’s Trigger a fallen angel and a demon team together in order to stop an early apocalypse from happening. The characters have their own move sets and capabilities and even their own skill trees that the player can invest in while progressing in the game.

The action is fast in God’s Trigger, but death comes quickly as a single hit is enough to kill most enemies but, at the same time, a single hit is often enough to kill our heroes. This kind of scenario reminds a lot of Hotline Miami but without the need to restart the level after death.

In single-player mode, we can swap between the two characters at will. While this kind of gameplay works fine, the game is obviously designed to be played coop, and you’ll have a way better time playing it with a friend that takes control of one of the characters while you control the other.

Yay or Nay?

God’s Trigger is a perfectly serviceable top-down action game with a decent story and enjoyable gameplay. Playing this in coop with a friend is a must.

Shady Knight

Shady Knight is this month’s Humble Original. The main target of this minimalist action game is to get to the end of each of the nine castles one by one. The game takes heavy inspiration from SUPERHOT both in visual style and gameplay but without the time control powers.

Our knight will be able to throw their weapon, trigger traps, kick enemies down windows and, in general, slice and dice whatever is between him and the end of the level. One single hit will kill our hero, and we’ll have to start over the entire (fortunately short) level with increased knowledge of its layout until the player will be able to execute a perfect dance of death.

Yay or Nay?

This month’s humble original definitely offers a nontrivial challenge. Shady Knight will have many players cursing to the screen at each death but with renewed resolve soon replacing the frustration.

 


This round of Humble Monthly is a mind bender. It will require you to take decisions either on the fly or ponder your choices carefully and, in either case, live with the consequences.

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

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Luigi Savinelli

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