July 2019 Humble Monthly Overview: Mental

hellblade: senua's sacrifice

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July 2019 Humble Monthly Overview: Mental

July 23, 2019

By: Luigi Savinelli

 
 

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 provides a game that will stress you out of your mind and a plethora of titles to recover from it. After playing the descent into madness that is Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, you will be able to soothe your mind by, among others, running your adventure shop in Moonlighter, indulging in gratuitous violence in Road Redemption, or writing letters to internet strangers with delightful low-fi music in Kind Words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLd03tZETMU

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

There’s something magical in what Ninja Theory managed to accomplish with Hellblade. The game is regarded as the best example of what an independent team of professionals can accomplish without a publisher, and with good reason.

Hellblade’s mechanics, especially combat, are pretty straightforward although very well curated. What makes it stand out is the accurate representation in video game media of mental illness. The topic is treated with the respect and the accuracy it deserves, alternating bluntness and subtle symbolism. It successfully manages to transfer Senua’s plight to the player, and the resulting experience is unlike anything else that can be found in the gaming medium or even any other media in my personal experience.

 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfiS_PV3V-4

Yay or Nay?

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice manages to tackle a very difficult topic with the consideration that the discourse demands. It manages to do it without sacrificing the gameplay aspect and integrating it perfectly in the message. Definitely a title that everyone should experience.

Check out our review of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice here.

Moonlighter

There are not many games around that challenge the vision of the player by putting them in the shoes of those who, in many titles, are nameless NPCs. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale was one of those games, where the player was tasked to manage an item shop for adventurers. Moonlighter falls in the same category, with more of a focus on the “gathering stuff” part than the vending itself.

Moonlighter plays like a classic roguelite, where our hero will unlock new instruments to explore dungeons repeatedly in order to collect materials. The other half of the game consists in setting up the shop to sell what was gathered in the dungeon runs, experimenting to find the correct price point for every item in order to reinvest the profit in a better shop or better weapons to explore more dangerous (and rewarding) dungeons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81FJurvZuOg

Yay or Nay?

Moonlighter is a gem of a game, with endearing graphics and fun gameplay. The shop aspect of the game is not as curated as in Recettear, but the roguelite part is way better.

Check out our review of Moonlighter here.

Road Redemption

The old-timers reading this will remember, with a certain nostalgia, a game called Road Rash, which introduced players to the simple concept of illegal motorcycle races with the addition of the possibility of hitting the competitors with chains or baseball bats. The concept is really simple but made a wonderful little game of high speed and gratuitous violence. For some reason, there aren’t many games around that follow that formula.

Road Redemption comes to fill that void. The game plays very much like the title it takes inspiration from. A series of races in various locations where the player will have the ability to beat the other racers with either driving skill or with a well-placed machete chop. It plays great, but it’s not devoid of challenges. Players will have to joust in the middle of regular traffic, face tricky tracks, and, of course, fend off enemy attacks while, at the same time, trying to overcome their defenses.

 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P06rdib6EU

Yay or Nay?

Road Redemption is a simple game that manages to successfully follow the footprints of Road Rash. Its gameplay is simple, but it’s a ton of fun.

Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus

In the dark universe of Warhammer 40K, the Imperium of Man employs a hyper-technological order of tech-priests with the task to maintain, guard, and employ the Imperium’s technological knowledge: the Adeptus Mechanicus.

In Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus, players take control of a team of tech-priests during the exploration of a newly discovered Necron planet. The game is a tactical, turn-based strategy game that alternates exploration sessions with combat, where the players control a squad of tech-priests against the enemies lurking at every side of the ruined planet.

There’s a lot of focus in resource management and unit customization, which makes the progression of the game appealing enough. Fans of the Warhammer 40K universe will also enjoy the rich lore that is unveiled during the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfqF81VPoM0

 

Yay or Nay?

I don’t know much about Warhammer 40K (which is a gap I’ll have to fill eventually), but even without knowing a lot of the huge universe of the franchise, Mechanicus was a stimulating experience which offered a good challenge.

Check out our review of Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus here.

Love Is Dead

This one is way more wholesome than the name would suggest.

Love is Dead tells the story of a couple that, at the rise of the zombie apocalypse, manages to maintain their intellect despite being turned into zombies thanks to their mutual love. They then set off on a quest to find and rescue their pets.

The player takes control of one of the two lovers, and the purpose of the game is to reunite the couple. To do so, they will have to move through collapsing terrain, moving platforms, ghosts, and other obstacles. It’s not a difficult game per se, but it can be pretty challenging.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14jYul8-Q8Q

Yay or Nay?

Love is Dead gives its best when played co-op, with both the lovers trying to reach each other. It’s a simple and charming game.

60 Parsecs

60 Parsecs is a weird approach to survival games. The main difference to other games of this genre is that there is no direct exploration or interaction with the world. There is, instead, more of a focus on planning.

The player leads a crew that escaped an exploding space station, grabbing whatever they could carry with them in the process. The crew members (up to four) find themselves in an escape pod trying to figure out how to survive.

Each day, the player can give out a certain number of orders. They can decide who to feed, who gets to play with the sock puppet (which increases mental health), what to craft, whether or not send someone to explore outside, and so on. When the orders are taken, the day ends and the following morning we are able to see what the results are.

Despite the simplistic gameplay, a number of interesting situations can present themselves, depending on what items the player decided to craft, what decision has been taken, and the crew’s opinion towards the captain. Crafting a repair kit might prevent a crewmate from having to go outside the pod to fix a leak, but some other items might be more useful in the short-term, like a portable communicator to keep in touch with the crew members you send out to explore the surroundings when food is scarce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdRBWBAiO_4

Yay or Nay?

60 Parsecs is simplistic under some aspects but brilliant for others. It’s easy enough to pick up and encourages the player to be prepared for the craziest situations.

Nairi: Tower of Shirin

Colorful environments and endearing characters make the backbone of Nairi: Tower of Shirin. This charming graphic adventure follows the titular Nairi, a girl from a rich city that is forced to flee as her family is arrested. She will befriend a group of humanoid brigand cats that will help her sneak into the city to discover the truth.

It’s a classic point-and-click adventure with a lot of interesting dialogue and lovable characters that will just delight the player with its vibrant art direction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzSzsAPUvOQ

Yay or Nay?

There’s not much to say here. If you’re into classic adventure games and the aesthetic appeals to you, Nairi: Tower of Shirin is a sure bet.

Kind Words

Kind Words is this month’s humble original and, I have to say, it’s the most interesting one I played so far.

The game probably can’t even be defined as “video game” as its gameplay does not involve winning, losing, or overcoming challenges. What Kind Words does is put the player in contact with every other person in the world that has the game. People who launch the game can view requests of other people, where they ask for advice or vent their frustration, and can then write an anonymous letter offering counsel or just saying “I hear you.” Players can also send their own request and receive letters from all around the world of kind people offering their support.

It’s a heartwarming concept that definitely surprised me. It’s the brightest example of how an interactive experience can go over the “gaming” aspect and be of service for human beings. It might help someone who’s struggling. It definitely has the potential to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnJ2sRTkZo8

Yay or Nay?

If you have the time to spare to offer some helpful advice to complete strangers with fantastic low-fi tunes as a background, or if you need someone to talk to yourself while also collecting cute stickers in the process, Kind Words is a mandatory play.


This month has something for everyone. Mindless action in Road Redemption, tactical gameplay in Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus, the charming art style of Nairi: Tower of Shirin, and two opposite takes on mental health with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and Kind Words. A lot of madness in these games, and some soothing from them as well.

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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