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June 2019 Humble Monthly Overview: Unexpected Designs

Gaming article by Luigi Savinelli on June 26, 2019 at 1:00 PM
Feature

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 started out with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and was followed up by a plethora of smaller but still great titles. Each of these games had something that set them aside from other titles of their genre. Duskers approaches the survival element by allowing the player to control drones with a command line. Pool Panic introduced many wacky mechanics around the simple concept of putting balls into a hole, and even Black Ops 4 itself talked about for a while because of the lack of a single player campaign and the introduction of a Battle Royale mode. So whether you prefer to scan phone calls for emergencies in 911 Operator, live a retro fever dream in Paratopic, or navigate a faux-OS with hidden puzzles in Macdows 95, each of this month's games will challenge you with interesting game design choices.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaEvhhlC070

Black Ops 4

Call of Duty is a franchise that needs no introduction. It’s one of the founders of the Military Shooter genre as we know it today, and one of the most known brands in the videogame world. The fourth title of the Black Ops series is one of the most engaging ones gameplay-wise. Shame for the lack of a single player campaign.

The Standard Edition of Black Ops 4 included in this month’s Humble Monthly comes with the multiplayer, blackout, and zombie modes. The multiplayer consists of Treyarch’s vision of the Hero Shooter genre with a modern military shooter spin added to it. It offers all the modes you would expect (deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the point etc.) and it plays really smoothly.

 

The Zombie mode is, at this point, a staple of the franchise as well. If you liked Left 4 Dead, you’ll like this one for sure.

The Blackout mode is a new entry in the franchise. Call of Duty’s version of the Battle Royale merges the satisfying gunplay of Black Ops 4 with the more slow-paced game flow of Battle Royales. And it works amazingly.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kqe2ICmTxc

Yay or Nay?

The lack of a single player campaign will definitely be a turn-off for many, but if you’re interested in either Battle Royale, Hero Shooters, or Zombie horde survivals, Black Ops 4 has something to offer. It may not be the best in these genres, but it does amazing in all of them.

Check out our review of Black Ops 4 here.

Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-Tered

Elon Musk’s dream of colonizing Mars went a bit haywire in Red Faction Guerrilla. The game is not exactly recent, but even many years later than the original release, it still is a ton of fun.

There’s something cathartic about traveling around the red planet, shooting baddies and demolishing entire buildings with a couple of well-placed explosives.

The Re-Mars-Tered edition brings us the game with HD textures and is better looking than ever. The huge toolbox that is Red Faction Guerrilla is now in glorious High Definition and, while not as bombastic as, say, Just Cause 4 in its special effects, the simple yet rewarding gameplay still holds up.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3phSnxQqgG4

Yay or Nay?

I personally am a sucker for games where you can just go around and wreak havoc. Red Faction Guerrilla was doing it better than many others in its time, and it’s good to be able to jump back in it.

Check out our Red Faction Guerrilla Rewind Review here.

Paratopic

The Steam page describes Paratopic as “an atmospheric retro-3D horror adventure through a cursed fever dream,” and I gotta say, the description is spot-on.

Despite exploring the environments is 90% of what you do in Paratopic, the term “Walking Simulator” does not really apply here. The game offers some interaction with the world and allows you to talk to some NPCs. It makes you jump in and out of the mind of several characters with no notice at all. One moment you’re driving on the highway smuggling a crate of VHS tapes, the other you’re following a pink bird in a park trying to photograph it, and the next you’re sitting at the table of a diner preparing for murder.

The game is really atmospheric with its retro-3D aesthetic and the great sound design that makes your skin crawl in anticipation of a menace that has yet to be introduced.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l-6y8dx6zk

Yay or Nay?

Paratopic is a game for players who want to experience a story in a non-conventional way. It’s short and well-made, and definitely quite the adventure.

911 Operator

911 is the non-ghosty answer to the question “Who ya gonna call?”

In 911 Operator, the player will take up the role of someone tasked with the titular job. The point of the game is investing the money gained in each job shift to purchase equipment for police, fire brigade, and medical staff. When an emergency happens on the map, it will be the player’s job to dispatch ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars to the place, depending on the emergency.

We will also have to answer calls and talk to the person on the other side to assess if there’s an actual emergency and dispatch the right vehicles. It’s less obvious than it seems. In one occasion someone called to order a pizza, and I assumed it was a wrong number. By talking some more, it turned out that the person couldn’t talk freely and had to pretend to order a pizza. Turned out to be a domestic violence situation. It felt pretty good being able to see through the surface.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZieE4LT6JI

Yay or Nay?

While the gameplay around sending patrols and ambulances doesn’t sound like much, 911 operator offers quite the challenge with its resource and time management elements.

Pool Panic

Pool Panic is a simple yet challenging puzzle game with a colorful and vibrant art style. The player controls a white pool ball and the goal is to have a minimum amount of other balls fall in the holes of the stage, followed by the black 8 ball. Simple enough, right?

The challenge comes from the fact that each ball has a specific behavior that the player will have to learn and anticipate in order to pocket them with the minimum amount of hits. Some will skate away when you get too close, some will lash out a massive fart that will blow all the other balls away, some will be dressed as luchadores and suplex the poor white ball, and so on. Pool Panic is way more challenging than one would give it credit for at a cursory glance.

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

Yay or Nay?

Pool Panic is a little puzzle game that offers an unexpected challenge. The stages are all different and interesting, each with some element to set it aside and make it unique.

Check out our Pool Panic review here.

Duskers

Duskers is a game that answers the question “What if a survival game with scavenging elements made a child with a MS-DOS console?”

In Duskers, the player is a drone operator that commands their drone in derelict spaceships, trying to scavenge enough fuel, equipment, and materials to move to the next relic. The drones can be equipped with distinct little toys that go from a generator to power up the doors of the defunct spaceships, to motion sensors in order to avoid the dangerous creatures that took home in the wrecks. The player controls the drones and the environment around them with a command line window, which gives a unique flavor to the gameplay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dux33m_7M6w

Yay or Nay?

Despite its simplistic looks, Duskers has appealing gameplay and a distinct vibe. Not for all tastes but definitely worth a check.

Macdows 95

Operating Systems in the 90s were a lot more ominous than I remembered, at least according to Macdows 95. The game takes the shape of an imaginary Operating System that challenges the player with weird tasks and minigames in order to achieve normal operating system stuff. You will need to play a weird and bouncy version of snake to charge the battery and solve a cryptography puzzle to unlock it.

Finding most of the puzzles is a challenge in and of itself, and some apps within the game communicate to each other and need to be solved in tandem. As the player completes tasks, someone communicates with them from a secret spot, revealing details about the lore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hch9Ry8P9Ys

Yay or Nay?

Macdows 95 is a weird puzzle game with some interesting elements that force the player to think outside of the box. Definitely a treat for fans of brain teasers.


This month's Humble Monthly definitely provided some interesting toys to play with. Be it drone driving, Pool playing or bad guys shooting, this month's selection offers a nice set of interesting gameplay elements to toy around with.

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