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 with a bang. Its early unlock was Assassin's Creed: Origins which is, by itself, an outstanding game. A bit later, Wandersong was added as a second early unlock game. While smaller in scope, it's still a beautiful little gem. While Assassin's Creed: Origins and Wandersong are wildly different games, they have one thing in common: they try to change something in their own genre to create something new. For Origins, it's the addition of RPG elements to what historically has been a pure stealth/adventure series while Wandersong took a musical rhythm game and immersed it in a charming world of adventures. The games unlocked later followed suit. Each has something weird and uncommon to add to their genres like the roguelite elements for Monster Prom or the mix between XCOM and Wolf that is I'm not a Monster, passing by the Afro-Caribbean theme of The Journey Down and the weird approach to investigation of Once Upon a Crime in the West. Let's give a closer look at the lot.
Assassin’s Creed: OriginsThe Assassin’s Creed series got a bad reputation after a couple of really bad entries in the series (looking at you, AC: Unity) and few mediocre ones. After a hiatus of a year, they decided to try to bring the series to a different direction and Origins is their first attempt at doing so.
The game still maintains the trademark Assassin’s Creed elements like the focus on the stealth, but there’s a lot more of Witcher-like elements in there. The main character moves around a vast open world by horse and has access to skill trees and many different weapons. While the change itself is bold, it paid off as the series got a second wind that they managed to keep going with Odyssey.
Yay or Nay?Assassin’s Creed Origins is not what the fans of the earlier games of series are used to, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The game plays great and looks gorgeous and definitely maintains the Assassin’s Creed spirit.
WandersongGames that rely on music are usually pretty simple ones. Think of rhythm games where you just have to time your button presses with the tune. Wandersong tries to give a different dimension on music-based gameplay giving to the player the chance to go explore the world and be an adventurer with a character that only has his voice as a tool.
While the concept itself is not completely new (Aquaria comes to mind), Wandersong executes it beautifully. The main character, called just "The Bard," can unleash different pitched notes depending on the angle the player bends the right analog stick. Some characters might require a particular song in order to help you, some platforms can be controlled with the bard’s voice, or maybe you might find that a particular series of notes can help a poor troll heal from a magic paralysis. You only have one tool at your disposal but the game gives you plenty of ways to use it.
Yay or Nay?To be a game with such simple gameplay, Wandersong is beautifully charming. It has interesting characters, good mechanics and an endearing story to uncover.
Finding ParadiseWhen it came out, I had no idea what To The Moon was going to be like, and I went in completely blind. It turned out to be one of the most emotional short games I’ve ever played, and one of my favorites. There was something in the gentleness themes like mortality and death were dealt with that made the characters all the more humans and all the more relatable. As a result, I came to care about each of them and about the story of the life of that old man. For this reason, I had high expectations for its sequel.
Finding Paradise has the player follow the same characters from the first game. Just like in To The Moon, the doctors have the task to fulfill the last wish of a dying man. I’m not going to give too much detail about the story considering it’s 80% of what the game has to offer, but know this: Finding Paradise takes a bit more than the first game to reveal its cards, so stick with it.
Yay or Nay?Finding Paradise is a short little game that will play with your heartstrings. A masterfully crafted short story accompanied by an endearing OST create a great sequel for To the Moon.
The Journey Down: Chapter ThreeThe Journey Down is a series of old style point and click adventures. The third chapter starts right after the ending of the second one, which is going to confuse quite a few of those that, like me, did not play the first two chapters.
Despite the initial confusion, The Journey Down: Chapter Three is a pretty appealing and a straightforward point and click adventure with an interesting art direction and an Afro-Caribbean kind of vibe that permeates the whole experience. It plays like any classic game of the genre, with items to retrieve and combine to solve puzzles and weird situations. All encompassed with decent dialogue and characterization that encourages you to find out more about the story.
Yay or Nay?The Journey Down is a love letter to classic adventure games with a couple of interesting thematic twists. Why only the third chapter is included in the bundle is beyond me but nonetheless, if you like brain teasers, this one is worth exploring.
Do Not Feed the MonkeysThere are many games lately that like to give the player the possibility to play as the Big Brother. Beholder, Orwell, and the soon to be released Observation are some that come to mind. Do Not Feed the Monkeys follows the same principle but this time you do not spy on people for the government or for some greater good but for your own amusement.
The main character is the newest member of a club that allows you to buy cages with monkeys in them in order to observe them. Except the cages are hidden cameras and the monkeys are people. You will have to observe them in order to find out information to feed to the club for money rewards to use to buy more cages. The only rule is “do not feed the monkeys” (aka, do not interact with the subjects). Except that you’re totally going to feed the monkeys, let’s be honest here.
Yay or Nay?If you want the chance to spy on a presumed dead global dictator or on a bunch of writers locked in a basement and forced to write for a BuzzFeed-style kind of website, this game has that and much more.
I’m Not a MonsterXCOM meets Wolf in this weird and interesting multiplayer game. I’m Not a Monster is a multiplayer game where players can take the guise of heroes or monsters in a space setting that comes right out of a 60s sci-fi movie.
Heroes will have to save more civilians as possible and monsters will have to infect more victims as possible. All while fighting each other with a turn-based system like XCOM. The kicker is that monsters look like any other human until they decide to reveal themselves (in order, for example, to infect someone).
This creates many interesting game scenarios where, for example, a monster tries to convince the humans that someone else is a monster while a human might shoot someone that is actually another hero. When a hero dies, they take control of an uninfected civilian if there are any available.
Yay or Nay?While the concept itself is very interesting and well executed, my advice is to play I’m Not a Monster with friends over voice chat. The experience suffers a bit playing it with random people.
Once Upon a Crime in the WestThis month’s Humble Original makes us face a dang ol’ murder mystery. We arrive at a mountain cabin during the 12th day of Christmas, somewhere in the old west to find a lot of corpses around. The only alive person is Elijah, the owner and bartender of the place. Our objective is to figure out what happened and who killed who.
To do that, we can take pictures of the victims to hang to a wall and, when we find out who each person killed, string the two pictures together. We can find clues by moving back and forth in time with the mouse wheel. This way we can go in the cabin in each of the 12 days of Christmas to meet the soon-to-be victims and find clues on who they would want to kill and how.
The game has not much going on the technical side but the low-poly aesthetic is very pleasing and helps you keep the focus on the story and the characters.
Yay or Nay?Once Upon a Crime in the West is a short but sweet murder mystery with a compelling storyline and a flow of events that seems to be straight out of an old movie. Definitely, one of the most interesting humble originals I’ve played.
This month's Humble Monthly is definitely smaller in scope than some of the older ones which provided more high profile titles but it doesn't mean that it has nothing to offer. Many of the games of this month are little gems worth experiencing and all the titles have something unique going on on their approach to their genre which makes them interesting in their own right.
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