Blaugust Reviews – Humble Choice January 2023 Edition

I’m filling in for the incomparable UnwiseOwl this month on summing up our group review of the offerings in this month’s Humble Choice bundle. Every month, when the bundle releases, a bunch of us get together on the Blaugust Discord and hash out which games we’re most excited about and divvy up the titles for us each to look at during the month. Some folks just take a quick look, and some really go all in, but we want to give you a jumping off point to help you decide if this month’s bundle is going to be worth it for you.

This month’s headliner title is DOOM Eternal. Magi from Indiecator had done a post on this particular game back in 2021. This is a title probably best played with a gamepad or controller, and has a somewhat spiky difficulty, but he found that all in all, it was a gory good time!

I personally took a quick peek at Tribes of Midgard, not nearly long enough to form a cohesive opinion on the title. This one requires you to be always online, even in single player, which might turn some folks off. So far, it seems to be an odd hybrid of survival and ARPG, but you’re dropped into the world with only your bare hands and your underwear and very little guidance. However, if you’re looking for a new co-op title, and you’re fine with a somewhat slow and confusing start, you might find this game right up your alley.

Stalking Vengeance of Cubic Creativity took a deep dive into post-apocalyptic RPG Encased. They spent around 15 hours exploring the world of this Fallout-inspired turn-based RPG, and felt that the world building & story was pretty good, but that the game got somewhat bogged down in a million little systems, each with their own tiny flaws. If you like exploring wastelands and complex character creation, and don’t lose immersion when you spot the rough edges, then this one might be for you. However, check your Epic account first – this one was part of their game-a-day holiday giveaway this past December.

Magi from Indiecator indie-cated that he was very excited about OlliOlli World – Rad Edition in his Humble Choice preview post this month. This skateboarding platformer requires a controller to play, which is kind of unfortunate for us dedicated keyboard and mouse players. However, this edition does include the season pass, and as such, is a pretty good value if this is a title you’ve been looking for a deal on.

Paeroka of Nerdy Bookahs dipped her toes into Grow: Song of the Evertree this month, but found it a little too slow-starting for her taste. However, I played this game shortly after it released in November of 2021, and really enjoyed it. This adorable, absolutely-no-pressure title won’t appeal to most gamers, but if cozy gaming is your jam, the cute-factor on this one might make it worth a try.

Conan Chop Chop was the one title this month that no one was very excited about. It’s a co-op action roguelike with an overly-cute aesthetic and a whole bunch of cartoon gore & violence. Reviews are mixed on Steam, and it has one of the lowest retail prices in the bundle at only $14.99, so this probably isn’t the game that anyone is grabbing this month’s bundle for.

I took a look at Hokko Life, which was the title in this month’s offerings I was most excited about. I could get past the uncanny valley of anthropomorphic animal friends, but I found the game play tedious. This might be a better fit for players that are super into customizing and decorating, but I found myself sleeping most of my Hokko Life away.

I also took The Serpent Rogue, the final title in this month’s bundle, for a quick spin. The art was fantastic, but I just didn’t gel with the gameplay. This action adventure title combines survival mechanics, puzzle solving, action combat, and picking flowers in an interesting way, but is light on the guidance and heavy on learning-by-doing. For the gamer that likes that sort of thing, this might be a nice addition, but again, probably not a primary motivator in grabbing this month’s bundle.

In the end, this bundle seems to be more of a miss than it might appear at first glance. If you really want Doom Eternal, which has a $40 regular price, or if you’ve been waiting for a deal on OlliOlli World – Rad Edition, then this month’s Humble Choice might be worth it for either of those titles alone. However, everything else feels like it’s really niche, and a mixed bag to boot.

If you picked up the bundle, and especially if Conan Chop Chop was one of your main motivators, please let us know what you thought!

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