I’m filling in for the incomparable UnwiseOwl again 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.
At first glance, the February Humble Choice looks like a fairly meaty offering, with three games that might fill the role of headliner depending on your taste. Pathfinder, Fallout, and The Witcher all bring big-name recognition, but are they enough to carry February’s bundle?
Coincidentally, Stalking Vengeance of Cubic Creativity had just written up some thoughts on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous a few days before the bundle dropped. While this party-based RPG based on the tabletop Pathfinder system seems to be a game that most people either really loved or really hated, somehow, Stalking Vengeance managed to do a bit of both. The game features an epic story with interesting companions and side characters, but also fiddly combat, obtuse puzzles, and brutally unfair encounters. It really depends on what your tolerance is for the latter if the former makes the game worthwhile.
Fallout 76 seems like it is intended to be a big draw for the bundle as well, but Kluwes of Many Whelps was not too impressed. This MMO (with optional subscription) doesn’t quite live up to the expectations set by the single-player Fallout titles. The combination of awkward building controls and an annoying inventory system left him feeling that there were many other, better games to play unless you were very specifically looking for a multiplayer Fallout game, which, if that’s something you had to have, you probably bought this game three years ago and have no need for it in this bundle.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is quite a departure from the other games in the Witcher series, and if you were expecting more of the same, you’d likely come away a bit disappointed. Naithin from Time to Loot had a pretty good idea what he was getting into, and found the story & quests to be enjoyable, and the variation on the Gwent card game which is the major gameplay component grew on him the more he played. If you also play the multiplayer version of Gwent, you’ll probably appreciate the bonus chests you’ll get while playing, but it is a bit of an odd choice to have rewards that don’t pertain to the game you’re actually playing. Although it’s not the priciest title in the bundle, it’s a solid deckbuilding RPG, and might sway some folks who were on the fence about the bundle.
Stalking Vengeance also wrote about Othercide, a turn-based roguelike with a dark fantasy aesthetic. This turn-based strategy features challenging combat with decent mission variety against repetitive backdrops. In place of more traditional healing mechanics, Othercide has a sacrifice system which forces you to give up a unit in order to refresh the health of another. Mistakes can be very costly, and resurrection tokens are in short supply, but the game does feature a persistent upgrade system which help ameliorate some of the difficulty of successive runs. For players who subscribe to the philosophy that losing is fun, and who crave difficult tactical challenges, this might be the game to purchase the bundle for, since it’s a mid-priced title that has only rarely dipped below the full bundle price on sale.
Unwise Owl of Leaflocker wasn’t overly impressed by Shady Part of Me. While the game gets points for being pretty, it plays kind of dull, with the early puzzles all being of the single-solution type. Although you can swap between the world of light and the world of shadow at will, there’s only one right path to a solution, and being able to rewind time is just what most games call “saving and reloading when you screw it up.” Overall, he found it a bit too much of the same, and decided he’d had his fill after about an hour.
Magi of IndieCator (review pending) was eager to take a look at ScourgeBringer, a pixel-art action platformer roguelite. This fast-paced game will probably appeal to gamers who want to test their reflexes, although it does have an adaptive difficulty option if it proves to be too challenging. It does have a regular retail price on the lower side, but for folks on the fence, this one has over 90% positive reviews on Steam, and might tip the scales in favor of grabbing the bundle.
Yet again, I took a look at the quirky horror offering, Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel. It’s a little bit survival horror, a little bit puzzle game, and a little bit walking sim, and – at least for me – just about the perfect amount of creepy right from the start. I would have loved to have played more, but without a field of view slider, I found myself getting motion sick, and then getting irritated by how far apart the save points were. If you don’t mind your horror games a little slower paced, and you don’t struggle with FoV-related motion sickness, this might be a hidden treasure in this month’s bundle, but this title probably won’t appeal to a lot of gamers who either don’t like horror at all, or horror gamers who are looking for something that’s both faster-paced and really terrifying.
Paeroka of Nerdy Bookahs played Five Dates, an FMV rom-com dating simulator. She completed her first playthrough in under two hours, and still thought there might have been a bit too much filler content. Most dating sim fans will dive right into replays to date all five of the love interests, so there’s a reasonable amount of potential playtime for fans of the genre, but this is also probably the most niche title in this months bundle.
That wraps up another group review where the “filler” games once again outshine the headliners. However, the genre spread is wide enough that it’s entirely possible most gamers will only be interested in a couple of titles. If you haven’t yet made up your mind to subscribe or pause this month, you’re just about out of time – non-paused accounts will charge tomorrow, and you’ve only got one week left to subscribe before this bundle is over.
2 thoughts on “Blaugust Reviews – Humble Choice February 2023 Edition”
I suffered with motion sickness during Fobia too, and had to give up playing after a couple of hours in. The atmosphere was cool but I just felt so horrible and couldn’t stomach any more!
It’s only been the last few years I’ve had issues with motion sickness and gaming, and it’s too bad because there have been a few games now that I think I would have enjoyed if it weren’t for that.
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