Indie Royale Chosen Bundle

With such a wide selection of indie games around, what to choose in a new indie bundle? Indie Royale makes it their latest theme, probably with the typical world-saving feature in mind which is so predominant in gaming culture, and brings a new bunch of titles in Chosen Bundle.

indieroyalechosenbundle

Futuristic FPS action with Hard Reset, classic point-and-click adventuring with Jolly Rover, strategic puzzling with Vertex Dispenser, satiric platforming with DLC Quest and no-brains-but-brawns top-down dungeon-shooter Lair of the Evildoer were picked up for this collection, but which will be the one to rule them all? In a short round-up, we’ll see how each individual title holds up and if the bundle is worth its money.

Hard Reset
(Poland 2011, developer/publisher: Flying Wild Hog, platform: PC)

hardreset

With countless FPS titles around, it’s difficult to keep them apart. This game might not win an award for innovation, as it incorporates an upgrade/augmentation system as in the Deus Ex games, but it still looks very pretty and definitely nails down the Blade Runner aesthetics, with interactive street signs everywhere and some well-designed robot enemies. The destructible environment also offers quite a few explosions which are nice to look at as well.

Presentation-wise, the comic-book cutscenes certainly add to a uniqueness, even if the voice acting can come across as a bit too forced and amateurish. Still the music and sound effects give it all an immersive feeling a lot of standard, even AAA, shooters don’t offer that often.

All in all, the game remains a very nice alternative to the modern world-in-conflict FPS or comic bloodfests a Serious Sam is known for.

Official Website

Jolly Rover
(Australia 2010, developer/publisher: Brawsome, platform: PC)

jolly rover

A classic point-and-click adventure I had the opportunity to review for Adventure-Treff, this can be an interesting entry point for newcomers of the genre. The humor is a bit too tame at times, and the story isn’t particularly new (except for the protagonists being dogs), but the puzzles are still fun, and the presentation with its good voice acting, music and graphics add to the immersive experience.

It might not be the next Monkey Island in terms of scriptwriting or ingenious puzzles, but among the indie scene, it’s an interesting take on the comic adventures of old.

Official Website

Vertex Dispenser
(New Zealand 2011, developer/publisher: Smestorp Limited, platform: PC)

vertexdispenser

Blending puzzle and strategy elements together with some simplified shooter mechanics, the game’s goal is to fill in as many triangles as possible by going around a geometrical field and capturing the appropriate outlines with one’s color. A simple idea which was already done in many other titles, but in this case there are also power-ups which can have various effects on the player’s triangular ship, either by moving around with a teleportation ability or laying waste to enemies with mines.

Like most puzzle games, the game is easy to understand at first, but needs some masterful skills in later levels to succeed in. Graphics are kept at a very minimal level with no fancy effects (after all it’s a vector-based game) and the soundtrack is more of the ambient variety. But this doesn’t detract from the fact that the game is highly addictive and needs more brains than fast reflexes, like the best of puzzlers.

Official Website

DLC Quest
(Canada 2011, developer/publisher: Going Loud Studios, platforms: PC, Xbox 360)

dlcquest

Humor in games is always a tricky thing, and when it comes to satire or parody, it’s even harder to find the right balance between plagiarism and innovation. Fortunately this game is seriously funny, which already becomes apparent in the first few minutes when the player has to unlock his movement abilities (like the simple jump and moving-left action) and even the start menu plus sound and music effects have to bought in a shop.

Not only being a 2D platformer, there are also some ideas borrowed from other genres, like the obvious RPG templates (although the game pokes fun at them), even if these specific gameplay mechanics (like pointless grinding to progress or talking to NPCs which have nothing to say) don’t serve a higher purpose than parody. It remains to be seen if the sense of humor and various gameplay ideas form a coherent whole the more one progresses, but overall it’s simply a fun little game which lays bare the dangers of the DLC overuse so many companies of late seem to apply to their business models.

Official Website

Lair of the Evildoer
(Canada 2011, developer/publisher: Going Loud Studios, platforms: PC, Xbox 360)

lairoftheevildoer

A top-down dungeon-shooter with RPG elements, there is certainly some fun to be found in the title, if the controls weren’t so sluggish and the graphics didn’t look like directly taken from a browser game. The in-your-face humor isn’t great either, so the only incentive to progress from one level to the next is to simply get bigger guns, level up and do the same thing all over again.

Diablo wasn’t much different, sure, but it still has some great soundtrack and atmospheric graphics to boast even today, and motivates with its inspired level design. Unfortunately, Lair of the Evildoer has neither, making it more than a time-waster than a time-sinker, especially since there are simply better-looking and better-playing titles around, making the title rather redundant, which is a shame as the same developer proves that he can do so much more with DLC Quest.

Official Website

The chosen extras and if the bundle’s worth to pay for
Again bonus content is available for those who want to delve deeper into some individual titles, this time with the soundtracks of Jolly Rogers, Hard Reset Extended Edition (which as a game is only for Steam users while the normal version is DRM-free) and two DLC packs for Vertex Dispenser, but also with an artbook for the futuristic FPS shooter as well.

Paying more than 8 dollars unlocks the weirdly titled O.S.T.: Original Soundtrack which is surprisingly less artsy-fartsy than expected, as it’s a collection of NES-inspired tunes of various moods evoked from videogames past.

As always, Indie Royale delivers quite some interesting games (even if Lair of the Evildoer is more a filler than a killer) and proves that quality games don’t necessarily have to cost the world. If you’re interested in this collection, go over to Indie Royale’s Website and pay what you want before the offer expires.

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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