Welcome to Digitally Downloadeds new feature, Game Bundles Of The Moment! This weekly feature will highlight game bundles that are running throughout the current week. Let us not waste anymore time with introductions!
For our first week, we have four bundles. The first of which is 2K Games’ Desert to Sea Bundle, which is currently available on Amazon.com for $19.99 US. Do not fret, gamers of non-US countries and states; all you have to do is add a valid US shipping address to gain access to your download keys, all of which are compatible with Steam.
The Desert to Sea Bundle contains some very high-profile games in it, with the total package including Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and Spec Ops: The Line. While hearing nothing but praise for The Line, I have yet to play it. I can give my comments on the released iterations of the Bioshock franchise though. The first Bioshock is quite a good game. Now, Bioshock is not as phenomenal as many reviewers and players make the game out to be. The weakest element of the game is the gameplay by far, which is what the player will be engaged in for 70 percent of the running time. However, the gameplay is very solid and entertaining, with the story elements outclassing it by two-fold and NOT by 10-fold as other players would argue. The opposite is true of Bioshock 2; Bioshock 2 excelled at its gameplay mechanics rather than its story. Barring a few moments, the story of Bioshock 2 only reworks ideas that were presented in the first Bioshock game. From a gameplay perspective Bioshock 2 does some aspects better. The set-pieces feel more geared towards gameplay and the new additions do add more dynamic situations to tackle. Potential purchasers beware though; Bioshock 2 does use Microsofts heavily disliked Games For Windows Live service.
Moving right along, the next bundle is the Best of British Indie Bundle which can be currently found on Steam for the total of $10 US. This bundle includes DEFCON, Eufloria, Frozen Synapse, Gratuitous Space Battles, Revenge of the Titans, and the double-pack of Time Gentlemen, Please! and Ben There, Dan That!.
There is only on thing I can say about this bundle; Buy it for Frozen Synapse. IMMEDIATELY. Frozen Synapse is one of the most fresh, interesting, and entertaining approaches to strategy gaming that I have seen in a long time. To put it simply, Frozen Synapse is a turn-based, top-down, old-school Rainbow 6 title. The game also happens to be absolutely phenomenal, and this is coming from someone who generally dislikes everything having to do with strategy games.
The third bundle is Indie Gala 8, with the current average threshold price of $6.73 US. Simply buying the bundle for any price will net you Dangerous Waters, Battle Mages: Sign of Darkness, Sentinel 3: Homeworld, and Superstars V8 Racing. Paying above the average will add Ghost Master, Dark Fall: Lost Souls, Achtung Panzer: Operation Star, Space Empires V, and Sacred: Gold Edition to your bundle. There are also several secret bonuses to the gala that will be added within the next two weeks of the bundle being up for grabs.
Honestly, I feel Indie Gala 8 is the unfortunate direction that other “Indie Bundles” will soon be heading towards. Other than promoting titles that have such specific audiences that most likely already know about said titles, almost half of the games in the bundles are not independent titles. Ghost Master, Dark Souls, and Sacred: Gold Edition were all published under Strategy First, automatically making the games not independent. We saw this happen with Humble Indie Bundle V and Psychonauts, so it is not a problem that is only affecting small-time rip-offs of major indie bundle initiatives.
The final bundle is Indie Royales Getaway Bundle, which can be found and bought on the official Indie Royale website for the current asking price of somewhere around $5.50 US. The bundle include Shattered Horizon, Analogue: A Hate Story, Da New Guys, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure (Indie Royale exclusive), Waves, and MiniFlake. Those who stretch and pay $8 US will also receive the chiptune album ‘V/A – Handheld Heroes Volume One’. The top 10 contributors to this Indie Royale will get a Shattered Horizon T-shirt and the top 5 contributors will receive an actual meteorite sample. Yes, rocks from spaces are actual prizes.
Onto the games, I honestly cannot say I have played any of them. However, I have heard almost nothing negative about said games except for the fact that the Shattered Horizon community is absolutely dead. Analogue: A Hate Story is being praised everywhere I go, Da New Guys looks like the ridiculous point-and-click game it aimed to be, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure looks like Oregon Trail if Oregon Trail was a bit more awesome, Waves looks like a neon-pumped arena-shooter, and MiniFlake looks very interesting despite being in alpha. All-in-all, this bundle is definitely my bundle of the week if not at least the best indie bundle of the week.
So there you have it; this weeks game bundles of the moment. Hopefully next week will entail brand new bundles for buying and game-playing! I would really hate to hang this feature after the first week…