Rumble In The Bundle

The Humble Indie Bundle is back with a new sale in the name of indie games and charity. You know the drill, pay whatever you want for a set of DRM-free games, and divide your payment into portions going towards the developers, charity, and the bundle initiative itself. I’m a little late in posting but fret not, there is still plenty of time before this offer expires. As is the norm for this project, the reception has overwhelming and the sales numbers have already crossed the $1 million mark.

This time around the games are VVVVVV, And Yet It Moves, Hammerfight, Crayon Physics Deluxe, Steel Storm and Cogs. Purchasing the bundle gives you a unique link to download the games completely free of any DRM as well as bonus activation codes for Steam and Desura; additionally, they have thrown in a free trial of Minecraft. If that wasn’t attractive enough, the whole of Humble Bundle #2 will be available too if you pay more than the current average.

If it’s not quite obvious yet, these bundles offer crazy - nay, insane - value, especially considering that you decide how much you pay for it all. With all of the bundles I have found that I tend to be interested in only one or two of the games, the rest being merely ‘bonuses’ or potential surprises. Moreover, I tend to already own some of them in some form or other, so I’m paying for redundant copies, in fact. But the opportunity to send your money directly to specific developers and charities is a great reason to be part of this. The bundles have been hugely successful in the past, and I fully expect this one to reach similar heights.

I haven’t spent that much time with all of these games yet, but my picks of the bunch are without a doubt Braid, Revenge of the Titans and VVVVVV. I reviewed VVVVVV earlier this year, and found it to be a short but delightful platformer very much worthy of your time. Have a read through the review and consider the bundle worth it for this title alone. Creator Terry Cavanagh has recently brought a number of key updates to the game1. It has been rewritten in C++ which apparently allows it to perform better on a larger variety of computers - including the Linux platform now. There has been talk of adding Steam Achievements as well in the near future. On top of that, included with the game is a level editor, allowing you to create your own levels for anyone to download and play. And a few people have already started - Terry has called upon a few of his peers to try their hand, including Minecraft creator Notch and VVVVVV soundtrack composer SoulEye. More recommended level packs are being regularly posted on his blog.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the value of the bundle changes over time - I’ve had to redraft this post two times to keep up with the additions - and in the past bundles bonus items were added up til the very end to incentivize purchases. Keep an eye on the Bundle twitter account for updates. At the very least the transparent live figures will prove to be fascinating, such as the top purchases and the average size of purchases from people on each of the three platforms. There’s still time: do the smart thing, name your price and play some fantastic indie games.

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