The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle

I was almost going to let this pass by without making a note. Another Humble Bundle has gone up, but it’s one of those in-between ones without a number; moreoever, it was initially offering only one main game, which felt somewhat off and going against the community vibe that the previous bundles have had. But when that one game happens to be my favourite indie game of the year, and on top of that they go and add my second favourite indie game of the year1, I just can’t deny it acknowledgement. There is over a day left and the total purchases just reached the million milestone. So what the heck, go ahead and buy yourself some substantial hours of smart indie gaming.

So what do you get for your voluntarily-sized payment this time? No less than Frozen Synapse and SpaceChem, two indie heavyweights, as well as Trauma and the previous Frozenbyte bundle if you pay above the average. As well as, of course, the opportunity to donate towards two charities, EFF and Child’s Play. As usual there is additional bonus content included with your key that inflates the total value to ridiculous proportions, such as the soundtracks and editors for some of the games, not to mention registration keys for Steam, Desura, OnLive and Direct 2 Drive should you feel the urge to add DRM to your DRM-free games.

I can vouch for the two main games which are excellent offerings, but Trine in the secondary bundle is also a good time. A beautiful 3D-rendered game in which you are confined to a 2D plane, Trine is a platformer with physics-based movement and puzzles. Frozenbyte are set to release a sequel within the next few months2, so this is the perfect opportunity to catch yourself up before then. Frozen Synapse, as I have covered in brief before, is a slick tactical combat game with both a decent singleplayer campaign and a plethora of multiplayer modes. The included soundtrack has a great cyberpunk feel and is reminiscent of Alexander Brandon’s work in Deus Ex. SpaceChem is a gem of a procedural puzzle game hiding beneath a nerdy chemistry theme. Speaking as someone who was always terrible at chemistry, this game is worth your time. It’s best to try the free demo and see for yourself, because the game looks more intimidating than it actually is. My best attempt at a description is that you create a reactor by means of flowchart tools in order to produce target outputs from a given input. Oh dear, you had better try that demo, it’s much more fun than it sounds, I promise. You’ll see what I mean when you finish your first reactor and then go back and obsessively try and tweak it til it is more efficient than anyone else’s in your friends list.

So go on, do it and thank me later.

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