Digital scarcity is an interesting concept. There should be no logical limit on how many times you can copy a file or generate a key, some places seem to just run out of stock anyway. That’s a deliberate decision on part of the Indie Gala managers for this pay-what-you-want (kinda) sale, as rather than have a time limit, this particular sale will end with 50,000 bundles sold. In addition, there’s three different bundles available here, offering 3, 5 or 11 games respectively. Oh, and like the enormously successful Humble Bundles, a chunk of the takings goes to charity. Lots of choices. Hit the break for a quick run-down of what each bundle and game offers.
The Carebear Bundle – Minimum $4
This one includes just a trio of games – Critical Mass, Fortix 2 and Bunch Of Heroes, as well as 3 bonus albums of music.
Critical Mass (Click for trailer) is a straightforward puzzle game. It would be an ordinary match-3, were it not for the fact that it’s played in full 3D IN SPAAAAAACE. Rotating this big shiny cube of cubes, you drop additional cubes onto the surface. Three or more of the same color? They explode and shrink it down. Clear it all to win, then do it again.
Fortix 2 (Trailer, too!) is – despite claims of creativity – a modern update of the old arcade-puzzle game Qix. Enemies bounce around the screen trying to harm you, while you expand out of your safe territory bit by bit, claiming new space. If you claim space that happens to be inhabited by enemies at the time, they’re destroyed and you get points! It’s simple stuff, but there’s a reason why Qix was always considered a classic. Probably worth your attention.
Bunch Of Heroes (Trailer three!) is just what it looks like. A co-op ‘twin-stick’ arena shooter with a lot of zombies and the occasional alien. Not a bad game by any means, but workmanlike and in a genre that is hugely over-saturated at the moment. Still a solid way to spend some time with a couple of friends, though.
The Big-Saver Bundle – Minimum $7
Two more games get added to the pack if you pay a couple dollars extra, as well as another three albums.
Roboblitz (Very Old Gameplay Trailer) – An interesting history behind this one. Not only was it one of the first indie releases to ever use the Unreal 3 engine, but it was also a masterpiece of procedural coding, crammed down into under 100mb – engine, graphics, levels, cutscenes and all. Why? Because when Xbox Live Arcade first launched, the file-size limits were absurdly constraining, so it required either corner-cutting or programming wizardry to get around the restrictions. It’s a pretty solid third-person action/puzzle game, too.
Greed Corp (Yep, You Guessed It) – This game will end friendships. Don’t let the glossy presentation fool you – this is a board-game in the style of Risk, but on a smaller, much more brutal scale. While you can play it against the AI, any victory will feel hollow. Against other players, it’s like playing chicken with armies. Every turn that you spend building up forces and mining resources will gradually eat away at the map, with weakened hexes falling into the mist, forcing you ever closer to a confrontation. Good stuff, especially with another few players.
The Epic Gala Bundle – Minimum $11
Sounds like a lot – 6 more games and one more album for $4 extra. This pack includes all the games from the previous Indie Gala bundle including the entertainingly mindless Zombie Shooter series, and the rather more intelligent Hacker Evolution series, so refer back to our little roundup of what that sale offered to make your decision. There’s some fun games in there, that’s for sure.
It looks like the current trend of indie bundling isn’t going to end anytime soon, despite the grumbling of apathetic gamers worldwide. The numbers say that business is good, and until the bottom falls out of this market, I expect to see plenty more packs like this in the near future. All games are for Windows PCs, and are activated on Steam.