By Alec Meer on December 14th, 2011 at 4:15 pm.
Update: now with capsule thoughts on all the games in the bundle.
[Bites tongue to prevent another 'too many bundles' whinge] There is another bundle! But this is one entirely free if you wish it to be (you can lob the devs a donation if you want to show your appreciation), and it’s full of mad little stuff as opposed to big-ish indie games you’ve perhaps already heard of. The 99 Percent Bundle is arranged by the fine folk at Indievania, and contains 13 unknown freeware pleasures from assorted devs. Most of them have excellent names: – Super Bogus World, Lone Boss and Cub, Pixel Slaughter, Next Time I Won’t Trust The Man In The White Van…
A few comments on each of the 13 games here below – including a decision on which one is my favourite. And my least favourite too, to be honest.
Super Bogus World (Hubol Gordon)
Minigames activated by wandering around a Mario-style overworld. It’s Wario Ware, if Wario Ware was actively fucking with you. Full of ideas and sadism. You will love and hate it in equal measure.
Robot Unlock (Toncean Adrian)
In which I can’t decide if I’m not very clever or I’m being trolled. I can’t make the little robot appear. The music is very good, and someone’s put some work into this so… Yes. Confused. Worried. Annoyed.
Spino’s Dangerous Dungeons (Jacob Crosby)
Zelda meets tower defence, sort of. You: a guy with a sword. Them: monsters trying to smash up some giant hearts you’re protecting. Has an upgrade system. That’s about it. Immediate, but I found it too crude and really, really irritating to be honest.
NeonPlat Adventures (Jayenkai)
Basically insane jumpy-shooty platform with far too much going on. But far too much going on in all the right ways. Like overdosing on popping candy then playing Acorn Electron games. Fond of this one, if not entirely sure why.
Lone Boss and Cub (Laurent Goethals)
Neat concept: you’re an MMO-style dungeon boss, trying to defend your egg from invading adventurers. You’ve got four powers with which to do this, all of which are on a timer like MMO abilities. Brief and basic but entirely entertaining with it: the Dungeon Keeper idea of heroes as sheep-like twats paired with a stripped-down twist on tower defence. I’d like to see more done with this idea.
Diamond Hollow II (Lee Miller)
Cute, tight little platform game with an upgradeable gun and an ever-expanding single level. Annoyingly meme-y achievement names, but other than that it’s a slick if not especially memorable offering with more polish and a far less obtuse nature than its bundle fellows.
Unnamed Sandbox Game (MastaZavr)
Tetris meets Minecraft basically, but absolutely without purpose. Seems to be just a tech demo – select block types, rain ‘em from the sky, battle physics and gravity in order to try and build stuff. Not sure this’ll hold folks’ attention for long, but I do like the earthquake mode that merrily destroys whatever you’ve managed to build.
Unstoppaball (Matthias Zarzecki)
Very pretty Unity-powered marble rolling game, with a mysteriously maudlin soundtrack. Offers plenty of variety in the puzzles it throws at you in your rolling adventures, and feels a lot more complete and fleshed-out than a lot of its fellows in this pack.
PRIOR (Nick Yonge)
This one’s my favourite, I think. It’s an arty take on the ability upgrading and backtracking of Metroid, with duotone graphics, a menacing atmosphere and soundtrack, judicious use of double-jump and anti-gravity, and some very knowing room names.
Pixel Slaughter! (Prezemyslaw Muller)
Pretty much as described, yeah. You’re a pixel guy. You have a gun. You slaughter things, in a closed one-screen side-on arena. You get better guns. You’ll probably get killed and start over. You’ll probably enjoy it for half an hour then never think of it again. Gets the official RPS “S’alright” seal of moderate approval.
Sens3s: The Art of Understanding (Fanotherpg / Jog)
This is a very clever – a sort of text adventure that simulates blindness, using typographic imagery and sounds. Hard to navigate and master, but then that’s exactly the point. Spooky, mesmerising, disconcerting, difficult and visually bold. Bit of a gem hidden among the various trolling and brainstorming that characterises much of this bundle.
STD (Super Tower Defence) (Verbal Studios)
Bit of a bitch to install, this one. And the DRM seems pretty draconian: you may need to fiddle with your firewall or router settings. Still, stick with it.
Next Time I Won’t Trust The Man In The White Van (Maple)
Sadly nothing to do with Sun-reading delivery men, but it is a clever, minimalist block-pushing puzzle-adventure. Puts me in mind of a more thoughtful, varied and ingenious, far less busy and lonelier Repton. I like this one a lot: the logic puzzles fall just short of frustrating.
All told? An uneven pack, and very much in the scatty, unhinged vein of the Pirate Kart rather than the pay-what-you-want bundles. Maybe a little too much random experimentation and open trolling in there, but it’s definitely worth a download (given the price) and Prior, The Art of Understanding, Unstoppaball and Next Time I Won’t trust The Man In The White Van are especially deserving of your attention. And, indeed, donation.