Got 99 Problems But The Bundle Ain’t One

By Alec Meer on December 14th, 2011 at 4:15 pm.

BUNDLLLLLLLLLLLLLE

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.

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42 Comments »

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  1. MadTinkerer says:

    A Bundle where I don’t already own ANY of the games!?! And I haven’t even heard of any of them (EDIT: other than Neonplat)! And there’s thirteen of them! INSTANT BUY!

  2. Timberfox says:

    Super Tower Defense is a troll, dont play it

  3. psyk says:

    “This transaction cannot be completed at this time. Error message from PayPal: Invalid request parameter: receiverList cannot be null
    If this error continues please contact the site administrators.”

    SWEET

  4. salejemaster says:

    I wanted to donate but my country is not supported by paypal…sadface…

  5. Toberoth says:

    I like the ladytaur’s high heels.

  6. psyk says:

    chrome

  7. Dominic White says:

    Haha. I featured Super Bogus World over at DIYGamer a while back. Just play it – don’t even watch the trailer. Just play it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      I ignored your advice and watched the trailer and now I think I’ve injured my brain.

    • rasssmus says:

      Indeed. I’m very proud of my little brother. His games are as whacked out as my own artwork, if not more. Check out his other creations, such as the seminal Super Sawman at http://www.oddwarg.com

    • Dominic White says:

      Eggman Hates Furries is also surprisingly good, if a little low-fi and glitchy. More creative than most commercial Sonic games. Very Treasure-esque in it’s constant boss-filled nature.

    • rasssmus says:

      Oh yeah, and it’s hard boiled that Eggman Hates Furries.

      Hubol made this in collaboration with Oddwarg, by the way, RPS!

  8. minerwilly says:

    Don’t fancy the look of the games much. Its like the Cassette 50 from Cascade back in 83, only for the PC rather than Spectrum.

    • sneetch says:

      Oh my dear giddy aunt! I remember that! Thanks for the nostalgia trip, minerwilly!

      Also the nostalgia trip associated with your name, is Maria still blocking your bedroom? :)

  9. skinlo says:

    With all these pay what you want indie bundles around, does that mean people will stop buying indie games and full price and instead just wait for bundles?

    • Unaco says:

      I’m not even buying Bundles anymore… I’m going to wait til some genius releases a Bundle of Bundles! Then, maybe, I’ll buy it.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      The Indie Recusive Blackhole Bundle.

      There’s actually a couple of articles floating round considering this whole bundle effect on pricing etc (and regular sales, like Steam’s). I think personally, I just prefer buying the games I want (in sales), rather than bundled with a bunch I don’t. Simply because it’s easier to manage what I have, and because I don’t really want devs who I’m not interested in getting “false positives” (and possibly not even getting any money from the sale).

    • datom says:

      There’s a lot of bundle fatigue discussion currently in numerous different bundle threads. If only there was a way to….

      BUNDLE THEM TOGETHER.

    • Skabooga says:

      YYYYEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MadTinkerer says:

      In my case it’s rather the opposite (as I mentioned above) as I usually pass on bundles because I’ve already bought the games individually if they’re available via Steam, Desura, or Impulse/GamestopRebrandedDownloadStore.

  10. Matt says:

    Occupy Bundle St., yo

  11. Lewis Denby says:

    Super Tower Defence made me laugh a lot. For a reason I’m not quite sure of yet, I’m namechecked in the credits.

    • Raze says:

      So modest. The game wouldn’t have been possible without you. Can’t remember why, though.

  12. sinister agent says:

    Is this a holding post?

  13. adonf says:

    “STD (Super Tower Defence)” — best name ever!

  14. Wabznasm says:

    PRIOR has a double-jump and is therefore the best game in the bundle. QED.

    Edit – Wait, so does Diamond Hollow. Now I don’t know what to think.

    Edit 2 – Diamond Hollow has a triple jump. We have a winner!

  15. Quasar says:

    Wanted to pay, but my paypal account is being a dick :/ Will have to donate later.

  16. alms says:

    The choice of screenshots on the 99bundle page really is enticing…

  17. TheGameSquid says:

    I dig.

  18. SiHy_ says:

    Because they’re kindly offering them for free I paid. What is this black magic of reverse psychology!?

  19. Chibithor says:

    What the hell? I’ve already bought five indie bundles this month. Now a sixth!?

  20. Dave Mongoose says:

    From the descriptions, it sounds like some of these are prototypes or brief distractions rather than full games? That’s not really a problem for consumers when it’s pay-what-you-want, but bundles need to maintain some standard of quality or it’s not fair on the developers of the more complete games.

  21. ScorpionWasp says:

    Now now, look at that. I wrote a post describing my experience of trying to (to no avail) download these games, calling their methods obtuse and disingenuous (it is my opinion that they have no respect for you or your time) and now my post simply vanishes. I didn’t know RockPaperShotgun was into CENSORSHIP. Let’s see for long this post will remain.

  22. grundus says:

    Bah, I tire of these bundles. I can’t even tell which one is who any more, so I just dutifully donate to the Humble Bundle chaps and get a selection of games and other stuff in return, but the others… Can’t be arsed to see what’s what.

  23. neonordnance says:

    Holy crap! Prior was made for Ludum Dare in 48 hours! Imagine what this guy could do with a proper timetable!

    I loved Prior. Best game in the pack IMO. Although Super Bogus World wins points for being so deliciously demented.