Growing Up, Blowing Up: Indie Royale Graduation Bundle

By Nathan Grayson on May 31st, 2012 at 11:00 am.

I desperately want to play with that tassel.

I’m incredibly proud to announce that Indie Royale has finally graduated. I haven’t the foggiest idea of what it’s actually graduated from, but it has one of those fun dangly tassel hats now, so that means it’s probably smarter than me. Before it goes off and writes the next great American novel while aboard a rocket of its own construction made from inferior American novels, however, it’s putting more indie games on sale. Six more of them, in fact – including the debut of retro-themed zombie-blasting RPG Dead Pixels. “But wait,” you might say, tossing around high-level math like some kind of graduate-school-bound indie bundle, “that’s only one game; where are the other five?” Be educated after the break.

There’s also Ice-pick Lodge’s equal parts strange, difficult, excellent, and “the” Void, modern subterfuge classic The Ship, [utterly brilliant - John] light-and-dark-centric teleportation puzzler 1000 Amps, and exploration platformer featuring something called an “Owlfriend” LaserCat. In addition, each bundle includes an AirMech beta key and special graduation cap item. It grants you five percent bonus XP, which blah blah blah inaccurate, one-sided joke about effectiveness of college educations blah.

You’ve got six days to take advantage. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until blah blah blah totally accurate joke about the frequency with which indie bundles come out blah. Also, it’s a pretty solid package, though I can’t weigh in on Dead Pixels just yet. But The Void and The Ship are basically essential if you’ve never played them before, and AirMech is basically Herzog Zwei with a dash of Advance Wars. So hooray. And you didn’t even have to sit through eight hours of speeches and people languidly meandering across a stage while the sun cooked the brain you worked so hard to cultivate.

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51 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    This is a rather strange bundle – it’s so scattershot, and devoid of any kind of theme – but every game in there is worth playing. Especially The Void, which is truly unique and a very interesting experience.

    • Rinox says:

      I tried SO HARD to get into The Void…started the game at least 4-5 times, even started playing with a walkthrough and still failed. While I appreciate what it was trying to do and I thought the atmosphere was gorgeous and the idea excellent, I found it failing as a game. The fact that you can end up stuck later in the game because you didn’t plant the right colours in the beginning/didn’t balance your colours properly (ie the way the game expected you to) with no way of knowing at that time is unforgivable design.

  2. marlin says:

    Am I the only one who always wants a burger after seeing the word ‘Royale’? A Pavlovian response to a line in a great film I know, but it can’t be just me…

  3. andytizer says:

    Does The Ship still have an active multiplayer community?

    Also does The Void still have crippling difficulty? I read about how it was possible to lose the game through poor decisions made about resources hours before.

    • Screwie says:

      As to your first question, I don’t know but I really hope so! I never got the chance to play The Ship before and it would be fun to get a bunch of RPS types together for The Ship multiplayer.

    • TheDR says:

      http://steamcommunity.com/groups/shipalive

      Check out The Ship is Alive, they still play the game regularly, its great fun.

    • phlebas says:

      As to the second question: There was a patch.

    • Robil says:

      IMO the ridiculously difficulty is kind of the whole point of The Void. You’re supposed to be fighting the game the entire way, and restarting often. This is a game that constantly misleads you about how its own mechanics work – it’s a deliberately unforgiving and hostile environment, and that’s the fun of it.

      Patching it to be easier is like patching Super Meat Boy to be easier – it’s missing the point.

      (To clarify, I’m not saying ‘learn2play noob’ I’m saying I think sometimes being balls-hard can be a design decision rather than an oversight)

      • frightlever says:

        Perhaps you’re missing the point, and the game is supposed to be played in a way that people enjoy and don’t find frustrating. When the first bullet point on a design document is 1. Cripplingly hard, then you cut your potential audience down by two thirds. But what do I know – the Void is a household name so it’s obviously massively popular.

        • Keirley says:

          Concerning The Void: sure it’s insanely hard, and I was forced to start the whole game from scratch after a good five or six hours due to decisions made on little information in the early game. But the void is supposed to be a horrifying, unforgiving place where you just barely eke out enough to survive, and like with Pathologic the overbearing difficulty of the game perfectly gels with the story/game-world.

          I do think the crippling difficulty means they lost a lot of their potential audience, but I’d argue that playing it in its original hard-as-nails form is a far superior experience to playing the patched easier difficulties. Saying that, I can understand why someone would want to lower the difficulty in the game, and I do think it’s a good thing that people can do so – I’d much rather people play it in its easier form than getting frustrated and abandoning it.

        • Robil says:

          You’re assuming that all games need to appeal to everyone. They don’t. The Void appeals to a very specific, and admittedly somewhat masochistic, audience.

          Saying that it shouldn’t be cripplingly hard because a lot of people don’t want to play cripplingly hard games is like saying they should turn Dragon Age Origins into a steamlined action game because the majority of people nowadays don’t like in-depth RPGs. I’m given to understand they actually tried to do so with Dragon Age 2, and the quality suffered as a result.

          You’re better off pleasing some of the people all of the time than trying to please all of the people some of the time. The Void takes this to extremes (as Russian games tend to).

          The Void is absolutely niche, but it fills that niche perfectly. If you don’t like it, for the sake of your own fun I’d suggest not playing it. Trying to hack it down into something you do like is just going to produce a crippled product – you’d be better off playing something else that appeals to you more.

          • I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

            The developers themselves admitted that they overdid it with the difficulty. While I haven’t tried the patches, I do think that the game could be a little easier and still maintain the same atmosphere without alienating quite so many people. I generally enjoyed it but I ended up resorting to cheats near the end, which is something I don’t normally do as I enjoy challenging games, so that I could replenish my colour reserves more easily and reach the conclusion.

          • Rinox says:

            If it was anywhere explained even half clearly that you need to make sure to use/save colour X in the early game to not get stuck hours down the road, you could forgive the difficulty. But it wasn’t, so it was just bad design. Throwing away 6 hours not because you did it ‘wrong’, but because you didn’t know that was how the game was played and no one told you so. :-/

          • Keirley says:

            @I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze, @Rinox

            Sorry, but I’m going to defend the game again. I still think that the level of difficulty (partly) makes the game what it is. Though the developers say they should have dialled it down I don’t agree, and I don’t think they should necessarily be the last word on that matter.

            And I don’t think it’s bad design that you aren’t told what you need to do to be successful in the game. It’s overwhelming and deliberately difficulty to penetrate as a game. The Brothers and Sisters in the game are vague and sometimes contradictory, and that’s immensely important for the game to work. Playing the game is a process of slowly coming to learn more and more, and if you were just told about what colours do and how you should use them then a huge part of this experience would be lost.

      • InternetBatman says:

        If they just put in difficulty settings, I think it would have been better. The game is dense and brilliant, but much like dense and brilliant texts, it is hard to actually consume. Honestly, the game would probably still be pretty hard and keep the same atmosphere on easy.

        • fuggles says:

          The void is technically a resource management game and you can use math to work out your path. Download a map of the colours you need and then plan ahead. Or get the easy patch as the game gets in the way of the atmosphere. Fantastic game though

      • kalirion says:

        Unless you’re working towards one of the harder to unlock characters or achievements, dying in Super Meat Boy means losing 5 to 30 seconds of progress.

        Dying in The Void on the other hand…

    • baby snot says:

      I’ve just finished downloading The Ship and there are not many people playing (The server browser is a little confusing as ‘player’ count includes bots in the total for servers so sort by ‘human’ to see number of real people playing).

      You receive two gift activation keys. Apparently each of those gift activations includes another gift activation key for multiplayer (sp and mp are seperate games). I can’t confirm this though because posts on various forums by current devs and players aren’t clear to me.

      EDIT: Just checked. About 40 people playing. One server full and a few others mixed between people and bots.

      • Doches says:

        The giftable Ship keys are for The Ship Complete Pack, not just the multiplayer component. And they do sometimes take a little while to appear — we’re talking to Valve to try and figure out why!

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Surely the bundle will increase player numbers a bit, no?

  4. Lars Westergren says:

    Indie Royale seem to have a really strong selection of games lately, at least on par with Humble Bundle…

    >”I desperately want to play with that tassel.”

    On the internet, no one knows you’re a cat.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I thought Humble Bundle 4 was the last really strong one. The android bundles have been repeating games, which makes me less likely to buy them.

      • Lars Westergren says:

        Yes, finding quality Android games seems to be really difficult. Hopefully some of the future Kickstarter titles or Call of Cthulhu:Wasted Land could be included in upcoming bundles.

  5. Flukie says:

    I hope The Ship’s new owners do something interesting with the game.

  6. ChainsawCharlie says:

    LaserCat was a pleasant surprise.

  7. Anthile says:

    I already own The Ship and The Void. Still worth it?

  8. ulix says:

    Should be mentioned that “The Ship” comes with two additional. giftable Steam keys. So basically you get the game three times.

    • oceanclub says:

      That’s a good idea for a multiplayer game that’s been around a bit; I’m now sold on buying it as I can give the keys to friends for our semi-regular Monday night meetups. Even if we only try it out once or twice it’ll be fun!

      P.

  9. HexagonalBolts says:

    I’m graduating! …Does anyone want to employ me?

  10. Capernatious says:

    I bought this bundle immediately and gifted the extra keys I got for The Ship to some friends. If anyone is ever looking for friends to play with, join the RPS Steam chat and ask. Use this here magical link to go there: steam://friends/joinchat/103582791429554934

  11. Bluerps says:

    I already have most of the games in this bundle. Can I get the cap instead? I always wanted a cap like that…
    (We don’t have those in Germany)

  12. Jorum says:

    Interested in The Ship, but already have Void. Hmm anyone generous to throw one of those gift ship keys my way?

  13. RobF says:

    It’s worth whatever of your money for Lasercat alone. The only neon infused 8 bit styled exploratory platform game that doubles as a pub quiz.

    It’s fantastic and previously only available lost in the wilds of XBLIG or accompanied by the-client-nobody-wants. So a full and bullshit free PC version is worth the entry fee.

    Wot I’m trying to say here is LaserCat is amazing. Buy LaserCat.

    • arccos says:

      Isn’t it great? I do wish there were more games in the style of VVVVVV and Lasercat.

      I also would like pub quizzes in pubs around me, please.

  14. oceanclub says:

    I bought my bundle but only see one The Ship Steam key. Does anyone know how get the other two keys?

    P.

  15. ScorpionWasp says:

    I’d argue that The Void has THE best narrative I’ve ever experienced, in any medium, ever. It keeps an adamant commitment not to insult your intelligence, to understand what subtlety means and to offer softcore por… erm *ahem*.

    No, seriously. I’ve never seen anything touch intelligently and sensibly on so many different themes, and weave them all together into a coherent whole. To even list them would be a spoiler in and of itself. You absolutely MUST play this game.

  16. KDR_11k says:

    The Ship is the only one of those I don’t already own (Dead Pixels and Laser Cat were previously on XBLIG). Well, and the Air Mech beta key but I don’t really care about that, it’s F2P and going to be released publicly soon anyway.

  17. mooken says:

    Dead Pixels was wonderfully fun. I bought the bundle just for that.

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