The Bundle Singularity Has Begun

By Nathan Grayson on November 9th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

And I will call him Bundlestein.

The day foretold in The Prophecy is finally upon us. Friends, countrymen, arch-nemeses, it’s time for us to lay down our slings and arrows and start wrapping each other in warm, tear-soaked hug blankets. Today, you see, the bundles have aligned. Humble Indie Bundle and Indie Royale both put out new offerings on the same day, and also I saw one awfully portentous-looking crow just kind of wandering around on street earlier. Clearly, there’s no other conclusion to be drawn: this is the end. I love you all. Except the terrible ones.

Huh, that species-wide, globe-encircling hug chain didn’t take long at all. Well, I guess we can all just play some games, then. First up, Humble Bundle’s doing another Android/PC crossover special, but it’s still a fairly star-studded lineup. Familiar faces are well represented by Eufloria, Machinarium, Sword and Sworcery, and Crayon Physics while Splice (which we’ve discussed before) and Waking Mars (which we will discuss soon) round out the lesser known end of the package.

Indie Royale, meanwhile, has rolled up its sleeves and plucked The Harvest Bundle from the very soils our forefathers wrung their blood, sweat, and tears into. It’s got perspective-switching platformer Mutant Mudds, Alien-Breed-esque blast ‘em up Pineapple Smash Crew, ethereal Lemmings-y thing Spirits, role-playing epic Avernum: The Great Trials Trilogy, and basketball-based platformer BasketBelle.

Both are, as ever, exceedingly great values, but they’ve also completely devalued games – and indeed, money – by setting into motion a world-ending chain of events that’s already ensnared us all. Shame, that.

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74 Comments »

  1. phelix says:

    Prepare, for ultimate bundle absolution!

  2. sinister agent says:

    I’m going to hop in my time machine and sell the concept of bundles to the East India Company. I shall return when … no wait, that’s a fucking monstrous idea. Dear god, somebody please stop me!

    • sneetch says:

      I will stop you, though I do not know the way.

      If only I had some help with this burden. Maybe, I don’t know, maybe someone’s sword, someone’s bow and perhaps even someone else’s axe. That could help.

  3. Bushcat says:

    The East India Company model of privatized commercial rape is alive and well.. Oh sh#t, stoned sarcasm delay..David!!

    • Baines says:

      Of course East India Company is alive and well. It’s in the current Indie Gala X bundle.

  4. NailBombed says:

    BUNDLEFACE…… OFF?

    • Ny24 says:

      WARBUNDLE

      • Toberoth says:

        I can’t believe people are still doing this terrible joke that wasn’t even funny in the first place.

        Face.

        • phelix says:

          Couldn’t help but read “in the first face”

        • Premium User Badge

          Malibu Stacey says:

          Welcome to internet memes. The majority of them aren’t funny, they’re just perpetuated by people trying to fit in with their e-peers.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            It’s not even an internet meme. It’s pretty much limited to RPS, which makes it funny. It’s also funny that people like you are annoyed by it.

          • MrUnimport says:

            SkittleDiddler has proven it, everybody. WARFACE is funny because only RPS commenters are aware of it. Take your claims of memehood away with you, we have no internet plebs here. Partaking in XFACE jokes is an ironic affirmation of your own good taste and exclusive membership.

          • Premium User Badge

            Malibu Stacey says:

            I like the part where he conflates disapproval with annoyance.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            @ MrUnimport: angry you weren’t invited to the club? You need to get over it.

            @ Malibu: You still come off as being annoyed. You need to get over it.

            WHINEFACE.

          • MrUnimport says:

            In fact it pains me deeply. I only wish I could read Rock Paper Shotgun like the rest of you refined gentlemen with your exclusive memes and your puns and your PC games. If only I’d had the good fortune to be born into the readership of this video game news website. Time to go boot up the family Xbox and play some Call of Duty, just like my father did and his father before him.

        • Premium User Badge

          Rise / Run says:

          No, but your entire-sentence-face was a nice evolution.

          What next, Haiku-face?

  5. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I picked up the Humbe Bundle for the sole reason that I intend to pick up an Android phone at the end of the year and I need some games on that. A pity I hadn’t had formed that plan when I could have grabbed the earlier Android bundles.

    • frightlever says:

      Also keep an eye out on play.google.com for their sales. The had a couple of big sales this year, one quite recently, each running several days and offering games and apps for pennies. I picked up a bunch of games each time and ended up with a credit card bill that was two pages long and under two quid in total.

      I bought the Humble Bundle exclusively for Waking Mars – I already have it on iPad but having it on PC and Android is worth it. I also paid over the average because the Humble bundle tends to add games, while Indie Royale does not.

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        I was under the impression that Google Play only lets you buy apps if you have a device already bound to the account, which I don’t. Is there a way to circumvent this?

    • Teovald says:

      Random advice then : in case you do not know, Google will launch next week a new Nexus phone (Nexus 4). It is seriously awesome : great industrial design, specs, screens and run the last version of Android.
      And as an added bonus, Google is trying to block the subvention system where you end up paying your phone 1500$/€ + 2 years contract by selling the phone themselves on the play store at 300 $/€ (or 350 for more memory, which is a good idea if you want to install many games).

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        I’m not really up to date on phones, and I haven’t done too much research yet because It’ll be christmas or later before I can get one. I was gravitating toward the Galaxy S3. How does the Nexus compare to that? Or do you have any other suggestions? Price is most likely secondary, because I would be getting the device from my employer if everything works out as planned.

        • DeathCarrot says:

          Also worth keeping in mind is that only the Nexus phones get the latest OS versions straight from Google. For everything else you need to wait for it to get ported, which can take quite a while especially if your phone is no longer of the newest generation.

          • Spoon Of Doom says:

            Indeed. I was under the impression that Android phones could be simply updated as long as they’re not carrier bound, but it seems I was wrong about that. And since the Nexus 4 specs look pretty good compared to the S3 (it’s just that I can’t put an SD card into it that bugs me), I think I might take that one.

          • iniudan says:

            Actually any Android device can be updated to the latest version almost has soon has a new version is release, except that only Nexus branded device make it easy for normal user, has manually updating device require rooting and updating it with custom rom, which run the risk of bricking your device, if you make a mistake.

          • Spoon Of Doom says:

            I’m normally a techie, but I’m always nervous when it comes to things that might brick my device.

        • Teovald says:

          The Nexus 4 compares very well to the GS3.
          Samsung ships some good hardware with their high end phones, but the N4 arrives 6 months later. Both have extremely good specs.
          However, the N4 has been built in direct collaboration with Google (the Nexus brand is Google’s demonstration of what Android phone or tablet should be) and they have very talented designers that put a lot of thought on how to build an hardware that would fit an untouched version of Android perfectly.
          On the other hand, Samsung cruelly lack an experience director and it shows in the gs3. It is still using buttons that have been deprecated by Google a year ago for ergonomics reasons, and while some of customizations that have been added to Android by Samsung are pretty interesting, many are pretty stupid and only here to fill a bullet list of features. The aesthetics chances made are also only here to make the phone look different, but sadly they don’t improve the work made by Google, they just remove a lot of cohesion from it.
          In fact, as an Android dev, Samsung is starting to piss me off a little.

          The design of the 2 devices are very different. I think that the N4 is very great in that regard… but everyone has a different opinion on the look & feel of a device.

          I mainly mentioned the N4 because it is a great device and since Google wants to disrupt the carrier subsidized model that in the end makes you pay way too much for a smartphone, they are selling it directly to consumers from the play store at about half the “normal” price of a new high end phone (it gives you a good idea of the insane margins made by the operators & OEMs).

          • Spoon Of Doom says:

            Thanks for the explanation and advice. I did a bit of research on the N4 over the day and it does indeed look pretty good. Thanks for mentioning it!

  6. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    … waiting for the Bundle Bundle.

  7. BobbyFizz says:

    I remain completely baffled at the indie royale model. Did they do it that way just to be different? Why on earth would someone pay more for something to make it cheaper for others, surely that detracts most people from paing more than the minimum. Humble will be getting my cash again this time.

    • ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

      Completely baffled? Really?…

      > “Why on earth would someone pay more for something to make it cheaper for others”

      Out of good will? A small feeling of Jedi power? Plus, some of us will pay more now and again simply because we think the games are worth it. The by-product being a very slight lowering of the minimum should not be stunning the human brain into bafflage. (Maybe yours isn’t quite human though? ;) )

      Also note that the minimum for Royale is much greater than the minimum for accessing the majority of games in $1-minimum (or less) bundles. So if anything, the system helps maintain a reasonable payment per customer for the bundle (rather than dealing with hordes of 10-cent simpletons complaining about game keys and DEMANDING refunds).

      [Note: not arguing for one model or the other here - I simply buys & plays the games. Just amazed at the bafflement.]

      • BobbyFizz says:

        Yep completely baffled. To me it makes no sense to pay more for something to make it cheaper for others.

        • Mattressi says:

          Yeah, I don’t really get it either. Especially since it’s not like if you pay $100 for the bundle, the next person will be able to get it for 1 cent – it’s more like the next few people to buy it might be able to get it for 1 cent less. The minimum price fluctuates by very little, mostly, so it seems more of a gimmick mechanic than anything actually useful or interesting.

          I find that I buy every Humble Bundle because I can always afford $1. However, I can’t always afford $4+ every 3 weeks for one bundle, when I’m not sure if I’ll like any of the games. Half of the HIBs I’ve bought I haven’t played a single game from (and I’ve also paid average or above for many too), so I’d say that it’s worth it to them to allow a low minimum ($1) if there are people like me who’ll buy it when they never would have bought the games normally.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          perhaps one who lacks empathy will never understand it

    • Teovald says:

      I don’t get it either.
      So far, humble indie bundle provides by far the best bundles in my opinion:
      -good system (pay what you want + pay more than average to get more stuff)
      -great website with a great presentation of the games in a short video (how can so many bundles fail to do that correctly ???)
      -3 payment options ( being able to avoid Paypal is always a victory)

      • Premium User Badge

        Rise / Run says:

        My major problem with the bundles, (and especially the humble bundle, where they say “tip us”), is I have no idea how much money is going to a given dev. I haven’t combed the internets for this information, but it’s not very transparent on the Humble website. If there are 5 games, is the dev cash split evenly among all the devs? What flat percentage goes to the bundler overhead (a “tip” implies they are already taking their share).

        • David says:

          In the Humble Bundle, you choose exactly where your money goes. There are sliders for each developer, each charity, and the tip.

        • Premium User Badge

          Rise / Run says:

          Thanks David. I knew about the sliders, but in earlier iterations of Humble Bundles, I don’t recall having seen the ability to send directly to a specific dev.

          That said, my question about “tip” still stands. To me, “tip” is usually used to mean “money in addition to your wages/salary/normal payment.” So that implies Humble is already getting cash even if you set the Humble slider to 0. I know I’m being cynical, but any time I see words printed, especially when it may involved money changing hands, I wonder what the loopholes are that someone is abusing. Bah, I should have more faith in humanity, I guess.

      • Baines says:

        Humble Bundle generally has the highest quality games, but they also tend to have fewer games overall. They also repeat games. Humble Bundle can be the hardest bundle to convince me to beat its average.

        Other bundles might tend to have lower quality games, or fill themselves with 5-10 year old PC titles like Indie Gala, but they have more games, and are more likely to get me to buy in at less than a “Just cover the transaction/server cost” $1 bid.

        So far, I’ve bought more Indie Royale and Indie Gala bundles than Humble Bundles.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Me neither. I too am a robot who does everything in a totally logic way, with absolutely no emotional actions. If it doesn’t benefit me DIRECTLY and RIGHT NOW, what’s the point. It’s the reason I always get late to work.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Here’s how Indie Royale works.

      If you buy early, you get it cheaper. This encourages people to buy it earlier if they want it cheaper.

      Conversely if you want the Humble Indie bundle with the “beat the average” extras for the lowest price, it’s best to wait until the last day when all the $0.01/$1 purchases have been made which lower the average price.

      Welcome to economics 101 & you’re welcome.

      Mind blown yet?

  8. eraserhead says:

    Waking Mars is a wonderful game. Unfortunately it plays better with a controller than on a touchscreen, at least where precise flying is involved. Splice on the other hand works great with a touch screen and is a beautiful brain teaser. Haven’t tried Eufloria yet, but I really liked it on the PC. Superbrothers seems to have aspect ration issues on some Android devices (like the Nexus 7), but don’t get me wrong, this is my favorite Humble Android Bundle so far!

    • Subject 706 says:

      If you have an Android tablet with a full size USB port, you can actually play with a gamepad if you like. Not that I’ve found much reason to do so, but I have tried a wired xbox 360 controller with my Transformer Prime, and that worked.

      Whether it works with a specific android game is another question of course.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        You can also use Sixaxis Controller on the Play store to connect PS3 controllers through Bluetooth. The app/driver is ridiculously flexible and can be made to work with any game, really, even if it doesn’t support controllers natively.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        You can also play Dishonored with a DDR mat on the PC.
        Why would anyone use a controller on a tablet? I just can’t understand.

        • jamesgecko says:

          Have you tried playing Waking Mars on a full sized tablet? The awkwardness of the controls make it pretty apparent that it’s meant to be played on a small phone screen. Any action games with an on-screen d-pad also control better with a gamepad.

          It’s like asking why anyone would plug a tablet into a sound system; because if you don’t mind the tablet being stationary, it’s a better experience.

          Additionally, I’d like to note that it would require at least two, probably three dance pads and a few friends standing on aforementioned dance pads to play Dishonored effectively. Which sounds kind of awesome as a party game. I kind of want to try that now.

  9. InternetBatman says:

    I think Indie Royal thrashed Humble Bundle this time. A bunch of repeats up against 3 Jeff Vogel RPGs (and then some other games).

    • frightlever says:

      Waking Mars/Machinarium up against three games that were remade as Avernum: Escape from the Pit which you can get on Steam?

      Hmm.

      Edit: Oops. The 3 Avernum games are actually 4, 5 & 6, not 1,2 & 3. So… they’re DUE to be remade in the sequel to Escape from the Pit, I guess.

      • Dave Mongoose says:

        Avernum: Escape from the Pit is only a remake of Avernum 1, not the whole first trilogy.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Machinarium has been in previous bundles.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          If there were a genre of games called “Bundlers”, Machinarium would be the prime example.

  10. aliksy says:

    IndieGameStand ( https://indiegamestand.com/ ) also has a new game today, but they do a new game every 3 days or so.

    This time it’s”The Journey Down”

  11. Premium User Badge

    MajorManiac says:

    “it’s time for us to lay down our slings and arrows and start wrapping each other in warm, tear-soaked hug blankets. ” – Oh how I wish that would also apply to all comment threads on the internet. I’m looking at you Youtube.

  12. olemars says:

    Unless there is a way now to register the games with google play, these android bundles are a tad impractical.

    • kwyjibo says:

      You can access them from the Humble Bundle Android app.

      The app is shit though, so I downloaded the games on PC before copying them across.

  13. bill says:

    “Both are, as ever, exceedingly great values”.

    *puts hand up”
    Ok, I have a grammar question! Recently I’ve been reading phrases like “it is a great value” on a regular basis, and it just sounds weird and wrong to me. Surely it should be “it is great value”?

    Is this an americanism? Or changing language? Or typos?

    Becasue, as the leading PC Grammar Blog I’d expect RPS to get this kind of thing right!

    • Premium User Badge

      RobF says:

      “Becasue*, as the leading PC Grammar Blog I’d expect RPS to get this kind of thing right!”

      THE LAW OF QUESTIONING GRAMMAR AND/OR SPELLING ON THE INTERNET CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM

      *is that a pokemon?

    • soco says:

      bill: “Ok, I have a grammar question! Recently I’ve been reading phrases like “it is a great value” on a regular basis, and it just sounds weird and wrong to me. Surely it should be “it is great value”? ”

      I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know English very well, but I know when it sounds wrong. The phrase “it is great value” sounds very wrong. I believe the reason is that you are conflating using ‘value’ as a noun and as a transitive verb.

      With ‘value’ the transitive verb you assign worth to something: “I value this at $500.” If ‘value’ were being used as the verb it wouldn’t make any sense to have the indefinite article ‘a’ in front of it.

      But ‘value’ is also used as a noun: “That hooker was a great value, she only charged me five bucks.” In this case, and our original example from your question, you have to have the indefinite article

      • soco says:

        I also just realized that this article is written by Nathan and as such this could very well be an American thing that doesn’t occur across the pond.

        I vote for someone to fly me over for a visit and allow me to conduct research for a few months. =)

      • bill says:

        Nope, still sounds weird to me. The hooker isn’t a value, she’s a person. $5 might be a great value, but that just sounds like you love the number 5.

        I always thought of it like “the hooker is great value (for money). Maybe I’ve been mis hearing all these years.

  14. bill says:

    As for this… i was hoping for an android bundle, as I’d like a decent game for my phone.. but I’ve played 4 of these games already. I wonder if i should buy it anyway on the basis they’ll probably throw in some games from earlier bundles later on.

  15. kwyjibo says:

    I bought the Humble Bundle so I could get Sworcery on Android.

    The Humble Bundle Android app is shit though, a complete waste of bandwidth, things just never download and you have to start again. Use the torrent instead.

    • Moraven says:

      Never had problems with it. Worked every time for me on my Milestone 1 and Galaxy Nexus.

    • jamesgecko says:

      The problem with the Humble Bundle app is that it doesn’t ask for permission to keep the tablet from turning off the screen, and my tablet likes to close all running programs when the screen turns off for some reason. But incomplete downloads can be resumed by the humble bundle app, so it’s not a huge deal unless your internets are slow.