I Very Much Roguelike The Humble Weekly Bundle

By John Walker on January 27th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

While the main Humble Bundle is diverting itself from gaming with a really quite splendid collection of audiobooks, it seems to have snuck out one of the best collections of games so far in its Weekly Bundle. Rather than showcasing games from one studio, this week it’s a collection of Roguelikes. (Everyone who wants to have a fight about the terminology, please do so here.) That’s Paranautical Activity, Dungeons Of Dredmor Complete, Hack Slash Loot, The Binding Of Isaac + DLC, Teleglitch Die More Edition, and Sword Of The Stars: The Pit Gold. Cor.

It’s pay-what-you-want for the first three, and then anything over $6 for the lot. Which is just so crazy good. Just Teleglitch alone costs £9, £10 with the Guns And Tunes DLC it comes with. And it was one of the best games of 2013! Binding Of Isaac and the Wrath Of The Lamb DLC, would normally be £6. This is such a strong collection, and will likely allow you to fill in any games in your roguelite collection. I’ve never played Hack, Slash, Loot nor Paranautical Activity, I have to confess. But now I can. Although just seeing the words “Teleglitch” are making me want to stop everything and just play that some more. Mmmm, Teleglitch.

Or Dredmor! It’s ages since I played Dredmor! Oh dear, I have so much work to do.

There are three days to go, and it’s already made over $400,000 so far. Which means it’s far out-performing the official main Humble Bundle by more than twice, in fewer days. Remarkable. Although that Audio Book Bundle is well worth a glance, with the likes of Cormac McCarthy, William S. Burroughs and Dave Eggers in there.

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62 Comments »

  1. GameCat says:

    Blood Meridian is bloody brilliant.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I was put off by the opening. Too dark a world. Does it get … any lighter?

      • GameCat says:

        Nope.
        It’s almost all about scalping, slaughtering and fucked up human nature.
        If you want something lighter from McCarthy try The Border Trilogy – All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing and Cities of the Plain.

        • hellsempty says:

          Dead baby tree anybody?

          If I could describe Blood Meridian in one word it would be ‘haunting’.

        • Ross Angus says:

          Thanks. I’ll leave it on the “to be read” shelf, for now.

        • khalilravanna says:

          Absolutely. It’s so wonderful because it’s totally believable while being totally horrific and unbelievable. Wonderful characters. The Judge ahhhh *swoon*.

      • MuscleHorse says:

        Haha. Does Cormack McCarthy get lighter?

    • The Random One says:

      Do you get non-audio books as well?

      • MuscleHorse says:

        Unfortunately not, though Humble do occasionally do ebook bundles too.

  2. djbriandamage says:

    I passed the 450 hour milestone in Binding of Isaac this weekend. What an obscenely fantastic, fantastically obscene game. One of the best games I’ve ever played.

    • khalilravanna says:

      I went back and started playing it again and wow yes absolutely one of the best games I’ve ever played. I can’t put my finger on what makes it so amazing but I think that’s because anything you put your finger on in the game is excellent. The enemy design, the perfect amount of randomness, the difficulty, the art, the humor, how grotesque and horrible the entire thing is when you really think about it (every boss and enemy being spawn of Mom). So good.

    • BisonHero says:

      I feel kinda bad for the people who get the Binding of Isaac through this Humble sale, and immediately redeem both the base game and the DLC. The DLC expansion really seems like it is meant for when you’ve put at least a few dozen hours into the game, and are bored of the game being at all fair.
      New players should really just focus on the base game.

  3. Person of Interest says:

    I added Teleglitch to my collection with this bundle. With two hours played, the game has already drawn some impressive strings of curses from my mouth. I can’t wait for it to kill me again and again.

    I regret watching the game trailer (late-level spoilers) but the sound effects will probably still scare the bejeezus out of me, assuming I ever make it that far.

  4. PopeRatzo says:

    Who am I to argue with Wikipedia?

    The roguelike is a sub-genre of role-playing video games, characterized by random level generation, tile-based graphics and permanent death.

    • The Random One says:

      RANDOM
      DEATH
      DUNGEON

    • dahools says:

      Thank you for that definition as following the link in John’s Post was akin to being asked to fetch some tartan paint or a left handed screwdriver from the toolbox.

      I’ll get my revenge. . . . ! (waves fist aggressively in front of face)

      # I almost read every post so I could say I have completed a forum, that’s got to be the next greatest kickstarter idea for a game! Or maybe not. . .

      • Philotic Symmetrist says:

        Regarding “Imprecise”, “Misleading” and “Limiting”, does this mean we can get a new term to describe ARPGs in the style of D[curse you Horace]-ablo? Or at least a new term to describe what every ARPG was like before Di-blo (i.e. an RPG crossed with an action game rather than a real time RPG with lots of clicking)? I always get disappointed when I see Action RPG and find out it’s a point-and-clickfest.

        Just to be clear, I don’t mind the expansion of genres but when people call Dia-lo an ARPG but hesitate or argue about whether something like Dark Souls is an ARPG or think that ARPG implies clicking on things it’s just frustrating. Dark Souls is more like what the genre started out as than Diab-o. At best point-and-click ARPG really is a subgenre of ARPG not the whole thing.

        Also to clarify, I don’t mind the lots of clicking in and of itself, just the idea that increasing the amount of clicking is all it takes to change it from RPG to ARPG.

        It’s a bit like if we reached the point where Catacomb Kids (which appears to be the most Roguelike-like platformer I’ve seen) was [almost universally] called a Roguelike (which I personally would be fine with) but we no longer thought of NetHack as a Roguelike (which would be bizarre and incredibly irritating).

  5. BoredOfTheWeb says:

    I already have Binding of Issac and the Wrath of the Lamb dlc. Since I already have a huge backlog of games to play, can somebody tell me if the other games are worth the time and effort to get in to. Hard to argue with the price, but I don’t want more games in my collection that I won’t play. How do they compare with Isaac and Dungeon Crawl Stone soup, which are the only other Roguelikes that I’ve ever played and liked.

    Thanks!

    • djbriandamage says:

      Dungeons of Dredmore is exceptional. It’s a turn-based roguelike so it’s a nice change of pace as compared to Isaac. It has lots of depth and variety with a good combination of planning and random luck. It’s also a little tongue-in-cheek.

    • aerozol says:

      I already had Binding of Isaac and Dungeons of Dredmor.
      Dungeons of Dredmor is a great game, but I found it a bit of a chore after a while/ less my kind of thing than Binding of Isaac, which as you know is the best game ever. I bought this bundle because Teleglitch caught my eye, and it has a super low barrier to entry that I’m sure will have me sinking a ton of hours into it. Fun CORE mechanics folks! Yus!

      The rest of those games will sit in my backlog until they somehow awake my interest/ someone talks about them being good… Oh yeah, I also got a foil Teleglitch card which already gives me a dollar back. It’s worth keeping in mind that If these bundles have games with cards, you’re going to make back quite a chunk of your money, esp. at the 1$ tier. Crazy.

    • RedWurm says:

      Well, I’ve played enough of some of them to give some opinions:

      Dungeons of Dredmor is a silly game, but a very good roguelike with an emphasis on character classes and builds and a lot of crafting. The combat isn’t particularly deep and it seems to be in the habit of throwing a lot of monsters at you in one go, but with steam workshop integration there’s a lot of content.

      Sword of the Stars: The Pit is the one I’ve been playing recently, the expansions add a lot more to the game since I played the original. It’s pretty good, with an emphasis on managing your inventory space and ammunition, and with equipment that takes damage and degrades as you use it. My main criticism is that, to do well, it requires a bit too much micromanaging.

    • DantronLesotho says:

      Ditto on Dungeons of Dredmor; I had a great time with it. Hack, Slash, Loot is also quite good but more limited on options. A lot of people loved teleglitch although I never played it. I’ll probably pick it up in this bundle though.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Coming from Stone Soup, Dredmore is surprisingly clunky, with no auto-explore, an information-poor action log and a very confusing crafting menu. It grew on me quite a bit after the first couple tries though. The skill system allows for some incredibly diverse and entertaining character builds. Very funny writing too.

    • brogonzo says:

      Hack, Slash, Loot – Very lo-fi, simplistic turn-based roguelike with unlockable character classes and a purely mouse-driven interface. The art style is throwback, runs are usually brief (and fatal). There’s no inventory beyond what you are holding in your hands or wearing, and the game does a fairly good job of indicating whether or not an item on the floor is better than the one you’re carrying. Potions, per usual, are a crapshoot. It’s a fun little game but probably one of the weaker ones in the bunch.

      Teleglitch – Twin-stick shooter. To me it feels a bit like a cross between Dead Space and Hotline Miami. Great fun.

      I haven’t gotten into Paranautical Activity much, so I’m of little help here. It has yet to really grab me.

      This bundle is a steal. Get it.

      • Baines says:

        Paranautical Activity seemed pretty poor when I tried it a while back. That is about as positive as I can be about it. It just wasn’t fun.

        At the time, there was a hardcore defense force of people who seemed to love the game, and a larger number who didn’t. The devs seemed to shut themselves off from negative opinions, so I had little faith in it improving. I uninstalled the game and may never install it again, so I don’t know if it has actually improved.

    • MattM says:

      I’ll add some criticisms. Dungeons of Dreadmor is pretty great but crafting is a mess. There are far too many ingredients and recipes. Managing all the stuff gets tedious. By the time you can craft something you will probably have found something better in a store or just sitting on the ground. I’d recommend playing characters that don’t use crafting.
      SOTS: The pit starts out good but has some design choices that ruin the game. As you get better at the game and learn more of its systems you will be able to get deeper into the 30 floor dungeon before dying but at around floor 20 (~6h in) luck takes over as the dominate factor in determining success. I posted a mini-review/rant in the steam forums awhile back.
      http://steamcommunity.com/app/233700/discussions/0/864972620708617695/?tscn=1373462053
      I loved binding of Issac but I’ll let others talk up that one.

      • Shezo says:

        Had the same experience with SOTS, but my threshold was around lvl 10 or so, when randomness stared to kick me in my teeth.
        After many attempts, i just didn’t feel that i’m learning anymore, just hoping for a dumb luck.

      • hurrakan says:

        Yeah, the items, crafting and inventory are annoying – my “Pocket Dimension” is completely stacked with stuff.
        Despite that, there are not enough items or loot. I have multiple items that are supposedly unique (though they do have different stats). But it’s not exciting to keep finding the same thing.

    • MaXimillion says:

      If you play Crawl, Dredmor might be bit too much of a babby’s first rogulike. The Pit to some extent as well, but I’m having more fun with it than I was with Dredmor.

      Teleglitch is also great, but not a roguelike.

    • Caiman says:

      SotS: The Pit is surprisingly fun, and it’s refreshing to be playing a sci-fi roguelike. Teleglitch is phenomenal but hard as balls. Paranautical is a straightforward Doom-like FPS but surprisingly fun because of it, randomising the weapon you start with as well as enemies and room types. Hack Slash Loot I didn’t like at all, too simplistic and done better elsewhere. Dredmore is loved by many, but after many hours I had to admit that it just wasn’t for me, seemed to be a chore picking up a billion drops in rooms with little variety, you’d get more out of it if you like crafting I think. The whole package is definitely a bargain if you only have one or two of these.

  6. geldonyetich says:

    This would be the greatest bundle I’ve ever seen… were it not for the fact I already bought 5/6 of those games, and the remaining one is an early access title.

  7. bhauck says:

    Ugh, this is right on the precipice of buy/don’t buy for me. I have more games in my backlog than I’ll ever play, so I try to at least occasionally resist the urge to collect more. And then I already have Dredmor and Isaac. But not the DLCs for them.

    So $1 for an early access game I may never play, expansions for a roguelike I thought I was done with, and what sounds like a mediocre roguelike I may never play? Or $6 for that plus another expansion for a game I thought I was done with, plus a good roguelike I may never play, plus another mediocre/good roguelike I may never play? Like I said, right on the edge.

  8. iucounu says:

    I may be being very dim, but having redeemed the steam key for The Binding Of Isaac + DLC, the DLC isn’t showing up. I suspect because I already owned the base game for TBOI… Anybody else had this kind of issue with Humble steam keys?

    EDIT: Oh, hang on – it’s showing up in Game properties, just not on the Store page.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      You should also be able to right-click the game in your games list and then select “downloadable content” to see it there.

  9. WHS says:

    Is Dungeons of Dredmor considered difficult? I beat it on my third play, the first time I got past the third floor. This isn’t one of those “I’m so awesome at video games” posts, either–I’m really not, and I’ve always been utterly terrible at RPGs or anything statty. A couple monster zoos knocked me down to 1 or 2 health, but otherwise, I just sort of breezed through. Maybe I lucked out and just selected an amazing build?

    Teleglitch, on the other hand… one day I’ll see you, level five. I’m always so excited about reaching level four that I forget about the murder squad of gun-toting cyborgs waiting just beyond the first door. I don’t think I’ve lasted more than twenty seconds.

    • bhauck says:

      I messed around with it a couple times, dying quickly, but once I picked it up seriously I also waltzed to the end. Of course I was melee and the end boss is incredibly difficult as melee, so once he destroyed me a couple times I decided I didn’t need to finish the game after all. That’s right, I’m a quitter.

      • MattM says:

        I was mostly melee but could still use some ranged and I saved up nuke arrows all game and just unleashed them on him. He didn’t last long. It was a long time ago and I think they have made some balance changes since then.

    • kalirion says:

      Hardest difficulty w/Permadeath is the only way to play DoD? Because otherwise, it doesn’t count :)

      Based on your poth, I’m assuming you played with permadeath, but you did not mention the difficulty setting.

      • WHS says:

        I don’t remember but I’m assuming it wasn’t the hardest since I’m not a gaming savant. I basically just specialized in swords and crossbows and picked the stuff with the highest numbers, and bam, done.

        • WrenBoy says:

          I picked up this bundle and started playing DoD. I have never played a roguelike* before and played it on the hardest difficulty with permadeath. It was advertised as ‘Rogue – I enjoy dying’ or something. You dont die very often at all. The first time I found one of those zoo things my tactics were back into a narrow space, click click click click click click, …. food, buff, click click click click ….. room done. Thats not really challenging.

          I keep getting bored around level three and then starting over with a new build to see if its more fun though so maybe it eventually gets difficult but the only challenge I see so far is having enough patience for the grind.

          Its a shame cause the character builds are very nice and are a lot of fun but from what Ive seen you dont really need to be smart with these.

          *Unless FTL counts. For the record, I found FTL to be very challenging, even on easy.

          • Kebert Xela says:

            FTL kind of counts. It’s a roguelike-like in my opinion with the same basic premise (keep moving in X direction to get to Y for Z) and execution (procedurally generated and randomized levels/encounters/items/etc.). Rogue purists will probably decry that description, but so be it.

            As far as DoD goes, I see it as having only one “real” way to play: permadeath, hardest difficulty, random character build/specialties, and smaller levels (essentially, ticking all the boxes available to you at start). This way, you have to roll with the punches because you may get opposing or even contradictory specialties and a smaller level so there’s no grinding (as I believe the tick box actually reads). It forces you to play the game more like a Rogue-like from the get go.

            Also, if you’ve only played to 3rd level, you haven’t even dipped your toes in the water for any real difficulty. The first 5ish levels are literally preparation and rationing for the later levels. I understand that the first few are boring, but the smaller floors option really helps with that, making it a quicker walkabout to clear the level and find your way.

            At this point, I’ve played HOURS of HSL and Teleglitch. I think they’re the shining stars, not Isaac or DoD, frankly. But good luck, and hopefully you find more enjoyment from Dredmor now!

          • Philotic Symmetrist says:

            FTL actually scores really high on the Berlin Interpretation.

            High value factors:
            *Random environment generation: Yes
            *Permadeath: Yes
            *Turn-based: I would argue FTL essentially is turn-based but pretending to be real time; there are discrete meaningful time units and all critical decisions should be made while paused. You could change the controls so that you mash the . key a lot to wait for time to pass and it would play exactly the same (aside from the RSI).
            *Grid-based: Yes
            *Non-modal: this should never have been in the Berlin Interpretation since games in the *canon* break this requirement.
            *Complexity: Yes (eg there’s at least 4 different ways to kill the crew but leave the ship intact)
            *Resource management: Yes
            *Hack’n'slash: Yes
            *Exploration and discovery: No unidentified items and exploration is perhaps a bit limited so I will say no.

            7/9

            Low Value Factors (of no significance in deciding Roguelike/Not Roguelike, since for eg ASCII isn’t exactly of any importance these days, but interesting nonetheless):
            *Single player character: Depends whether you accept the argument that the ship is your character more than the crew.
            *Monsters are similar to players: Yes
            *Tactical challenge: Yes
            *ASCII display: No
            *Dungeons: No
            *Numbers: Yes

            3-4/6

  10. strangeloup says:

    Somehow I have everything in this bundle, which has to be the first time this has happened — or, if not the first, one of very few occasions at least — so I’m going to Have Opinions about them.

    I continue to be spectacularly puzzled by the general high opinion of Binding of Isaac, which remains one of the worst indie-success-story games I’ve played.

    As for the rest of these, Dredmor is great, and so is SotS The Pit; I think I’d like Teleglitch a lot more if it didn’t periodically give me blinding headaches. Hack Slash Loot is utterly abysmal, feeling like it was half-arsed together in an afternoon, and Paranautical Activity isn’t much better. Two very good games, one (to my mind) inexplicably popular one, one that may or may not give you migraines, and two pieces of junk. Hmm.

    • MuscleHorse says:

      Agreed on Binding of Isaac. I found it a tedious grind in the extreme, wobbly flash mechanics not helping.

    • kalirion says:

      Dissenting opinion here:

      - Binding of Isaac has to be one of my favorite games of the last decade
      - Dungeons of Dredmor is pretty good, but as others have stated it’s missing a lot of convenience options from some of the better standard roguelikes like Stone Soup & ToME
      - SotS: The Pit – only have the base version w/o DLC, but anything above Easy difficulty relies on luck way too much
      - Hack, Slash, Loot starts out as an unbalanced mess relying on luck even more than The Pit, but after you unlock a few better classes (by dying) and find some artifacts which carry over into future playthroughs, the game actually does become fun.
      - Teleglitch – everybody loves it, but I just couldn’t get into it. One of the few roguelike(like) games I’ve tried that just is not for me.
      - Paranautical Activity – haven’t tried yet, except on a laptop which couldn’t run it at playable framerates

  11. MartinWisse says:

    The problem with the Humble Bundle proper is that they’re audio books and these are just too annoying to deal with. I’d rather read than listen.

    • DigitalImpostor says:

      It can depend on the person reading the audiobook. Get someone with a voice you find pleasant and/or someone who can do lots of voices and they can be great to listen to. However if you get someone with a boring, monotonous voice it can be a very unpleasant experience.

      e.g. Stephen Fry reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is infintely more enjoyable than Douglas Adams reading it.

    • bhauck says:

      I spent a week driving between National Parks in the western United States and couldn’t have done without my Aubrey-Maturin audiobooks. Music’s great, but when you drive 2,000 miles by yourself in six days, it’s really nice to have something that won’t repeat itself ready to go for hours on end.

  12. Casimir's Blake says:

    Teleglitch just received a relatively hefty update to 9.0, including purported balance changes. “Early levels easier, later levels harder.”

    Maybe, just maybe, it’ll be fun to play again.

    • BisonHero says:

      That game’s biggest problem is that it’s not very random at all, unless that recent patch changed it. You always get roughly (exactly?) the same crafting materials on each floor. I haven’t played it in weeks, but I know there are certain weapon drops and crafting drops that happen like clockwork, so instead of just rolling with whatever you find like Spelunky/Binding of Isaac/FTL, you’re better off going to the wiki, and looking up the crafting progression build you’re going for, and then taking note of which floors contain the crafting materials you want.
      It makes the first few floors incredibly tedious, and I don’t even see why it has to have permadeath. The items/upgrades are the same every time, so it may as well checkpoint you at each floor. And if you want you can wipe your save if you feel you’ve wasted too much ammo/resources. The game feels more like Resident Evil or Dead Space than a roguelike (or even a roguelike-like).

      • Philotic Symmetrist says:

        ^Exactly this (including the not really a roguelike or roguelike-like part although it is closer than Rogue Legacy).

        If there are adding in (back?) item randomization that would make it a roguelike-like; not sure if my interest would return enough to have another go at it.

    • jaronimoe says:

      from the patch notes:
      There’s also an experimental item randomization mode; the patch was almost done and there wasn’t enough time to test it, so for now you can only enable it by typing ‘settings.randomizeitems=true’ to console.

  13. Carra says:

    Never been through an audiobook before. I’ll buy this one to give it a go, seems ideal for combining walking plus listening to a novel.

    I did read Blood Meridian and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I much preferred reading the road and no country for old men.

    • MattM says:

      I have always been a heavy reader and a frequent re-reader. I got hooked on audiobooks a few years ago when I was working in a research lab. I spent a large amount of time working by myself and, as long as the task didn’t require reading or writing, I was able to work while listening to a book. It did take a little getting used to, but now I prefer audio to written for novels and easier non-fiction. Some nice things about audiobooks: Can read while grocery shopping, cooking, lifting weights, or other mundane tasks. Ears don’t get tired like eyes during late night reading. Can listen while playing some videogames.
      I still prefer written books for more difficult non-fiction. If you are frequently jumping back to re-read sections audiobooks are pretty unwieldy.
      I think I am going to skip this humble though. None of the books interest me.

  14. Bw4ll1s says:

    Sorry if there is some comments already started in this direction, but if anyone wants isaac or hack slash loot, I can send gift link.

  15. jmtd says:

    I didn’t read the small print and assumed that, like humble bundles, the games are all cross platform and DRM free. Alas teleglitch is steam keys only.