While I’ve my issues with Amazon’s global mega-monopoly, I can’t deny that the monthly sack of games that Twitch gives out to Amazon Prime subscribers is an oft-impressive bunch. This month more impressive than most – it’s a bundle of Devolver Digital’s best, including Broforce, both Hotline Miami games, Strafe (much improved by updates), Crossing Souls, The Swords of Ditto and recently lauded ninja platformer The Messenger. You can grab a month of Prime (even the free trial) and once it lapses you get to keep the games, to be launched through the Twitch desktop app.
Update: Until December 31st, Twitch Prime also gives you the SNK Bundle, Hacknet: Complete Edition, Smoke & Sacrifice and Poi, all of which you get copies for yourself to keep and a spare to give to friends. The Devolver pack doesn’t come with extra gifts, but is available until January 31st.
So, seven games – all decent to excellent – and potentially free if you’ve not claimed an Amazon Prime trial month before. Not to be sniffed at. So, here’s what you’re getting in this oddly 80s-tinged bundle, with some 90s style thrown in:
Broforce by Free Lives – Very loud, very dumb (when its levels aren’t being puzzley) and very messy. A bit like a twitchier take on Metal Slug, you control a force of 80s action heroes with their names filed down (including some lady-bros) to destroy Jungle Terrorists, Urban Terrorists, Space Terrorists (aliens) and Hell Terrorists (demons). Its worlds are almost entirely destructible, meaning that it’s possible to bring whole buildings down on top of foes, or your own head. Even more chances for disaster in co-op, but fun if you don’t mind dying a lot.
Hotline Miami 1 & 2 by Dennaton Games – Top-down hyperviolence, and as twitchy as they come. Set in an alternate 80s, you play as an animal-masked hitman, clearing out buildings at the behest of a mysterious voice on your phone. Levels are short, death is quicker, and you’ll be restarting them again and again until you clear everything in one murder-combo. The sequel mixes up the formula a lot with new characters with different abilities and limitations, and some gruelling jungle warfare levels making it a bit more divisive, but both games have amazing soundtracks.
The Swords Of Ditto by Onebitbeyond – A beautiful little Zelda-like with local co-op, although John felt that its roguelike-esque structure undermines it a bit in his review here. Still, even with that held against it, he calls it a lovely, fun game, just not the brilliant one it could have been. Still, it can’t be denied that it is an absolutely charming looking game. Like a cartoon brought to life, full of adorable little hand-drawn people and intricately detailed backdrops.
The Messenger by Sabotage – Starting out as an 8-bit styled Ninja Gaiden’y platformer and evolving into a 16-bit styled metroidvania, The Messenger was talk of the town for the week or two after it launched just a few months ago. While I’ve got some complaints about its lack of enemy variety, that’s about all I could say against it. It’s a tightly designed, fast-moving game with a great soundtrack, responsive controls and clever level design that works both as a linear progression for its first half and an explorable space later on.
Crossing Souls by Fourattic – Depending on who you ask, this one is either a good action adventure with great art that leans too hard on its 80s nostalgia trappings, or a confused, messy design that gets completely lost in its faux-nostalgic stylings. John reckons it’s the latter in his review here. I’ve got no opinion as I’ve not tried it myself, but this seems the most divisive game of the lot – some get along great with it while others bounce off. As it’s potentially free and bundled in with everything else here, there’s no reason to not try it and find where you land.
Strafe by Pixel Titans – While the likes of Dusk and Overload are the new kings of the retro FPS scene, Strafe isn’t a half bad bit of 90s styled shooting. Rough at launch, an overhaul called the Millennium update plus a bundle of smaller tweaks have refined the Quake-style roguelike into something better. You’ll still be mostly using your primary weapon for any given playthrough, but you’ll be building up a familiar arsenal of expendable, heavier weapons to switch through as you like. Uncompromisingly tough, but with a lot of unlockables and secrets for those who dive deep.
The Devolver Digital Holiday Pack is available on the Twitch Prime page here, and you’ll need the Twitch Desktop App to install them. Once you’ve grabbed the bundle, even if you cancel your subscription or the trial expires, the games are yours to keep.