It's hard for me to gripe about a "pay what you want" game package, but I kinda feel like Blendo is playing fast & loose with what constitutes a game here.

The premium title of the bundle (the one you have to beat the average donation to get) is Thirty Flights of Loving. Now, I went into this knowing it wasn't a game, so much as it was an "artfully told story." Mm-hm. Nope. Nope, it's just that between the story and the gameplay, the story *almost* exists and the gameplay does not at all. If you'd like a story-told-in-game-format, I'd like to recommend To The Moon, Portal 2, Final Fantasy 6, Myst... gee, it's almost like we had the story-told-as-game thing down for a couple decades before this was released, isn't it?

Next up, Air Forte. This is actually a kids' game. Seeing this lined up next to Flotilla, I thought I'd be in for an aerial combat romp. Nope, I'm in for practicing my basic multiplication and geography skills. Now, I'm not meaning to complain about kids games or edutainment, but there's a context here that's simply being ignored. When I was very young, I found a copy of "Tax Planner" sitting in the games caddy for the family's Atari 2600. I *thought* was in for a sim game. To my credit, I only "played" it for about fifteen minutes before I realized I was trying to beat a utility program. This time around, it only took me a minute and a half to figure out that characters asking me to find their "multiples of 2" was not some cutesy way of telling me their twin siblings had been kidnapped. So personal growth +1, videogame funtimes - 100.

Atom Zombie Smasher is a reasonably interesting idea. Now that I'm out of nice things to say I'll proceed with the review. In software development, we have a mantra: "What is the dumbest thing that could possibly X", where X is either "work", "be recognized as a feature", or something similar. It's basically how we decide where to draw milestones and how to divide work into manageable chunks. Atom Zombie Smasher feels like someone reached the Dumbest Thing that could Possibly Be a Zombie Game, then published it. It's playable. There's even a little bit of strategy involved. But it feels like this one got published long before it got polished. Most of your flash games on Kongregate (Rebuild comes to mind) will outpace this for depth, easily.

I'd love to review Flotilla for you. I really would. But I can't get the damn thing to run on my system. I've followed all of the three-year-old troubleshooting tips, uninstalled, reinstalled, did the usual Windows mamba. It simply does not run. Perhaps not surprising; there are no maintenance patches newer than 2010.

So, there you have it. One story that would fit on a pamphlet, one "game" for your eight-year-old nephew, one zombie game released before its prime, and one thing that purports to be a game but is actually a shrug and a fart noise. Honestly, I can't recommend the Humble Bundle purchase even at name-your-own prices. If you're really curious about one or two of these, go for it - it's not your dollar, but your gaming hour that I'm afraid will be wasted.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/10/2013 at 04:30am


Travis   Admin wrote on 04/10/2013 at 01:34pm

So what's the bottom line Capn? Should we buy this one? :D

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/10/2013 at 02:12pm

This weeks Bundle is interesting for sure. I decided to skip it because it didn't look interesting to me and now because of Cap's review.

The Humble Bundle is now moving to selling all the time. So they go from weekly bundles -> bundles -> weekly bundles now. When it was spread over months you could always count on something being awesome in a bundle. I think that's mostly true now anyway but not always.

Like Cap, I look forward to the next bundle with some text file choose your own adventure stories and some Microsoft Paint bitmaps and directions on how to program in C. /rimshot

Too soon? :D

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/10/2013 at 02:12pm

PS I love everyone.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/10/2013 at 02:13pm

Except the Spider Planet in FTL.

BR   Supporter wrote on 04/11/2013 at 04:25pm

I personally really enjoyed atom zombie smasher. It could be a flash, I'll give you that, but that doesn't mean its not fun. Specially if you are only paying $1 for it. Not saying you should only pay $1 but its your choice if you want to pay more. I personally payed, I think, around $5 for it when it was on a Steam sale and I think it was worth it.

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