New Indie Royale Bundle: Hammerheading Off The Competition
In a gaming world inundated with major studio releases, downloadable content, and mindless, albeit enjoyable, flash games, isn't it nice when a group jumps out at you and gives you something new--something exciting?
With their new Hammerhead Bundle, Indie Royale provides both the casual and the most die-hard gamers with an exciting and unique breadth of games from some of the most promising Indie developers on the market. Whether you find yourself journeying through a post-humanity dystopia, battling fellow gamers in a far-off world created solely for mass clan warfare, or maneuvering through treacherous terrains in the most badass of combat vehicles, the games of the Hammerhead bundle do not disappoint on potential thrills.
That being said, it's still important to know what you're getting into with this purchase. So...
At its essence, Primordia is an adventure game enlivened with a flare for the philosophical. Set in a dystopian future devoid of humans and inhabited solely by machines, the game follows the story of a robot named Horatio Nullbuilt and his sassy companion Crispin as they attempt to repair their broken spaceship. Plot aside, the character interactions are well-scripted, the voice acting is top-notch, and, perhaps most noticeably, the art style is evocative and novel (or maybe even graphic novel, if you will). As thought-provoking as it is heartfelt, Primordia mixes the dark cleverness of Philip K. Dick with the subtle flair of Alan Moore, and the end result is a game that keeps you guessing until the end, and maybe even a bit after that, too.
Pressure is a hard game to pin down; it's part arcade racing game, part shoot 'em up extravaganza, part comical escapism. The game's steam-punk world pits you, a mild-mannered character named Morgan, against the nefarious Count Soap II (frightening, I know). The evil count has stolen the water from a river you own in order to power his "uber spa" in the North, and you don't like that one bit. So, in order to retrieve his stolen property--and to have a few laughs along the way--Morgan embarks on an expedition across 30 levels where he must race through checkpoints, shoot down fellow drivers, and maintain the pressure gauge in his vehicle all in the name of vengeance. Oh, and did I mention a online multiplayer mode that's ripe with the potential for comedy? Yeah, there's that too.
Combining the best elements of two of the most beloved genres in the business--FPSs and MMOs--Dark Vale Games' newest creation, Forge, provides a marvelous new gameplay unlike anything I've ever played. After an unseen villain ambiguously called The Devourer consumes an entire group of gods, the trapped deities summon up a new world they call Forge to act as an arena in which hordes upon hordes of heroes battle for the right to resurrect their chosen god. In a twist on games with similar gameplay, however, the only way a warrior can gain strength they need to reincarnate their patron god is to kill, er, "sacrifice" weaker warriors. This gameplay dynamic lends itself to the sort of unofficial tagline of the game: "Every kill is a sacrifice, and every sacrifice brings you one step closer to freedom." This class based action title is a riveting, epic experience that meets the wants and needs of gamers who love both genres that it borrows so heavily from.
Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage
For fans of franchises like Need For Speed and Twisted Metal, this is the game for you! Mix beautifully rendered super-realistic graphics with weapons, upgrades, and, as the game's title suggests, carnage, and you get this gem of a racing game. With a slew of vehicles, tracks, on-track bonuses, and upgrades to choose from, players can make their way through the game a number of ways, each of which provides them with hours of fun. On top of maintaining your car and successfully outgunning your opponents on the track, you must also meticulously manage your money in order to increase the likelihood of your victory. Though GGCC's presence in the bundle does create a repetition of game types among the 5 included titles, the disparate styles of this game and the previously mentioned Pressure are so far apart that each is well worth a run through. In short, you'd be a fool to miss out on either.
This title is what some might call the "black sheep" of the bundle. To those people, however, I say it is the diamond in the rough. It is simplistic, subtle, and altogether rousing stuff. The game follows the story of two convicted criminals as they build a friendship from the confines of their cells. The gameplay is not too complex, nor is it particularly novel; however, the story more than makes up for this. The sheer tragedy of Richard & Alice is heart-wrenching drama played out in a 2D format. I won't give any spoilers, but the end...wow. The end!
Now, if all of these games don't sound enough to pull you in, there's another great facet about The Hammerhead bundle that should be enough to put you over the edge.
While all of these games sold separately might set you back around $60-70, when bought through Indie Royale, the bundle is purchased on what I call a current minimum system. To clarify, the bundle is less expensive the sooner you pre-order it, but the general asking price can be swayed by shifts in the average minimum price suggested. As of this posting, the current minimum is around $5, with the average around $20. Compare a range of $60-70, to the range of $5-20. I'm not saying that the Hammerhead Bundle is quite as monumental as, say, Valve's Orange Box, but how could anyone resist that deal?