The Humble Indie Bundle: A bundle of such humility, that it ascribes no inherent value to itself.
The fifth incarnation of said bundle has arrived - surfacing from the murky depths like some kind of digital Leviathan - and in its wake, computer gaming enthusiasts have the chance to scoop up eight titles for download, each of which is compatible with PC, Mac, and Linux. From the Humble Indie Bundle site:
Humble Indie Bundle V features eight modern masterpieces and five epic soundtracks. Experience the fear and paranoia of Amnesia: The Dark Descent; the intensity and impact of LIMBO; the zany characters of Psychonauts; and the future-retro, audiovisual concoction of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. Customers who pay more than the average price will receive the exquisitely crafted action-RPG, Bastion, and also the bundle-in-a-bundle bonus games: the time-warping puzzle platformer, Braid; the mercilessly challenging Super Meat Boy; and the intense psychological horror game, Lone Survivor!
More awaits after the jump!
For those that haven't played the games, it appears to be a rather solid lineup. As implied earlier, the Humble Indie Bundle operates on a "pay what you want" system, though there is a minimum donation of $0.01. Your precious, precious dollars will be divided amongst charity, developers, and "humble tip;" how much goes to each party can be adjusted by the donor. Adding a nice little flourish, you can further customize your donation by adjusting how much will go to each charity (Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation), or allocating money to specific game developers (naturally, recipients will be the studios that developed the included games).
Sadly, I haven't played many of the titles - i'll save you the jokes about my computer being a glorified abacus, calculator strapped to a car battery, or modem taped to a mecha-gerbil that has long since died on its wheel - which is a shame, since Amnesia and Bastion have been on my "games to play" list for some time. The two that I once owned, Limbo and Psychonauts, are well worth playing. The former was a brief (very brief), but ultimately enjoyable adventure, particularly if you're some kind of sulking, black-clad death worshipper
like me, with a fondness for puzzle platformers, and enjoy Limbo's moody, monochrome art style.
The latter is where things truly get lovely. While the gameplay of Psychonauts's action/adventure/platformer style is rather elementary, the writing more than justifies the (laughably low) price of admission. For those who have yet to play it, you find yourself in a government-run summer camp for psychics, in which you encounter such things as a telekenetic bear, a roly-poly scamp who believes that squirrels are encouraging him to commit mass murder, and an elderly instructor that can be summoned with the sweet smell of bacon, among others. It's one of the most clever games i've played - each level is based around the subconscious of an individual you encounter - and easily one of the funniest, second only to my personal favorite, Deadly Premonition.
So if you've yet to check out previous iterations of the Humble Indie Bundle, now is a good time to give it a go. Of course, donating a respectable amount (or whatever you decide is fair) is preferable, but if you find yourself utterly devoid of monetary, you can always go with the minimum donation.