For the month of July, we’ve got a real mixed bag from Humble. On the one hand, you’re given rich and deep worlds to explore in games such as Deep Rock Galactic. With revolutionary mechanics and unique gameplay choices that are rarely seen in modern AAA games.
On the other hand, you’ve got Lawn Mowing Simulator, which isn’t exactly a bad game. However, I would have appreciated something like an RPG or action-adventure instead (just my opinion).
If you’re looking for genre diversity, there’s plenty of it in this month’s Humble Choice. Out of the eight games presented, 2 are first-person shooters. The rest are comprised of dungeon crawlers, RPGs, roguelikes, etc.
So, is the Humble Choice July 2022 collection worth it? These are mostly indie games. Some look and play better than big releases from top-tier studios, while others feel janky and unpolished.
Overall, I think you’re getting a pretty solid deal with this month’s Humble Choice. Even if there isn’t a single $60 AAA game in here like we’ve seen in previous Humble Choice releases. If we add up the retail prices for these eight games, it comes out to a total of US$181, which is $39 less than last month.
Despite this decrease in perceived monetary value, I feel like the quality of actual games provided hasn’t been downgraded. Deep Rock Galactic is the headliner and easily one of the most fun games you’ll ever play with friends. Then, you’ve got underrated gems such as Atom RPG: Trudograd and Necromunda.
Since we’re getting Deep Rock Galactic and Legion TD 2, there is a fair bit of multiplayer/ co-op focus this time. A welcome change in pace compared to recent Humble Choice collections that primarily focused on single-player. This is a bundle you can enjoy with friends, and that adds to the value resulting in an overall rating of 4 out of 5.
Deep Rock Galactic
|Co-op, FPS, Exploration
|My Personal Rating
A little indie game made by some Danish Studio that most people had never heard of prior to 2020. Deep Rock Galactic is a success story that motivates thousands of developers and small studios to keep searching for the next big thing. A revolutionary idea or concept, like trying to capture lightning in a bottle.
Truth be told, the basic gameplay of Deep Rock Galactic isn’t entirely new because we’ve seen it before. This game plays like Team Fortress mixed with Overwatch and Minecraft. Its art design and character models look otherworldly yet cartoonish simultaneously.
You play space dwarves who are harvesting resources on an alien planet for a mining company called Deep Rock Galactic. Your goal is to extract as much material as you can from the planet, with no regard for its ecosystem or well-being. Hidden underneath all the explosive FPS action is a layer of dry humor that mocks corporate greed and endless expansion with no regard for morals.
The world of Deep Rock Galactic is colorful, endlessly fascinating, and dangerous. It’s procedurally generated, so you’ll never run out of caves to explore. Not all missions involve mining since you’ll often be tasked with stealing alien eggs or escorting certain expeditions into unknown territory.
The combat is entirely PvE, so you and your buddies can team up to kill some alien spiders while mining for precious metals along the way. And, of course, there is plenty of gear to unlock in the form of weapons, armor, clothing, etc. You can play dress-up with your space dwarves and turn them into your very own barbie dolls if you want.
Necromunda: Hired Gun
|FPS, Warhammer 40K
|My Personal Rating
The reviews for this game don’t do it justice because there’s way more to Necromunda than meets the eye. Yes, it didn’t have the best of releases- poor balancing choices and bugs made for an underwhelming day one experience. Plus, it feels like the developers failed to capture the essence of Warhammer’s 40K universe and ended up creating yet another generic shooter.
However, there is so much potential to be explored. Many excellent game mechanics are hidden underneath layers of tedium and awkward animations. You’re a mercenary in one of the most crime-infested cities within our galaxy.
Often, you get “job offers” from shady personalities who want you to get rid of someone for them. You’re armed with a reliable gun and a loyal canine companion. The hunt is exhilarating, taking you into the scummiest depths of Necromunda as you chase down slavers and murderers.
The atmosphere fits that of a Warhammer 40K game. And you get to see everything up close in first-person, unlike the strategy games that feel more “detached”. Guns and movement generally work well, but some annoying glitches can ruin your experience.
This game is supposed to play like Apex Legends or Doom Eternal- fast, with a priority on weapon switching and movement. Lots of gore and explosions, combined with nearly endless weapon mods/ customization. Your AI-controlled cybernetic dog is also a pretty interesting addition that turns Necromunda from a simple FPS to a tactical co-op-style shooter.
Legion TD 2- Multiplayer Tower Defense
|Tower Defense, Tactics, Multiplayer
|My Personal Rating
Yay, another tower defense game- we certainly don’t have enough of those (obvious sarcasm). But wait, what if I told you this is the best TD game of them all? Legion TD 2 combines a wide array of upgrades, unit types, and tactical options to create what I consider the most interesting implementation of Tower Defense yet attempted.
Like any other TD game, your goal is to protect a specific friendly unit (in this case, the king) while advancing into the enemy territory and crushing their defenses. Legion TD originally started out as a Warcraft III mod back in the 2000s, alongside DoTA. In terms of popularity, it was 2nd only to DoTA within the Warcraft mod community.
Legion TD 2 is an evolution of the same concept- one that has birthed several modern interpretations like Teamfight Tactics. In Legion TD, you don’t build towers or guns to place in lanes. Instead, you use resources collected from defeating enemies to train your own units.
Stuff gets complicated when you consider the fact that each unit you create will have its own unique spells- much like heroes in a MOBA. Plus, these units do different types of damage. Protection comes in many forms, and the amount of damage your unit takes can vary depending on its armor/ incoming damage type.
Each unit has attributes like health, range, defense type, etc. And you also have to consider that you’re playing against a human opponent (2 v 2, 4 v 4). If you want, you can practice the basics by playing against bots or getting into PvE matches.
Legend of Keepers
|Roguelite, Dungeon Crawler
|My Personal Rating
You’ve probably played plenty of dungeon-crawling RPGs before this one if you’re an old-school gamer who likes the good stuff. Think Diablo, Path of Exile, Baldur’s Gate, etc. Usually, your main character is some kind of hero who goes on an adventure with a group of brave comrades to defeat a great evil at the end.
In pen & paper RPGs, there is a “dungeon master” who comes up with creative scenarios and rules for each instance of the game. Legend of Keepers lets you play as the Dungeon Master rather than the party of heroes. Your goal is to create a dungeon that is impossible to penetrate for any hero.
An organization called the “Dungeons Company” has hired you to protect all their deeply hidden treasures and secrets from wannabe saviors. Before starting each level, you’re given some information on the type of threat you’ll be facing. You’ll select the best combination of monsters and traps based on the invading party to defeat them.
When the heroes come up against your monsters, you enter a turn-based combat sequence in which both sides fling spells at each other. By winning battles, you gain increased respect and status within your company. Eventually, you start climbing ranks and participate in activities such as employee parties (or even strikes).
Lawn Mowing Simulator
|Casual, Landscaping Sim, Realistic
|My Personal Rating
Lawn mowing is something of a chore for people in the real world because it involves lots of repetitive work and time. Plus, the size of your lawn and the type of equipment you have can make a difference in how quickly the job is done. In Lawn Mowing Simulator, you take a deep dive into the world of professional landscaping by managing your very own lawn maintenance service.
Since this is a somewhat realistic simulation of real-life lawn maintenance, you must consider many factors before signing a contract. Lawn size and shape, the height of grass, etc. Are there rocks, trees, and other obstacles in the middle of a lawn?
Selecting the right kind of mower makes all the difference. A walk-behind mower is okay for smaller lawns, but as lawn size increases, you’ll want a riding mower. The riding mower category contains lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers.
Lawn tractors offer a more relaxed mowing experience, like driving a go-kart. Zero-turn mowers are different since they are designed to turn on a dime and maneuver around obstacles for a cleaner finish (meaning you won’t have to use the hedge trimmer as much).
The quicker you finish each job, the more contracts you can take. More contracts result in more money. This lets you hire additional employees, get better equipment, etc.
Banners of Ruin
|Turn-Based, Roguelike Card Battler
|My Personal Rating
A card-based RPG with elements of strategy and dungeon crawling mixed in. It’s a standard fantasy story in which you assemble a team of heroes to take down some ancient evil. The setting is unique in that it doesn’t contain typical fantasy characters like orcs, elves, dwarves, etc.
Or at least not in the way you’d expect them. There are obviously similarities to classic fantasy tropes, but most species in Banners of Ruin are based on anthropomorphic animals. Wolves, bears, rabbits, and more comprise the many races living in the city of Dawn’s Point.
Depending on which races you have in your team, you’ll gain access to unique powers. There can be up to 6 members in your party. And all of them get character-specific quests that reveal their unique stories and motivations for helping you.
Along the way, you’ll unlock new spells (both active as well as passive) along with gear. Choices you make can have lasting consequences, although there’s certainly an element of luck in the game due to its card-based design. Banners of Ruin has plenty of replay value owing to its huge collection of characters, gear, choices, etc.
Yes, Your Grace
|Medieval, Pixel-Art Roleplaying
|My Personal Rating
Interestingly, this game is one of the launch titles for Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X console (it got a PC release simultaneously). However, you wouldn’t realize this fact by looking at the graphics, which seem like something out of the 1980s. And that’s exactly how the creators of this game intended it to be.
Your Grace is a story-focused RPG that uses pixelated artwork and 2D sprites. It is sort of like your own kingdom management simulator in which you play the role of an all-powerful king. Morality is pretty binary in this game, meaning you usually get to make one of two choices regarding important decisions in the narrative.
You can choose to be a benevolent ruler who sympathizes with his subjects and tries to address their concerns. Or you can be a brutal dictator who doesn’t care about the means as long as he achieves his goal. There are also multiple endings depending on the relationships you have with your councilors, family, friends, subjects, etc.
Atom RPG: Trudograd
|Post-Apocalyptic Sandbox RPG
|My Personal Rating
Many hardcore RPG fans complain about the lack of any real choices or significant consequences for their decisions in modern roleplaying games. And while there are more complex RPGs such as Mass Effect, Outer Worlds, etc., they still don’t compare to the depth of old-school cRPGs.
Atom RPG: Trudograd is a throwback to that era. The early RPGs from the 1990s and 2000s didn’t hold your hand or coddle you with easy enemies from the start. No hour-long tutorials with 15 cutscenes and glowing objective indicators on your minimap.
By now, you should have understood that Trudograd is not an easy game. It requires patience and attention to detail. You won’t get any Hollywood-esque action scenes since most of the game is about meeting people and making tough choices to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
Character sheets, stat management, and branching dialogue choices will be your primary focus while playing Atom RPG. There are several unique locations to explore, each filled with both treasure and danger.
Mutated abominations roam the irradiated wastelands, hunting for their next meal. If the animals don’t get you, the scavengers and gang members will.
I feel that this month’s Humble Choice would’ve been even better if we got something slightly more creative/ interesting than Lawn Mower Simulator. Of course, Humble isn’t the sole party responsible for these offers since they function somewhat similarly to Steam sales behind the scenes. Publishers work together with Humble, and maybe the developers of Lawn Mower Simulator were quite excited to get their game out there.
However, don’t think of Lawn Mower Simulator as a bad game. In fact, it can be quite relaxing after a hard day of work. Just sit down on your couch and drive some lawnmowers while taking in the cool evening breeze.
The game is also pretty realistic in its simulation of landscaping practices and equipment. You get everything from lawn tractors to walk-behind mowers and hedge trimmers. Managing your own company and growing revenue is quite fun- similar to Planet Zoo in many ways.
If you’re interested in some old-school RPG action with pixelated artwork, check out Yes, Your Grace. For those who fancy some grimdark sci-fi action, there’s Necromunda- based within the Warhammer 40K universe.