Check out my review of Humble Mobile Bundle 2!

Humble Bundle is at it again with a total of nine Android games — four for any price and five more if you beat the average price, which was $5.31 at the time of posting.  This bundle is already a week old, so you’ll have to act quickly.  Maybe you’re travelling for Thanksgiving and need something to pass the time.  Maybe you hoard games like me.  Either way, if you have a capable Android device, I highly recommend these bundles as there’s usually at least one worth the price (which you set in the first place!).  Overall, this bundle has at least four games worth a look.

All of these have been played on my Asus Transformer T300 with Android 4.2.1.

Robots, space, swords, fishing ... this one spans it all
Robots, space, swords, fishing … this one has it all

Epoch

Gears of War minus all the good stuff

Epoch, at its core, is a cover shooter.  You’ve probably at least heard of Gears of War which, to me, is the standout game when it comes to cover shooters.  The actual movements between cover points isn’t what makes Gears fun — it’s the ultra-violence and chainsaw guns.

While Epoch isn’t quite as brown as Gears, it’s still very bland.  Graphically, it just isn’t there.  The attempt at HD/realism falls short, as it often does with mobile games.  There are also noticeable glitches right off the rip — the first enemy you see has a gatling gun that both doesn’t spin and only shoots out of one barrel.

There is a campaign with credits and upgrades, but I’d steer clear of this one.

rymdkapsel

rim-de-capsule? rhymed-cap-sell? However you say it, it’s fun

However-the-hell-you-say-that is a base-building strategy game.  The small white lines are your minions who help you build your Tetris-shaped base.  There are a few different types of stations across the top of the screen, each needing some of three different resources to build.  It’s very minimalistic and rather slow, but strangely calming.  Watching your little lines scurry along, bringing triangles and squares to their drop-off points is surprisingly fun.

The explorable space is very large and will definitely take some planning to reach deeply into.  One of the first missions in the main menu is “research all monoliths in less than 45 minutes”, which leads me to believe these levels can get very long.  rymdkapsel makes the bundle worth it on a cost vs. time scale alone.

SpellTower

Inverse Tetris with letters

SpellTower tasks you with something simple — swipe adjacent letters to create words.  Simple and fun.  Depending on the word length, you may clear more letters than you used in the first place.  It’s a fun little brain teaser, for sure.  Puzzle mode adds a row every time you spell a letter and is game over when a column hits the top, while rush mode adds new rows over time.

This is definitely one to pick up if you’re a fan of word games and/or crossword puzzles.

Swordigo

SNES Zelda with Gamecube graphics

Swordigo is an action platformer that is obviously inspired heavily by The Legend of Zelda.  You’ve got a hero in a green tunic, hearts to show health, gems for currency, and a sword.  While the story is a bit lacking — you are a nameless hero who must save the world from the return of the evil Corruptors — Swordigo is pretty fun.  The platforming elements are fun and aren’t frustratingly difficult.  Leveling up gives you an option to upgrade your health, attack, or magic.  Naturally, there are chests to find and puzzles to solve.

At first, the graphics we’re a bit off-putting, but after playing for about 15 minutes I grew to really like them.  I’d recommend Swordigo for sure.

Ridiculous Fishing

A man, a boat, and a gun. Isn’t this how Bioshock starts?

Ridiculous Fishing, finally available on Android after it’s start on iOS, is the standout game of the bundle for me.  Billy is a simple man that loves to fish.  You cast your line into the sea, avoiding fish on the way down for as long as you can.  Once you hit a fish, you start reeling back up and snag all the fish you can (both of these are done by tilting).  Once you reel the fish to the surface, you store them to sell to the market — JUST KIDDING.  They fly into the air and you blast the hell out of them with your shotgun or akimbo uzis.

I don’t know who is paying you for this torrent of fish guts, but with that money you can upgrade all manner of things from your fishing reel to your gun and various tech upgrades, like a chainsaw lure that lets you drill through fish on the way down.  The graphics are perfect for a simple game like this as is the chiptune music.  There is even some humor with Byrdr, the in-game Twitter with Billy and his fake friends.  Ridiculous Fishing is my new go-to game when I need something to play quick.

Kingdom Rush

Cartoon-ish tower defense with outside abilities? Count me in!

Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game that puts some unique twists on the genre.  I immediately noticed there is no fast forward button, which was only a detriment until I got past the third wave of the first stage and noticed I’d never need it anyway.  There are a few towers you’ve seen before — ranged, area of effect — but also one that spits out soldiers to physically block the attacking wave’s way.  Another thing you’ll notice right away is that towers can only be placed at pre-defined locations.  This ramps the strategy up to 11 as you can’t just fit towers wherever you please.

There are a few other ways to defend the realm aside from your towers.  Stars earned for level completion can be turned in for passive upgrades, such as increased tower range or money earned.  In the bottom left, you have a few cooldown abilities like summoning extra soldiers and raining down fire.  In the bottom right, you can choose from an inventory of consumables ranging from freezing potions to dynamite.  There are also hero units, which I haven’t unlocked yet.  All of these gameplay elements mixed with the cute, comic book “pow” and “boom” battle text make Kingdom Rush a must-play.

Hundreds

A clever way to inflict Just-One-More Syndrome

I’ve always thought a good characteristic for a game is how badly you want to improve upon your previous finish, how much do you want to hit “retry” instead of “continue” because you know you can shave off 0.25 seconds from your previous low time, how much you want to try just one more time.  Hundreds engages that in a big way.  All you have to do is hold the circles on the screen until they sum to 100, growing in size as they grow in value.  If a held circle touches anything while it’s growing, it’s game over.  Non-held circles bounce off everything including each other.

It’s always the simple things that get you in Hundreds.  Maybe you try bringing two circles into the 20s instead one into the 40s because it’s too big to get anything else done.  Maybe you do the linked circles last because they cause too much havoc when they rotate.  Each level keeps your best time, just in case you want to try beating it.  Hundreds is addictive as all get-out.

Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor

If you can get over being a spider, this one’s fun

I almost didn’t play this one because I flat out hate seeing bugs up close.  Pictures in science textbooks in high school freaked me out.  But I’m glad I gave Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor a shot.  You control a spider at the aforementioned Bryce Manor trying to figure out who used to live here and where they’ve gone to.  Touching the screen causes your little guy to scurry in that direction, while swiping causes him to jump in an arc.  You can create webs which will trap bugs it comes into contact with, giving you bonus points and more silk to create more webs.

Spider is absolutely stunning.  Each level is drawn by hand and it shows beautifully.  I haven’t gotten into actually figuring out what’s going on at the manor, but the gameplay itself is enough to grab my attention.

Desert Bus

If you have eight hours and literally NOTING else to do, still don’t play this

Desert Bus is a recreation of the minigame originally found in Penn and Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors.  It is the absolute pinnacle of realism — you are tasked with driving a bus 360 miles from Tucson to Las Vegas.  The game takes roughly eight hours to complete, i.e. the real drive time, but there’s no saving or resting.  If the bus goes off the road, you are towed back to Tucson and have to start again.

I can’t imagine a situation where I would actually want to play this game.  Buying the game from the Play Store gives all proceeds directly to Child’s Play, which a portion of all Humble Bundle sales already do.  Don’t even boot this game up.  Hell, don’t bother installing it.

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