Anyone remotely into gaming and with regular internet access must have heard of the Humble Bundle by now. This revolutionary sales tactic has blown open the world of PC gaming and has shown console marketplaces the future of gaming retail. But, most importantly, it has done more for the indie game scene than anything previously created. Leaving behind the non-indie bundles and games, this is a list of the greatest games featured in a Humble Bundle. Only games included in the Indie Humble Bundle were included on this list (i.e. no Humble Weekly Deals).
Jamestown is a tagalong indie game that buyers get because they like something else in their bundle. But, like other tagalongs Closure, And Yet It Moves, and Snapshot, Jamestown delivers an amazing indie experience that can surprisingly suck you in. The progenitors of the Humble Bundles not only deliver indie games for cheap, they deliver outstanding indie games… for cheap. Jamestown is an incredibly underrated game that gained extra exposure thanks to the Humble Indie Bundle 4.
Not in an Humble Indie Bundle, Canabalt was featured in one of the six Humble Android Bundles that have been released. Canabalt is considered one of the forerunners (pun intended) of the endless running genre that spawned Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run. Canabalt is the simplest of games but has enough playability to suck you in for weeks at a time. The design is minimalist and perfect for fans of the indie scene. It was released early on in the history of the Humble Bundle, so a lot of gamers missed out. Nevertheless, it stands out as one of the best early inclusions in the series.
Easily, one of the simplest games made in years. Yet, Super Hexagon is addictive as all hell. With playthroughs that can last no longer than three seconds at their shortest and no longer than 30 seconds for even the best players, Hexagon gives the best short burst of gaming that pennies can buy. The gameplay is simple and challenging, while the music and graphics are entrancing. Not only is Super Hexagon a great PC game, it’s perfect for tablets and Android phones. It is a steal in any bundle.
The crew from Cipher Prime combined real science with puzzle-solving gameplay to create a breath of the freshest air. Not only is Splice a fantastic PC game, it works just as well on a tablet. Splice provides hours of challenging puzzles while not lowering itself to the lowest common denominator (unlike the endless barrage of free-to-play games that litter the tablet landscape). Splice is a minimalistic hallmark that elevates indie gaming beyond just kid games.
Despite being a small blip on the video game box office charts, Hotline: Miami has opened the doorway to a world of even more challenging games. And, it successfully does so with an engagingly dark story, intense gameplay, and shockingly simple graphics. While Hotline: Miami just broke the surface of the indie game scene, we see the sequels as a new burgeoning series bound to change the world (for better or worse).
From the minds of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, Super Meat Boy is an adorably gory little game that challenges players with precise gameplay and a wide array of traps. Super Meat Boy places like a devil worshipper’s interpretation of Super Mario. Team Meat delivers a gross-out experience presented with a candy-coated shell. Kind of like how M&Ms asks humans to eat their living spokes-candies, Red and Yellow. It should be disturbing, but for some reason it works. Super Meat Boy is a tremendous achievement in gameplay and design; it is the perfect coverboy for the indie movement and the face of the Humble Bundle movement.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Masterpiece. Superbrothers is an unabashed masterpiece. Melding pixels and music, Superbrothers is easily of the best indie games of all time. Sure, Superbrothers is a bit shorter than some of the other games on this list. That’s fine, because it delivers such a unique and amazing experience that very few games can rival.
Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
While not a game, Indie Game: The Movie delivers one of the best documentaries in recent memory. Sitting next to King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Indie Game: The Movie is the queen of all video game documentaries. In fact, these movies are better than any fiction-based gaming movies ever made (take that Chris Klein!). Indie Game: The Movie opens the curtain behind indie game development, bringing to light the up and downs of indie hits Fez, Super Meat Boy, and Braid. This movie is a must see for any true gamer and movie aficionado.
LIMBO is not a game that has much replay value but the initial experience is transcendent. Playing as a dark little boy exploring life in-between heaven and hell, LIMBO delivers an indie tour de force in an easily accessible package. LIMBO is the epitome of the best that Humble has to offer.
Perhaps the best reviewed indie game of a generation, Braid transformed an industry and brought indie games to the masses. All it took was clever gameplay, simple but charming graphics, and a story a bit too dense to be deciphered. Braid blew the doors off of the Xbox 360 and then invigorated the Humble Bundle sales model by its inclusion in the second ever Humble Bundle. Braid was a trailblazing game that has earned it’s place in the Mount Rushmore of indie games.
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