Space Hulk Ascension.
I was willing to look past the clunky feel and the somewhat frustrating UI. I was open to accepting that because this is Warhammer 40k XCOM and that’s my wet dream. But then I saw this.
I have a thing about DLC, it’s called standards. If you’re CD Projekt Red and you make entirely new games and call them DLC then you’re blowing my standards away and I’m happily paying full price. If you’re Full Control Studios then I think you’re scum. $31.96 USD of DLC with cosmetic successor chapters and three entirely new campaigns. I expect this kind of nonsense from Sega after they carved Total War Warhammer into tiny, $14.99 sized pieces. Bear in mind that $30 is on top of the $30 you’re paying for the base game if you’re not getting it in this bundle.
Conclusion: Warhammer 40k XCOM that feels clunky and kind of average, worth the dollar you pay for the first tier and no more. Honestly would advise ensuring your payment goes entirely to Humble Bundle and charity, not the devs just because of this. 4/10
Sins of a Solar Empire
Right off the bat, I’m knocking a point off for the nonsense registration I had to go through. Another point off for the absurdly cluttered UI. Despite these two glaring issues I’ve found myself warming to Sins. At first, one might be prepared to say ‘Well this is just Star Wars Empire at War but with extra steps’ and well, you’d be right. Not that the comparison is any way insulting or detrimental to Sins, indeed it’s a compliment. I’ll admit it made me want to go play that Star Wars classic but once those feelings subsided and I let myself be immersed in the oddly relaxing flow of things I enjoyed it.
In all honesty, to me, it’s an 8/10 and that’s only a reasonably short impression given time constraints but I am a man of my word so it’s dropped to 6/10.
Planetary Annihilation Titans
I promise I’ll do my best to forget the past scummy practices of the developers and just enjoy this. First off let me state that nothing feels quite as satisfying as sending a small moon careening into another planet. As the game, itself says “There’s no anti-asteroid.” Silliness aside Titans is essentially Supreme Commander only on a larger scale, you’re fighting for a solar system not a single region of a planet. Some could call this a spiritual successor, I call it a rip-off but it’s still a fun one at that. For the average price (at the time of writing) of $6.68 plus what you’re already getting, this is a fair deal for a fun game. It’s worth mentioning that there’s an abundance of mods available currently so that’s another attraction.
I’d give this a 6/10 it’s good, but it’s not in any way original or particularly inspired which for me is a bit of a turn-off. As much as I loved Supreme Commander if I wanted to play it I’d well, play it.
Galactic Civilizations II/III
Galactic Civilisations III is II but better in every way and II might as well not even be in this bundle. Oh and I think the first ones free but it doesn’t count either.
If Civilisation: Beyond Earth, Sim City and a real-life micromanagement job had a baby it would be Galactic Civilizations III. Let me be very clear here if you enjoy any of the things listed above you will adore this game, if not well… you’ll probably give up in five minutes because you feel hopelessly lost in the tutorial. The game somehow manages to both hold your hand and throw you in the deep end at the same time, being simple and incredibly complex at once. Ultimately it satisfies that niche market seeking intricate and complex space strategy games but leaves most other players scratching their heads. Galactic Civilisations nails what it does well but really does so at the expense of appealing to a wider audience. 8/10
Offworld Trading Company
Point for having steam workshop integrated. Honestly out of all of these, Offworld Trading Company has to be my favourite. Like Sins of a Solar Empire, it’s easy to learn but hard to master. Requiring pre-planning and tact. Your ultimate goal (at least for the missions I played) is to subjugate your competition in the wonderful world of intergalactic business. It’s rather amusing that the trailer at the start speaks of finding a new world for humanity and saving the species from extinction but really the same old practices are in place and only the setting has changed. It’s rather straightforward but if you’re not thinking a few steps ahead then you’re likely to find yourself having botched everything and having a harder time of it. The game actively rewards this insight and planning with production bonuses when buildings of the same type are next to each other. Ah good old adjacency bonuses, another thing in this bundle that’s been pulled from early 2000s strategy games.
At its core, Offworld Trading Company is a cute, quaint business sim like Galactic Civilization it fits into a niche market quite well but will disappoint those looking for action or a major story focus. 8/10
On the whole, for $15 I’d say this is absolutely worth it. Obviously, this is a bundle aimed at those of us who enjoy strategy over action and story and if that’s not you then sorry you sat through this. You’re getting four really good games for what? $3.75 each. That’s the price of a cup of coffee for a game you’ll sink two or twenty or even two hundred hours into. Seems like value for money to me.