The Humble Botanicula Debut and Be Mine 2

The latest Humble Bundle is now out, with games available on a pay what you want scheme with money split between developers, charity, or the Humble Bundle.  The charity this time is the World Land Trust, an international conservation charity.  It seems that the Humble Bundle have changed their terms slightly this time, with Steam keys only available to those who have paid at least $5.

There’s a point and click theme to the games in the bundle this time with Botanicula, Machinarium and Samorost 2 from Amanita Design.  For those paying more than the average price, there’s also Biograf’s full length feature film Kooky and Vector Park’s Windosill to check out.. and soundtracks are included with Botanicula, Machinarium and Samorost 2!


Coal Collector!

The Great Gift Pile objectives are turning out to be a mix of quick and easy tasks and longer, more difficult challenges..

Atom Zombie Smasher: KringleJammer was fairly easy to get, as was the Rock of Ages: Snowball War.  Audiosurf: Candy Stripe required only the collection of red and white blocks in a line, but it took me a while to find something on my PC that played at the right pace to generate the blocks I wanted.  “Still Alive” was giving me blue blocks, so wouldn’t do for this!

Beat Hazard: Survive Christmas 10 required me to survive for 10 minutes.. and it took far longer than that!  After several attempts of under five minutes each, I realised I had unlocked some perks which might help: the Ultra DLC added Micro Missiles and a Reflect Shield which just about let me last long enough to complete the objective.

A harder achievement was the deliberate loss of a game in Fate of the World, where instead of trying to save the world, I led it towards global thermonuclear war and the Let it Glow achievement!  After a few attempts I ended up consulting the internet for tips on how to get the ‘right’ ending.. it turned out to be a rather tight list of instructions while hoping for the right random numbers to be generated each turn.  I think actually winning this game, as opposed to playing for an achievement, will be next to impossible as all territories seem to get annoyed with you very quickly! 😀

For another deliberate loss, I also tried to nuke Santa in DEFCON.. but found his movements too unpredictable, the AI too eager to react, and my supply of nukes too low for me to get him.  I quickly got bored of this, so I checked out the tips on the net again, and reduced the number of cities to 5 per territory, but then found the game crashing almost as soon as I launched a nuke!  Something to do with the latest update and Windows 7 🙁

Another not-quite-game objective was Winter Assault.. survive a 30 minute match on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution, on one of the winter maps.  Four of us joined the game, with one going AFK immediately.. only interested in the achievement itself.. but three of us met in the middle to trade blows until we’d met our time requirement!  I wished for more Great Unclean Ones, but settled for a squad of Chaos Dreadnoughts instead 😀

With the completion of all these objectives, I’m collecting lots of coal along with vouchers which probably won’t get used.. two are for Valve.. I already own all their games, as do all my gaming friends.  Although, if anyone does want them.. 🙂

I did win one game via the giveaway.. Silent Dreams’ Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes, a fantasy role-playing game with strategic combat and a sense of humour.  The games in this giveaway are provided as a token, which can be added to your own inventory or traded.. so if you already own the game you win, you can give it away or trade it for something else.

A friend bought me Space Pirates and Zombies by Minmax Games, which I tried briefly last night.  After stumbling through the first couple of missions, I decided I need to be somewhat alert to play! 🙂

The Steam sales are ongoing, and I also picked up ACE Team‘s rather Monty Python-esque Rock of Ages, mentioned earlier, and Croteam‘s Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, and Serious Sam 3: BFE, with the first two games below £2 each, and Serious Sam 3 at a reasonable price, considering I wanted a copy for me and a copy for Tim.

Other women spend their money on shoes: I spend my money on games! 🙂

i40, a little bit late

This post was supposed to make an appearance one week ago, after returning from i40.
However, we still have no internet at home (it’s coming up on four weeks now), and some personal stuff too which meant I wanted to spend the week curled in a small ball, not interacting with anything.

Enough of that, though – i40!

We arrived just before the rain.. a fantastic start to a weekend where the sleeping is mostly done outside 😉

That wasn’t the end of the ‘fantastic start’, however, as we were then excluded from taking our machines in till way after 6pm because the temporary structure wasn’t ready.. and then when we were finally able to get in, there was no internet.  With no internet, there was also no Steam..

The first game played, then, was Warcraft III, as it was one of the few games available which didn’t need an internet connection or updates.

In amongst those games was a go at the “Run, Kitty, Run” map: you have to run along a spiral path to the centre, avoiding the ‘dogs’ which kill you on touch.  It gets harder as you progress, as the paths are narrower, until there’s barely room to get past.. for the first time in many, many attempts, we actually managed to get to the end, where it seems the reward for success is.. to start again with even more dogs on the paths!

I was also introduced to Beat Hazard, thanks to another friend.  This takes any music track you own and turns it into a simple space shooter, very like Geometry Wars.. and it makes very bright, pretty colours.. *gazes*

You start off with space-trash to shoot, but as the track progresses you face stronger enemies which shoot back.  Fortunately, you collect power-ups as you go, which makes your weapons a little more useful.. as well as more colourful.. and there are also power-ups which increase the volume of the track too.

It’s another ‘unblinking’ game which probably shouldn’t be played in a dark room at LAN 😉

After playing this, Audiosurf made another appearance, and with it, a little competition going on in terms of the scoreboard.

Minecraft became a slight obsession for one friend..  this is a 3D sandbox crafting game, with a variety of types of block: wood, coal, etc, and strange blocky life-forms, the most interesting being zombies!  I had a brief go at the game a while back, but after spending two day cycles building, and two night cycles hiding in my buildings from the zombies, I then found my trial of the game didn’t have zombies.. durrrp!
It was admittedly quite fun watching huge piles of TNT go up, though, especially when it resulted in framerates of 1 or 2, or crashed the PC :3

In the run-up to i40, we picked up Borderlands, thanks to another Steam offer.  Oh, Steam.. what would I do with all my money if not for you?

Borderlands has 4 player co-op, which is great as I do like playing with friends.. but I have to say that I found myself confused by the weapons, as per usual in this type of game.   Having to pick up ammo for the weapon I was using, while leaving other ammo for my team just added another layer of trouble.. if I don’t know the guns, I’m really not going to know what ammo they use.

Despite this, I love the game, though I want to complete the game in single-player so I know what I’m doing, and don’t feel like I’m holding my friends back next time.

We also got a couple of games of Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising in.. trying out the Free-For-All mode which I really enjoyed, especially with high resources allowing me to just pump out units.  I think I’m improving on my tactics now, using the Techmarine to fit with my defensive playstyle.  FFA made a nice change, but I think co-op is still going to remain my favourite.

The last night of i40 turned into an all-nighter, with a foxy puppet, fits of giggles, a brief foray onto the rather disappointing Omegle, and later fits of shivers.. the temporary structure really wasn’t draught-proof and by 4am I was glad of fleecy blankets and two friends to hide between for warmth.  Next time I think I’ll be voting for a warmer and quieter hall, maybe in with the WoW players.. lalala 😉

LAN wouldn’t be LAN without a massive TF2 battle between CantFitMyN and Crazy/Inv, and so on the last morning we duly had our game, though there was no victory for CFMN this time.  Next time, maybe! 🙂