The 1990’s were a wonderful thing. They gave us many franchises which are still around today in one form or another. Warcraft. Counter-Strike. Team Fortress. Heroes of Might and Magic. The 3D era of Final Fantasy games. MMOs.
But not everything was worthwhile. The litany of real-time strategy clones trying to cash in on the success of Command & Conquer and Warcraft. The many, many trashy shooters clones that tried to steal Quake’s thunder. (I’m looking at you, TekWar.) And full-motion video games. Oh god, FMV games.
Thankfully, the latest Humble Weekly Bundle has some of the (sort of) better ones.
It’s the Full Motion Video bundle and while it’s not going to win any awards for the sheer volume of games, there are some decent FMV picks. Everyone knows how Humble Bundles work these days, but I’ll break it down tier by tier just for the first-timers.
Tier 1: Pay Whatever You Want
- Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode One
- 7th Guest & 11th Hour Pack
- Tex Murphy Complete Pack
- Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure
Missing is making it’s DRM-free debut, but not having played it I can’t make any comment on its quality or worthiness. The other three packages make this bundle worth looking at and it might be worthwhile buying into the FMV pack just for these three alone.
The 7th Guest/11th Hour games service a very different crowd from the Tex Murphy series, though. Tex Murphy trades on the performances and goofy humour of the cast — and the Kickstarter-funded Tesla Effect follows suit in this regard — whereas the Henry Stauf games are more about solving riddles and little puzzles alone as you piece together what took place in the toy maker’s haunted mansion.
I grew up playing Myst and Riven with my Mum, and Zork Nemesis remains one of my favourite point-and-click adventures of all time, so for me the value here lies in Trilobyte’s offerings. But I know there are plenty of Tex Murphy fans out there. I’m on the record saying Tesla Effect is a pretty ordinary game, but you can have some laughs with it — mostly at the game’s expense — and you’re paying bugger all to get it, at the end of the day.
Tier 2: Pay $7.15 or more to unlock
- Her Story
Her Story is obviously the stand-out performer here, although the search string, librarian-esque style of gameplay might not be to everyone’s liking. Roundabout is a new game where you drive a limousine that, for whatever reason, is constantly spinning around. It looks a bit like a top-down arcade game with FMV sequences; the trailer below will give you an idea of what I’m getting at. It looks fairly odd.
The credits of the trailer promises “open world puzzle traversal action”, customisable hats, an “official eSports Speedrun Mode”, Big Head Mode, gameplay that’s “fully GFB certified” and other referential nonsense. It could be fun for a laugh, but it also says to me that Roundabout is the game here with the most risk (risk gauged in terms of “will this be worth my time”).
A lot of people will have picked up Her Story during the recent Winter sale on Steam, but if you haven’t now is a good time to get it. You’re not really getting a discount buying it through the Bundle though, but you may as well pick it up this way and get extras rather than just buying directly through Steam.
It’s nice to see Night Dive touching up some of the old FMV games, though. Personally, I’d really love it if they could redo something like The Ripper or The Daedalus Encounter. Hell, I’d even be happy with Johnny Mnemonic, the hilarious rubbish that it was.
What FMV games do you remember fondly from the 1990’s — and what do you think of Humble’s bundle?