Remember those early days of Humble Bundles? When every newly-announced deal felt so essential, and literally millions of dollars would be raised for charity each time? It still happens occasionally, like last year’s Stand With Ukraine bundle that raised an incredible $US20 million ($AU28.7 million) for charities working in the country, but over the decade the thrill has certainly worn off. But seeing one of my favourite developer/publishers, Wadjet Eye Games, having a deal on the site, reminded me of those times.
Wadjet Eye, the New York-based indie publisher and developer that’s mostly made of Dave Gilbert, is responsible for many of the best adventure games in the last sixteen years. From its self-developed projects like the incredible Unavowed and The Blackwell series, to those it’s published like Gemini Rue and Shardlight, the name has generally been a byword for super adventures presented with a ‘90s vibe. As it happens, all of those mentioned games, along with nine more, are included in the bundle, all for $US10 ($AU14.40).
That’s a crazy ol’ bargain, and if you’ve wandered away from point-and-click adventures in recent years, it’s an excellent way back in. You wouldn’t believe what good stuff there is to find being made in the Adventure Game Studio engine, and Wadjet Eye’s are generally the best of them. The other games featured are Strangeland, Primordia, Technobabylon, Resonance, all six Blackwell games, and Gilbert’s first game, The Shivah. The chosen charity is JDRF, which raises money for type-1 diabetes research.
It’s interesting, and sad, to note how much of Humble’s sheen has come off, given that despite being live for five days, this bundle has sold just shy of 9,000 copies, with $US11,800 ($AU16,966) raised for JDRF at the time of writing. It’s obviously still great to see that money going somewhere good, but it’s a trickle compared to the company’s previous waterfalls.
Of course, in the years since Humble’s heyday as a bundle seller (the company is owned by IGN now, and is a very successful indie publisher), a fair amount of good faith was lost. A very misguided decision to limit the amount of your chosen payment that could go to charity was announced, backtracked on, then re-instituted anyway.
Thankfully, right now, you can redirect your money where you see fit, albeit with an obligatory 15% going to Humble. (Meanwhile, there’s no minimum amount for developers or good cause — astonishingly you can adjust the sliders to give every penny to Humble, with none going to the people who made the games!) Also, the real selling points of genuine “pay what you want” disappeared a long while back, with minimum costs now often totalling enough that some deals don’t feel like bargains.
Still, this one definitely is! Grab it!
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