Oct 192011

If you follow linuxaria you know that some days ago we had a contest and the first prize was the last Humble Indie Bundle, the winner has been Geor Pribil, that has been so kind to write a review of the games, these are his opinions after some “testing” :

First of all, the Installation:

Using Steam and/or Desura, it’s quite simple. Just add the code, and download the games. If you are using Desura for Linux, you’ll have to join the Desura group on Desura (yep, its strange, i know), and you need to be accepted  that takes about 1 1/2 days, after that you can add the games, but for Frozen Synapse, you’ll have to pick the HIB version, or it will charge you for the game.

If manually downloaded, the games install more or less fine:

Frozen Synapse has a universal .bin installer, which installs it very well on all Distributions, if you have the prerequisites met. Also has a very nice Soundtrack that you can download.

Space Chem comes with a 32 bit .deb File, a .sh script to turn it into a 64 bit deb file, and that’s about it. If you are using an RPM packet manager, you’ll have to use Alien to convert it. To be honest, I didn’t test it on Arch (didn’t have the time to set that up right), so I don’t know on how-to get it installed via Pacman. You can also extract the deb and use mono to run the exe that’s inside. Again, the soundtrack is downloadable as well.
Which leaves us with Trauma. Trauma has a 32 bit RPM file or a .tar.gz file, which makes it pretty easy to use under every distribution. just Install the game if you have an RPM manager, or open the folder and run the executable.

Personally, I prefer using Desura, as it keeps it simple & the same through all my distributions.

To the games:

If no one minds, I’ll start with Frozen Synapse. This game is unique in most aspects, a very tactical, turn based strategy game… this would be the most fitting genre I can think of at the moment.
You have a bunch of soldiers (from shotgun over to rifle men, grenade launcher & rocket launcher guys, to snipers), and you have certain goals. The enemy has a bunch of soldiers as well (would be boring if not).
Nothing new up to this point, but here’s the thing that makes the game unique:
You do NOT see how the enemy plans his moves, you’ll have to think through every thing the enemy COULD do, to react to it. As soon as you leave planning phase, you can NOT change what your units will do.
Which leaves it as a “think about freaking everything before you do something” game. Quite unique, and if you have enough time, it’s quite entertaining.

The Multiplayer of that game is Turn based via Email, so you don’t have to wait until your Opponent makes his move.

Leading over to Space Chem, again a unique game, which I think it’s rather strange. You get a bunch of Atoms, and have to make Molecules with them. I find it incredible hard to describe, it’s best to look it up in a video if you really want to know how it is.
It has a Multiplayer in it, which I not yet got to test, and I’m not sure if I will, because I find that game not as much entertaining (my opinion of course).

And last but not least, we have Trauma: A flash game about a woman who is living through a trauma (well, we know where the name comes from). Again a very strange game, unique in every aspect. It creates a quite fitting atmosphere.
You navigate through photos which make up a certain area, where you have to solve different things. The more photos you get, the better it is for you. Again, best is to look it up on YouTube, as it’s a very unique and rather strange game as well.

The prices of the games:

If you didn’t get the HIB, tough luck for you, to be honest. Frozen Synapse alone would’ve made a good point in buying it, and the other games are good additions.

Frozen Synapse costs 25$ for 2 copies, which is the cheapest way to get it. You always get 2 copies, one for you, one for a friend. In my opinion, worth the money, and if you have a friend and he gives you 10$ for a copy, even better :). It has a demo to try the game, making it easier for you to choose.
Space Chem: 15$ for this one per Copy, making it more expensive than Frozen Synapse. You are able to create and share puzzles, and you have over 50 of those in the game from the beginning. If it’s worth for you, you’ll have to decide yourself. Personally, i think it’s more like a Flash-Game thing, not something people would pay for. Also has a demo to try.
Trauma: 5$ for the game per Copy, quite cheap, for 4 Chapters, each taking you between 15-50 mins, depending on how good you are. As it’s a cheap game, it’s good for simply wasting some time waiting for something, but I’m not sure if I’d use a whole day sitting in front of the game. Again, for 5$, that’s not a lot wasted. Does not have a demo.


The games are quite solid, in a good price if you bought the HIB, if not, I’d think twice about buying a game. But they are all matching in one particular thing: you’ll have to think A LOT. If you’re not the guy/girl who likes to think about what he/she is doing, but simply brute force your way through puzzles… this might not be a good choice. Other than that, I’d recommend all of them.

Hope that makes it easier for you guys/girls.

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  4 Responses to “Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle – Review”

  1. Actually TRAUMA has an online demo on the website!

    Also, a good review. If I hadn’t had all already, I’d probably be buying Frozen Synapse by now.

  2. Yeah, sorry, I realized after some minutes… but that review was already sent then 😀

  3. I think you clearly underestimate SpaceChem. I found it to be one of the best puzzle games I’ve played in years ! It’s original, clever, open, simple in concept but with unlimited possibilities. But I do agree it’s not for everyone, as the learning curve is steep, and you need a particular kind of logic to appreciate it.
    As for installing in archlinux, when you don’t know, always try the AUR, what you want will be there 99% of the time (and for popular things like HIB, you’re sure to find packages for all the games within a couple hours after the beginning of the offer !)

  4. I didn’t even realize Desura for Linux was available, I thought it was still in closed beta. I’ve been waiting and waiting for it, installing now. It’ll be nice to finally have all my Humble Bundle games in one place.

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