While I lack much of the fond nostalgia for the 3D platforming genre, I was completely enthralled by A Hat in Time. Its bright, cheery art and music, witty dialogue, and grandiose level designs instantly catapulted Hat Kid among the upper echelon of the late 90s Golden Age classics.
Simply put: A Hat in Time is the most fun I’ve had with a 3D platformer since Psychonauts.
The biggest news over the weekend was media titan IGN acquiring Humble Bundle in an undisclosed deal. Humble Bundle will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of IGN, with no major staffing or business changes.
Humble Bundle is the digital distributor known for raising millions of dollars for various charities through their well-received pay-what-you-want bundles of video games and comics. It began in 2010 with indie games, and has since expanded into its own digital store, subscription service, and publishing division.
“We chose IGN because they really understand our vision, share our passion for games, and believe in our mission to promote awesome digital content while helping charity,” wrote Jeffrey Rosen, Co-founder and CEO of Humble Bundle in a blog post. “I can’t think of a better partner than IGN to help Humble Bundle continue our quest.”
Rosen added: “We will keep our own office, culture, and amazing team with IGN helping us further our plans. We will raise even more money for charity.”
According to Rosen, Humble Bundle has served over 10 million customers and raised $106 million for charity.
Earlier this year Humble Bundle expanded into games publishing, called Presented by Humble Bundle. They revealed their first five games back in August: A Hat in Time, No Truce with the Furies, Staxel, Keyboard Sports, and Aegis Defenders. A Hat in Time recently launched on PC. The other titles are coming later this year or early 2018.
There has been concerns raised over how IGN will treat games published by Humble Bundle. In a statement to USGamer, IGN General Manager Mitch Galbraith said: “Editorial integrity is something we take very seriously at IGN, and I am confident that we will strike the right balance when it comes to our coverage of Humble Bundle and the games they sell. Our readers and customers have always come first – and that won’t change.”
UPDATE 08/17: Aegis Defenders is now also coming to PlayStation 4.
When Humble announced the first five indie games to be published under the Presented by Humble Bundle label, they kept the fifth game a mystery. Today Humble reveaeld the mystery fifth game. It’s called Aegis Defenders, a 16-bit action-platformer coming to PC and Mac later this year on Steam and Humble Store.
“The unique gameplay and gorgeous character art inspired by Japan won me over instantly,” said John Polson, Humble Bundle publishing lead. “I am truly humbled to be able to help them now cross the finish line, delivering a unique blend of Metroidvania and tower defense that is addictively fun and fresh.”
Aegis Defenders combines Metroidvania gameplay with tower defense elements and a 16-bit art style that reflects the SNES/Genesis era.
It’s being developed by GUTS Department, an independent studio who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for Aegis Defenders back in 2014. It raised $145k from over 4,000 backers. Aegis Defenders initially started as a student project at the University of Southern California before becoming a full game.
“All of us here at GUTS Department are so thankful to the Aegis Defendersfans we’ve gained over the years to help us get where we are today,” said Bryce Kho, Creative Director. “Humble Bundle are among our biggest fans, showing care for the game and making sure our story could be told just how we wanted. We’re looking forward to introducing the world to Bart and Clu later this year!”
Aegis Defenders features two player drop-in/drop-out co-op with dual protagonists Bart and his granddaughter Clu. Bart specializes in building structures while Clu takes care of hunting and traps. A total of four characters will be available and you can switch between them at any time.
Aegis Defenders is coming to Windows PC and Mac later this year.
Humble Bundle has carved out a special slice of digital distribution thanks to its close work with charities and frequent pay-what-you-want bundle sales.
Now they’re getting into the publishing game. Their publishing label is called Presented by Humble Bundle, and will focus on multi-platform indie titles. Their first five games will be shown at Gamescom in Germany later this month, and at PAX West in September (Staxel will only be at Gamescom).
“In a relatively short time, Humble Bundle has proven itself as a major player in the highly contested digital retail space, now serving roughly 12 million customers and raising over $98 million for charities,” said John Polson, Humble Bundle publishing lead. “Already astute at helping indies find an audience for their titles through our platform, adding our approachable publishing initiative was a no-brainer. We’re thrilled to bring five Presented by Humble Bundle games to Gamescom and PAX West. Gamers from around the world are in for a treat!”
Four of the games are detailed below, while the fifth will be officially announced shortly.
A Hat in Time
Developer: Gears for Breakfast Platforms: PC, Mac, XBox One, PlayStation 4 Genre: 3D Platformer Release Date: Fall 2017
A Hat in Time is designed as a classic 3D platformer with plenty of goodies to collect. Hat Kid travels through five varied worlds, unlocking new hats and new abilities. A Hat in Time benefited from a successful Kickstarter campaign four years ago, where it raised nearly 300k from a little over 9,000 backers. Free DLC that adds more worlds as well as local and online co-op is planned post-launch.
No Truce With the Furies
Developer: ZA/UM Platforms: PC Genre: Isometric RPG Release Date: 2017
No Truce with the Furies is a cRPG with a heavy focus on story-telling rather than hack and slash. You play as a disgraced detective in a unique fantasy/sci-fi world. You’ll have to solve crimes and navigate your own mind to come out the other side.
Developer: Plukit Platforms: PC Genre: Sandbox, Crafting, Voxel Release Date: January 2018
Staxel is a Minecraft-like sandbox that draws in gameplay from farming sims like Stardew Valley. Grow your crops, interact with villagers, unlock rewards, and customize your world. And you can do it all online with friends.
Keyboard Sports – Saving QWERTY
Developer: Triband Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux Genre: Action-Adventure Release Date: Early 2018
Keyboard Sports originally appeared in the Humble Monthly Bundle in November 2016. Saving QWERTY is an expanded version of the humorous keyboard-only adventure. Travel through a series of challenging mini-games using only your keyboard as your controller, and your playing field.