The Daily Northwestern

Insert Coin: This year’s bundle has no right to be humble

Humble Indie Bundle is a website which allows a gamer to pay as much as they want for a selection of games designed by independent developers. They have been offering incentives for those who pay more money by giving them access to more game selections.

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Humble Indie Bundle is a website which allows a gamer to pay as much as they want for a selection of games designed by independent developers. They have been offering incentives for those who pay more money by giving them access to more game selections.

Will Podlewski, Columnist

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Video gaming isn’t cheap. With a torrent of online passes, downloadable content and system peripherals taking a huge bite out of gamers’ wallets, it’s harder than ever to get a decent value when you plunk down your hard-earned cash for the next big thing. But in an industry that seems to care only about “Call of Duty” and “Assassin’s Creed,” it’s easy to forget some of the best games out there cost little to nothing to enjoy. That’s why every two weeks, I’ll be showing you a great new way to get your video gaming fix for under $20. So get your quarters ready and game on!

I almost never pay full price for video games. Between the budget gaming wonders that are Steam, half-price bookstores and GameStop, there really is no reason to plunk down $60 on the newest gaming craze (unless, of course, you really need that copy of “Farming Simulator 2012” right now). Even indie game developers, which regularly spit in the face of the “money-grubbing” AAA-gaming industry, are charging more and more for their games, becoming the very thing they sought to avoid. Except for the geniuses behind the Humble Indie Bundle.

Every few months, the Humble Bundle team assembles a collection of top indie games and offers them in a choose-to-pay model. For as little as $1, gamers recently could get five top-level indie games, including the delightfully bizarre “The Binding of Isaac” and the action movie-inspired “Shank 2,” in addition to the fascinating documentary “Indie Game: The Movie,” which provides some pretty cool insight on how the game development process really works. And did I mention this was all for as little as $1?

The most recent bundle didn’t stop there; for contributing the average amount (usually around $10), five more games were unlocked for download, including the absurdly entertaining time sink “Dungeon Defenders.” On top of all that, the Humble Indie Bundle 7 also included the complete soundtracks for every game in the pack, also completely unlocked by giving at the $10 level. That’s over $170 of content for the price of a movie ticket.

Even more mind-blowing is the fact that the Humble Bundle team allows you to split your contribution between the developers, the Humble Bundle and even the Child’s Play charity, an organization that provides consoles and games to children’s hospitals and recovery facilities. I think at this point it’s pretty safe to say the Humble Bundle team is the very antithesis of money grubbing.

These sales don’t last forever though, and by the time this prints, the Humble Bundle 7 will have already come and gone. But I have a feeling Humble Bundle 8 will be the best yet — with both “Journey” and “Mark of the Ninja” catapulting the indie game from niche obscurity into the mainstream gaming community, the Bundle will be the most high-profile it has ever been. So when the time comes to put your money where your mouth is, remember what a value you are truly getting. After all, it’s for the kids.

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