Humble Bundle is a website that sells very cheap bundles of (mostly older) video games. And by cheap I mean “pay what you want”, although paying more does get you more games. You choose how much of the purchase price to distribute to a charity, the game developers, and Humble Bundle itself.
Paradox is a games publisher and developer that I am super glad exists. Their games are genuinely different. For example, Majesty is kind of an RTS, except you don’t control your units. All you can do is build buildings and set rewards, and then watch your idiot fragile wizards walk into a den of monsters over and over while your high level warriors sit around because no reward is high enough to interest them. I have lost hours to this game.
Humble Bundle is currently hosting a Paradox Bundle (sponsored link). It includes the sequel to Majesty, which plays basically the same except dwarves are amazing. It also includes Crusader Kings 2, aka “the real Game of Thrones game.” It is kind of like an RTS, except you build power mainly through marriage alliances and politicking. I sunk about 20 hours into this game before losing my tiny Irish Kingdom to a hard drive failure, and could never build up the heart to play again.
Paradox Games frequently make Extra Credit’s Games You Might Not Have Tried series, which by the way is an excellent series you should follow if you’re interested in seeing games evolve as an art form. My excitement after watching a game appear on GYMNHT is a very good predictor of how much I eventually enjoy a game, so I’m just going to link to the relevant episodes here.
A word of warning- Paradox games tend to have a *lot* of DLC, some real and some cosmetic. Some of these games are either old enough that that’s not an issue (Majesty 2) or are being sold with DLC (Europa Universalis III Complete, although if that turns out to mean “complete in 2014 but we’ve added 4 DLCs since then” I will not be surprised). You can be perfectly happy playing the main games without the DLC, but this bundle is obviously a loss leader trying to induce you to spend more. For example, the complete Crusader Kings 2 is $160 on HB right now ($100 cheaper than Steam, so I guess the humble store isn’t useless after all). I find this a little out of keeping with the spirit of Humble Bundles (me getting cheap games price discrimination). Simultaneously, it strikes me as quite reasonable; I already joke that HB isn’t me buying games, it’s me buying the chance to try games, and if I happen to enjoy it I get the game for free. Monetizing that second part is totally fair. $200 feels like it’s pushing it through.
While I’m shilling, Humble Bundle has a monthly bundle for which only one game is announced ahead of time. The game for February is Civilization 6, which is itself worth the $12 if you’re into that sort of thing.