Paradox Interactive is, quite possibly, my favouritest computer game company of all time. Not only do they produce grand strategy games such as Crusader Kings II and the Europa Universalis series that have collectively done more to make be intimately familiar with 4am than any other thing on the planet, they’re also willing to take risks and create original and innovative games that fly in the face of usual established game company practices.
That sentence is far too long. And possibly grammatically incorrect too. Ah well.
This week, Paradox Interactive are the stars of the Humble Weekly Bundle sale, meaning you can pick up a whole shedload of games (and soundtracks – more on those shortly) for less than the price of a couple of pizzas. Or more, if you like expensive pizzas.
Pay less than the average (currently $5.80, or about £4) and you get six games – Europa Universalis III Complete, War of The Roses: Kingmaker, Warlock: Master of the Arcane, Leviathan: Warships, Dungeonland and The Showdown Effect. Pay more than the average and you pick up the brilliant Crusader Kings II and Magicka (which is also brilliant) too. Considering Crusader Kings II alone is normally £29.99, this one heck of a fantastic deal, even if you own one or more of the titles already.
Humble Bundles also have a nice habit of adding a game or two to the list as the time counts down. There’s no guarantees they will (especially considering they’re offering their entire catalogue of games for a bargain-basement (but still too expensive for me to afford) price of $125 as well) but if they do and you’ve already bought the bundle these are automatically added to your purchase too. There’s no reason to wait!
The two surprises for me are Warlcock and The Showdown Effect. I’ve not played either game before (more of a grand stratgy geek, me) and Warlock is a highly polished high fantasy Civilization clone done right, and The Showdown Effect is messy, brutal multiplayer fun. Both are well worth checking out. And Europa Universalis III might have recently been supplanted by EU IV, but it still rates as one of the most engrossing, time stealing, wonderful games I’ve played. I’d say that EU III is more challenging that EU IV so if you want a game you can really get stuck into , it’s a must-play. Say hi to 4am for me.
If you’re a role-playing gamer however, there’s added incentive to pick this up.
The Bundle includes the soundtracks for all the games in mp3 format, and the fantastic music from Europa Universalis III, Crusader Kings II and War of The Roses is awesome background and spot music for use in your scenarios. Pick a track to represent your Big Bad Villain and play it whenever he appears, or start and end the session with a piece of music to set the tone. Let the players choose their own incidental music, or play a stirring track during the climactic final battle. That way every time they play Crusader Kings II in future, they’ll remember the time they killed the leader of the Legion of Necromancers on top of a volcano.
Convinced yet? Go pick up the Paradox Humble Bundle, right now. You won’t regret it.