There are plenty of Indie bundles available right now to sate just about any type of gamer. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of what The Indie Royale has offered over the past few months, however; their May Hurray package of games is pretty fantastic, including Dungeon Defenders along with Weird Worlds (not to mention plenty of bonuses). Be advised, though, that ordering from The Indie Royale usually knocks you with an overseas fee, so, whatever you end up paying, you’re going to get hit with a couple bucks extra.

Or maybe there are just weird international fees applied to me, being a New York-based international playboy. I don’t know for sure. I’m no banker, I just know I see the little charge on my statement whenever I buy from them. So, I guess “Buyer Beware” is in order? Most of the games are for use with Steam, though some also include direct downloads and Desura keys, so you have plenty of options to download. What I typically do, is I’ll download a version of the game, as well as activating the Steam key for it. As of this writing, the price is around $5.39.

The Indie Gala is another offering, bringing you Steel Storm: Burning Retribution, A. R. E. S.: Extinction Agenda and Alien Shooter for a low price of $5.27. Paying more than the minimum nets you a few bonus games: Disciples 2 – Galleon’s Return and Altitude, along with Alien Shooter 2 and ReallyBigSky. Unfortunately, I’ve only played Steel Storm here, so I can’t vouch for the quality of these other titles, but for just over five bucks, it can be yours, along with a handful of other titles. This is probably a pass for me, as I already own the marquee title, but there are certainly some interesting little games on here.

Much has been made about EA’s “Indie Bundle” over the past few days, but in the end, the evil empire is offering Warp, which just came out in late March, along with Shank, Shank 2, Gatling Gears and the god-awful DeathSpank games for $20.98. I already own Shank and Shank 2, so I can honestly say I enjoyed those games, but I found Warp to be plodding and a tad repetitive, and DeathSpank is just purely moronic. Gatling Gears is the unknown quantity for me here, though it certainly looks interesting.

The EA “Indie Bundle” titles are available for individual purchase on Steam (this is a Steam-only deal, folks, which is weird because of Origin and all) and are all 50% off, so if any of these title tickle your fancy (and if you’re a Robert Rodriguez fan and haven’t played Shank, what is wrong with you?), by all means, give them a go.

Indie Flop:

Honey Badger: Slayer of Memes is an odd little title. It’s hard to imagine a world where this game doesn’t already exist, but here’s a clone of Mike Tyson’s Punch Out set in the world of internet memes. Let that sink in for a moment.

While this game certainly lacks in the graphics department, it more than makes up for it with some genuine laughs and the appearance of various internet memes including Chris Crocker (“Leave Britney alone!”) and Thron Guy (avoiding Disney’s evil eye by throwing an “h” into the mix). The game feels like something South Park would use in one of its many video game-inspired episodes, and the art style certainly mimics that.

There’s some funny voice acting to be had, for sure, with Crocker’s character (named Britney Boy in-game) crying and shrieking while getting smashed in the face. The crowd cheers are wild and the overall presentation is nice, but on a personal level, the ramped-up difficulty made the game slightly less enjoyable for me. The Punch Out games are known for their difficulty, so, certainly, Honey Badger: Slayer of Memes is emulating that, but in the end, the XBOX 360 controller just doesn’t lend itself naturally to the hectic punching and dodging of a Punch Out clone. I’ve grown used to using the Wii-mote for my punching of ridiculous cartoon characters (I’m looking at you, King Hippo and Great Tiger), so I found the ramping difficulty and hectic fights a bit too much. The game is only 80 Microsoft Points (a buck), so, for a giggle, check it out, but don’t expect much.

Indie Darling:

Awesomenauts is awesome. With that out of the way, let’s talk about how brilliant an idea it was to take the Monday Night Combat formula (which in itself is a riff on the Team Fortress 2 formula) and apply it to a colorful side-scroller with sci-fi elements and over the top voice acting. Ronimo games have really delivered something funny and special with Awesomenauts, and while the game itself suffers from a few of the drawbacks of Monday Night Combat (following bots as they get mowed down by a mammoth canon, for example, can take a while), the sharp visuals and relatively cheap price (800 Microsoft Points, and to be honest, I’m surprised it’s not 1200) more than make up for the downfalls.

Primarily a MOBA title (multiplayer online battle arena), Awesomenauts puts the player in control of a mercenary hired by one of two evil energy conglomerates (both utilizing their own robot armies). The game is presented like a cartoon from the 80’s, with over the top rock guitar music (think GI Joe), silly characters (who I immediately fell in love with), and kinetic gameplay (gunfights are always fun). Like always, I’m a sucker for lush visuals, and this game certainly has that in spades, with a bright, comedic universe full of interesting characters and settings, Awesomenauts will be a game I return to frequently with buddies for some online mayhem.

All in all, a great week for indies! Ronimo has seen its share of difficulties (with their game’s publisher declaring bankruptcy), so, support Awesomenauts, as well as checking out those indie bundles, where your money goes to Child’s Play, as well as various other charities.

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