Confession time: I just bought the fourth Humble Indie Bundle, and you should too. Not because Humble Bundle Inc. is offering you an opportunity to pay whatever you please for five great games, including Shank, Super Meat Boy, NightSky, Bit.Trip Runner and Jamestown. And not because you get to choose where your money goes, whether straight to the developers, the Humble Indie Bundle team or established charity organizations like the American Red Cross, Child's Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
And not even because if you pay more than the minimum amount ($5.31 as of publication) you also score copies of Gratuitious Space Battles and Cave Story+ for a total of seven downloadable DRM-free games; no, you should pick up the fourth Humble Indie Bundle on the merits of the fantastic trailer they released to get hype for this PC gaming package, the last Humble Indie Bundle of 2011. How does it work, you ask? First, decide how much you're willing to pay and how you want to divvy up your payment between charity and the indie developers who made these games. Shortly after you make your purchase the Humble Indie Bundle team will email you a link to a unique download page, where you can download your games as many times as you want to any PC you own. Every game in the Bundle is guaranteed to run on Windows, Linux or Mac OS, and after spending some time with them I'm willing to bet there's at least one game in this bundle you're going to love.
Bit.Trip Runner and Super Meat Boy are both fast-paced platformers reminiscent of classic games like Super Mario Bros. and Lode Runner (Super Meat Boy even earned a spot as one of our 30 Best PC Games earlier this year). Shank is a little slower and more intense, abandoning challenging jumps in favor of side-scrolling 2D beat 'em up action wrapped up in the grisly tale of ex-hitman Shank's quest for vengeance. It's fun, if a little heavy-handed, especially if you loved classic beat 'em up games like Final Fight. Jamestown is a top-down shooter that you can play cooperatively with up to three friends, which you might want to do since the actions gets hectic pretty quickly; think Ikaruga, but set on a Mars colony established by 17th century British imperialists using steampunk starships.
If you're in the mood for a more strategic experience, we reviewed Gratuitious Space Battles earlier this year and found it to be an excellent tactical space strategy game with plenty of cinematic moments as attack ships catch fire and laser beams glitter in the dark of deep space. If you're more interested in exploring strange new worlds, Cave Story+ is the latest and greatest version of Pixel's Cave Story, a side-scrolling platformer designed to emulate classic games like Metroid and Castlevania. And Nightsky HD? Well, Nightsky HD is a surreal puzzle game that's difficult to describe but challenging and fun to play. Like every game in this Humble Bundle, it's worth paying full price for, so don't miss this opportunity to pay what you want. The fourth Humble Indie Bundle went live yesterday and will be available until December 27th, but you want to buy early to get the best deal and beat the average price while it's still low.