Bundle Stars – The Zen Bundle Review


Here’s something a little different for Pixel Pacas! It might surprise you (or not at all) but I happen to be a massive fan of video game bundles. As a collector as well there’s hardly a need for me to own more games, but sometimes the deals are far too tempting to pass up. In any case, Bundle Stars The Zen Bundle launched recently and is packed with a most surprising selection of games. This bundle is definitely not for everyone, but there’s a niche audience who will totally dig it. A big thanks goes out to Bundle Stars for providing us complimentary access to these games!

Read on to see brief discussion on each included title as well as links to full length reviews where applicable.


Bientôt l’étéFull Review

Tale of Tales continues to make whatever games they damn well please, and this is evidenced quite readily with Bientôt l’été. If you don’t enjoy the act of exploration and unraveling a narrative on your own terms then this is not for you. But, if you’re willing to jump into a strange digital space for an hour and simply exist within it…. then yes, you should not only play this game but invest in other games by the developer as well. Luckily for you, this bundle contains three in all (The Graveyard and Luxuria Superbia being the other two).


Danmaku Unlimited 2

Who doesn’t love a good shoot ’em up? Danmaku Unlimited 2 provides a nice dose of bullet hell gameplay and a variety of difficulty levels so even awful players such as myself can make it through a few stages. The visuals are quite distinct. Despite being pixel art it looks far smoother for a Guilty Gear-style effect. Perhaps one day I’ll be skilled enough to actually beat it!


Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New EyesFull Review

Over the past few years I’ve had an increasingly love/hate relationship with Daedalic Entertainment. While they both develop and publish some awesome point and click adventure games they also bring a lot of stinkers along for the ride. Luckily, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is anything but bad. This awesome adventure game stars a seriously odd girl named Lilli and thrusts players into a superbly off-kilter, creepy world.


The Graveyard

When the graveyard launched in 2008 I remember all the big game blogs (all two of them?) opining it as the first step toward something greater for video games. I don’t necessarily agree, but the very brief title is still incredibly unique among its indie peers today. You play as an old woman in a graveyard, and really, that’s all you need to know. Thanks to its bundle inclusion it’s impossible to complain about its length or lack of “gameplay” either!

Luxuria Superbia Featured

Luxuria SuperbiaFull Review

When it comes to games, not everything needs to offer clear, concise goals. Sometimes “play” in and of itself is good enough. Luxuria Superbia is a gorgeous and uniquely sexual game-like experience. It is the only video game I’ve ever given a “5 out of 5” review score to because it encapsulates a wondrously simple experience at a time when most games are looking to further narrative, mechanics, or realism alone.



Tons of folks have chided this title, calling it a “mountain simulator” and less kinder things. Yes, it’s not much of a game in that you basically just stare at a mountain that spins ever so slightly in a 3D space. Sometimes objects crash land on it and the weather changes. Oh, and you can play music by tapping on the keyboard. If you’re a fan of animated wallpapers (guilty as charged!) then it might be worth loading up – but don’t expect to get any enticing gameplay out of Mountain.


Over The Void

Over the Void features a pretty awesome concept of exploring abstract, beautiful landscapes. However, it bogs that joy of exploration down by forcing players to platform around said stages in order to hit buttons to unlock the next area. While in theory this doesn’t sound bad it is a lot tougher than it sounds. You place all the platforms, meaning a mistake sends you tumbling. The most annoying aspect though is simply that tons of areas offer invisible barriers and you’ll regularly get stuck in the artistic set pieces rather than simply admire then.



Particula changes up the typical trend of tower defense games by having you guard a person’s mind from unwelcome and unhappy thoughts. Although the focus is on multiplayer, you can play solo as well. Weirdly, I couldn’t figure out how to upgrade towers, though, which became necessary by the final few waves. There’s also no way to either auto begin the next wave OR pause which makes the game rather unfriendly while multitasking.

Pretentious Game Featured

Pretentious GameFull Review

Is this game’s inclusion in a bundle packed with what Tale of Tales affectionately coined “notgames” a sly jab? That consideration aside, Pretentious Game is true to its name by featuring much of what “popular indie games” of the past few years needed for critical success – pixel art, a story about lost love, and puzzles. The puzzles aren’t bad and the mechanics work well enough, but there’s no spark to keep folks interested. Perhaps that’s what happens when you focus on being pretentious rather than trying to create an unintentionally pretentious game.


Sparkle 2 Evo

Here’s an interesting little game. Sparkle 2 Evo puts you in the shoes of a “Sparkle” – some sort of being living in a gorgeous, sparkly ether. By gobbling up one of three colored creatures you’ll evolve down different pathways and gain new skills. Although it seems you’re meant to focus on one or two of the three evolutionary paths, I found myself eating everything possible. That’s just the effect these types of games have on me and why ones that require 100% completion (such as Viscera Cleanup Detail) get me beyond excited.

Bundle Stars The Zen Bundle has its ups and downs, but for the most part I’d say it’s full of more positives than negatives. That is, as long as you’re into games which are more about a strong thematic appeal over typical gameplay (basically everything aside from Danmaku Unlimited 2, Edna & Harvey, and Pretentious Game). Considering the price – and the fact that many Steam users probably don’t already have all these games in their library – make it a pretty solid bundle.

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