What Is Humble Monthly (and Is It Worth It for Gamers)?

Being a gamer used to be so simple: You’d go to the store to buy a game, and then you’d have it until you sold it or lent it to a friend. Nowadays, there are a lot more ways to buy games regardless of what platform you use. You can buy them digitally, you can subscribe to a game streaming service like PlayStation Now, or you can buy mystery boxes from Humble Bundle on PC.

Humble Bundle has just launched a new subscription service called Humble Monthly that’s basically like getting a new Humble Bundle each month. Let’s dive in and see what Humble Monthly is, and whether or not you should subscribe.

What is Humble Monthly?

Humble Monthly is a subscription-based service that gives you a curated selection of PC games the first Friday of each month.

The trick is that you don’t know what games you’re going to get. Once a month’s bundle is revealed, that bundle is sent out to subscribers, but any new subscribers must wait until the following month to receive their mystery bundle of games. In other words, you can’t buy a bundle once you know what games are in it.

How much does it cost?

Humble Monthly costs $12 per month.

Unlike similar programs from Microsoft and Sony, Humble Monthly is only available on a month-to-month basis, so there’s no discount for subscribing for three or 12 months at a time. It’s $12 a month, every month.

Are the games any good?

So far, yes. But going forward? Who knows? Of all the similar video game subscription services, Humble Monthly is the newest, having started in January 2016. That makes it hard to know exactly how good the selection of games will be as the months go by.

The first month was great, with top-notch games like The Talos Principle, Grim Fandango Remastered, and Spelunky going out to subscribers. We’ll have to wait to see how future months play out to see if it maintains that level of quality — but remember that there’s no way to know what you’ll get before you pay for the month. It will always be a gamble.

What are the games playable on?

The only guaranteed platform for Humble Monthly games is Steam for Windows. Some of the games might also work on other platforms, but don’t count on it.

Isn’t Humble Bundle associated with charity?

Yes, and that’s play here, too. The Humble Store says 5% of each month’s proceeds go to charity. It’s unclear how much goes to which charities, but the organization’s “Featured Charities” include American Red Cross, Child’s Play, GamesAid, Wikimedia Foundation, and charity: water.

How does Humble Monthly compare to other similar services?

It’s a bit more pricy than other services. Sony and Microsoft have similar subscription services of their own, but they cost less ($50 per year for Sony’s and $60 per year for Microsoft’s). They also give subscribers more than Humble Monthly. In addition to getting free games each month, subscribers get access to the companies’ online gaming services.

On the other hand, the competing services have a caveat that Humble Monthly doesn’t have: If you cancel your subscription to Humble Monthly, you get to keep all of the games. So even though Humble Monthly subscribers might pay more and not get as many benefits as Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscribers, they get some extra benefits.

Is a Humble Monthly subscription worth it?

So far, yes.

If Humble Monthly can maintain the quality of games offered in January, the service will be well worth $12 month. It might be the cheapest way to rack up a collection of excellent games for PC gamers.

On the other hand, the quality of games could always dip, or you might have played some of the games in a month’s bundle. That’s why it’s something of a gamble.

Still, $12 for six games is generally a good buy, even if you’re not sure which games you’ll end up getting. There’s a good chance you’ll like at least one of them, and it will probably cost more than $12 normally.

If it sounds appealing to you, go ahead and try it for a month or two. If you don’t like it, you can always cancel your subscription.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed
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