In case you missed it, there's a new Humble Bundle going on right now (since two days ago). Over the years we’ve seen a variety of games offered up on the Humble Bundle; some have been pretty ho-hum, while others have been well worth the price of admission; many of the games have been indie affairs. Of course, the price of admission is practically free: it’s whatever you want, starting at a whopping $1 – yes, that's an entire dollar rather than the original starting point of a penny for the Humble Bundle. The latest version comes courtesy of EA’s Origin, and rather than the usual indie games, and you get six AAA games from EA that range from okay to unappreciated gems to major blockbusters.

Any contribution will get you all six of the following games; I’ve included the current retail (Origin) pricing on each as a reference point: Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box ($19.99), Crysis 2 Maximum Edition ($29.99), the original Dead Space ($19.99), the latest Dead Space 3 sequel ($39.99), Mirror’s Edge ($19.99), and Medal of Honor ($19.99). So if you were to buy just those six games off of Origin right now, you’d be paying nearly $150 – not that I’d suggest you do so, but if you’ve missed any of them and are looking for a diversion, they’re not bad. [And now Red Alert 3: Uprising and Populous; see below.]

As an added bonus, if you pay more than the current average Humble Bundle price ($4.80 at the time of writing), you get two additional titles. Battlefield 3 ($19.99) hardly needs an introduction, and the same goes for The Sims 3 (Starter Pack – $29.99). The Starter Pack comes with the main game as well as the High-End Loft and Late Night expansion packs. So, less than $5 can currently net you eight games, most of which are worth a look, and all of which are big budget titles.

The hook for the Humble Bundle is that you get to choose how your contribution is distributed. You can given any percentage to one of five charities (Human Rights Campaign, Watsi, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, American Cancer Society, and American Red Cross), or you can give a “Humble Tip” to the Humble Bundle people for their time and bandwidth involved with the promotion. You can also gift the purchase to someone else if you like.

Of course there’s always a catch, right? Sure, and this time it’s pretty simple: some of the games as you might have guessed have to be used through EA’s Origin service. Now, I didn’t much care for the initial launch of the EA Downloader, which later became Origin, but things have at least improved. I don’t know that it’s equal to Steam, as transferring games between computers is a bit more of a pain, but it’s not terrible at least. Of the eight titles, three are only available with Origin (Battlefield 3, Dead Space 3, and The Sims 3 – these things come in threes or something?); the other five games can be used with either Steam or Origin – or even both! How’s that for generous?

The instructions note that you redeem the codes for the Sims 3 through the Sims 3 web page, but the instructions from EA for redeeming the expansion packs are incorrect: you need to redeem those through Origin (or via "Register a Product"). At least when I did it, the Sims 3 My Store Account section has “Redeem a Code”, but it only has blocks for four parts of the code, and my codes were five blocks of four characters. Oops. There was also some sluggishness with Origin as I was writing this, perhaps caused by a deluge of Humble Bundle downloads.

However you want to look at it, for practically free you can enjoy some of the past three or four years of gaming action. That’s a price that’s hard to beat, and hey: it’s for charity, so feel free to be generous! There are currently just under 12 days remaining on this offer.

8/22/2013 Update: Humble Bundle just sent out a note that they've added Red Alert 3: Uprising and Populous to the Humble Origin Bundle. Anyone that has already purchased the bundle receives the keys, along with any future purchasers. For what it's worth, I have fond memories of playing Populous back in the day, on an Amiga no less, but I have to admit it's getting a little long in the tooth. Anything that requires DOSbox to run might be better served living in your fond memories instead of being dusted off to discover how badly it's aged. Well, except for Wasteland....

Source: Humble Bundle

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  • althaz - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    It's still bloatware and a very average piece of software (Origin is better in some ways, that's how crap it still is). However, it doesn't force you to connect to the internet (so having the servers down makes no difference, unless you are trying to download a game) and makes DRM easy (except for Ubisoft games, which I will never spend money on again). It also is your only way to access the Steam service - which it totally fucking awesome.

    I also use Origin (and the EA servers seem to be down a LOT), but it would be a lot better if there was some universal program that could collate all of my game libraries together.
  • nikon133 - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    Origin works fine for me, but I do have some anti-EA sentiments. Not letting players to host servers for BF3, while renting most of official servers... or, in my case, all (Oceania region for PC BF3). Not that you cannot find decent games, but pretty much every one of them is at least slightly modified (usually much higher number of tickets), and some of them are ridiculous with rules (no explosives, no shotguns, no this, no that), kicking people out for lag, for being better than "owners", moving them from one to another team for balance (quite often "balance", IMHO).

    Looking at all the maps available in all the updates, I'm pretty sure I haven't played a few of them at all. No one hosted them in my region, and other regions are very keen of kicking me out for lag, even if game is perfectly playable for me.

    So I bought both PS3 and PC versions. Got all updates for PS3 individually and Premium for PC... and I cannot play the game the way it was intended to be played, and - by the way - the way I liked it, which is why I purchased all extra content.

    And now, if I want to play proper game with normal number of tickets, map rotations as well, I'd have to rent my own server as well. Really... how much money does EA want me to spend on single game?

    In addition - what will happen when EA stops supporting BF3? My friends and I still play BF2 on lan parties. Will EA release home server for BF3 once they shut down their servers, or upgrade them to BF4 when renters move to BF4?
  • ol1bit - Friday, August 23, 2013 - link

    I've had steam since day1. It rocks, I have over 200 games.
  • Bob Todd - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Rabble rabble rabble! I want all of the old games I paid pennies for available right this f$cking instant!!! Get a grip. It's for charity. The games are stupid cheap. The world will not stop spinning if people have to wait a few days for Origin's lame infrastructure to be able to cope with the load.
  • Moishe - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Origin is indeed VERY crappy. EA needs to stop being arse-clowns and understand that the future is in digital delivery and people expect quick downloads and proper support.
  • Wolfpup - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    I would normally never support Origin, but since it went to charity...

    I've had zero luck downloading anything so far. I started downloading Battlefield 3 Friday night. It made it to 38%, then fell back to 30%, then fell back to 20%. I've tried restarting the client, but at best it makes it up into the 30s, then falls back to 20%.

    Color me incredibly unimpressed. It's a good thing this went to charity...
  • idealego - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    You have to pay at least $1 for this bundle or you get nothing.

    For people who don't like Origin, keep in mind that you can pay $1, get five Steam games, and not bother with the Origin-only games.

    If you don't like EA, also keep in mind that all the money is going to charity.

    Overall it's an amazing deal.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Edited; thanks!
  • Bob Todd - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the tip. I owned some of them already but I picked it up for the Dead Space games.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Same here - a friend posted it on Facebook and I thought, "Hey, I was always curious about Dead Space and Burnout..." For $4.81, why now? Now I have an extra copy of BF3, Mirror's Edge, Crysis 2, and a few digital paperweights that I'll never download like Sims 3 and Medal of Honor. Haha

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