Review of Indie Box Subscription Service#BringBackTheBox
Ok... so... I said I would do a review on this service, and, seeing as I've subscribed to it back in August, I think I have a good background for which to do this review.
First... if you don't know... Indie Box is a mail subscription, like #lootcrate
in which, once a month, an indie game is mailed to you with box art, printed manual and all sorts of extra goodies... all DRM free, and, most of the time, including a Steam key... for those that want to keep their digital library running.
So, what's my impression? I canceled my subscription.
Ok... first off, I loved, and still do love, the idea behind this service. There have just been a number of things that've been bothering me about it, almost since I started.
Issue 1) As of this moment, they are STILL behind on shipping. I've only received two boxes so far (September and October) and I received them in October and November. This wouldn't be so bad except that I get billed for the following month before
the current one arrives.
They're a fairly new service. I'll give them some slack for that, but, in the end, I really was uncomfortable paying for "the next box" before I even obtained the one I was waiting for.
Issue 2) I can't buy Indie games on my own if I'm a member of this service. Seriously. I'm a gamer. If an indie game comes out that looks cool, I usually nab it. However, if I keep to that mindset, then, in the end, I could end up paying for the game twice if, in a month or more down the line, Indie Box releases the game too. Sure, there're a lot of really nice, well made extras in the box, but the game is suppose to be the heart and soul of it all, so... if I already bought the game, I'm out of luck. My only other option is to NOT buy the game and wait to see if Indie Box releases it... or not.
Issue 3) Nearly no communication. This may not be an issue for some, but, I don't have Twitter nor do I have Facebook. As such, the only communications I can get from Indie Box is via email... which they don't use to communicate. Don't get me wrong... when they ship my box, I get an email saying it was shipped, complete with tracking number, but, other than that, there's no communications at all. Perhaps I unchecked something when I subscribed, but I don't think so. For the most part, without any communications or news via email, Indie Box feels almost non-existent... except for when it takes my money.
Issue 4) This is suppose to be Indie
Box. The latest game I received was Brutal Legend. This game was a console game published by EA back in 2009. It's true that the game has only recently been released to PCs, but that does not make the game an Indie game. This may not bother some people, but it irks me a little.
Issue 5) They've been around for less than a year and their already changing up how they're delivering the actual game. NO... I don't mean they're not giving me a box or any goodies, but, rather, with this latest box, I was only able to obtain the game for a single OS where as in the past (all 5 past boxes, as displayed on their website to date) the games were available for all OSes right out of the box. This isn't a problem if you use the Steam key, of course... and for most people, this won't be an issue, but I worry when they start limiting me so early in their operations.
Issue 6) Not to harp on the latest box, buuut... It's a DVD. The reason is they claim that the game (even for a single OS) wouldn't fit on the media they normally use (which, up until the latest box, was flash storage). I'm a computerist... therefore, I call bulls*it in that statement. A DVD holds, at max, 8 gigabytes of data. Flash storage can go to 16, 32, and even 64 gigabytes. It may be that their flash supplier didn't offer anything larger than 8 gigabytes, but I feel it's probably more like, the game was already setup for DVD by another company and Indie Box did not feel like reconfiguring the game and/or installer to work with flash media.
While three of my issues revolved around the latest box, I think the real reason I canceled was mostly the first three reasons. I subscribed on August 12th. When I subscribed for Loot Crate I received my first box within the same month. It took Indie Box nearly two months before I saw my first game. I heard nearly nothing from Indie Box via email except for the shipping confirmations. Finally, I felt I couldn't jump on exciting looking Indie titles on my own without running the risk of paying for the game twice.
In the end, I felt, for the money, Indie Box is not for me. I may buy a box outright from time to time (which, I think, is the best option), but, as a subscription, nah.