There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive and shelf space can come at a premium. Every month, Hardcore Gamer picks a premium collectible from our cavernous swag vaults and tells you whether it’s worth a spot in your Collector’s Cabinet.
Dyscourse from Owlchemy Labs is quite the interesting indie release. With its focus on emergent storytelling, not to mention gorgeous graphics, it proves itself to be worthy of far more attention than it received upon its March 2015 launch. Luckily, it seems I wasn’t the only one to feel this way. IndieBox decided to give the game its due with a physical limited edition. Now, what is IndieBox? For the unfamiliar, it’s a monthly subscription box which focuses on creating (presumably) quite limited boxed copies of a different indie game each month. Along with a DRM-free version, they also always come packed with a Steam key and additional goodies. The Dyscourse: Limited Edition was my very first IndieBox, and quite the good one.
The game’s cardboard exterior is smaller than that of old school PC “big box” releases. Instead, sizing is closer to those DVD-sized boxes which arrived in the 2000s, except with more depth to accommodate all the included goodies. For those who consider themselves physical collectors, you’ll be happy to know that IndieBox caters specifically to you. I say this because the box was factory sealed and included a sticker at the top flap (rather than on the front, obscuring the box art) which included a Steam key. This way you don’t ever have to crack open the box to play your game! Of course, for the slightly less obsessed collectors of us, I found it too enticing to keep the darn box closed.
So, here’s what came packed with the Dyscourse: Limited Edition: Steam key, color manual, DRM-free version on a USB, 77 track soundtrack CD, pin, Disky replica, and two stickers. Let’s start off with the color manual. It’s sad just how impressive this is in the current era, but items like this are rarely found now. Just crack open any physical release today and you’ll just find one page of information, if there’s anything included beyond a disc at all! The manual is about 30 pages and cute, though my copy in particular was bent. This occurred because the box does not include an internal cardboard tray, as most retail PC boxes provided to keep contents in order.
The “USB game cartridge” confused the heck out of me initially. Housed inside a plastic case, it looks like some sort of GameBoy Advance-styled magnet rather than anything else. However, the USB drive itself is on the side of the card. Basically, the USB is perforated plastic and can be pulled off and used like any other USB device. As with all IndieBox products, it includes the game for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Disky replica likely confusing for those who haven’t played Dyscourse. Basically, in the game world it is the equivalent of Wilson from Castaway.I can’t say I was hankering for my own Disky but it’s not something to complain about either. It serves well enough as a sort of paperweight.
Then there’s that 77 song soundtrack. It seems impossible to me, but there actually are nearly 80 songs on one CD. Unfortunately, as with many modern CD printings, this one comes housed in a simple cardboard sleeve. Finally, there are also two stickers which came within the box – and were miraculously unbent. One is of the Dyscourse logo while the other promotes IndieBox itself. Although I’m not in love with stickers, these appear to be of pretty good quality. Finally, there’s the Dysat-Air pin which is metal rather than plastic and includes a lovely rendition of the fictional airline.
In all, the Dyscourse: Limited Edition includes a fair amount of goodies tailored to fans. It’s also nowhere near as expensive as the modern rendition of limited editions which include ridiculous goods such as arm replicas, working mini fridges, or disturbingly low quality character statues. Interested parties can pick up this box for $24.99 while it remains available in the IndieBox store. As for a subscriber rate, I paid closer to $15 for my copy. With that said, you cannot choose what boxes are coming when you subscribe, so it’s basically a $15 game of chance. For that price, I’m pleased to see that Dyscourse was given the physical box treatment.
For Hardcore Fans Only