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Freeware Garden: Path of the Empyrean Pyre

You are the prodigal prince of the sun and, less spectacularly, the protagonist of incredibly polished and consequently very short first person offering the Path of the Empyrean Pyre. You seek help on a mysterious space cruiser and will face a single, difficult decision in this stunning game, created by eight people in just two weeks. In its brief running time, it creates a splendid atmosphere of sci-fi mysticism.

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The ship you’ve just entered is filled with space-faring pilgrims on their sacred voyage following the titular path. They are a strange and deeply religious people of odd beliefs, but they are also utterly peaceful, kind, and determined to make their voyage towards enlightenment without ever failing to lend a helping hand to anyone who might care to board their vessel.

They are the lovable kind of religious zealots and have thus granted you permission, in your dire straits, to enter their humble ship and seek help to save your own less-righteous self and crew. When you board, the brilliantly rendered and obviously lived-in vessel seems empty. Everyone has locked themselves up in their quarters as they wait to see whether you are dangerous or not.

It’s an unusual spaceship, filled with runes and strange statues, and the only company you’ll enjoy before making your single choice is the voices of the two narrators; two people of vastly different needs that talk right into your helmet’s audio feed.

Exploring the small environment and making up your mind should take you less than ten minutes. But it’s a brilliant ten minutes and then you’ll want to play again and make the other choice. Oh, and if you have one of those Oculus Rifts you’ll probably appreciate the Path of the Empyrean Pyre even more.

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

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