Folks still like freebies ’round these parts, right? Hope so, because there’s a pretty kickin’ lineup of games to snatch on the Epic Games Store over the next week. Offworld Trading Company and Gonner are both free right now. That’s one capitalism strategy simulator and one procedurally generated platformer for your library. Both are free until March 12th, at which point Epic roll out three more free games: A Short Hike, Mutazione, and Anodyne 2: Return To Dust.
Offworld Trading Company is one of the best strategy games on PC, where the RPS folk say it’s a game that “slots neatly into a genre but doesn’t seem to follow many–if any–of the established rules of that genre.” It’s all about profit—not combat—but you’ll compete against rival space CEOs tooth and nail regardless. A slew of numbers and information are constantly up on screen for you to track and attempt to make sense of for those of you who like playing spreadsheets masquerading as games.
Gonner’s another good one but quite odd. It’s a platformer with procedurally generated levels and some rogue-like-y bits. Importantly, you get new abilities by slapping new heads on your empty shoulders, which is a thing I wish I could do. Time to do taxes? Honey, grab my maths head, will ya? Gonner’s quick, with lots of jumping a shooting and plenty of dying and failing too. In his Gonner review, Adam Smith (RPS in pieces) says “Whether you want to show off by pushing its systems to the limits or play at a more relaxed and careful pace, basking in the gorgeous music, it’s an absolute delight.”
Up for next week is a handful of adventuring games of various sorts. Anodyne 2 is the 3D successor to 2013’s Anodyne wot was a classically pixelated Zelda-like adventure with an existential bent. Mutazione’s a sort of interactive soap opera about a young girl visiting her grandfather in monsterville and sorting out all the small town drama therein.
A Short Hike is one I’ll personally recommend for its adventuring roots that remind me of yon old point and clicks. Talk to folk and suss out what they need. Get lost climbing all over the island. Get distracted by some mini games. Find the things your new friends needed and repeat. It’s also got a lovely little soundtrack and flying about as Claire the bird is quite fun. All three of those will be free starting next week.
Correction: Anodyne 2: Return To Dust is one of the free games next week, not the original Anodyne.
Disclosure: Hannah Nicklin, the narrative designer and writer of Mutazione, has written for RPS.