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Dicey spaceship crisis sim Tharsis is the latest Epic Games Store freebie

Alongside 2D clock-puncher Speed Brawl

Tharsis is a turn-based spaceship management game where your ability to deal with a Sandra Bullock of disasters is determined by a dice roll. Alec once sung its praises while calling it "cruel as hell" - and it's one of this week's free games from the Epic Games Store.

The central dilemma at the heart of Tharsis is what your crew should be doing in any given moment. Should you send someone to fix the life-support system, or the food module? The decision is yours, but the outcome relies on the roll of a dice.

"So why even embark on such a journey into darkness?" asked Alec in his Tharsis review. "Well, because the little wins feel so triumphant. Because keeping on top of things, even for a short while, makes you feel like some sort of strategic genius. Because, after learning the game well, once in a while one or two of your crew might survive all ten turns. And if they do, you'll be rewarded with new crew members for next time around, or you'll feel ready to tackle the tougher difficulty, even though tougher than this seems like an impossibility."

It also has really nice dice, which rebound and teeter on their edge and create drama all on their own.

So yes, Tharsis for free. A good deal. You can grab it from the Epic Games Store until September 23rd at 4pm and keep it forever.

Epic are also giving away Speed Brawl for free, a 2D brawler from 2018 about maintaining your momentum as you run around the screen to biff monsters. I wasn't previously familiar with it, but the art is nice.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

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Graham used to be to blame for all this.

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