You may be aware that Epic Games is in the habit of giving away one or more free games each week — it’s one of those gestures that reminds you sometimes the world can still be a beautiful place. This week, Epic has put not one, not two, but three games in the “free” bin. Between now and March 19, you can snag A Short Hike, Mutazione or Anodyne 2: Return to Dust for free on either Windows or Mac. Both Mutazione and Anodyne 2: Return to Dust are regularly $20, and A Short Hike is $8.
Mutazione is a graphical adventure game with supernatural elements that unfold as you explore a world with mutants who apparently have a lot of time on their hands to gossip. Here’s what Epic has to say about the game: “A mutant soap opera where small-town gossip meets the supernatural. Join Kai as she arrives in the mysterious community of Mutazione to care for her ailing grandfather. Discover scenic hangouts, magical gardens, new friends, and old secrets…”
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is, in fact, a sequel, but stands on its own and you can enjoy it without knowing anything about the original. As Epic explains, this is an adventure game in which you “run, jump and drive across vast, dreamy 3D landscapes. Shrink into surreal, 2D dungeons inside of characters’ bodies. Travel the world, meet strange people, and save the world from the dangerous Nano Dust.”
Anodyne 2 collected a veritable treasure trove of game awards in 2019 and 2020.
A Short Hike looks like a whimsical game that leans into a pixelly, 8-bit aesthetic. Epic says: “Hike, climb and soar through the peaceful mountainside landscapes of Hawk Peak. Follow the trails or explore the backcountry as you make your way to the summit. Along the way, meet other hikers, discover hidden treasures and take in the world around you.”
This is the sort of open-ended game in which you play a small bird that can explore any way you like, play at your own pace, and play peacefully, since there are no monsters or villains to defeat.
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