And you’ve got a week to claim them.
Another week, and another twosome of gaming freebies fired up from the depths of the Epic Games Store, this time catching the light and taking the form of underwater adventure Abzû and post-apocalyptic platformer The End is Night.
Abzû is the brainchild of Matt Nava, who previously served as art director on developer That Game Company’s seminal Journey, and there are clear similarities between the two games.
Both focus on a lone protagonist’s slow, steady journey intruding upon magnificent natural vistas, and both blend genteel puzzling with truly breathtaking set-pieces, enriched by the music of Austin Wintory. Indeed, Abzû’s stylised rendition of a lost undersea world, and the majesty of its aquatic inhabitants, is never less than beautiful – even if it never quite packs the emotional punch that it’s clearly aiming for.
“Yet Abzû is still an easy game to recommend,” said Martin Gaston in his review of the game in 2016, “mainly because of the obvious skill at play here in crafting this unique and striking world. Even if you can’t get comfortable in the sea, there’s still some treasure to be found underwater.”
The End is Night, meanwhile, is the work of Tyler Glaiel and The Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen. It offers a bleakly humorous traipse across a desolate world, that plays out something like a spiritual successor to McMillen’s earlier Super Meat Boy. There’s the same twitchy, challenging, 2D platform action as its predecessor, only this time gathered into a more cohesive package – its deviously inventive, 600+ single-screen rooms neatly arranged into chapters, and with its weird, sometimes sombre narrative, providing a compelling through-line.
“The End is Nigh may be several years on from Super Meat Boy and developed with a different partner,” wrote Jeffrey Matulef in his 2017 Recommended review, “but make no mistake: this is vintage McMillen. Not even the apocalypse can change that.”
Abzû and The End is Night are free to own on the Epic Games Store until 12th September.