SOMA and Costume Quest up next week.
Epic continues to dish out the freebies this week, gifting Blooper Team’s surreal haunted house horror Layers of Fear and Toxic Games’ first-person puzzler QUBE 2 to anyone willing to deploy their mouse finger and clicky-button them into their Epic Games Store library.
Layers of Fear isn’t exactly fresh to the freebie scene, but the 2016 spook-’em-up is well worth checking out if you haven’t done so already. It might not be particularly terrifying – its over-reliance on clatter-bangy jumpfrights puts pay to that pretty early on – but it’s a wonderfully woozy experience, and a bit of a personal favourite for all its faults.
What it lacks in sustained horror, it makes up for in sheer hallucinatory spectacle, constantly reassembling the gorgeous gothic interiors of its spooky old house into ever-more disorientating, gleefully surreal configurations, as you, a tortured artist, slowly unravel.
Never have I spent so much time walking backward simply to keep the world beyond my line of sight from upending itself as I have in Layers of Fear.
As an added bonus, the version of Layers of Fear currently free on the Epic Games Store also features Bloober Team’s Inheritance DLC, which re-visits certain key events through the eyes of a child. It’s a less traditional horror experience than the base game, but there are some wonderfully creative, visually striking set-pieces in there.
As for QUBE 2, it’s a game I know significantly less about, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to make do with a summary of its store page. It’s a first-person puzzler, I’m now learning, that unfolds among the ancient ruins of a strange alien landscape.
Mostly, it appears to revolve around manipulating and creating blocks with your magical gloves of power (probably not called that in-game), and the internet tells me it was generally well-received. So there you go!
Both games will be free until 31st October, whereupon the seasonally appropriate Costume Quest and SOMA will be free for those willing to brave Epic’s shadowy halls.