Two very good games – legitimately entertaining, worth your money type of games – are available for bugger all right now. They’d be worth grabbing even outside of this crazy coronavirus-induced isolation most of us are in, but with people slamming the internet looking for things to play, A Short Hike and Anodyne 2 is definitely worth your time.
Both games are free right now through the Epic Game Store until Friday morning Australian time, and while they’re two very different games, you should definitely take the time to grab both of them.
We’ll start with A Short Hike. An indie that dropped out of nowhere last year, the game features a sassy bird called Claire who’s looking to reach the top of a mountain. Along the way, you find treasures, talk to people and – quite literally – fly around the place looking for golden feathers.
It’s an exceedingly chill title that’s inspired by games like Zelda, but it has a very similar charm and slice-of-life feel that Animal Crossing fans will love. It’s the indie that really caught a ton of attention when the game left Humble Bundle and hit Steam, and ended up as a late entry on quite a few GOTY lists. It won’t take you any longer than an hour to finish the game, but you’ll love every minute. I promise.
Before I moved to New York, I used to walk in the woods a lot. Sometimes, I’d drive with friends to mountains or parks and explore off the beaten path. A Short Hike, which is available for PC and Mac in this month’s Humble Bundle, captures the playful joy of walking on winding paths and meeting folks along the way.Read more
OK, so that’s definitely one you should play. But so is Anodyne 2, a 3D and 2D RPG that should be a must-play for anyone who enjoyed the polygonal 3D PC or PS1 RPGs.
Anodyne‘s original hook was that it was a great Zelda-lite, but the sequel is a hell of a lot more clever. Instead of being isolated to the 2D perspective, most of the game is played in third-person with a retro low-fi perspective. The catch is all of the dungeons are done like a colourised Game Boy.
“Anodyne 2 feels like the product of several lessons coming home to roost, both in terms of how confidently it weaves together different gameplay styles and how much it nails old school Playstation visuals,” Heather wrote in her coverage of Anodyne 2 last year.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust isn’t releasing until May, but it’s been quietly dominating my thoughts so far this year. Mixing Playstation-era visuals with Link’s Awakening-esque dungeons, it’s on track to be one of the most innovative and evocative games of 2019.Read more
There’s a third game available for free, a gorgeous supernatural adventure title called Mutazione. I don’t know anything about the game other than what I’ve seen in the trailer, which certainly has plenty of visual appeal.
So three games for free, and at least two that are absolutely worth running through. Anyone looking at Animal Crossing later this week should grab A Short Hike now: it’s a perfect primer for Animal Crossing is out and you’ll finish the game, easily, before Friday. Anodyne 2 is also just a great retro hit, reminding me of games like Little Big Adventure 2, but way weirder.