Want some free games? Well, the Epic Games Store has got them. This week – until September 28 – you are able to download both Out of Line and The Forest Quartet, both games with fairly good review scores and delicious art styles. But there’s one in particular that I want to draw attention to.
First up, there’s Out of Line: a unique adventure game filled with beautiful puzzles, all hand-drawn in a unique 2D style. It’s got 103 reviews averaging 9/10 on Steam, and you know what that’s like when it comes to user reviews on that storefront! Some professional critics have allied it ‘enjoyable but bland’ or ‘beautifully simple, if not a little unremarkable’. For the sake of giving it a go and saving $8, though, it’s worth a shot, right?
Next up is The Forest Quartet, a 3D narrative puzzler that’s genuinely something special. It’s a game about three musicians that need to figuratively and literally get the band back together after their lead singer dies. Between pulling at the heartstrings and making you scratch your head with some obtuse puzzles, the game is a gorgeous little indie that has a lot to say (and says it very well).
With a soundtrack put together by the Danish Radio Big Band, The Forest Quartet has a wonderful cadence in mixing its puzzles, narrative beats, and setpieces together. Unpicking a conundrum and figuring out a puzzle will lead to a lovely little flourish of music that feels almost as validating as the story you get for pushing through the fiendish tasks set for you. The game is underlined by this thoroughly ethereal feeling, this disjointed, grief-stricken vibe that makes the moments where everything is harmonious seem even more life-affirming.
It’s a wonderful interrogation of grief, and sadness, and loss. It holds the beauty of reconnection in one hand, and the impossibility of depression in the other. There are plenty of games (indie games, specifically) that do this, but something about The Forest Quartet has stuck with me so much that I’m here – a year after I first played it – encouraging you with all my heart to at least give this a go. It’s free, so what have you got to lose?
And, if you’re keen for even more free games, I’ve got good news: you’ll be able to download both Model Builder and Soulstice from Epic’s PC marketplace from September 28 until October 5. These titles should make for an interesting week; Model Builder is a simulation that delights in replicating the model-building hobby. Soulstice, meanwhile, looks like it wants to be the next Devil May Cry: a moody, coming-of-age dark fantasy story that makes intense setpieces out of its bosses.
You can download the free games to EGS by clicking on the game name links above.