Free Game! Aven Colony on Epic Games Store

Odin Odin (77)
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Each week, check out my latest article for the new hit game released for free from the Epic Games Store! This week, it’s Aven Colony, an exciting colony simulation game with beautiful graphics and a lot of depth.

The Epic Games Store has been around for a while, the lesser-known alternative to Steam, the nearly-ubiquitous platform for game purchases since it launched in 2003. But, where Steam originally existed and launched to promote Valve games, Epic Games Store launched in 2018 and quickly rose to success on the Fortnight franchise. At the time of Epic’s launch, Steam took a dramatic 30% cut from the sales of video games through their platform! This hurt both game designers and users, just wasn’t very nice. But the folks behind Epic realized something excellent: they could take a much lower cut and still have a profitable business. This led them to fast domination of the indie market, as small publishers flocked to the far better terms offered by Epic.

Mega Discounts

Epic Games Store offers some seriously incredible discounts on a regular basis, in addition to all the normal discounts one would expect on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the usual holidays. But the most exciting is their weekly free game which simply harpoons all competitors.

When I first heard about this free game, I thought that can’t be real. They must only offer tiny indie games. Not at all, dear reader. Not. At. All. Epic frequently lists incredible A-lister games on their weekly deal, as well as sometimes offer two free games instead of one. In addition, just because a studio is smaller doesn’t mean the games it makes aren’t incredible. I’ve picked up some of my favorite new games, for free, from this platform, and most of them have been made by smaller studios (or as side-projects for teams from big studios).

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Aven Colony
Aven Colony

Build a new home for humanity in Aven Colony. Discover Aven Prime - an alien planet of deserts, tundras, and wetlands light years from earth. Build your colonies into massive, sprawling cities whilst dealing with the threats faced when settling on a new world.

In Aven Colony, you take on the role of colonial governor to a human city on the wild alien world of Aven Prime. While overseeing all aspects of the economy, social welfare, construction, and defense, the player shepherds Aven Colony into a bastion of interstellar civilization while overcoming the odds of alien nature, ideological splinter cells, and the possible remnants of an alien civilization.

Watch the video:

Aven Colony is not the top of the charts when it comes to simulation games or empire builders—but it’s fairly middle-of-the-pack, and it has some exciting differences from other games in the genre. The way relatively constant disasters and crisis appear, for one thing, ensures that players will be engaged the whole time they’re playing. The downside is that there isn’t a ton of flexibility to the game, making it primarily fun for short bursts when you just want to have some fun.

The game has some seriously lovely graphics, as well as an overall high-quality aesthetic. The designers really created a nice immersive experience with the sort of intensity that one might normally expect from a rougelike game. This combo is fun, especially in short bursts, making Aven Colony extremely worthwhile for those who like being in the thick of things while enjoying gorgeous artwork and sound.

Other games by Team17
Other games by Team17

Team17, the company behind Aven Colony, started way back in 1990 when a British and Swedish developer merged. They’ve been active ever since on the indie scene, turning out neat original games and testing the boundaries of what a small publisher/developer can do.

A recent success story for the company as a publisher was Hell Let Loose which debuted in mid-2021 and focused on platoon-level combat in a WWII setting.

Watch the video:

Other games, like in-house designed The Escapists and The Survivalists have been extremely popular in niche markets with handheld fans. My Time at Portia, a role-playing storytelling game, has also been extremely popular. It will be exciting to see if Team17 comes out with more RTS or simulation games in the future, though!

This Kickstarter has passed its goal but users can still preorder.
Ash Ash (346)
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The Raspberry Pi Pico is the first official microcontroller to come from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and like the SBCs that came before it, the Pico is compatible with a variety of HATs from third party developers. Today we’ve got an exciting new barcode scanning Pico HAT and Barcode Scanner Breakout to share with you created by maker Om Singh. Om recently created a Kickstarter that has more than surpassed its initial goal, ensuring the new boards are well on their way to development. The HAT is designed to mount to the Pico while the breakout can connect to devices via microUSB. Both provide a variety of tools to both scan and process various barcodes.