Shipwrecked alone on an uncharted island, explore, adapt and navigate the land and perilous seas to stay alive.
As Kara, you are a warrior, caught at sea in a fierce storm, adrift from your tribe. Thrown from your boat, at the mercy of the turbulent waters, you are tossed on to the shores of the Forbidden Islands, a mysterious paradise. With no boat, no food or tools, just the will and skill to survive, uncover this beautiful island’s rich resources. Craft tools and weapons to hunt and defend yourself against nature itself with its wild and fantastical creatures.
Whilst exploring further islands and the scattered ruins across their lands, secrets of the past and glimpses of the future are revealed. Unravel the mystery behind them all, and you may find more than just your way home.
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Windbound did not make great headway with the critics, but I feel those who panned it generally missed out on some of the subtlety. Its survival mode is definitely the only way to play the game since the story is so thin, but upgrading everything from your weapons to your boat will offer you greater chances of making it through to the end of the game.
Regardless, as a free game, there’s absolutely no reason not to pick this up and give it a go because, even if you end up hating the heavy rougelike gameplay that makes it worthwhile, you’re not going to weep at the lost cash like those poor fools who bought it brand new.
5 Lives Studios might not have hit it out of the ballpark with Windbound, but there’s no doubt that this small Australian game company has some great ideas. In their 2015 mega-hit Satellite Reign, 5 Lives Studio offered players something unique and incredible, a vibrant open world strategy game designed from a place of obvious passion for the cyberpunk genre.
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Satellite Reign is a real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open-world cyberpunk city. You command a group of 4 agents through rain-soaked, neon-lit streets, where the law is the will of mega-corporations. Use your agents to sneak, shoot, steal, and sabotage your way up the corporate ladder, and take control of the most powerful monopoly of all time. The city of Satellite Reign is one big, open playground. No individual levels to pick between, the whole world can be explored seamlessly. Uncover new missions while you explore, and pick and choose which objectives you want to tackle.
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 Fortnite 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.
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 or add-on, 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 unbelievable 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 impressive. 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).