Last month, I admitted I had a problem: my Steam wishlist was out of control. It had crept up to 99 games (and was even bigger than that by the time the post was published). It had grown steadily with me adding new titles to it every day and I needed to do something about it.
As well as receiving some good advice from fellow gamers, writing that article made me realise there were several games on my list which were free or could be completed in less than an hour. What better way to take positive action than to get those completed? The last time I picked up a batch of free titles was in July 2018 when I’d tried to help anyone with a broken wallet after the Steam summer sale that year, so it seems like perfect timing as we’re now in that dangerous period once again.
If you’re a fan of walking simulators with good storyline and are looking for one which can be completed in less than an hour, it’s worth trying Answer Knot
by Naraven Games
. I really enjoyed the way the plot is told through everyday items left around the environment along with answerphone messages from the protagonist’s wife. There are also a whole bunch of references to other video games too – my favourite being a diary entry about a visit to Shambala, where half the temples were blown up thanks to a bizarre ‘treasure hunter’.
Burn Me Twice
I wasn’t sure about playing Burn Me Twice
by Null Reference Studio
because I wasn’t keen on the angular character models, but they grew on me once in the game and I really enjoyed it. You take on the role of a witch who must investigate mysterious happenings in the town of Düstenburg, collecting evidence including items and testimonies then using these in court to convince the jury who the culprit is. I spent an entertaining 4 hours with this title over a couple of evenings, and I’d highly recommend it.
Although the controls are a little janky, Burning Daylight
is still impressive when you consider it was made by a group of 12 students called Burning Daylight Team
. The highlight is perhaps the atmosphere: as you make your way through this future city, it’s clear that something is very wrong indeed. The story is told through the environment, so no clear answers are given, but it seems to something about society’s obsession with technology and not wanting to see the world for what it truly is. Very interesting.
Although the puzzles are quite easy and the twist at the end of the story is possibly a little expected, Metaphobia
by Digital Mosaic Games
is one of the better point-and-clicks I’ve dug up on Steam
. I managed to complete it in four hours split over two sessions and so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something to occupy a spare afternoon. It feels just like the adventure games for the 1990s and will interest anyone who likes storylines featuring murders, political rivals and mysterious conspiracies.
I can sum up Off-Peak
by Cosmo D
in just one word: weird. It isn’t a bad game at all but it’s definitely one of the stranger releases I’ve played. It takes place in a cathedral-like station where you’ll explore secret passageways, meet colourful strangers, wonder what the hell is going on and eat all the pizza slices while trying to collect the pieces of a train ticket. The highlights for me were the awesome music along with the guy in a business suit randomly dancing by himself on the train-tracks.
The Mirror Lied
To The Moon
by Freebird Games
is one of my favourite video games
so I’d always been keen to try out The Mirror Lied
. But I’m still not sure what to make of it, even though I’ve been thinking about it for the past several weeks since I played. The developer himself calls it an ‘experimental adventure’ and it’s certainly that: my other-half and I had no idea what was going on most of the time. Although I hate to say it, this is possibly a title to avoid unless you’re looking for something which is really going to confuse you.
It may be very short and over in less than 30 minutes, but The Supper
by Ocatvi Navarro
is one of the best free releases I’ve ever picked up on Steam
thanks to its story and artwork. It’s a weird yet wonderful mix of creepy and emotional. You’ll start the game thinking it’s a dark plot about serving some pretty disgusting meals to your customers, and then come out of it feeling a sort of bittersweet compassion for the protagonist. It’s very well done indeed – I’d highly recommend giving this one a try. Just maybe not during your lunch-break.
I first heard of Whateverland
by Caligari Games
when a fellow member of an adventure game group on Facebook
posted the link to a Kickstarter campaign
. I decided to try the free prologue myself and then ended up becoming a backer because I was so impressed. Protagonist Vincent decides to steal a precious necklace from a mansion of an old women – who then turns out to be a witch, who sends him to a parallel world so he can reflect upon his poor life choices. More details coming on Friday!
Have you played any of these games yourself, or are there any other free titles you’d recommend to those feeling the pinch thanks to the Steam summer sale? Let us know in the comments below!