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Free Games: A Soulslike, An Arcade Machine, And A Deer Walk Into A Bar

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Free Games: A Soulslike, An Arcade Machine, And A Deer Walk Into A Bar

It's the last Friday before December! Do you have your advent calendar yet? I should be too old for this, but my mum very kindly sent me one with coffee every day. Honestly, really sweet of her. I drink coffee every single day, and it's probably healthier for me than previous years when she's sent me beer calendars. Think I'll do dry January this year too. Should save a fortune.

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Speaking of saving a fortune, why not get your mitts on some free games this Friday? They're perfect for a long winter weekend, and you might just find a gem. It's a veritable advent calendar of video gaming goodness.

Mortal Shell / Credit: Cold Symmetry
Mortal Shell / Credit: Cold Symmetry

Mortally Wounded

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If you keep playing punishing soulslikes and can't stop seeking that rush of suffering, have I got a treat for you. Mortal Shell is here to solve all your life's problems and put you through a world of hurt. Sarah James said it channels Sekiro and Dark Souls, and by the looks of things, I have to agree.

Cold Symmetry's third-person RPG was awarded Best Debut Game at the 2020 Game Awards and did a really solid job of differentiating itself from its contemporaries. With unique mechanics, a variety of 'Shell' characters to inhabit with differing abilities, and some really horrid-looking bad guys, Mortal Shell has it all for you masochists with the time and energy to pull yourself through experiences like this. In some ways, I envy you. In other ways, I try to avoid suffering wherever I can.

Mortal Shell is on Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S right now.

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Anstream Arcade / Credit: Antstream
Anstream Arcade / Credit: Antstream

Arcade Fire

Arcade gaming isn't dead, you just don't have a dozen cabinets dotted around your home. Thankfully, you don't need to worry about all this nonsense. Just get your PC or Mac out and boot up the Epic Games Store.

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Antstream Arcade is a platform on which to play all manner of arcade titles, from Space Invaders and Pac Man to Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. There are even additional extras you wouldn't get from a plain ol' arcade, such as worldwide leaderboards and limited-time tournaments, as well as unique challenges available in each game. 

Mike recommended Antstream Arcade thanks to its sheer breadth of titles to play. If you're a bit of an old-schooler like our Mike - the type of person who knows what an Amiga is - you'll want to give it a look.

It's a free download and playable by subscription, but with the Epic Games Store, you'll receive the Antstream Arcade Epic Welcome Pack. This'll give you 1090 gems, redeemable to play games just like in a real arcade. It's a great starting point to see if you fancy going the whole hog and subscribing!

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Deeeer Simulator / Credit: Gibier Games
Deeeer Simulator / Credit: Gibier Games

Oh Deeeer Oh Deeeer

This one is a doozy. Deeeer Simulator is out now on Xbox Game Pass for free, and offers an experience like no other. Well, like no other if you've never played Goat Simulator. Basically, you play as a deer. This deer has a ridiculously stretchy neck, sharp horns, and a general arsenal of weapons with which to destroy the city you're in. 

It's not a normal city - you'll have to face police bears, kung fu sheep, and big-eared rabbits to succeed in… whatever your mission is. Apparently, there's a secret to discover within the city too. 

It's available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC Game Passes, so if you're up for something real silly, this is the one for you.

theHunter: Call Of The Wild / Credit: Expansive Worlds
theHunter: Call Of The Wild / Credit: Expansive Worlds

The Hunter Doesn't Become The Hunted

If you're feeling something a little more relaxed, Epic Games has something to wet your whistle. Until December 2nd, you can download theHunter: Call of the Wild for free on PC. It's a straight-up hunting game. No frills, no monstrous demons coming to kill you or Witcher-style magic to keep track of. Just shootin' critters for fun.

Admittedly, in real life that isn't my idea of fun, but in games, I've killed my fair share of innocent bystanders. theHunter claims it's an atmospheric, open-world game providing the best, most realistic hunting experience ever created. 

So open world, check. Hunting animals, check. We all killed that chicken in Skyrim's Riverwood, right? This'll be just like that, just without all the townsfolk murdering you afterwards. What a treat. 

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And there you have it! I do hope something here floats your boat. If it doesn't, I can't help you. Until next week, when I will absolutely be helping you to find free games to fill your weekend with once again. It's all good. I hope your advent calendars don't disappoint, whether you're brewing up a coffee or chowing down on some chocolate, and be sure to have your first mince pie of the year if you haven't already.

Featured Image Credit: Expansive Worlds / Cold Symmetry

Topics: Free Games

James Law
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