If you’re looking for a bit of spookiness as the nights draw in and Halloween approaches, developer The Chinese Room’s Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is currently free on the Epic Store; and if you’re not looking for a bit of spookiness, well, there’s some good news on that front too: Kingdom New Lands is also currently free on the Epic Store.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is, of course, the follow-up to Frictional Games’ seminal horror effort, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. However, while it retains its predecessors focus on gloomy chills, its story of a Oswald Mandus – a wealthy industrialist in the last days of the 19th century – and his vast underground factory, swaps clever systems for a more guided narrative experience.
Its scares aren’t anywhere near as effectively orchestrated as those in The Dark Descent, but it’s still a deliciously atmospheric tale of societal horror, with some truly unforgettable imagery.
“This is a game that understands that real horror comes from disempowerment, and from the unseen, unknown and unexplained,” wrote Quintin Smith in his 7/10 review back in 2013, “And on the handful of occasions that A Machine for Pigs does try something a bit different, it’s as amazing as anything in the first game.”
Incidentally, Frictional is set to return to its Amnesia franchise for the first time in a decade next week – with the arrival of Amnesia: Rebirth – and you can read some fascinating insight into the creation of its horror elsewhere on Eurogamer.
As for the Epic Store’s second free game, developer Noio’s Kingdom New Lands, it’s an expansion of the formula established by its predecessor Kingdom – which offers an unusual, but entirely engrossing blend of side-scrolling strategy and resource management, in which the goal is to parade across a beautifully drawn realm, building a kingdom along the way.
Eurogamer was rather taken with the original Kingdom when it released in 2015, and its follow-up is an even more refined, enjoyable experience.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Kingdom New Lands are free to add to you Epic Games Store library right now, and will remain so until next Thursday, 22nd October. There’s even more spooky goodness to follow, as Epic’s next free titles will be the adorable Costume Quest 2 and Bloober’s Team utterly fascinating silver-screen horror, Layers of Fear 2.