Celeste and Inside have been announced as the Epic Games Store free games for next week. Both of these games are regarded as some of the best indie games in recent years. Another highly-regarded indie title, the beautiful, perspective-shifting puzzle platformer Fez, is the Epic Games Store’s current free title.
Released in early 2018, Celeste was developed by programmer Noel Berry and Towerfall Ascension creator Matt Thorson. The game has a simplified, pixel art style and smooth controls that make its difficult platforming feel fair and enjoyable. Celeste’s story follows protagonist Madeline’s trip up a mountain and only adds to the game’s charm and significance, tactfully discussing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Plus, for those who just want to experience its story and art, Celeste features a robust difficulty tuning system that allows anyone to make it through the campaign, and the game’s B-Side and C-Side levels provide optional challenges for hardcore platformer fans. Celeste’s PC version scored an 88 on Metacritic, with other versions coming in just above that.
2016’s Inside is the spiritual follow-up to Playdead’s Limbo, which was part of the initial wave of indies (if not the indie) that revolutionized the way players saw smaller, downloadable titles. Like Limbo, Inside follows a silent young boy through a dark, 2.5D world. It’s full of symbolism, physics-based puzzles, gruesome deaths, and somber atmosphere, all of which make it one of the creepiest and most emotionally affecting games of the last decade. Its Metacritic scores are quite high ranging from 87 to 93; a range that our review also falls under.
The release of Celeste and Inside as Epic Games Store free games will be the fourth time the platform has given away two games at once. In a policy beginning with its release of Moonlighter and This War of Mine, Epic makes a non-M-rated game available every time it gives away an M-rated one. Inside is rated M, while Celeste is rated E10+. Earlier this month, Epic gave away Hyper Light Drifter and Mutant Year Zero for free. When enabled for Hyper Light Drifter, the Epic Games Store cloud save feature (first enabled for Moonlighter in July) crashed the Epic Games Store and was subsequently put on hold.
Celeste and Inside will be available as the Epic Games Store free games from August 29 to September 5.