Monthly Free Games (June 2016)

Man, this never happens. People who only own an XBox One, this is your month to shine! Unless you really like basketball.

Costume Quest 2 (Xbox One)

This is basically a Paper Mario style cartoony RPG from Double Fine - I didn't play the original as much as I wanted to, and the new one has a much friendlier art style and perspective. Probably the one I'll go back to the most after Goat Simulator.

Goat Simulator (Xbox One)

This is, in many ways, the perfect free game. It's a game I was tempted to buy a bunch of times on sale, but never did because I never quite knew what it was or cared enough to research and find out. It's a very ridiculous game with deliberately awful physics - almost retro late 90's with the rag dolls and the bouncing. Run your goat around and try and accomplish goals. Largely pointless, sometimes obtuse goals. Super awesome when you didn't pay for it.

Super Meat Boy (XBox 360)

I knew I already owned this. I knew it. But I couldn't remember how or where. As soon as I started it, I remebered why I didn't like it. I'm not opposed to super-tough, instant-retry single-screen simple-art plat formers. I normally eat that shit up. But Super Meat Boy is, for my weak retinas, irritatingly low-contrast. Basically, it's N+ for people with good eyes. If you didn't already grab it on PS4 when it was free last year, now' scour chance.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (XBox 360)

There were two XCom games released last generation. One was a poorly regarded shooter using the license, the other was a more tactical game with closer ties to the original, beloved-by-others XCOM. When this goes free at the midpoint of the month, it will be the tactics one. I was given this for free as compensation for one or the other company's fuckup at some point and I could see where tactics game fans would like it quite a bit.

Gone Home (PS4)

I'm going to encourage you to download and try Gone Home because it seems like a very unique game. It's basically a walk around and read stuff first-person adventure game set in a very real 1995 house. I have no patience for this kind of thing - turning over invoices and postcards and scraps of information and assembling a story out of them. But I bet if you do have the patience for that kind of thing it's probably rewarding.

NBA 2K16 (PS4)

By many accounts, this is one of the best basketball video games ever made. Since it is not NBA Jam, I do not care, and you've finally that the line that demarcates whether I will bother downloading and starting up a free game even for this write up falls somewhere between Tropico 5 and NBA 2K16.

Echochrome (PS3)

I played this on PSP and liked it quite a bit for a little while. It's a simple, perspective-based puzzle game from a time before phone games could be like this. The minimalist graphics and slightly clunky interface don't hold up as well as I thought they would, though - the perspective tricks the puzzling is based on aren't as clear as they could be. Worth a shot, though.

Siren: Blood Curse (PS3)

This was released episodically back in the day, and right off the bat, I was irritated by twelve separate PS3 downloads to install. Well, OK. I installed one of them, played for ten minutes, and then I had twelve files to delete. There was (and still is, but less so these days) a style of slightly blocky horror/adventure game with awkward controls that would find an audience anyway for reasons that eluded me. Basically, I spent ten minutes stumbling around a small outdoor area in the relative dark being shot a dozen times by zombie cop while I tried to find the alleged house the game wanted me to go to, wrestling with the camera the whole time.

Little Deviants (Vita)

Remember when augmented reality games were going to be the next big thing? Well, if you'd like to generically shoot at things with iffy aim and pretend it's happening in your living room even though it's just happening on top of it, go nuts and grab Little Deviants. I guess other levels do other Vita things like the push the rear touchscreen to make bumps thing, but if you don't have a Vita game or two that does well that weird Vita stuff that never really worked as well as it should, I'd be shocked.

God of War: Chains of Olympus (Vita)

Here's what I wrote for the Vita God of War game last month:

"I'm pretty sure I played this on PSP. The portable God of War games are fine, if you're not sick of the God of War formula, this is a short, breezy way to get a little more of it."

The same applies to Chains of Olympus.