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Anodyne 2, A Short Hike, and Mutazione are free on the Epic Games Store

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Like the wheel of a normal, properly functioning mouse, the calendar has turned over with a click, a new Thursday has arrived, and it's now time to grab some more free stuff from the Epic Games Store. A trio of critically-acclaimed indies are up for grabs this week: Anodyne 2: Return to Dust, A Short Hike, and Mutazione.

Anodyne 2 is a retro-styled blend of 3D platforming and 2D "Zelda-like" gameplay that follows the story of Nova, a Nano Cleaner on the island of New Theland who must save its inhabitants from the Dust by shrinking herself and entering their bodies with her Nano Vacuum. Her destiny is clear, "but strange characters & painful experiences will put her loyalty to the test."

That may not be the most illustrative description ever, so let's check out a trailer.

Next up is A Short Hike, a game about taking a short hike around a very interesting island. Take your time, follow paths, discover secrets and hidden treasures, chat with other hikers, and just generally enjoy the day. I've heard really good things about this one.

A trailer:

Last but not least is Mutazione, "a mutant soap opera where small-town gossip meets the supernatural." Travel to a strange and secretive community to care for your ailing grandfather—and make friends, go to BBQs, go on boat rides, plant musical gardens, and "embark on a final spiritual journey to save everyone from the strange darkness at the heart of it all."

Let's make it three for three on the trailers:

All three games were nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at this year's Independent Games Festival Awards, which is a pretty strong recommendation. A winner hasn't been announced yet: The IGF Awards show will take place on March 18 in a livestreamed show beginning at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET. The games are free for the taking until March 19.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.