Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition is free on the Epic Store

A fresh Thursday delivers unto us a fresh new free game on the Epic Store, although to be fair this one isn't quite "new" in the strictest sense. It's Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition, "a prickly 2D Metroidvania with a curious twist" that was originally released in 2018.

The "twist" in this case is the method of movement: Instead of walking, running, and jumping, you'll "warp" between specific surfaces in the game world. The heroine, Dandara, "can do so quickly and sometimes gracefully, but rare is the time you’re not thinking: isn’t there a better way?" we wrote in our 68/100 review. "And it doesn’t help that this world resembles one secured in a jar and shaken violently."

The game world is "remarkable," but not always in a good way: "Exploration is fun for a while, but each area’s map sprawls in such a way that it can be exhausting to backtrack from one side of the map to the other, a feeling compounded by the scarcity of new spawn points. Shortcuts are unlockable and the maps do blossom in interesting ways thanks to new powers, but overall, a lot of this game’s charm will only be discoverable by those with a huge reserve of patience."

It's a challenge to get into, in other words, but some players will no doubt find the effort worthwhile, especially now that it is free on the Epic Store. It's also been updated considerably since the initial release: Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition adds three new areas to explore, a new boss, powers, and mechanics, new music tracks, a new secret ending, quality of life updates, and more.

Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition is free for all on the Epic Store until February 4. On that day, the tabletop-inspired roguelike RPG For the King will take its place in the breach.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.