Free games for the New Year: Egress

Egress Landscape

It's hard to get into the meat of why Egress: The Test of STS-417 is special without spoiling it, but at its core this is an adventure game that not only sets a puzzle in front of you but cares how you solve it. If you're tired of games that ignore your failures and treat the time you spend flailing for a clickable hotspot as storyless limbo, then you should absolutely put aside time for it.

Egress is a short sci-fi point and click adventure by one-man Australian studio Krams Design. After a deep-space repair mission goes wrong, you're stranded on an alien world and must locate your missing crew members and attempt to find out what abducted you and why. This involves solving puzzles that range from spatial reasoning to branching dialogues and traditional use-item-on-the-thing procedure. Some are far more successful than others: one early puzzle in particular is pretty hard unless you figure out that the game wants you to perceive a 2D backdrop from another perspective. As the game keeps track of your blunders, this can feel a bit unfair.

For the most part, though, Egress is a big success. In a large part this is due to the simple hand-drawn art and elegant animation that sells the subdued, lonely other world that you find yourself on. It's also effectively creepy, at points: far more so than you might expect. Tonally, it's somewhere between LucasArts adventure The Dig and Eric Chahi's Another World. If those names mean something to you, give Egress a shot - download it here .

Chris Thursten

Joining in 2011, Chris made his start with PC Gamer turning beautiful trees into magazines, first as a writer and later as deputy editor. Once PCG's reluctant MMO champion , his discovery of Dota 2 in 2012 led him to much darker, stranger places. In 2015, Chris became the editor of PC Gamer Pro, overseeing our online coverage of competitive gaming and esports. He left in 2017, and can be now found making games and recording the Crate & Crowbar podcast.