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Observer and Alan Wake's American Nightmare are free on the Epic Store

(Image credit: Bloober Team)

Throw-It-At-You Thursday is once again upon us, which means it's time to pop 'round to the Epic Games Store to get our latest fix of free stuff. This week is a two-fer, featuring Bloober Team's cyberpunk horror game Observer, and Remedy's supernatural creepo-thriller Alan Wake's American Nightmare.

Observer is an interesting game because it was generally quite well received—the Xbox One edition has an 86 aggregate score on Metacritic—yet we didn't much care for it. Despite some outstanding moments, it relies too much on repeated assets and layouts, and sacrifices cyberpunk cred for a too-familiar family story: "He's not Deckard in Blade Runner, he's Liam Neeson in Taken, and that's less interesting," we said in our 45/100 review.

Interestingly, I feel the same way about Alan Wake, a critical darling (83 on Metacritic) that really didn't turn my crank. The setting was interesting but the gameplay wore thin quickly, and with all due respect to Mr. Lake I had no idea what was going on through any of it. Evil or something, right? American Nightmare is a standalone sequel that pits Al against his dastardly doppelganger Mr. Scratch in the arid environs of Arizona. 

You can't go wrong for free, though: It's literally a zero-risk opportunity to try something you might find interesting but iffy enough to avoid for one reason or another. Or maybe you're like me, and you just take whatever free stuff gets waved in your face because, hey, free stuff.

Observer and Alan Wake's American Night are yours for the taking until October 24. Next week is another two-game giveaway, featuring Layers of Fear Masterpiece Edition (the game Bloober Team did before Observer) and, because it's rated M, the family-friendlier first-person puzzle game Qube.

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.