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Surviving Mars is free on the Epic Games Store

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

I wish that Epic Games would do its weekly store giveaways on Friday instead of Thursday, because "Free Game Friday" has a really nice flow to it. Instead, we're stuck with, I don't know, "Throw-It-At-You Thursday" or something. It's awkward and clunky, and a little part of me resents missing out on such an easy win. "Get your free game on Free Game Friday!"

The consolation is that, because this is Thursday, we get a free game today. This week's Epic Games Store giveaway is Surviving Mars, a city building sim set on—you guessed it—Mars. It's "fiddly and stressful," we said in our 80/100 review, but "nothing else marries survival and city building so deftly." A sequel, Surviving the Aftermath, is on the way next year.

It's just one free game this week, but next week we'll get two: The Rutger Hauer-starring cyberpunk thriller Observer, and because it's rated M and thus not available to anyone under 17 who hasn't figured out how to switch off the Epic launcher's parental controls, the T-rated Alan Wake's American Nightmare.

Surviving Mars is free until October 17.

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.