The End is Nigh and Abzu are now free on the Epic Games Store

(Image credit: Edmund McMillen)

Thursday is upon us, and that means it's time to once again turn our eyes to the Epic Games Store, where a pair of new games have gone free for the week. First up is The End is Nigh, an action-platformer by Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel, in which you'll die a lot, "but that's okay because you are probably already dead anyway."

The End is Nigh is a game about Ash, a survivor of some world-ending event who "flops his way through a future of pain and suffering," as the game listing puts it. "Feel his stress levels rise as you throw him into an endless swarm of decaying, mutant animal-like creatures and help aid his final epic quest... to simply make a friend (out of pieces of people he finds along his journey)."

That lovely-sounding concept is backed by more than 600 levels, 12 chapters, collectible tumors, and—somewhat oddly for a pixel platformer—an M-rating, for strong language. Epic is also giving away Abzu, a beautiful and less death-focused underwater exploration-adventure game. 

"Linger in epic seascapes and explore aquatic ecosystems modeled with unprecedented detail. Descend into the heart of the ocean where ancient secrets lie forgotten," the store page says. "But beware, dangers lurk in the depths." Okay, so maybe there's some death. Even so, Abzu is rated E for everyone, and also excellent. That's not actually what the "E" stands for, but it is.

The End is Nigh and Abzu will be free until next Thursday, which according to my calendar is September 12. After that, we'll get the Lovecraft-inspired horror game Conarium, a tale of four scientists who decide to test the absolute limits of our perception of the world—you can probably guess how that goes.

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.