The Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) still has a lot to do - and to prove - before it ever poses a serious threat to Steam. But there's no arguing with one thing: Epic is handing out some of the best games of the past few years for free. On the heels of What Remains of Edith Finch (opens in new tab), the fun-with-friends Jackbox Party Pack is now available for free through February 7, and another indie gem is up next. Axiom Verge will be free on the Epic Games Store from February 7 through February 21, and you owe it to yourself to play it.
Axiom Verge is a stunning 8-bit, Metroidvania-style 2D platformer originally released in 2015, and it hasn't aged a day. As we said in our roundup of games made entirely by one person (opens in new tab), "no game quite matches the crunchy 8-bit look and the suffocating loneliness of the original Metroid quite like Axiom Verge." Solo developer Thomas Happ poured five years into this game, and the result is a timeless Metroidvania experience which can go toe-to-toe with the games that defined the genre.
From inventive power-ups and challenging bosses, to a mysterious world with a compelling story behind it, Axiom Verge really does deliver everything you could ask of a Metroidvania game. By all rights, it was to 2015 what Hollow Knight was to 2017. If you haven't played it already, don't sleep on it next month.
One big hole in the Epic Games Store was recently filled: it's got a proper refund policy now, and it's very similar to Steam's (opens in new tab). Still waiting on user reviews, though.