For this week’s free games, we’ve been a bit late but have made it up with two great games to show you. We have The Messenger, an 8-bit side scrolling platformer on the Epic Games Store, and Memoranda, a 2D point and click adventure game.
#1 – The Messenger
The Messenger developed by Sabotage Studios is an 8-bit side scrolling paltformer game set in Japan. The game starts off with the village your character, a ninja in training, lives in being attacked by the fearful Demon King. The fabled ‘Western Hero’ tasks you with delivering a scroll eastwards across the nation with your destination to be revealed on the way.
The gameplay of The Messenger is really fun, and reminiscent of older 8-bit platformers while bringing a new theme and story to the genre. From the get-go you need to read up on the controls as there is no formal tutorial and the game only really teaches you how to use abilities but the controls are super easy to pick up and feel responsive to use. Early on in the game, the abilities store appears and lets you access upgrades on your skill tree including extra attacks, improved abilities and health upgrades, which lets you choose your own playstyle rather than being forced into a certain sequence of abilities throughout the course of the game. I only played a small amount of the game so I could get the review out but I felt hooked and wanted to delve deeper into the story that was unfolding before me. It truly felt like I was on an adventure as the environments in the game change often and make you feel like you are going through different parts of Japan on your travels.
#2 – Memoranda
Memoranda is a 2D point and click adventure game developed by Bit Byterz. The game is partially inspired by books written by Japanese authour, Haruki Murakami, as the game’s lead developer, Sahand Saedi, used to look for inspiration in his novels for ideas on how to continue the story. If he came to a loss and didn’t know how to continue the story, he would select a book at random and read for a while to help him continue his work on the story or give him an idea for a puzzle.
The gameplay is pretty standard point and click gameplay, however the theme and mood of the game are what set the game apart from others. Occasionally certain things will happen in game that appear very subtley but can be quite jarring at times, giving the feeling of being in quite a surreal environment that makes you think about the character’s perspective. The whole idea of the game is about the main character trying to recover her identity due to memory loss, and the game shows this memory loss in different ways, one example of this is collectiong an item in your inventory, then it disappears and reappears back where it was found giving that surreal vibe mentioned earlier.
Overall, I think two great games are on offer here. The Messenger is extremely fun and easy to jump into, whereas Memoranda is excellent if you want to sit down for a while and play an intriguing story-driven game.