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HomeFeaturesArt & EntertainmentLate to the Game(s): Holiday gaming game plan

Late to the Game(s): Holiday gaming game plan

Grab some free games for everyone in the family

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

If the chilly weather keeps you indoors this long holiday weekend, and the pandemic keeps you off the road, you can always hunker down with a free PC game from the Epic Game Store to pass the time. 

If you jump online early, you can still grab the current week’s free offerings. Epic currently has Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door available to claim for free on their online game store at https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/. 

Elite Dangerous, rated T for Teen, throws you into an interstellar war spread across the Milky Way Galaxy as you pilot your own starship. The action space sim takes place in a persistent massively multiplayer online world where your story and the story of other players can interact in unique and interesting ways. Or play in solo mode and avoid the risk (and rewards) of running into other players. The game does require setting up a Frontier account to play online, and may not be suitable for younger players. The T for Teen rating comes from the fantasy violence and drug references, but you never know what online interactions might bring, so if you let younger children play, you might want to stick with solo mode or play along with them. If you have more than one PC in your home, it could be a fun way to pass the time with your kids. 

The World Next Door is also rated T, but it’s a different experience entirely. It’s a puzzle battle game with “visual novel elements” that tells the tale of a teenage protagonist who finds herself trapped in a parallel world. She must “find her way home before time runs out” and she ends up stuck in the world of Emrys forever. 

Both these games can be grabbed before Thanksgiving, but if you wait until Thursday, you’ll be too late. So, if they sound interesting to you, act now. 

If you’re looking for something to play as a family on or after Thanksgiving, you can grab MudRunner for free. The ATV simulator allows up to four players to play cooperatively as they explore the remote, barren, and beautiful landscape of Siberia in a variety of all-terrain vehicles. You have to use your map, your compass, your driving skills, and implements like winches to make your way across the wilderness in this wide-open sandbox sim. Complete your deliveries and meet your other objectives in any way you see fit in this E for Everyone rated game. 

If you’re playing on console, you can still grab the PlayStation Plus free games Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition, rated E 10+ or, for the grown-ups in the family, the M for Mature rated Middle Earth: Shadow of War

If you plan on picking up a PS5 this holiday season, you might want to go ahead and grab the E 10+ rated bonus game, Bugsnax, while it’s still available. You don’t need a PS5 yet to claim the game, and you can go ahead and start playing it on PS4 and have it available and ready to download to your new PS5 on Christmas morning. 

So, go ahead and grab a game, and spend some time enjoying the great indoors with family this holiday weekend. Even if you can’t be in the same home together this holiday, there’s no reason you can’t chat, laugh, and enjoy a game together online. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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