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Nuclear Throne and Ruiner are this week's free Epic Store games

And The Messenger's up next.

If you're looking to expand that insurmountable gaming backlog still further, then perhaps you might like to glance in the direction of the Epic Games Store, where once again a bony finger beckons through the crack in the curtain with the promise of more free games. And this week your freebie options are Ruiner and Nuclear Throne.

Nuclear Throne, of course, is developer Vlambeer's acclaimed rogue-like top-down shooter, in which bullets, and a procession of gun-toting post-apocalyptic mutants, reign supreme.

Eurogamer's Christian Donlan called it, "Vlambeer's most luxurious game" when he took it for a spin back in 2014, describing it as "perhaps the team's most demanding and multi-layered, too, throwing a tactical, almost strategic element into the mix behind all that shooting."

Then, one year later, Jeffrey Matulef slapped it with an Essential badge in his review. "With Nuclear Throne, Vlambeer has stepped up its scope and entered another crowded arena," wrote Jeffrey, "But the studio's trademark spark of mayhem and whimsy make it a real contender for king-slayer."

As for developer Reikon Games' Ruiner, it's a garish isometric shooter that's particularly brutal in tone. Unfolding in the futuristic cyber metropolis of Rengkok, players embark on a quest of pure chaos to free their kidnapped brother - one involving a whole lot of dodging about with an augmented dash and blasting stuff into nauseatingly hued smithereens.

"The governing themes - coercion, dehumanisation, a truly sickly interpretation of the war between sexes - are evident from square one, and the plot's revelations are both predictable and bluntly telegraphed," wrote Edwin Evans-Thirlwell in his Ruiner review, "Still, it's easy to lose yourself in the seethe and blur of each gladiatorial exchange, as limbs are rent from limbs and laser bolts sink hot wires into the darkness behind your eyelids."

Ruiner and Nuclear Throne can be added to your Epic Games Store library for free until next Thursday, 14th November, whereupon developer Sabotage Studios' wonderful time-hopping retro platformer The Messenger will be handed the freebie crown.

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Matt Wales


Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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