Welcome to the second half of 2019! Here’s the monthly(ish) batch of free games for PlayStation Plus, Xbox Gold, Humble Monthly, Epic Games and Twitch Prime subscribers. A lot of games this month are couch co-op titles, perfect for snuggling up with friends in winter. Or, more likely, arguing with friends in winter.
- Detroit: Become Human Digital Deluxe Edition
A narrative-focused game set in a near future in which androids live among humans. According to our review, the choices you make can wildly alter the outcome of the story. The Digital Deluxe Edition also comes with Heavy Rain, a modern-day detective thriller with very similar gameplay. That’s two games for the price of one! (Technically both are free games, but you know what I mean.)
- Horizon Chase Turbo
A throwback to racing games from the 90s, with a retro polygonal art style. Originally a smartphone game, this is a spruced-up version with 4K visuals and, shock horror, couch co-op for up to 4 players. Splitscreen is a rarity in console racing games these days, so this might be a good option for the next time you have nerdy guests over.
Xbox Games with Gold
- Inside (available July 1 – 31)
From the developer that brought you the creepy side-scroller Limbo. Inside is another creepy side-scroller, in which you control a young boy solving puzzles to get through a dark factory. It’s a critical darling, so snatch this up if you want to see what all the fuss is about. Or if you want to count all the different horrifically violent ways this boy could die.
- Rivals of Aether (available June 16 – July 15)
A four-player fighting game where the more you attack your opponents, the more likely they’ll get thrown out of the arena. If that sounds familiar, you might care to know that the developer previously made Super Smash Land, a fan-made demake of the very same series you’re thinking about.
- Big Crown: Showdown (available July 16 – August 17)
Live out your lifelong fantasy of lampooning the British monarchy with up to 3 of your friends. Our review described it as a goofy game that may not hold your interest for very long, but is still fun for all ages. If anything, check out the ridiculous trailer featuring royal family lookalikes playing the game against each other. It’s so stupid, I love it.
Xbox One & Xbox 360
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (available July 1 – 17)
The legendary game that introduced RPG mechanics to an action series, forming a Metroidvania template that’s been used for years. The recently released (and well-reviewed) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is considered a spiritual successor to Castlevania, so maybe give Symphony a try if you’re not sure if you want to shell out the big bucks.
- Meet the Robinsons (available July 16 – 31)
An Xbox 360 game based on the 2007 Disney film about a kid inventor. Full disclosure, I don’t remember this movie, I had to double check it wasn’t Jimmy Neutron. It’s a 3D adventure game in the vein of Legend of Zelda or Ratchet & Clank. Considering the PS3 stopped receiving free games in February, this might be a sign that the 360 is also circling that particular drain.
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Ninja Theory’s award-winning action game about a young warrior travelling through the Norse underworld to resurrect her departed lover. Play it for the swordplay, but also for the often confronting depictions of what it’s like to live with psychosis. Before the game’s launch, the developer documented their worked alongside mental health professionals in order to accurately portray the condition, showing the level of respect that they were aiming for.
A rogue-like dungeon crawler with a twist. At night, you brave dungeons, fight monsters and gather loot. However, during the day, you sell that loot in your shop in a very detailed tycoon sim. Check out our review, which describes the game’s visuals as “unfairly beautiful”.
- Other titles to be revealed July 6
- Last Day of June (available June 28 – July 5)
An emotional story-based game about how the lives of various characters are affected by an accident. Players are required to solve puzzles by making different plot decisions, and seeing how things play out. Read our review to find out if this sounds like your cup of tea. Also kudos for Epic for making this game free during the actual end of June.
- Overcooked (available July 5 – 12)
The cooperative cooking game about making and serving meals at a restaurant as fast as possible. Each level has various obstacles to ensure things go haywire, testing your relationship with your housemates. Our review of the sequel says it’s hilarious, chaotic fun, so you may as well grab the first game while it’s free.
- For The King (available until August 2)
A roguelike RPG with a turn-based combat system, a procedurally generated maps, customisable in-game lore, and an in-depth crafting system, ensuring you’ll have a different experience every time you play. If you’re looking for a game to sink your teeth into for a long time, this might just be it.
- The Escapists (available until August 2)
Break out of prison without all the hassle of being in one. You need to talk to people, steal, perform favours, work out, start a riot – figure out how to start a chain of events that will eventually lead to your freedom. A stressful freedom, but freedom nonetheless.
- Cultist Simulator (available until August 2)
A card game about creating a character and the world around them, and seeing how long they can survive in 1920s London. It’s unusual yet simple, it’s addictive yet bleak, you can create a detailed narrative but you will also die a lot. If that was a confusing description, maybe our review could clear things up for you.
- Yooka-Laylee (available until August 2)
An open-world 3D adventure game, lovingly inspired by games such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. A sequel was announced at E3 with a brand new 2.5D gameplay style, so you should play the first game to decide if you have an opinion about that.
And there you have July’s free games for subscribers! Let us know which of these you’re excited for. Fingers crossed your relationships can survive the co-op. Remember: if your friend gets mad at you for not delivering a burrito on time, maybe that person isn’t really your friend.