Luxembourgh Times
Culture in the time of Covid-19

Video games to lighten up lockdown

Whether you're a casual mobile gamer, a hardcore console fanatic, or a fervent skeptic of the medium, we have compiled a list of free-to-play games that will cater to any need

Michael Reinertz
Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

With people all across the world confined to their sofas, many have turned to video games as a source of entertainment.

So, whether a point-and-click detective series, some immersive storytelling or an all-out battle royale, let the games begin!

Playstation "Play at Home" Initiative

As part of the effort to help people practice safe, social distancing during the current pandemic, Playstation has launched a new initiative to make sure you and your children don't stray far from the TV set. As part of their initiative, Playstation is committed to providing free games to their worldwide audience and establishing a fund to help support independent game studios experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic.

To kick-off their free give-away of games, Playstation has announced that they will be offering both Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey as free, limited-time downloads. The games are downloadable from 15 April through 5 May (8pm PDT), so be sure to act fast. Also, don't worry, once you redeem the games, they're yours to keep.

Fire Emblem Heroes

This turn-based tactic game featuring a host of characters from Nintendo's famous Fire Emblem franchise is free to download on all iOS and Android devices. Including a variety of game modes and a vast pantheon of unlockable heroes, this addictive mobile game pits you against foes on a grid-like battlefield that requires you to employ tactical movement to engage your opponent.

More than your average hack-and-slash or battle royal, Fire Emblem Heroes brings a chess-like finesse to your gaming experience.

Backbone: Prologue

Backbone: Prologue is the first act in a noir-style detective series where you play the role of Howard Lotor, a racoon private eye living as a second-class citizen in dystopian Vancouver, Canada. In this point-and-click adventure game you have to interrogate a cast of characters, collect evidence and choose which leads to follow in order to get to the bottom of your case.

With a unique pixelated art style including an original jazz score and dynamic lighting that lends itself nicely to the game’s noir setting, Backbone: Prologue is the perfect amuse-bouche for the full game set to be released in 2021. This game is free for download on Steam.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Everyone familiar with World of Warcraft and the video game developer Blizzard will probably already have heard of Hearthstone. For all those not familiar, Hearthstone is a free-to-play, online card game similar to Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon.

Still scratching your head? Well don’t worry. While daunting and complex at first, Blizzard’s turn based card game is accommodating to new-comers, helping them get over the initial learning curve to dive straight into some serious, strategic and rewarding game play.

Bombergrounds: Battle Royale

This free-to-play multiplayer action game lends the popular battle royale twist to your beloved retro bomber-games (i.e. Bomberman). Here you'll get dropped onto an island along with other players to battle until you're the last player standing.

Easy-to-play with intuitive controls and quick gameplay, this game is the perfect competitive sojourn from the tedium of quarantine. Bombergrounds: Battle Royale is available free for download on Steam.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is the perfect experience for fans of narrative driven games. In the game you play the role of Chris, a creative and imaginative 9-year-old boy who escapes reality through the adventures of his alter ego, the Awesome Captain Spirit.

Navigating between the fantasies of his adventures as Captain Spirit and the adversity of his troubled home-life, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a gripping piece of narrative that proves that video games can be a legitimate and visceral platform for artful storytelling. The game is available free for download on Steam.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Michael Reinertz is the Luxembourg Times culture critic Photo: Guy Wolff

Michael Reinertz is the Luxembourg Times culture critic Photo: Guy Wolff

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

While the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to the summer of 2021, Nintendo seems to have held out hope with the release of their new action-packed title, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

In this alternate timeline, the sporting world is unscathed by our current pandemic and players are able to join these two iconic video game characters in their hunt for the top-spot on the podium. Including over 30 action-packed sporting events that can be enjoyed with the whole family, Nintendo is currently offering a free demo of the game for all Nintendo Switch owners. Be sure not to miss out!

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