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The Epic Games Store is moving away from its usual weekly freebies to a “12 days of Christmas” vibe.

Epic, in order to promote and ingratiate its store, has been giving away free games all year. People have literally received hundreds of dollars of video games and paid nothing for it.

(And if you really do all hate the Epic Games Store as you suggest, then surely the best tactic is to log on every week and claim the free game? It costs Epic more money, video game sales go up, developers and publishers get paid, and it took about 30 seconds of your time. Just saying.)

Now, as we accelerate on the icy footpath towards Christmas, Epic is ramping up its free game activities. The Epic Games Store is switching to a “12 days of Christmas” vibe, with a different game available for free each day. It kicks off today and will run through until January 1, 2020. (And it’s not to be confused with the other 12 days of free stuff being given away in Fortnite Winterfest 2019.)

Be sure to check back to this page every day for the latest game – we’ll keep updating this post as we go along.

Epic Games Store 12 Days of Free Games

Day 1, December 19-20 – Into the Breach

This pocket-sized strategy game from the makers of FTL: Faster Than Light was a real hit last year. It even made it onto our game of the year list. It’s basically a modern strategy take on fan favourite Advance Wars, with buckets of heart and adorable little mechs.

Day 2, December 20-21 –Towerfall Ascension

Towerfall Ascension is a retro-inspired archery game that’s best enjoyed in local co-op (but also a lot of fun/guaranteed to cause arguments in versus mode). Ascension is the definitive version of the game, with all of Towerfall’s content and expansions thrown in.

Day 3, December 21-22 – Superhot

Today’s free game is the brilliant Superhot, a game that combines Matrix-like bullet time with the strategy of chess. The idea is simple – time only moves when you do – but the execution is fiendish, and far from feeling stilted, Superhot looks and feels sublime in motion.

Day 4, December 22-23 – Little Inferno

Little Inferno is a little hard to explain. It’s a game about setting fire to all sorts of things? Yes, the kind of thing that gets a kid moved into additional supervision at school. But it’s daft, fun, and brought to you by the developer of Human Resource Machine and World of Goo; if that’s not a good indicator of what to expect, then we don’t know what is.

Day 5, December 23-24 – Ape Out

Come back to Thumbsticks tomorrow for our games of the year 2019 list, and you’ll see Ape Out front and centre. It’s a procedural primate power fantasy, but what really makes it stand out is the procedural audio system, that generates its blistering jazz drumming soundtrack on the fly, based on how you play the game. Scintillating stuff.

Day 6, December 24-25 – Celeste

Today’s freebie is a game Epic has already given away this year as part of its weekly offerings. So we’re assuming most of you already have it. But if you don’t, then know this: Celeste is diamond-hard and oft-frustrating, but at its heart is a rewarding tale of self-improvement and overcoming adversity. And strawberries.

Day 7, December 25-26 – Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Nothing says Christmas cheer like a few dozen googly-eyed simpletons beating the tar out of one another. It may be silly, and there may be precious little point to it all, but Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is an absolute riot. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

Day 8, December 26-27 – FTL: Faster Than Light

It might sound like we’re trying to shoe-horn some Christmas cheer into this one, but there’s more than a touch of Driving Home for Christmas about roguelite space simulation FTL: Faster Than Light. (In spaaaaaaace!)

Day 9, December 27-28 – Hyper Light Drifter

If you’re one of the dozen or so people who hasn’t played Hyper Light Drifter, then this is your chance to own one of the finest indie games of the generation. It’s a stylish, neon-slicked Zelda-like adventure, with a surprisingly poignant, wordless story.

Day 10, December 28-29 – Shadow Tactics

Shadow Tactics – or Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, if you’re its mother and it’s in trouble – is the latest Epic Games Store festive freebie. It’s a stealth-oriented tactical game set in feudal Japan; think somewhere between Commandos and Tenchu.

Day 11, December 29-30 – The Talos Principle

Do you like quirky, first-person puzzle games like Portal, QUBE, and The Witness? Then you’re sure to enjoy The Talos Principle, from developer Croteam and the writer behind FTL: Faster Than Light.

Day 12, December 30-31 – Check back tomorrow!

Today’s freebie is Hello Neighbor, the home invasion sneak ’em up with Pixar-like visuals where the nasty neighbour learns from the way you play.

Day 13, December 31-January 1 – Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossibly Lair, the follow-up to authentic-to-a-fault Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor, Yooka-Laylee, is the penultimate freebie from Epic this Christmas. This 2.5D sequel actually feels better than its predecessor for having aped Rare’s actual best platform game, Donkey Kong Country, and is well worth a look.

Day 14, January 1-2 – Steep, Darksiders, Darksiders 2

The festivities are over, which means we’re back into the regular rotation of weekly freebies on the Epic Games Store. That means you don’t get a game every day, but they’re available for a full week, and there’s often (not always) more than one. This week – and for the final day of the festive giveaway, depending on how you look at it – the free games are Darksiders, Darksiders 2, and the brilliant Steep.

And don’t forget, you can follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard to keep track of all the latest gaming news, discounts, and free stuff.

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