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Here are your free Epic Games Store games for today (Jan 1)

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

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Epic Games Store 12 games of Christmas
Epic Games

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.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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The Last of Us Part II is delayed, again

Bad news from the Naughty Dogs: The Last of Us Part II is delayed, again. (And this time there’s no new release date pencilled in.)

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The Last of Us Part II delayed
Naughty Dog / Thumbsticks

Bad news from the Naughty Dogs: The Last of Us Part II is delayed, again. (And this time there’s no new release date pencilled in.)

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc with the video game industry. From event cancellations to production shortages to store closures game delays, it seems nothing is safe from the knock-on effects of the worst crisis the world has seen in years.

(And while you could argue that video games are trivial in the wake of the human cost of COVID-19 – and you’d be absolutely right – it’s worth remembering that they’re still important in their own small way. In addition to being an enormous employer, of a job that can mostly be done from home, they offer entertainment and escapism at a time where we’re all stuck in isolation.)

But this next piece of COVID-19 cancellation news really stings: The Last of Us Part II has been delayed. Again.

In a statement, developer Naughty Dog said:

“As you’ve likely just seen, the release of The Last of Us Part II has been delayed. We’re sure this news is just as disappointing to you as it is to us. We wanted to reach out to all of you in our community to give you a little more information.

The good news is, we’re nearly done with development of The Last of Us Part II. We are in the midst of fixing our final bugs.

However, even with us finishing the game, we were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction. We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.

We were bummed about this decision but ultimately understood it’s what’s best and fair to all of our players. We’re hoping that this won’t be a long delay and we’ll update you as soon as we have new information to share.

We wish you all, your families, and your friends the best of health. Thank you for being amazing fans and your continued support.” – Naughty Dog

The key takeaway here is that The Last of Us Part II now doesn’t have a release date. That means it’s effectively delayed indefinitely, but the game is nearly complete, so when pandemic-related logistical issues subside it sounds like Naughty Dog and Sony will be able to get the game out fairly sharpish.

Maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world that a game about the terrifyingly violent breakdown of human society in the wake of a global pandemic won’t release smack in the middle of a terrifying global pandemic.

(But it’s still a damn shame.)


Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates on the latest gaming news.

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Save up to 80% in the Nintendo eShop Spring Sale

Over 300 games are discounted in the new Nintendo Switch eShop Spring sale.

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Nintendo eShop Spring Sale
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Over 300 games, including The Witcher 3, Sonic Mania, and Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection, are discounted in the new Nintendo Switch eShop Spring sale.

Following on from this week’s new PlayStation Store sale and Xbox savings, Nintendo Switch owners can now enjoy some tempting game discounts. The big Nintendo eShop Spring sale includes over 300 games, with some recent big-hitters getting decent price cuts.

Top of the list is a 30% price cut for CD Projekt Red’s impressive port of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Ubisoft’s excellent Assassin’s Creed The Rebel Collection is also reduced by 30%, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is chopped by 75%. Alien: Isolation, Gris, and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger are also games we liked.

Other recommendations include the wonderful Sonic Mania, Playtonic’s much-improved second game, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, and Larien’s engrossing RPG, Divinity: Original Sin 2. Add in a huge number of indie bargains, and there’s plenty to enjoy.

The sale runs in Europe until April 19, 2020. A batch of first-party Nintendo games will be added to the lineup on April 9 including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Kirby Star Allies.

In the meantime, here are some more sale highlights. Visit the Nintendo eShop in your country for the full list of discounts.

Nintendo eShop Spring Sale Highlights

  • Assassin’s Creed 3: Remastered – 63% off
  • Assassin’s Creed The Rebel Collection – 30% off
  • Axiom Verge – 50% off
  • Bastion – 80% off
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – 49% off
  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection – 48% off
  • Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition – 40% off
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition – 30% off
  • Gris – 50% off
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – 50% off
  • Iconoclasts – 30% off
  • Just Dance 2020 – 60% off
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle – 75% off
  • Metro 2033 Redux – 30% off
  • Metro: Last Light Redux – 30% off
  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove – 30% off
  • Sonic Mania – 30% off
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy – 49% off
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition – 30% off
  • Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince – 50% off
  • Torchlight II – 30 off
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair – 33% off

More from Thumbsticks

For this week’s new Nintendo Switch games, read our eShop release roundup. And for more video games sales and savings, follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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A modern classic comes to PlayStation Plus in April 2020

An all-time PS4 great and an overlooked racer are the free games coming to PlayStation Plus in April 2020.

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PlayStation Plus
Sony / Thumbsticks

An all-time PS4 great and an overlooked rally racer are the free PlayStation Plus games for April 2020.

Another month, another duo of excellent free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers. The highlight is one of Naughty Dog’s finest, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Originally released for PS4 in 2016, Uncharted 4 received acclaim from all quarters, including Thumbsticks. In our review of the year, Tom described it as the “perfect a send-off for one of gaming’s great modern characters.” We expect many PlayStation fans have already played the game, but don’t miss this opportunity if you haven’t.

April’s second PS Plus freebie is DIRT Rally 2.0. The problem with many games from Codemasters is that they are reliably reliable. And so it proves here. DIRT Rally 2.0 is a full-featured simulation of a sport that oozes quality on every turn and in every gear change. There’s a learning curve, but with a little patience, a generous and absorbing racing simulation awaits.

This month’s free PS Plus games are available to download from April 7-May 4, 2020.

PlayStation Plus free games – April 2020

  • DIRT Rally 2.0
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

March’s PlayStation Plus games – Shadow of the Colossus, and Sonic Forces – remain available to download until next week.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly updates on the latest Xbox One, Switch, and PS4 games. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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Save up to 50% in the PlayStation Store Spring sale

Start the new month with some big PlayStation 4 discounts in the PlayStation Store Spring sale.

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PlayStation Store sale - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Respawn / Sony / Thumbsticks

Start the month with some big savings on PlayStation 4 video games in the new PlayStation Store Spring sale.

As one sale ends, another begins. A new PlayStation Store promotion starting today celebrates the spring season with a raft of discounts on some excellent PS4 games.

Players with the urge to escape planet Earth can leave their troubles behind with discounts on the well-liked Journey To The Savage Planet from Typhoon Studios. No Man’s Sky, The Outer Worlds, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order also offer budget adventures to galaxies far, far away.

Discounted PS4 exclusives include SIE Bend Studio’s ode to biking among the undead, Days Gone, and Santa Monica Studio’s glorious reinvention of God of War. Other highlights include Two Point Hospital, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Yakuza 6, and Death Stranding.

The PlayStation Spring Sale ends on April 28 with a fresh influx of games arriving in two weeks. Here are some of our sale recommendations, and Anthem.

PlayStation Store Spring sale Highlights

  • A Way Out
  • Anthem
  • AO Tennis 2
  • Arizona Sunshine
  • Assassin’s Creed Triple Pack: Black Flag, Unity, Syndicate
  • Batman: Arkham Collection
  • Bioshock: The Collection
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bully
  • Code Vein
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Days Gone
  • Death Stranding
  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection
  • Doom (2016)
  • Doom (1993)
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • FIFA 20
  • eFootball PES 2020
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • God of War
  • Job Simulator
  • Journey To The Savage Planet
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • L.A. Noire
  • Mafia III
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Mortal Kombat XI
  • Need For Speed Heat
  • Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
  • No Man’s Sky
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Project Cars 2
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Ultimate Edition
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Tetris Effect
  • Two Point Hospital
  • Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life

Head over to the PS Store to see the full list of over 600 discounted games.


For the latest video game sales, follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle News, Twitter, and Flipboard. If you’re looking for something new to play, read our review of Doom Eternal.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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April’s Xbox Games with Gold lineup is reasonable

Microsoft has revealed the four (pretty decent) games coming to Xbox Games with Gold in April 2020.

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Xbox Games with Gold
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Microsoft has revealed the four (pretty decent) games coming to Xbox Games with Gold in April 2020.

April’s lineup of free games for Xbox Live Gold members begins today with Project Cars 2. Slightly Mad’s racing games are often overlooked. And if it wasn’t for the Forza series, they would probably be held in higher regard. Project Cars 2 is definitely worth a spin and available to download for the entire month.

It’s joined mid-April by the Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle, which includes two clever and cute RPGs from Behold Studios.

This month’s Xbox 360 selection is headlined by the 2014 HD remaster of Lionhead’s OG Xbox RPG, Fable Anniversary. The game still holds up, just don’t mention the acorns. This month’s Games with Gold lineup is completed by Toybox Turbos, a fun table-top racer from Codemasters. Both Xbox 360 games are also playable on Xbox One.

The Games with Gold titles for April are available during the following dates.

Xbox Games With Gold – April 2020

Xbox One

  • Project CARS 2 – April 1 – 30, 2020
  • Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle – April 16 – May 15, 2020

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

  • Fable Anniversary – April 1 – 15, 2020
  • Toybox Turbos – April 16 – 30, 2020

In the meantime, one of last month’s free Xbox games – Shantae: Half-Genie Hero –  is still available to download until April 15, 2020.


Get updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 video games from our new releases page. And follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily news updates.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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