The Messenger is basically two games for the price of one, and right now, that price is free.
Metroidvanias had a moment in 2018, and Sabotage’s The Messenger is one of the best of the bunch. And, it will currently cost you nothing to get the game (and its free expansion, Picnic Panic) on the Epic Games Store.
While it initially presents itself as a Ninja Gaiden-style action-platformer, The Messenger opens up about halfway through to reveal an open-ended world. That shift introduces time-manipulation mechanics and an upgrade from 8-bit to 16-bit graphics.
Indie games have often adopted retro aesthetics — often, in part, because of budgetary constraints. But, this is one of the few that feels like it uses graphics as a commentary on technological progress. It’s pretty cool!
Now that The Messenger is up for grabs, Epic has revealed next week’s free game. From Nov. 21-28, you’ll be able to pick up anti-Viking strategy game, Bad North: Jotun Edition, for zero pennies (which the Vikings also used as currency, FYI).