The renowned developer Young Horses has just released four free games on Steam as part of its Free Range initiative. The developers of the acclaimed PS5 launch title Bugsnax are known for their unconventional twists on traditional game formats, and these four titles appear to continue that tradition.
These are not major publications, as they were primarily created as side projects or at game jams. Antbassador, which was initially developed for the Ludum Dare game competition, is the most peculiar and therefore the most compelling of the four. Have you ever desired to command a gigantic finger wearing a top hat while attempting to satisfy the requirements of a teeming ant colony? Now is your time.
If you’re still hungry for picnic spoilers, there’s IndependANT. The open-world 3D platformer portrays the player as an ant searching for a vanished queen. This is a brand-new and original title that did not originate from a game contest, but rather as a tech demo to demonstrate the newly-implemented Unreal 5 engine.
We transition from insects to reptiles with the amusingly named Snakedate. As the name suggests, you are a serpent seeking companions in a club. This primarily entails selecting right on a dating website for snakes and then encircling your serpentine body around any creature that captures your eye.
Finally, there is the Student Edition of Octodad. This is the original version of Young Horses’ breakout success Octodad: Dadliest Catch, which was developed while many of its main developers were still in college. It’s a touch ragged around the margins due to its age of over 12 years, but this is Octodad to the core. This is the original design that sparked a Kickstarter fervour and launched the company.
All four titles are available for distribution, but only through the Steam Store. Octodad: Dadliest Catch was eventually released for the Switch a few years ago, but it appears that these four titles are PC-exclusive for now.