We don’t do a whole lot of Freebie Alerts around these parts anymore, because frankly most mobile games nowadays are already free, and many of the paid ones do freebie promotions so frequently that they’re hardly special. But today is different as two extremely excellent games that, as far as I can tell, have never been free before have suddenly dropped down to zero dollars, and with coronavirus fears keeping more and more people confined to the safety of their homes with each passing day, it’s pretty likely that we could all use a cool game or two to pass the time while stuck on the couch. In fact the coronavirus is the specific reason for these games going free today, as explained by developer Mixed Bag and developer Broken Arms Games on Twitter. First up we have the extremely stylish metroidvania-style adventure Forma.8 GO from Mixed Bag. Have a looksie at the trailer.
Forma.8 is an interesting beast because originally it was announced as a mobile title WAY back at E3 in 2012, and although we’d get periodic updates on its progress it just sort of seemed like one of those games that would never see the light of day. Then in 2014 it was announced for more platforms beyond just mobile, and went on to release on those platforms while the mobile version still seemed to be stuck in the mud. It wouldn’t be until the summer of 2017 that the mobile version of the game, officially titled Forma.8 GO, would finally arrive on the App Store. Thankfully it was worth the wait as while it can feel a little slow in the beginning, Forma.8 GO is a rich adventure that will keep you busy for hours, and it’s extremely satisfying to control on the touchscreen. We chose it as our Game of the Week when it released and there is certainly no excuse not to give it a go while it’s free for the rest of this month.
Our second freebie of the day is from developer Broken Arms Games, and like Mixed Bag they are located in Italy which is currently on heavy lockdown due to the coronavirus. So like Forma.8 GO they are making their twin-stick shooter Atomine free on the App Store for the rest of March. Atomine first caught our attention back in September 2017 just days before its mobile launch and several months after its arrival on Steam, where it made quite an impression. What caught our attention in particular was the aesthetic of the game, which gave off a heavy hacker vibe and was filled with purposely glitchy “cyber" visuals. You can see what I mean in the launch trailer for Atomine.
Mechanically speaking, Atomine is a pretty straightforward twin-stick shooter where you’ll move from room to room clearing out any enemies you come across. What really makes it stand out, besides its slick visuals, is the extensive abilities and skills you can unlock and upgrade, giving the game a really nice sense of progression. It’s also extremely skill-based and, without trying to scare anybody off, pretty dang hard. It’s nice though because as you practice and your skill improves, and you continue to unlock cool new weapons, you find yourself getting just a bit further than the last time you played, and it’s really satisfying. All those glitches, particles, and screen shakes do come at performance cost though, so thankfully if you’re on an older device or you just don’t prefer that stuff you can turn it all off in the options.
Both Forma.8 GO and Atomine are two extremely cool games from two talented Italian developers. While it’s a shame what is currently going on with this pandemic, it’s great to see them try to make the best of the situation by offering these games for free until the beginning of April, so don’t miss your chance to check them out.