Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Look At The Teeth On That Horse! Amazon Prime Gaming Giveaways For October

As promised, here's a little something about Amazon Games' free offer for October - and for a while it looked as though it was going to be a very little something indeed. When I opened the app, there were just three new games: 

  • Horace
  • Hero's Hour
  • Loom

In order to asses just how generous the offers are, I like to benchmark against another platform wherever possible. Horace is £10.99 on Steam right now, making it a decent shout for a freebie. According to the publisher's website, as quoted verbatim by Amazon, "Horace is a story-driven, platform game peppered with nostalgic, popular culture references which will bring a smile to any gamer who enjoys the 8 and 16 bit era." Not me, then. Not only did I not enjoy that era, I barely noticed it. I have no nostalgia to be tapped and I actively dislike the aesthetic. 

I'm also extremely wary of any game that claims to offer "Eccentric British humour", which almost always turns out to be a limp imitation of a style that hasn't aged at all well. I really don't need to sit through another Python/Hitchhikers/Discworld pastiche ever, ever again. Hard pass.

Hero's Hour (£14.99 on Steam.) also has graphics I don't much like the look of. It's "an accessible, yet-deep and content-rich Strategy Roleplaying Game", apparently. It looks like an ugly, pain-in-the-ass waste of time to me. I guess I'm not the target market. Even harder pass.

Loom is the only one of the three I'd heard of. It's this month's guaranteed LucasArts point & click adventure, currently retailing for just £4.79 on Steam, which is quite possibly more than it's worth because it's old

Originally released in 1990, the Amazon Games blurb claims it has "Stunning, high-resolution, 3D landscapes", a claim I suspect to have been lifted directly from the original thirty-year old press release. If the screenshots provided are anything to go by, I think we're going to need new dictionary definitions for "stunning", "high resolution" and "3D" and quite possibly for "landscapes", too.

I claimed it anyway. It's a point and click adventure. I might run out of good ones some day.

So much for this month's games. But wait! Of course there are more. Tucked away on the Prime Gaming website (Fka "Twitch") there are three more games new to the platform, although not to anywhere else.

  1. Fallout 76: The PITT
  2. Total War: Warhammer II
  3. Glass Masquerade

These are the games for which you need to link your Prime account to a third party - or more accurately three third parties: Microsoft, Epic and Legacy Games. I'm getting the hang of how this works at last. I already have my Prime account linked to Epic and Legacy so I was able to claim the Warhammer title and Glass Masquerade immediately. 

Total War: Warhammer II is a full-price title on Steam. It'll cost you £39.99 there as I write this. It's the same price on the Epic Store. I guess that counts as a bargain, then. Described as "a strategy game of titanic proportions" and wreathed in compliments from critics and players alike, I have to say it does look impressive, even if it's not really my sort of thing. I do have a fondness for the Warhammer universe, though, so it's not impossible I might give it a try one day. Claimed.

Glass Masquerade is an odd one. It's "an artistic puzzle game inspired by Art Deco & stained glass artisans of the 20th century", which is, I have to admit, not a sales pitch you hear every day. As far as I can tell, it's a kind of digital jigsaw. I'm not entirely opposed to the concept of jigsaws although I can think of better ways of inching closer to death and this is undeniably pretty to look at. At £3.99 on Steam and with an estimated 3-4 hours gameplay, it's a bit of a barrel-scraper but why not? Claimed.

And finally, Fallout 76: The PITT. I was a bit confused by this one. Was it the Fallout game I've been reading about for a couple of years on blogs like Bio Break? The kinda-sorta mmo one? I didn't recall that having a colon and a subtitle.

I had to look it up. It is that game but the newest version including the recent DLC that opens the world out a bit. This Amazon freebie version includes "the full Fallout 76 game" but not " any deluxe, paid or additional content related to Fallout 76". So that's clear.

In order to download and play the thing you have to link your Prime account to a Microsoft account. I've spent the last six years, since I bought this PC, resisting and refusing all of Microsoft's many attempts to co-erce me into signing up. So far I've managed to keep myself clean but it's not been easy.

It is tempting, all the same. I'm no fan of the Fallout series but I am curious to try the mmoish version. It's currently £34.99 on Steam so there's no chance I'm going to pay for it. On the other hand, there's a free week coming up to celebrate the franchise's 25th anniversary so I could just try it then. I'm still thinking about it. I have until the end of the month to decide. In the meantime, claimed, just in case.

That just leaves the in-game freebies, of which there are almost none for games I even vaguely pretend to play. Just three, in fact.

  • Black Desert
  • Elder Scrolls Online
  • Guild Wars 2

The Black Desert freebie is "a box with a class-specific outfit". There's a non-trivial chance I might one day play the game again and new outfits are always welcome. Claimed.

For Elder Scrolls Online you get a couple of mounts, which I confess I thought I'd already claimed. Maybe they've come around again. I know I didn't log in to redeem them last time so if it's a second chance it's very welcome. Maybe I'll even use it this time. Claimed.

And finally, Guild Wars 2. There's only a week left to run on this offer so I must have missed it when it first appeared. It's a "Gift Finisher and Mail Delivery Carrier" and in the blurry illustration it looks very much like the Wintersday one I already have, although that's from a consumable item and I guess this is permanent? Seems a bit of a thin offer all the same but what the heck. Claimed.

There's another GW2 in-game offer "Coming Soon" so I'd better keep my eyes open. I'd hate to miss out on any of these highly desirable items.

And that's that for another month. More games to stack on the "Never gonna play" pile and that's after I've triaged the offer and thrown out the real clunkers! What a wonderful world we do live in, eh?

Tomorrow it's on to another bunch of free handouts - Steam's latest Next Fest. I spent too long looking through the options last night but so far I've only found four I'm willing to spend time with. I'll try and add a couple to the list today to make it a nice, round half-dozen and I'll preview those tomorrow. 

Or I won't. No promises. (I probably will, though. It's not like I'm going to come up with a better idea by then.)


  1. I really liked Loom at the time, and I imagine I'd still like it for the diferent take on p&c adventure mechanics it has.

    Instead of choosing verbs and combining items you can only "weave" stuff by playing music with your staff.
    You first need to learn the notes, always four of them, by interacting with things in the world, and then you can manipulate other things by playing those notes on them. There's another twist to it, but I won't spoil that for you, should you play it sometime.

    The music's pretty good too (not those four-note tunes, but the music that plays in the background). I remember that I recognized some more or less well-known classical themes in there.

    1. The LucasArt games aren't really to my taste but they're widely acknowledged as high quality packages. I just think it's a bit sketchy to keep using what appears to be very outdated descriptive text in the marketing material. The graphics may have been stunning thirty years ago but standards have changed.

      The note-weaving thing reminds me of those games where you have to move your mouse around (or wave a wand device) to draw sigils or runes to cast spells. Again, that's never appealed to me. Maybe it'll feel better in practice than it sounds although given the rate I'm acquiring these free titles and my ever-decreasing attention span I'm not at all sure I'll ever get to find out.

    2. Fortunately Loom is nothing like that. You don't have to draw or something along those lines. You only need to remember which notes to play in what order, and then click on those notes. It's basically like clicking on (very simple) sheet music.

      Loom also doesn't have much of the kind of humour many other Lucas Arts titles, especially the Monkey Island series, have in abundance. It's really rather different.


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