Welcome to this week’s installment of F2P Friday, where we highlight our favorite Free-2-Play games. The video game market is oversaturated and sometimes hidden gems can fall through the cracks. This is where we do all the digging for you and feature a new F2P game every week that we know you will enjoy. Let’s dive in!
What Never Was
From the brilliant mind of developer and publisher Acke Hallgren, comes What Never Was. It was released on PC through Steam on January 11, 2019. The story-driven first person adventure features exploration and puzzles. The protagonist Sarah is tasked with cleaning out her grandfather Howard’s attic after his passing. She learns through a cassette tape found in the attic that Howard needs her to help continue his research. He has left her clues to unlock the mysteries he wasn’t able to.
Players can move around the attic collecting diary entries that hold hidden clues through glyphs. These clues link directly with puzzles found within the attic. The puzzles include a lock box with a hidden code that can only been seen through a special necklace, a globe that must be interacted with in the correct order to unlock the secret door, and more. Each puzzle leads to another to create a smooth flow of game play. This helps bring the story to life.
Why You Should Play
What Never Was marries story narrative and game play in a way that strongly reminds me of Song of Horror and Layers of Fear but without the horror side. The puzzles flow so well together giving players a true direction to follow while exploring. The journal entries Sarah finds through the story side of the game are used directly in the puzzles. This made finding the codes and patterns easier. It also feels like they were meant for this game and not just thrown in.
The level of story and world building found in What Never Was rivals many AAA titles released over the last few years. There is so much to explore within the small attic room. Interacting with objects throughout the room either provides clues and information for the puzzles or gives small tidbits that help flesh out other parts of the story like Howard or Sarah’s lives. Hallgren put so much heart into this game and has recently shared that because of the great feedback that he has started working on the next chapter.
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