From now until May 25, [email protected] is running our fifth annual Game Fest, bringing a spotlight on new creators, new stories, new characters and new ways to play. There’s so much to discover in these gems that that you don’t often see in gaming, such as rich, multi-generational stories of loss, creators using games to cope with mental illness, and an arcade game designed from the ground up to be accessible to everyone. Some of these games are accessible with Xbox Game Pass and most are on sale right now, so this is your chance to dive into some of the most creative and unusual games available from some of the most talented independent developers in the [email protected] program. Some highlights include:
- Fractured Minds – A game created by a young woman as a means to cope with her own struggles with mental illness, an immersive artistic experience that explores anxiety and mental health issues. Fractured Minds is available with Xbox Game Pass on console.
- HyperDot – A minimalist action arcade masterpiece with one rule: dodge everything. In the development process, the game’s creator partnered with disabled content creators to stream the game and use their feedback to make the game playable and uniquely accessible for everyone. HyperDot is available with Xbox Game Pass on console and PC.
- Celeste – A game hailed by many as a modern classic, uses its platforming gameplay to provide a window into how those who deal with depression, anxiety or dread can learn to visualize their out-of-control moments and bring them back under control. Celeste is currently on sale for 50% off.
- Night in the Woods – An award-winning adventure game about a college dropout, her friends and the small town they live in. While it’s ostensibly a mystery about strange things happening in the town, it’s also an insightful allegory about class, small-town America and young people discovering a place in the new world. Night in the Woods is currently on sale for 40% off.
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – The game follows a broken Celtic warrior on a vision quest, but it’s so much more than that. Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a deep exploration of mental illness. It’s currently on sale for 50% off.
- In Between – In Between follows the story of an African American man facing his impending death, brought on by a diagnosis of lung cancer. Each level explores an aspect of him coping with grief via mind-bending puzzles that are solved by manipulating your surroundings and gravity itself. In Between is currently on sale for 60% off.
- Stone – Stone is an interactive story that features a Koala detective who wakes up with a hangover and must save his kidnapped boyfriend. Stone is currently on sale for 50% off.
- What Remains of Edith Finch – What Remains of Edith Finch is a truly incredible story of a young woman exploring a remote and fantastical family house to uncover the secrets behind the untimely deaths of her entire family tree. Each family member’s story is told in a different style with distinct gameplay elements. What Remains of Edith Finch is currently on sale for 50% off.