Amid the seemingly unrelenting year that 2020 has been, many people have been finding ways to come together to help fight a plethora of things, including the current pandemic, injustices, and more. No exception to this is game developers, who have also been speaking out against some things and in support of others. Included in this is Need for Speed developer Criterion, who has now released six free gamejam titles in an effort to raise money for charity.
While the games themselves might be free to download and play, Criterion is asking that anyone who does obtain any of the titles and “would like to show some appreciation,” they can do so by donating to one of three charities: the British Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and Show Racism the Red Card.
“From time to time, we get together as a studio, and spend a few days jamming together on games,” Criterion said in a post on their website. “We explore everything from ideas for new game features, to exploring wild ideas for games, large and small.” They also noted how the Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission from Star Wars Battlefront began life in an earlier gamejam. As for the titles that are available for free right now, those can be found below:
- Race against other AI drones and against your own best time in an arena specifically designed to challenge your piloting skills.
- Pick your steak or favourite vegetable then ollie, grind and trick your way out of the Criterion kitchen. Play alone or with up to 3 friends and see who can get the highest score
- Take drinks orders, track down the ingredients, then see if you can hurl enough of them in the thirsty customers’ glasses (in the right order!)
- Exploring the confines of his holiday home he discovers a hidden basement. In a terrible twist of fate he falls into unexplored caverns. Can he discover a way out, through THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH?
- If it was finished, I’d be able to tell you about the killer game loop (collecting abstract figments to keep the dreamer from waking up) coupled with a rich narrative with twists and turns (Mr zoo-zoo escaping from the house, riding into the sunset on our pet bunny).
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- This is why you can’t trust Hoomans in Space. Place CatVacs to keep dirt from building up and wrecking the whole colony.
When it comes to releasing these gamejam titles, however, doing so isn’t as simple as it seems. Not only are the games not tested over and over again, but also the final decision comes down to EA. Thankfully, EA gave the go-ahead. “When the question was asked two or three months ago, it felt like the world was changing," Criterion boss Matt Webster told Eurogamer. "And I think EA has been changing. EA has been changing for a long time.”
You can find each of the games listed above right here. Each of them is free to download and play, but the overall goal is to drive donations towards the three charities mentioned above.
What do you have to say about this? Do you intend to check out any of the gamejam titles from Criterion? Let us know what you think over on Twitter @PrimaGames!