Having long-since dropped the “Spintires” part of its name, mucky motorist Mudrunner is now dropping its price tag. Temporarily, at least. Saber Interactive’s trudging off-roader is this week’s free game over on the Epic Games Store, letting you wrestle your jeep of choice through the hostile wilderness all the way ’til next Thursday, at which point it’ll be replaced by indie platformer Cave Story +.
To cut a long story short, Spintires creator Pavel Zagrebelny had a bit of a spat with publisher Oovee, leading to the game’s delisting (and eventual relisting). Zagrebelny would eventually take the game to Focus Home Interactive where it would slowly drop the Spintires branding while its arctic follow-up ignored it entirely. Got it?
Anyway. Mudrunner is an excruciating slog through rivers of mud, a driving game where progress is more often measured in inches than miles. Depth and thickness of mud accurately affect the balance and traction of your overpowered trucks and off-roaders, with the challenge often simply to make a delivery from one site to the next without slipping into the treeline.
A sequel, Snowrunner, added ice and snowdrifts to the mix this year. In his Snowrunner review, Jeremy Peel urged folks to give the game a shot, comparing its trudging crawl to the likes of Kojima’s walk ’em up Death Stranding. It might not give you frostbite, but a free week of Mudrunner should be a fine jumping-on point if you’re looking to get your tyres wet.
Mudrunner is free to pick up on the Epic Games Store ’til this time next Thursday. After that, platforming classic Cave Story + will be rotated into the store’s free lineup. Not the best timing, considering publishers Nicalis have been reportedly issuing DMCA takedowns against fan mods of the original game’s code, claiming their creators are stealing code Nicalis arguably doesn’t own.