Antstream Arcade, a free retro cloud gaming platform, has been added to the Epic Games Store

Antstream Arcade, a free retro cloud gaming platform, has been added to the Epic Games Store

Points Highlighted:

  • Double Dragon, Gauntlet and Metal Slug are excellent co-op options to bash and blast your way through, the Amiga version of Barbarian is a deceptively realistic distant ancestor of the promising Hellish Quart, and Sensible World of Soccer takes me back to a time when both football and its videogames were more innocent.

  • Antstream has a large game collection, with a focus on titles from the 1980s and early 1990s. While I believe that games from the Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 eras are too outdated to keep you riveted to your screen for more than a few minutes of nostalgic novelty, there are some true 16-bit masterpieces from subsequent eras included as well.

I also can’t help but be drawn in by the campy hand-painted box art of games like Bad Dudes vs Dragon Ninja and Burning Fight, an SNK beat-em-up starring a couple of “Butch New York detectives Duke and Billy who travel to Japan to fight a Japanese crime syndicate.” A Japanese crime syndicate in Japan? Who’d have guessed?!?

Remember that this is a cloud gaming platform, so a strong internet connection is a must. If you’re intrigued by AntStream but can’t handle the stark user experience of Epic Games Store, you can also find AntStream Arcade on Steam, where it’s been available for several months now and is yet to receive a review. Hopefully its stint as the Epic freebie this week will give it some much-needed exposure.

The free tier is ad-supported, but still gives you access to all the games, while the premium ad-free version costs £10 a month. One of the ‘free games’ on Epic this week is actually a Welcome Pack for AntStream, which gives you 1090 gems that you can spend to participate in tournaments, unlock new in-game challenges and play turn-based PvP against other players. Sadly, the platform is yet to offer simultaneous online multiplayer.

The news follows just two days after Atari announced it has invested $500,000 into Anstream Arcade and could potentially increase this to up to $3.5 million in future.

Epic Games has already added other marketplaces and services to its store, most notably with Itch.io back in April.

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