Eight of the best Itch Pack games for fundraising in Ukraine

Image for article titled Where to start with that huge $10 package for Ukraine, which you already got, right?

Picture: Broken Rules / Nifflas / Triple Topping / Rusty Lake / Redact Games / Dangen Entertainment / Kotaku

Based on itch.io this week Package for Ukraineorganized by Necrosoft Gameshas already raised $4 million for International Medical Corps and Children’s voices, and he still has a week left. It’s damn wonderful! This also results in everyone having 992 video games, physical games, books, and albums in their account, which is a pretty daunting prospect. So let’s help.

Itch.io’s charity packages are an amazing thing. Last year, Alanna Linayre organized a package who raised $900,000 for Palestinewhile the previous year, itch.io had itself hosted the Racial Justice and Equality Bundle which raised a staggering $8.1 million. Now everything restartin response to the atrocities in Ukraine, and I hope the millions of dollars donated will make a real difference.

But each time, the result for the benevolent giver is a complete avalanche of games, under which one can become too easily buried. Won’t anyone think about people who have too many games to play?

To help you out, I’ve gone through and picked out some absolute gems from the 573 games you now own, to at least give you a way into them. I don’t want to spend too much time on the more obvious choices, because I guess you already know how to check Skatebird, hiking song, VERY HOTand Baba it’s you. Instead, let’s dig deeper.

The fries

One of best games of last year, The fries (from flawless developer Nifflas) reinvented platforming as a form of swimming, then placed it in a minimalist world of colorful joy. It’s a deep dive into satisfying movement and such a smart study of platforming, providing an interesting challenge while feeling calm and happy. It’s damn masterful.

midnight scenes

Pixel artist Octavi Navarro, who provided the art for Thimbweed Parkturned to a series of episodic adventures inspired by The twilight zone. Each of the three released episodes tells a short and mysterious story with a twisted ending, and all of them are included in the bundle. I particularly liked the second one, The farewell note.

Mugwort

Don’t be fooled by the strange title of the video above—Mugwort is actually a super-low-poly adventure game, about returning to the abandoned site of an ancient cult. Many years ago there was a mass suicide, and now you walk over the crumbling remains, in a surprisingly sensitive, yet very heartbreaking tale. It so deftly avoids sensationalism or exploitation, and instead offers a dark and moving exploration of a very difficult subject.

The white door

Developers Rusty Lake have been making extraordinarily weird Lynchian games for years, and I highly recommend their archives. From there, you now own the superbly spooky Rusty Lake Hoteland also The white room, an intriguing and bizarre spin-off game that sits alongside the series. Discover nothing, play. Believe me.

Welcome to Elk

Released on Nintendo Switch last month, Welcome to Elk was one of the best games of 2020, and somehow people didn’t notice it. This is an absolutely stunning story of a small Scandinavian town, using mixed media ranging from point-and-click cartoon adventure to FMV movie interviews. It’s about death, grief, loneliness, and friendship, and handles that without being morose or tearful. It also contains the greatest mini-game of all time, in which you can’t help but make beautiful music.

Raetikon’s Secrets

I had forgotten Raetikon’s Secrets! Granted, his inspellable name doesn’t help with that, but what a fool I am, because that’s just titled beauty. You play a bird in a polygonal world, and your job as a bird is to fly. That’s what the birds are paid for. What’s most important here is how well he flies, making his puzzles and collectibles fun to play, set in an animal world. I’m so glad I was reminded to play it some more!

Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials

You know where a lot of metroidvanias go wrong? They kind of don’t want to be played by you. Of course they want to be played by SteveBut god, don’t you think old cocky Steve has enough games already? batbarian is much more interested in you, and doesn’t care if Steve likes him or not. Bloody Steve. It’s an explore-me-do platformer that lets you choose the difficulty. It can absolutely be a Steve-like impossibility, but if you find the boss fight an obstacle to your entertainment, then just set the game to slow, or increase your attack, or make the healing much more effective. It’s a game of trust you to choose the configuration that suits you. And then helpfully provides a wonderful turnaround moment while playing it.

gut whale

here is what’s wrong with so many roguelikes: You never see the end! (OK, yes, I know, but let’s go with that.) gut whale is the rarest thing: a short roguelike. Somehow, built in just a month, by just three people, this is a maniacally wonderful action platformer where you can only carry one ball at a time. times. Once you shoot it, you have to go pick it up again, you know? And if you catch it before it hits the ground, fire it again, it’s a combo! It’s just awesome.

As I scoured the merry madness, looking for games I’m already familiar with and can wholeheartedly recommend, I spotted so many more that I now desperately want to play next. This is an amazing collection of games, amassing an astonishing amount of money. Don’t miss it.

amoloans