The next free game in the Epic Game Store’s Holiday Sale giveaway-a-thon is Melvore Idle, an “idle/incremental game” inspired by Runescape that blends casual click-here gameplay with a surprising level of complexity.
Melvor Idle mimics Runescape’s skill system in many ways, and in fact it’s published by Jagex, which picked up the game in 2021. But the gameplay is completely different: In this incremental idler, you’re just clicking now and then to make things happen. Cut down some trees? Click. Catch some fish? Click. Smith a dagger? Click.
It’s very simple (and meant to be so: “Maxing 20+ skills has never been more zen,” the Epic Store listing says) but it also promises an element of complexity that might not be immediately apparent. “Every skill in this game serves a purpose, interacting with the others in interesting ways. This means all the hard work you put into one skill will in turn benefit others. What strategy will you conjure to achieve maximum skillage?”
The game begins with a tutorial that lays out the basics and aptly demonstrates a degree of its depth. I’ve only been into it for a few minutes and already I’m cutting trees, mining bronze, smithing ore, and spending some time in the store, all so I can whip up a bow and arrows and do the ranged combat tutorial. Honestly, there’s a lot more going on here than I expected.
You can see that in the Melvor Idle subreddit too, where players are discussing strategies, crunching numbers, and sharing accomplishments: One player recently completed 100% achievements in the game and its expansions after 9,050 hours of game time. (As an idler, Melvor Idle runs in the background, so you can do that sort of thing without actually blowing a year of your life.)
Melvor Idle is new on the Epic Store so there’s no rating yet, but it’s been very well received on Steam, where it debuted in 2021. It currently carries a “very positive” rating across more than 10,000 user reviews, and an “overwhelmingly positive” rating from the past 30 days. And now it’s free on the Epic Store—but only until 11 am ET on December 22, when a new giveaway game will take its place.