Three LucasArts point-and-click adventure games are being made free for Amazon Prime subscribers over the course of this summer.
Starting today, subscribers can download the 2009 Special Edition of 1990’s The Secret of Monkey Island as one of Prime’s free games for July.
On August 1st, that will be replaced by 1992’s award-winning Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, to be followed by 1993’s Sam & Max Hit the Road on September 1st.
To claim the free games, subscribers must download the Amazon Games app for desktop, then download them through the (weirdly reminiscent of the Epic Games Store) digital storefront. Once claimed, the games remain playable on your account even if you immediately cancel your Prime membership.
The Secret of Monkey Island is the first game in its series, and is one of the hallmarks of American adventure games in general. It introduced the would-be pirate Guybrush Threepwood to the pantheon of memorable video game characters, as well as his eventual wife Elaine Marley and his rival, the Ghost Pirate LeChuck. It’s one of those games where if you play it for the first time now, you’ll suddenly recognize a lot of references that have since become backbones of Internet humor.
Amazon’s freebie version is specifically the 2009 remake of Monkey Island, which updated the visuals and audio from the original, as well as adding a hint system and voice acting. Purists can still opt to play the game with its 1990 graphics and sound, however.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is another well-regarded LucasArts game, featuring an original story by designers Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein. It, like a lot of other LucasArts projects of the time, is built in SCUMM, the same engine that powered Maniac Mansion.
Fate of Atlantis was a big hit at the time of its release, is well-remembered by the old-school PC gaming crowd, and was followed by the 1999 sequel Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine.
Finally, Sam & Max Hit the Road is the first game to feature the duo, who debuted in an indie comic book in 1987. Their creator, Steve Purcell, joined LucasArts in 1988 as an artist and designer while still occasionally releasing Sam & Max stories in the American indie comics scene.
That led to the production of Hit the Road in 1992, as well as a series of Sam & Max comic strips by Purcell that ran in The Adventurer, LucasArts’ quarterly newsletter for fans. The characters briefly became popular enough to get a Saturday morning cartoon in 1997, which only ran for 24 episodes.
Since then, the characters have never quite gone away entirely, with an episodic game by Telltale in 2007, and are making their virtual reality debut in July with Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual. It’s consistently seemed for almost 30 years now that Sam & Max are almost about to break out into mainstream success, which has got to be frustrating if you’re Steve Purcell.
It should be noted, for completion’s sake if nothing else, that all three of these games are currently available on other digital storefronts for pennies on the dollar, and are currently deeply discounted as part of the annual Steam Summer Sale. However, if you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime for other reasons and don’t have these games, “free” still beats “cheap.”
The other free games for Prime subscribers in July are Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within, Double Fine’s 2019 ’80s-themed roguelike Rad, the text-based adventure The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature, cyberpunk point-and-click Tales from the Neon Sea, and Team17’s resource-management/puzzle game Automachef.