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Xbox has announced its first free games for subscribers in 2023. While the news doesn’t cover the first wave of Game Pass additions — though I have no doubt those are coming soon — it does give us the opening salvo for Games with Gold. Those who use Xbox’s online play service have access to two free titles: Iris Fall and Autonauts.
Iris Fall (or Iris.Fall) is a monochrome-styled puzzle adventure game originally published in 2018. The game follows the titular Iris on her journey through a labyrinthine, dream-like world. NEXT Studios developed and published the title, the same developer that made December 2022 Gold title Bladed Fury.
Autonauts is a 2019 indie sim title that looks like a combination of Minecraft and Stardew Valley. Players must transform planets into functioning farmlands, via creating an army of bots to help you. You can even create village full of people to protect with your automatons. It’s an adorable, colorful title.
Xbox Games with Gold underwent an evolution in 2022 — namely, that it stopped offering Xbox 360 games to subscribers. Considering it comes bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, likely many Gold subscribers already have access to Game Pass’s large library. PlayStation also recently announced its January titles for PlayStation Plus subscribers.