Microsoft has announced the new additions to Xbox Game Pass for the second half of August 2023, and it’s a decent mix: two beloved, thoughtful indies of the last few years, and two interesting prospects debuting on day one.
The four games are Firewatch, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Sea of Stars, and Gris, and they’re all coming to cloud, console, and Windows PC.
Firewatch is the influential 2016 first-person narrative adventure game about a fire lookout investigating a mystery amid the solitary, wooded majesty of a national park in the late 1980s. Its developer Campo Santo was snapped up by Valve in 2018 and has scarcely been heard from since. What are they up to?
Gris is a stylish, melancholic platformer first released in 2018. Chilled out, gorgeous, and subtly affecting, it’s well worth a revisit (or a first go).
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, debuting on Game Pass on day one, is Gun Interactive’s attempt to repeat the success of Friday the 13th: The Game, which it is having to shut down due to licensing issues. Once again, it’s an asymmetrical multiplayer gamer pitting a slasher villain against survivors, based on a classic horror movie license.
Finally, Sea of Stars is a promising, turn-based, retro role-playing game inspired by the classics of the Super Nintendo era. Unusually, this one is debuting on day one on both Game Pass and PlayStation Plus Premium — props to developer Sabotage Studio for managing to cut deals with both subscription services.
Here’s when and where these games and others will become available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers:
- Firewatch — available Aug. 17 via cloud, console, and Windows PC
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre — available Aug. 18 via cloud, console, and Windows PC
- Sea of Stars — available Aug. 29 via cloud, console, and Windows PC
- Gris — available Sep. 5 via cloud, console, and Windows PC
As ever, a few games have to leave the service to make room for these new treats. Wave goodbye to Black Desert, Commandos 3, Immortality, Nuclear Throne, Surgeon Simulator 2, and Tinykin on Aug. 31.