Microsoft announced the new Xbox Games with Gold for January 2023, revealing Iris Fall and Autonauts as the two free games that Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can claim this month. While the Xbox Live Gold subscription used to include two games for Xbox 360 and two games for Xbox One, Microsoft recently dropped the Xbox 360 era to only offer games from its latest two generations of consoles.
Microsoft decided to stop giving away free Xbox 360 games to Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in September 2022, ending the program by offering the highly acclaimed Portal 2 for a limited time. Since then, Games with Gold has been gifting players with a selection of games available on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, renewing the list of free games on the consoles every two weeks with a release at the beginning of the month and another at the middle.
January 2023 is no exception, as Microsoft revealed that Iris Fall and Autonauts will be available for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers as part of the Xbox Games with Gold service. Iris Fall will be available from January 1 to 31, while Autonauts will join the Xbox Games with Gold lineup on January 16 and leave the service on February 15.
Iris Fall is a puzzle adventure game with a unique art style that plays with lights and shadows. A young girl named Iris awakens from a dream and follows a black cat into a dilapidated theater, discovering a strange black-and-white cartoon-style universe. As she makes her way through this labyrinth and solves its mysteries, Iris discovers that the world has some kind of hidden connection to herself. The whole game design relies on the interaction between light and shadow, with players able to switch between these two settings to uncover the story’s plot and discover everything Iris Fall has to offer.
Autonauts is a farming simulation game where players have to colonize alien planets and set up automatic production with the help of robots to benefit from the planets’ resources. Behind its cute low-poly graphics, Autonauts provides various tools to efficiently manage the automation process, with a dedicated visual programming language to teach the robots how to complete tasks. While this language is easy to learn for new players, it leaves room for more complex commands to bring added complexity for those who already have a grasp on running operations on their planets.