One of the best Xbox games you’ve never played is free on console and PC — here’s how to claim yours

A screenshot from Tell Me Why
(Image credit: Dontnod Entertainment)

Good games don’t always get the attention they deserve, and that was certainly the case with Tell Me Why.

This episodic adventure game was developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Xbox Game Studios in 2020. Sadly, it didn't quite get the attention it merited at launch. Fortunately, you can now circle back to this overlooked Xbox game without spending a single cent or needing an Xbox Game Pass subscription. 

Throughout June, Tell Me Why is free on the Xbox Store and Steam. Players on Xbox consoles (Xbox One and Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S), or one of the best gaming PCs, can claim this adventure game now, and once added to your account library it’s yours to keep. There are no caveats here, just an awesome free game.

This freebie is the perfect time-filler during the quieter summer months, and even if you don’t have time to play right now, be sure to grab Tell Me Why while it’s free and you can revisit the game later. 

Tell Me Why is perfect for Life is Strange fans

The closest comparison point for Tell Me Why is Dontnod’s other episodic adventure game series, Life is Strange. 

Much like Life is Strange, Tell Me Why, puts you at the center of a teen drama story that reacts to your choices. It’s extremely light on gameplay elements, but heavy on narrative, which makes it a great introductory game for inexperienced players. 

In Tell Me Why you play as a set of twins, Tyler (voiced by August Aiden Black) and Alyson (Erica Lindbeck). These siblings haven’t seen each other in 10 years, but are deeply connected by a supernatural bond. Reuniting in their rural Alaksian hometown, they set about investigating a mystery linked to their difficult childhoods. 

The game tackles some very heavy themes, but its most interesting aspect is how it uses the idea of memory to showcase plot sequences from multiple perspectives. Often you’ll see a scene play out, then watch it again from a different vantage point that changes how you perceive what happened, before selecting which memory is the “correct” one. This helps to keep you engaged throughout and makes your playthrough feel unique to you. 

Split into three episodes, finishing Tell Me Why will take you around six hours, and that feels like an appropriate length, just as the road starts to run out the game begins to wrap up. If you’re looking for a compelling narrative-driven gaming experience this summer, Tell Me Why is an excellent choice, and now that it’s free there’s no harm in giving it a shot.   

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.