Who doesn’t love a good demo? Like sipping a splash of wine to discover all the unknown and probably nonsense variables that went into making the sour grape juice, game demos give you an idea of what you can expect from the experience. More importantly, they let you figure out if a game is worth the cash or time investment it’s asking for. In recent years Steam has cottoned on to the fact that people just really like dipping their toes in a slice of video game and thus took the leap into digital event organisation with a series of Steam Game Festivals. The Steam Autumn Festival is one such entry and its gone bigger than ever.
The event, which kicked off last night on 7 October, will run until 13 October and will give Steam users an opportunity to try out “hundreds” of limited-time demos for a whole range of games. It’s a fairly overwhelming number that most people will never get around to completing entirely but the fact that there’s such a strong variety in terms of choice justifies the potential fomo, I think. Valve has organised a constant feed of interviews with developers and live-streams of gameplay so even if you’re not able to get through all those demos, at least you’ll be able to watch a (presumably) smart person talk about game design.
If I had to recommend a few demos worth checking out, I’d say look for Ghostrunner, The Survivalists and Pumpkin Jack. Ghostrunner’s a flashy, stylish, and brutally cool game about playing as a cyborg ninja that involves plenty of slicing and dicing, while The Survivalists looks like the excellent management sim mechanics of The Escapists turned tropical. Lastly, Pumpkin Jack looks like the kind of quirky character platformer that just doesn’t get made all that often anymore. It also just reminds me of MediEvil, so I might be biased.
Last Updated: October 8, 2020