10 Can’t-Miss Free Demos From the Steam Game Festival

10 Can’t-Miss Free Demos From the Steam Game Festival
Image: Valve
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We’re less than 24 hours from this year’s Steam Game Festival, a week-long event showcasing new and upcoming PC games available on the Steam store. There will be Q&A events with developers, live streams to watch, and hundreds of free demos to play.

The event starts Wednesday, Feb. 3 and runs through Tuesday, February 9. (You can sign up for a reminder on the Steam Game Festival’s official website.)

The festival’s 500 game demos span every genre you can think of, but we won’t know the full lineup until the event begins. However, Valve has released several teaser videos highlighting a small selection of games you’ll be able to try out.

Ten great titles in particular caught our eye in this roundup, and we’ll tell you about them in a minute — but they represent just a tiny fraction of the avalanche of demos dropping during the Steam Festival. If you want more recommendations, watch Steam’s highlight reels featuring the many action, adventure, puzzle, platformer, strategy, RPG, and visual novel titles that will be available, and be sure to check Steam’s app and website throughout the event to find and test out new games.

A Space for the Unbound

A visual novel set in rural Indonesia during the late ‘90s about a young boy and girl who suddenly gain supernatural powers while trying to live a normal life and navigate their high-school romance.

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield

Players take on the role of the mysterious Wally, parkouring their way through hyper-stylised side-scrolling levels set in a cyberpunk Detroit. The game features music created by Detroit-based artist Danmime-Sama.

Chicory: A Colourful Tale

A cute dog wielding a paint-brush exploring a hand-drawn world and solving puzzles Zelda-inspired puzzles — what’s not not love? The game’s soundtrack is by Lena Raine, who composed the critically-acclaimed Celeste.

Graven

Graven is a love-letter to classic PC first-person shooters and immersive sims, mixing shooting and physics-based puzzles in large, open levels with a dark fantasy aesthetic. Check this one out if you miss Hexen, Thief, or Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.

The Riftbreaker

A survival-strategy game in which players don a giant mech suit to create and defend a base on a strange planet while searching for a way back to Earth. Players explore the hostile planet, research new weapons and technologies, and fortify their base against waves of alien creatures. Pew pew pew!

Narita Boy

Narita Boy is set inside the code of a fictional video game. It features a large, mysterious world to explore, intense combat, and highly detailed pixel art. Oh, and your character rides a floppy disc hoverboard, wields the “Technosword,” and encounter strange creatures built from old PCs and game consoles.

Shady Knight

This one looks wild: It’s a medieval first-person hack-and-slash game, but set in large vertical levels you have to jump, climb, and wall-run through. Your nimble knight is equipped with a sword and bow for fighting foes, but the dungeon-like stages are filled with traps that you can use against your enemies, too.

Sonority

Sonority is a top-down adventure game all about music. Players will explore ancient ruins filled with melodic puzzles. As you solve each puzzle, you’ll uncover new musical abilities and new routes to explore. Oh, and there’s a talking raccoon.

Steel Assault

Steel Assault is a 2D-side scroller packed with frantic hand-to-hand combat and zip-line-focused platforming that evokes classics like Mega Man X, Strider, and Bionic Commando. The lush pixel art and synth soundtrack that helps it stand out in an otherwise overcrowded genre.

Timberborn

This city-management sim gives you control of a civilisation of lumber-hungry beavers rising up after the fall of human civilisation. Your furry engineers create “timberpunk” technology to survive the harsh dry seasons.

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