Launching today is the Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition. This is an event that Valve has run a couple of times before on Steam, but this is by a chunky margin the biggest one to date. Throughout the duration of the festival, there are over 900 game demos available to play completely free of charge. It’s a varied mix of upcoming and just released games, with players able to form some early impressions on these games before paying up.
Perhaps due to the widespread cancellation of game events at a physical location, such as E3, GDC, Gamescom, and Eurogamer Expo, developers have been seeking out other ways to get the news out about their game and generate some positive word of mouth. The first Steam Game Festival only featured 40 game demos, so this clearly there’s much more interest from developers this time around, with more than 20 times more games featured this time around. You can browse the games by genre, with all the main genres you’d expect to see on Steam getting some kind of representation. You can also view by popularity, browse by the comprehensive tag system, or check to see if any of your already wishlisted games are featured.
In addition to the free demos which are available throughout the entire festival, there are also loads of developer live streams scheduled, with the people behind the games presenting them to a live streaming audience.
We’ve earmarked some of the games that we’re most interested in from the Steam festival, which you can check out demos for throughout the duration of the festivals, here are our top 5 Steam festival demos:
Does exactly what it says on the tin, this is a game about skating as a bird. If you imagine something like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater but from the perspective of a tiny little bird, you’ve got the concept. Skating around indoor areas from this reduced height creates situations where pieces of stationery can be used to grind on or jump from, and the unconventional scale gives the game a Honey I Shrunk The Kids or The Borrowers vibe. Worth checking it out.
This is a fantastic feeling action game, about moving with speed and precision, as you take out enemies with swift and brutal melee kills. You’ll be running, jumping, wall-running, and swinging from a grappling hook through a beautifully rendered grimy futuristic cityscape. You die in one hit, so you really need to stay on the move to avoid incoming enemy attacks. It’s a great pairing of fast and flexible movement systems, with tense and engaging action, all set across a lovingly crafted sci-fi world. We can’t wait to play the full game.
Honestly, it always felt to me like we were lucky enough to even get one Rock of Ages, never mind a second and now a third game. These are bizarre games about rolling a ball into things to smash them, with an offbeat sense of humor, and a distinct personality in all the visuals and presentation. The big change in the third game is that now you can create and your own levels with built-in level creation tools.
Not often we see a sequel to a game this long after the initial release. The original Windjammers released in arcades in 1994, and coming soon it will be finally getting a sequel. It’s a goofy premise for a game, a top-down disc-throwing combat sport, with a player on each side of a pitch, seeking to score goals by throwing the disc past each other. The original game was revived by Dotemu for a rerelease on consoles a couple of years ago, and now they’re following it up with a new entry. They’ve taken the same formula as the original game, given it a visual overhaul, and added a host of new stages and characters. Worth a try, particularly for fans of local multiplayer.
A minimalist action game from a group of developers who are veterans of the genre, and published by Devolver Digital. You’re running through a gauntlet of rooms filled with killer spinning discs. It’s a simple premise but executed fantastically, with lots of style and creativity. Probably the most interesting looking circular saw based action game on the horizon.
Grab the free demo from Steam here.
Even if you can’t visit any real-world gaming events to try some upcoming titles, this is a great way to get a taste of some games that are on the horizon, without spending a penny or leaving the comfort of your home. The festival will be running until June 22, finishing at 10 am PDT, so be sure to jump in before then if you want to try any of these demos. Let us know if you try any particularly good demos from the Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition.