We used to complain that we were in a game demo drought, and now we complain that we’re drowning in them. It’s a good problem to have, but there genuinely isn’t enough time to play all of the demos available during any given Steam Next Fest—the current one ends on Monday—so some prioritization is in order.
If you just want to know which demos are the most popular, Steam recently sorted the top 10 by most played. They are:
- Dungeonborne: A fantasy extraction game that looks a lot like Dark and Darker
- Stormgate: RTS from genre vets; we recently tried a beta version
- Homeworld 3: Another highly anticipated RTS; just got slightly delayed
- Pacific Drive: Exciting car-based survival game, out soon
- Deviator: Metroidvania that looks an awful lot like Hollow Knight
- Backpack Battles: A “PvP inventory management auto battler”
- Millennia: Historical 4X game in the vein of Civilization
- Balatro: A deckbuilder “where you play illegal poker hands”
- Dread Dawn: Zombie game with cool pixel art
- Rotwood: Dungeon crawler from the Don’t Starve devs
It’s notable to me that there are two real-time strategy games—that forever “dying” genre—in the top three. Plus there’s a new Paradox-published historical strategy game in the list, Millennia, which I hadn’t heard of. Nice to see more competition for the Civilization series, whose territory is also being encroached upon by the upcoming Ara: History Untold.
We’ve also been pointing out our own favorite Next Fest demos throughout the past week, which include Tribes 3, Magical Delicacy, and Cryptmaster. The most recent episode of our podcast, the PC Gamer Chat Log, was about all the demos we’ve been playing this week, too.