Best Free Games at Steam Game Festival
This week, to mark the technically “postponed” game developer conference , a group of developers who planned to show their games at the conference released previews of these games as part of the Steam Games: Spring Edition festival.
Valve unveiled the Steam Games Festival last December, which ran in conjunction with The Game Awards and showcased 14 demos of unreleased games. This event looks much more ambitious, as more than 40 game previews will be available on Steam until next Monday, March 23rd. As Steam owner Valve pointed out in a press release announcing the event, many of these games would be shown by numbers. indie showcases during the GDC.
A word of warning: most of them are pre-release previews, which means they may not be as polished as the demos released by the giant developers right before the game’s release. Perhaps something is not working or the game is crashing. This is exactly the case with pre-release software.
There are many games to try. I’ll be working on these as the event progresses, but if you’re looking for somewhere to start, here are a few I’ve tried and liked.
Raji: Ancient Epic
India and Indian culture are rarely the focus of video games, so Raji, a third-person platformer set in Ancient India, feels new to video games as he draws his art and history from another part of the world. At the same time, if you’ve ever played a game like God of War or Tomb Raider , you’ll quickly grasp the essence of its familiar moves and battles.
If you’re looking for something to play with a friend, Retrograde Arena is a simple yet effective two-stick competitive shooter. Each player controls a small circle with a pistol barrel sticking out. The pistol is both your weapon and your fastest vehicle, because the recoil sends you flying. What I love the most is his Tron- style retro VR style, which uses both bright neon grids and fuzzy black and white static images for great effect.
There isn’t much to do if you don’t have people to play with, so keep that in mind.
Haven – it’s role-playing survival game, in which you control a couple of Yu and Kei, who survive in the wild on a different planet. You need to cook, gather supplies, and in some cases fight wild alien creatures to stay alive. Many of its mechanics, from dialogue to turn-based combat, revolve around creating synergies between the two halves of a pair. However, as with many RPGs, storytelling is the driving force: the dialogue-rich experience allows for detailed communication between partners that many games, even those focused on romance, are silent about.
Technically, this is a demo, not a preview, since the game is out now and I’ve played most of it. Superliminal is a Portal- like first-person puzzle game where objects are resized to reflect how they appear from your perspective. The logic of trippy dreams has interesting applications. While the puzzles never get too hard, it’s a fun concept to play around with.
Described as a reverse horror game, you control a strange, frightening ball that breaks out of the cage and eats all the guards and people trying to prevent it from escaping. A blob, as creepy as it is, won’t take much punishment, although you need to be smart enough to get into the bite zone. Despite the pixel art aesthetic, the creature looks strange, rude and intimidating. This is definitely a nifty game for horror fans. With that in mind, this is definitely not for little kids.
Last but not least, if you try and enjoy any of the festival games, be sure to add them to your Steam Wishlist or follow their product pages to be notified when the final version is released.