Steam Next Fest begins, brings more than 600 demos to the people

Neon White
(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

The latest Steam Next Fest means there are now hundreds of free Steam demos ready to upend your gaming plans for the week.

From now until Monday February 28, you’ll be able to try out upcoming games - games almost beyond counting - for free. Frankly, though, you’ll have to prioritise. It’s not likely you can get through them all in the course of a week - particularly not when Steam is also running a full schedule of developer livestreams, incorporating playthroughs and AMAs.

Next Fest debuted in 2019 as The Game Festival, but is already on its ninth iteration. This time it’s made up of 628 demos - although Valve expects that total will increase as the week wears on.

The pick of the bunch has to be Neon White, a first-person platformer which is also a card-based shooter, and sexy about it. In a similar vein, you’ll find weird parkour game Kick Bastards, and “fast-paced Metroidvania Boomer Shooter” Chains of Fury, which pulls a lot from the brilliant art style of Void Bastards. It’s a big day for bastards.

Then there’s Crossfire: Legion, an intriguing take on a Starcraft-style RTS from distinguished developers, if that’s your sort of thing. And if you really dig, you’ll find the roguelike deckbuilding minigolf game, Golfie, which I’m already half-sold on after watching the trailer for a laugh. I’m definitely drawn to Shootas, Blood & Teef, too, which is a kind of living Warhammer cartoon. That’s already more than a week’s worth, if we’re honest.

Had your fill of the Next Fest? Here are some more of the best Steam games out there.

Jeremy Peel

Jeremy is a freelance editor and writer with a decade’s experience across publications like GamesRadar, Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer and Edge. He specialises in features and interviews, and gets a special kick out of meeting the word count exactly. He missed the golden age of magazines, so is making up for lost time while maintaining a healthy modern guilt over the paper waste. Jeremy was once told off by the director of Dishonored 2 for not having played Dishonored 2, an error he has since corrected.