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Steam Game Festival goes live with more than 500 free demos, plus developer chats and livestreams

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The February 2021 edition of the Steam Game Festival is now underway. The nearly-week-long online event features developer livestreams and chats, an opening day livestream, and most important of all, more than 500 demos from across the spectrum of genres to try out.

500 demos is an awful lot to power through in the course of a single week, especially when you also have to allow time for food, sleep, walking the dog, stuff like that. Fortunately, the Steam Game Festival page will give you a rundown of games on your wishlist that are now offering demos, and also put the ol' algorithmic magic to work to make some helpful, and hopefully accurate, suggestions.

Here are a few more that I think might be interesting:

  • Graven – A spiritual successor to the Hexen games, with a bit of an immersive sim bent to it.
  • Dream Engines: Nomad Cities – A sci-fi city-building survival game set in a "nightmare-infested post-apocalyptic world full of strange science and dreams." Also, the cities fly.
  • Whisker Squadron – An "aerial roguelike" from the makers of the excellent Race the Sun, but this time your ship has guns and your pilot is a cat.
  • SkateBird – Do your best as a bird on a 'board.
  • Minute of Islands – Explore strange islands and dark caverns in this narrative platformer about a world on the brink of collapse.
  • Ashwalkers – A grim survival game set 200 years after a volcanic cataclysm smothered the world in a sheet of grey, headed up by Dontnod co-founder Hervé Bonin.
  • Happy Game – A new "psychedelic horror adventure" from Amanita Design, the studio responsible for Botanicula, Chuchel, Samorost, and more.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron - Flyboyz Edition - DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA 
  • Kingshunt - An online action game that combines third-person hack-and-slash combat with tower defense strategy.

That's obviously just a small sampling of everything that's available—more than 500 demos, remember—so if you run across anything else that really stands out, let us know in the comments. 

The Steam Game Festival runs until February 9. If our ongoing list of Steam sale dates has it right (and it usually does), the Steam Lunar New Year sale will kick off two days later, on February 11.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.