Pre-alpha Strafe demo is now available to everyone


Did you see the Strafe pre-alpha gameplay video that turned up last week? Did you enjoy it? Did you think to yourself, "Oh boy, how I wish I could somehow play it myself, right at this very moment!" If you answered "yes" to any of those questions (but especially the last one), then I have good news, couched in several caveats.

Developer Pixel Titans uses the word "broken" no fewer than four times in the demo announcement, and state that it was built in a hurry to get something playable into the hands of streamers. It is "a tiny fraction and modified version of Strafe that lacks most final features," including video and control options, procedural level generation, and fully-functional AI and pathfinding.

Despite all that, fans were apparently quite persistent in their demands for access, and so after some resistance the studio decided to make it available. "It might not run on your particular computer right now. It might have major bugs, like enemies literally dancing for death. It might begin WWIII after your computer is mistaken on radar for a nuclear warhead," Creative Director Thom Glunt cautioned. "And if you don’t remember Doom’s elevator lifts, you might get stuck and not know how to move forward. Press E toward the ground, damn it."

The demo is available for PC and Mac, and players are free to make videos and post them on YouTube, although the devs asked that anyone who does so "let people know that the build is early and it will get better." That's the good news: The bad news, at least for backers, is that the Strafe Kickstarter will need a big last-minute push to get it across the line. At this moment, it's roughly $50,000 short of its $185,000 goal, with just 66 hours left on the clock.

Andy Chalk

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.