Steam Next Fest kicks off with more than 600 demos and developer livestreams

The semi-annual Steam Next Fest is now underway, featuring gameplay livestreams, developer chats, tutorials, and—this is the big one—playable demos for hundreds of upcoming games.

The Steam Next Fest is a great way to get hands-on time with unreleased games you've been keeping your eye on, as well as stuff you haven't seen before or wouldn't consider throwing money at without a test drive first. The one potential knock against it—and it's really not much to complain about—is that there are so many demos, and so little time. 

There are a total of 628 demos in this round of the Next Fest, according to Valve, which means you're going to have to average 89.7 demos per day, every day, if you want to see them all. Valve expects a few more will trickle in as the Next Fest rolls on, so you might as well call it a flat 90 per day just to be sure nothing gets left out.

If that seems a bit daunting, here are a few that I think would make some good starting points:

Remember, this is just a tiny slice of everything that's out there—you can dig into all the demos, and get a full schedule of online events, on the Steam Next Fest page. We're putting together a deeper dive into some of our favorites for a little later this week—in the meantime, if you have any personal picks of your own, feel free to share them with us in the comments. The Steam Next Fest runs until February 28.

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.