This year The Game Awards are further expanding on their already winning formula from last year. An open invitation to players all around the world to take part in The Game Festival has been announced. This lets players experience demos for upcoming games through Steam for a period of 48-hours.
If you’d like to get involved in this event, check out the Steam page where you can opt-in for a reminder for the event (as well as nabbing some nifty emotes while you’re at it). Once this starts, you’ll be able to download and experience any of the playable demos listed below.
If you’ve been looking forward to some of these titles, now is the best time to get a taste of things to come. There are 13 demos on offer, including the already impressive looking System Shock re-imagining.
Last Year's Event Was A Huge Success
Due to how well last year’s event unfolded, it appears we’ll have a lot to look forward to this year. Last year, we even got a few big game announcements during the event. Titles including The Outer Worlds, Rage 2, and Far Cry: New Dawn were all shown off alongside a slew of impressive indie titles.
Here’s What You Can Get Your Hands On
In the era of remakes, remasters, and reimaginings, this is one that we’re especially excited about. The original System Shock is something I still feel a massive amount of nostalgia about, but an update to a modern engine is very exciting. With System Shock 3 on the way soon, now is a great time to get acquainted with the series.
Developed by Nightdive Studios, this reimagining takes players on the journey of being a renowned hacker in a world hit by a terrible disaster. You’ll take on mindless cyborgs, robots and have encounters with SHODAN, the A.I. that rules over them.
Set in what looks to be an amazingly detailed and charming post-apocalyptic world, Eastward is a title that takes players on an emotional journey across the vast landscape, fighting monsters, solving puzzles, and even getting to know the locals.
The trailer for the game gives us a little taste of the beauty on offer. Fans of old-style RPGs will feel at home here. You can definitely see the inspiration taken from 90's animation that gives this universe a vibrant but warm feel.
In the atmospheric gameplay trailer, developer Thunder Lotus has managed to make a game about dying look and feel heartwarming. Playing as Stella, you’ll take the role of a ferry master for the recently deceased, making memories and bonding with your passengers along the way.
Watching the trailer for Spiritfarer shows a painstakingly hand-drawn world with impressive art and animation. Allowing players to build their own ferry, Spiritfarer also includes a wealth of other tasks, including farming, mining, fishing, and cooking, to keep you occupied on your travels.
Developers SMG Studio/Devm Games have set out on the task of making one of the most dreaded activities, moving out, fun - and after viewing the trailer, it looks promising!
Moving Out will see players engaging in fun, house-moving puzzles either alone or with a co-op partner. Don't worry; you won’t simply be moving boxes through some kind of sliding puzzle room, the gameplay trailer shows players moving items out of windows, dodging lasers, running across lanes of heavy traffic and playing with trains.
In what looks to be an exciting puzzle game, make sure you can grab a friend to play with when this demo drops!
As you may have guessed by the title of the game, Röki is a game that is heavily inspired by Scandinavian folklore. Players will find themselves going on a journey to save their family, encountering impressive backdrops, strange creatures, and a folklore driven narrative along the way.
We can’t wait to see what Polygon Treehouse has got in store for us, solving riddles and puzzles in this unique wilderness looks set to make for some interesting gameplay.
Indie game developer Greg Lobanov, Chicory is a top-down adventure game where players use their magic brush to solve puzzles and try to restore color to the world.
Players can use their brush to draw on anything they see while exploring the distinct world which has lost its color. Aside from helping the local animal characters, this is also a co-op title that gives you and your friends the opportunity to restore color together.
If you’ve been looking for a title to follow up from the Brain&Brain’s impressive 2016 outing, then look no further. Wooden Nickel is a frontier adventure set in the Old West, where players will explore and navigate using the daily newspaper.
Gameplay will see your actions affect the world around you, depending on how you played the previous days. You’ll be able to make connections in the world to help solve mysteries while making new friends and meeting new enemies.
Haven follows two lovers, Yu and Kay, who have settled in an unknown world. This title is unique as it allows you to control both these characters at the same time, this includes during exploration and even the hectic fight scenes.
This pastel-colored world created by The Game Bakers can rapidly be explored as players soar through the air. A second player can also join in the action with the drop-in co-op system.
Heavenly Bodies looks like it could be another great addition to the physics-based co-op adventure genre. Players will control one of two cosmonauts as they navigate through a zero-gravity environment, completing tasks as they go.
These zero-gravity scenarios that developer 2pt Interactive have created will push players to the limit as they try to get used to a new way of thinking. Sometimes the tasks will be simple puzzle-based construction; other times, you may be working in the dark as you frantically try to repair your station.
This psychedelic-looking title brings players back to the days of frantic side-scrolling action. Combat has been carefully crafted in Acid Knife to make for some tactical and challenging encounters.
This isn’t simply a button-masher, you’ll have the opportunity to adapt your fighting style with a diverse set of items and move-sets.
This is the second title by developers Powerhoof to make the list. The Drifter is another retro-style title that fans of the old school 2D point and click genre will be sure to appreciate. This title is fully voiced and places a massive emphasis on a puzzle-solving driven story.
You can expect an atmospheric playthrough when you pick up The Drifter. The trailer, paired with the brooding synth soundtrack, really helps set the mood as title character Mick makes his way through this adventure thriller.
CARRION might be the darkest title we have on our list today. A self-described “reverse horror game,” CARRION gives players control of a large amorphous creature who stalks and consumes its prey.
You’ll be able to grow and improve your creature as you make your way through this impressively detailed 2D environment. There will be lots to see here and a host of devastating abilities to take advantage of.
To end on a more cheerful note, this last title sees players take control of a skateboarding bird. We haven’t had a great skating game in a while now, but SkateBIRD sees players rolling their way through a set of scaled environments, letting their bird skate around staplers and do kickflips over pencils.
You’ll even be able to increase your following as the more you skate, the better you perform. This title looks like great fun, and the relaxing, carefree environment will be perfect to whittle away the hours.
If any of these titles pique your interest, be sure to tune into The Game Festival this year. This is a great opportunity to play a wide variety of upcoming titles across a multitude of genres.
The Game Festival takes place on December 12th at 10:00 PT and finishes at the same time on December 14th. Also, make sure to tune into The Game Awards show, which starts at 17:30 PT on Twitch, YouTube, and other streaming sites.
It looks like we will be treated to some exciting news over the coming days and will make sure to keep you updated with any developments. Make sure to check back regularly for all the latest news.