Multiple times a year, Valve brings back its massive demo festival events to promote upcoming games in a digital trade show-like fashion. Right on schedule, the October edition of Steam Next Fest has just kicked off, and that means hundreds of PC games are now available to try out for free for the next week.
The latest edition of the Next Fest hub of the event makes managing the task of sorting through the massive number of available choices a little bit easier. The page presents broad categories up top to flip through specific genres like action, strategy, and multiplayer. Scrolling down, each selection can be narrowed down further via the powerful Steam tags system, with everything from themes and moods, to the number of supported players being configurable.
The most popular game demos currently being played and wishlisted by the Steam community can be seen here too. Some favorites are already forming in the demo space, even though the event just kicked off. Expect those lists to shift heavily as the event goes on.
Some of the highest trending demos at the start of the event include a slice of Robocop: Rogue City that’s launching soon from Nacon, the Deep Rock Galactic spin-off title Survivor, racing sim Japanese Drift Master, the Paradox-published factory building and automation entry Foundry, and the Settlers-like city builder Pioneers of Pagonia.
Logged in Steam users will also see recommended titles based on their playing preferences on the platform, all courtesy of Valve’s algorithms. Livestreams from developers showcasing their games and answering community questions have returned as a feature too, running right alongside the event.
A majority of the hands-on experiences of this “multi-day celebration of upcoming games” are coming from indie developers, though a few major publishers participating too. The gameplay slices can be small demos showing off some mechanics or time-limited experiences offering much larger chunks. Keep in mind though that many of these games are still in development, and may present bugs.
Steam Next Fest October 2023 edition will close its doors on October 16, offering seven days of unlimited access to participating games.