Some Of 2020’s Most Interesting Games Are Playable Until Sunday

Some Of 2020’s Most Interesting Games Are Playable Until Sunday

Remember when playing demos – and making a good demo – mattered? That’s gone out the window over the last two decades, but the spirit of that era is back until Sunday with the Steam Game Festival.

It’s a tie-in for The Game Awards with Steam, and hopefully something we’ll see more conventions do. Until early Sunday Australian time, anyone on Steam can play demos from 13 games scheduled for release next year or later. The games are all indie titles, although there’s some big names amongst those, including the current state of Night Dive’s System Shock reboot.

There’s titles like Spiritfarer, a game about playing as the ferrymaster for the dead. CARRION‘s a platformer billed as “a reverse horror game”, the adorable SkateBIRD. Aussies make up three of the 13 games: Moving Out, a Overcooked-style game about moving out, and the makers of Crawl have Acid Knife and The Drifter available as well. (Update: I’m told it’s actually four Aussie studios, as Heavenly Bodies is being made by 2pt Interactive down in Melbourne. Thanks, Meredith!)

Here’s all the demos available until Sunday:

  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  • Roki
  • Haven
  • System Shock
  • Acid Knife
  • Spiritfarer
  • Wooden Nickel
  • Moving Out
  • Eastward
  • SkateBIRD
  • The Drifter
  • Heavenly Bodies

The System Shock demo runs a fair bit longer than the promo for the game’s Kickstarter campaign, and the game has been streamlined and tweaked a lot since then. Chicory is worth a look if for anyone into 2D Zelda-style games, while The Drifter is an adventure thriller about someone who is murdered, put back into their own body seconds before dying and then framed for their own death.

It’s a great little promo, especially since you can try a bunch of games with no commitment. It’s especially good to see so many Aussie games on the list, and hopefully we’ll see more timed demo events like this after things like PAX Australia. If you want to check any of the games out, head here.


  • Oooh, I’ve been hanging out for a while for Spiritfarer & Haven as pretty obvious must-buys, mostly thanks to the Kotaku articles about them in their early development. It’s nice to see a reminder that they’re still coming. And The Drifter sounds amazing, hadn’t heard of that.

    Carrion as the reverse horror game is definitely worth checking out in videos – the gameplay looks perversely satisfying. If you like the concept of playing as an ever-growing alien blob that consumes scientists and marines, you should check out videos.

    Chicory has my interest just for the ‘colouring in’ aspect (I’ve always loved that colouring-in concept in games: De Blob, Grimm, Portal’s conversion gel, splatoon, uncovering the fog of war in RTSes… it’s like the itch that you scratch by clearing all the silvery grey gunk off an instant scratchie).

    Moving Out (aka Overcooked: Moving Day) was a welcome surprise from E3, so I’m surprised to see that on this indie list… but totally want to try and convince my partner to play.

    I have never heard of Eastward but looking at screenshots and videos had me nearly salivating almost immediately. I want to go to there. Also, Chucklefish is publishing? Well that’s a good sign.

    As pretty as Roki looks, I don’t think I have the time and space for another point-and-click adventure. Same deal with fairly pretty Heavenly Bodies which looks pretty novel, but also frustrating as fuck.

Log in to comment on this story!