E3 2021 is technically over, and without a show floor to demo things, plenty of developers lost an opportunity to spread the word about their games. Xbox has one way around that, collecting indie game demos on home consoles, and now Valve is launching its version for PC games. The latest Steam festival, Next Fest, has launched today with hundreds of demos of upcoming games to try and livestreams of playthroughs and interviews with developers if you’d rather watch than play.
Running from June 16th to June 22nd, Next Fest includes a wide swath of games in a variety of genres, some of which weren’t spotlighted during last weekend’s loose collection of E3 livestreams and keynotes. Some notable games included in the fest are Sable, Chasing Static, Lake, Toem, and Norco.
Valve’s been running these online festivals periodically since the pandemic started as a way to fill the void of in-person events like the Game Developers Conference. While it might be a bit more hit or miss than the big splashy showcases at E3, Next Fest seems filled to the brim with interesting ideas. Plus all the demos are free, so it doesn’t hurt to give any of them a spin.