Welcome to a new age of free demos! Do you play demos these days?

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
I play a lot of "indie" games, where "indie" just means not AAA, and over the last year the number of these games that release demos onto Steam has increased dramatically. I suppose that's because of the competition for getting wishlisted so that Steam will advertise your game for you. I find it really fun to play a lot of these. It's like gaming with no commitment. If it irritates me right off the bat, then I just quit and uninstall it. Sometimes I enjoy the demo, but don't want a full game like it, and other times it makes me really want the full release.

During lunch today, I did a quick glance at the demos and downloaded: Ikai (horror), Source Worlds (3rd person adventure), Eternal Threads (first person puzzle) and Disciples: Liberation (turn-based RPG), all of which were released this week, I think.

In any event, it's a great way to play for cheap, plus it can save you money by steering you away from a game or direct you to a game you'll really enjoy.

Are any of you playing some of these demos that are being released? Would you play more if AAA games followed suit?
 
A great thing about BigFishGames is there's an hour-long demo of every game, so we get a lot of those in genres we like—we never buy a game there without trying the demo, and I always check the reviews from proven reviewers also, of course.

If a game I've wishlisted on the more general stores comes down to a price I'm willing to buy at, then I'll play any demo which is available—there haven't been many tho, I can't recall the last one I got.

Would you play more if AAA games followed suit?
I would play them probably, but I wouldn't give them too much weight—main benefit is to confirm game will probably work on my PC. They've presumably been made well before the game is finalized, and so may differ quite a lot from the final product. They're also likely to feature the most 'hooks' to grab my interest, in a similar vein to trailers, and may not come close to representing the overall game.

I give much more weight to actual player reviews, after the patching has been finished.
 
I usually play demos when they're available, sometimes just go on a bit of a download binge and then add the full game to the wishlist if it's interesting.
I'm a firm believer that every game, especially AAA should offer some kind of demo.
Sure you could purchase the game and refund it if you dont like it but that's just an extra annoying thing that could be avoided with a simple demo. Plus MGS the phantom pain comes to mind, that takes on average 3 full months of gameplay just to finish crawling out the hospital.
 
Sep 23, 2021
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A great thing about BigFishGames is there's an hour-long demo of every game, so we get a lot of those in genres we like—we never buy a game there without trying the demo, and I always check the reviews from proven reviewers also, of course.

If a game I've wishlisted on the more general stores comes down to a price I'm willing to buy at, then I'll play any demo which is available—there haven't been many tho, I can't recall the last one I got.


I would play them probably, but I wouldn't give them too much weight—main benefit is to confirm game will probably work on my PC. They've presumably been made well before the game is finalized, and so may differ quite a lot from the final product. They're also likely to feature the most 'hooks' to grab my interest, in a similar vein to trailers, and may not come close to representing the overall game.

I give much more weight to actual player reviews, after the patching has been finished.
i like you
 
Not a whole lot, like Pifanjr said, I have so many games in my backlogs on Steam & GOG, that it's becomes a matter of how much gaming time I have in a given day. I just don't have enough of that time to devote to a lot of demos. I'm in favor of game demos because it could help a smaller developer get their game to more gamers, and can help gamers decide if they really want to invest time & money in any given game. I just don't have the time personally to invest playing them myself, with some exceptions.

This year I've played 2 demos that I can remember. The 1st was the System Shock Remake Demo. I really loved the original game, and was really afraid with the troubled development of the remake, that it might end up being something like Underworld Ascendant (which wasn't a remake, but supposed to be a "spiritual successor" to Ultima Underworld), because that game turned out like (redacted). The SS Demo impressed me though with it's gameplay being reminiscent of the original. Nightdive Studios isn't helping themselves with a lack of communication, but I'm hopeful of the final product.

The other demo I played was the Gothic Playable Teaser which is for the remake of Gothic 1. I love the Gothic games from Piranha Bytes, but was concerned because another developer was making it. The last time that happened, we got Arkania, which was "supposed" to be Gothic 4, developed by Spellbound Studios. That game was a slap in the face to Gothic fans. But I was impressed by the Gothic Remake Demo; they (Alkimia Interactive) seem to have a handle on what a Gothic game is supposed to be.

Years ago, when the PCG Magazine had demo CDs with each issue, I used to plop those into my PC and try those. I loved them, but that was way before internet thing took off.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I don't do proper demos all that much. I did Factorio's and Overload's demo. I've also done those free weekends, which are a lot like demos. OnLive let you play the first half hour of any game for free, which is how I got sold on Just Cause 2.
 
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I don't do proper demos all that much. I did Factorio's and Overload's demo. I've also done those free weekends, which are a lot like demos. OnLive let you play the first half hour of any game for free, which is how I got sold on Just Cause 2.

I didn't know it existed and I know I shouldn't, but now I want to play Factorio's demo.
 

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