Did you know that Steam Next Fest is currently running, offering up hundreds of free game demos to try all week?

And with literally hundreds of demos to choose from, it’s hard to know what’s worth your time and what isn’t. We’ve spent all day scouring through Steam Next Fest, handpicking some of the best demos out there so you don’t have to. Aren’t we kind?

We’ll be bringing you more coverage and highlighting more demos throughout the week, but for now we’ve picked out five very different demos that we think you should try. So if you’re looking for something new to add to your games wishlist, give these a go for yourself.

Steam Next Fest runs until 28th February, at which time many of these demos will become unavailable. So make sure you try them while you still have the chance.

Warstride Challenges

Steam Next Fest Warstride Challenges

Imagine if DOOM and Super Meat Boy had a baby. You’re part way to imagining what Warstride Challenges is like. This is a fast-paced FPS-platformer hybrid, which challenges you to shoot the bad guys, dodge the obstacles and reach the end of the level before the time runs out. It’s not a generous timer, either. We’re talking seconds. This isn’t a game for dilly-dalliers; you need to have your wits about you, have your hands co-ordinated, and be ready to run, shoot and jump. It’s a lot of fun, though. The demo will take you around 15 minutes to get through, but you can jump back in infinitely as you try to beat your best times.

Warstride Challenges is set to release into Early Access soon.

Super Catboy

Super Catboy Steam Next Fest

Playing Super Catboy is like stepping back in time. This pixelated platformer really does look like a hidden gem from the Mega Drive era, and that’s only one of the reasons we love it. Platforming feels smooth and responsive, and combat is fast-paced and requires skill. You can make use of a melee attack and a gun, but you better watch your bullet count. And watch out for enemies’ projectiles too; they won’t go easy on you. Oh, and did we mention your play as a bodywarmer-wearing cat? If that’s not enough to sell you on it, we don’t know what else to tell you.

Super Catboy is coming to PC in summer 2022.

Tinykin

Yes, we’ve already written about Tinykin, but couldn’t resist including it here. This is now one of our most anticipated games of the year based on how much fun we had with the demo. In Tinykin, you play as a teeny-tiny spaceman who has got stranded on Earth. By exploring a giant house, he needs to find important materials to fix his spaceship and help get him home. To assist him along the way is an army of tinykin, small creatures who can move objects for him along with performing other helpful tasks.

The demo presents you with a big open space to explore, with puzzles to solve, NPCs to help, and secrets to find. You’ll not want it to end.

Tinykin is coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC this summer.

The Wreck

The Wreck Steam Next Fest

The Wreck is a little scrappy, but it still got its hooks in us, and we’re intrigued to try more of it. From French development team The Pixel Hunt, The Wreck tells the story of Junon, who finds herself rushing to her mother’s side in hospital. She has a very big decision to make which will undoubtedly change her life forever – and it’s not going to be easy. You’ll follow Junon and she contemplates what’s important to her, mulls over her choices, and revisits key moments from her life. There’s not too much in the way of interaction here, but the storytelling is familiar to the likes of Life is Strange. It’s very dialogue heavy, and you’ll have some choices to make along the way.

The Wreck is scheduled to release on Steam this spring.

AK-Xolotl

AK-Xolotl Steam Next Fest

Surely the fact that you’re playing as a gun-wielding axolotl is enough to sell you on AK-Xolotl? Well, it should be. This pixelated roguelike shooter is a lot of fun. And its demo is infinitely replayable; giving you access to a couple of arcade modes, you can jump in and shoot to your heart’s content, constantly trying to beat your last high score. Honestly, we struggled to peel ourselves away from it. It if wasn’t for the other several dozen Steam demos we’ve got to get through, we’d have played it all day.

It’s a very simple shooter, challenging you to stay alive as long as you can while laying waste to a horde of enemies, constantly increasing in numbers. Bullets will fly, and so you need to be quick on your little axolotl feet to stay alive.

AK-Xolotl‘s release date is TBA, but it’s scheduled to release on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC.

Click here for more Steam Next Fest coverage