Grab ID@Xbox’s Xbox Winter Game Fest Demo Event’s early gift of game previews before they’re cruelly snatched away four days before Christmas.
Whether or not Geoff Keighley Presents Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards™ (Presented By Geoff Keighley) is quite the evening you have in mind for yourself tonight, it has served us up the prospect of an associated ID@Xbox Xbox’s Winter Game Fest (and some specific Steam demos, if previous years are anything to go by) with a heaping of game previews so generous that it inevitably feels like something of a second job to get through them all.
The Xbox Winter Game Fest, somewhat cruelly, lasts from December 7th – 21st before the majority will evaporate. These demos won’t get you through the Christmas holiday (or seemingly-inevitable lockdown), we’re sorry to say.
As ID@Xbox says on its blog post, these are not normal “game demos”, given they’re generally much earlier in the development process and thus less representative of the usual final version-parity you see in the demo oeuvre. But that’s no bad thing. Call me an enthusiast, but I’ve probably expended hundreds of hours exploring free game morsels over the years from such events.
Full list of 36 games available in the ID@Xbox Winter Game Fest Demo Event (on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One)
- Apico (Whitethorn Digital/TNgineers)
- Aspire: Ina’s Tale (Untold Tales/Wondernauts Studio)
- Aztech Forgotten Gods (Lienzo)
- Best Month Ever! (Klabater/Warsaw Film School Video Game & Film Production Studio)
- Blacktail (The Parasight)
- Blind Fate: Edo no Yami (101XP/Troglobytes Games)
- Breakers Collection (QUByte Interactive)
- Castle on the Coast (Klabater/Big Heart Productions)
- Chenso Club (Aurora Punks/Pixadome)
- Death Trash (Crafting Legends)
- Demon Turf (Playtonic Games/Fabraz)
- Flewfie’s Adventure (Valorware LTD)
- Freshly Frosted (The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild)
- Grid Force – Mask of the Goddess (Playtra Games)
- Josh Journey: Darkness Totems (QUByte Interactive/Província Studio)
- Justice Sucks: Recharged (Samurai Punk)
- Kraken Academy!! (Fellow Traveller/Happy Broccoli Games)
- Lonesome Village (Ogre Pixel)
- Loot River (straka.studio)
- Mind Scanners (Brave At Night/The Outer Zone)
- Nobody Saves the World (Drinkbox Studios)
- Outbreak: Contagious Memories (Dead Drop Studios)
- Overpass: Rhythm Roadtrip (The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild/Studio Bean)
- Princess Farmer (Whitethorn Games/Samobee Games)
- Raccoo Venture (QUByte Interactive/Diego Ras)
- Space Boat (Recombobulator Games)
- Spacelines From the Far Out (Skystone Games/Coffeenauts)
- Super Toy Cars Offroad (Eclipse Games)
- The Chase of Ellen (Nick Silverstein)
- The Darkest Tales (101XP/Trinity Team)
- The Gardener and the Wild Vines (Finite Reflection Studios)
- The Last Oricru (Koch Media/Prime Matter/GoldKnights)
- The Tale of Bistun (Black Cube Games)
- Treasures of the Aegean (Numskull Games/Undercoders)
- Tunic (Finji/Isometricorp)
- What Lies in the Multiverse (Untold Tales/Studio Voyager)
So what are the highlights? For my money, some familiar standouts include Apico, Blind Fate: Edo no Yami, Death Trash, Mind Scanners, and Tunic. Some highlights, like Freshly Frosted, are even the product of game jams, like the fabled Train Jam.
Excitingly, a lot on the list seem to be firsts. Notably, the Tetris-dungeon crawler mash-up Loot River and Nobody Saves the World from the Guacamelee and Severed developer Drinkbox Studios are certainly both demo debuts to watch.
Steam’s offering is giving a lot less away – nothing yet. However, the Loot River demo is already up to access outside of the awards season, and if Nobody Saves the World doesn’t make an appearance I’ll eat my shoe. Pro tip with Steam – demos almost always leak onto the demo-new releases page before their associated event or festival hits.
On a vaguely related note, you’ll also get to try tonight whatever the next Epic Games interactive collaboration (after the rather good Radiohead virtual exhibition) that The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience turns out to be on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S only. Is it a game? Is it a film? Is it… anything? Anything to get Keanu Reeves on stage, at least!