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gamedemosWe usually don’t talk about software trials or retail products on MakeUseOf. At least, not unless the free alternative holds sufficient ground. With video games, it does. Like the ‘real’ version, PC game demos take you away to some distant adventure, albeit not as long. They allow you to cast a glance on the world, and make your first steps.

Trying a PC game demo is often needed to get a feel for a game. Sure, you can sample trailers and reviews to your heart’s desire, but to spend 70 bucks on an interactive story, both are often still lacking.

Even if you don’t want, or never even planned to buy the game, demos can be a lot of fun. There’s nothing that keeps you from downloading a bunch of demos and gaming your socks off, just for the hell of it.

1. Steam Store – PC Game Demos

Steam, aside from a software gateway to great games, has an incredible store. Here you’ll be able to place pre-orders and gain incredible discounts on a lot of games. If you’re a retail-, as well as a freeware gamer, you should certainly take a look at their games under 10€ and 5€ categories.

Like most game stores, Steam also allows you to sample the products. The above link, or a swift flick in the sidebar will take you to the extensive PC game demos archive.


pc game demos

Personally, I think the Steam Store to be one of, if not the best, resource for demos. Not necessarily because of a larger offering, but thanks to the sheer joy of browsing the site. Compared to the Steam Store, most websites seem messy and disorganized.

Note that you’ll only be able to download games via the Steam client application. Once you’ve got this small app installed, you can also use it to access the Steam store from your desktop and manage your other games.

2. – Demo Versions

GamersHell, more than an online game store, is one of the largest online sources related video games. You can use it to find reviews, videos, cheats, and – of course – game demos.

The demo archive of GamersHell is built like a directory. You can arrange the titles by date, or by name. The listing will automatically show the game type, and the beginning of a short description. Although I’m a sucker for images (cover art and screenshots), this usually suffices to scan the page for cool or relevant game demos.

pc game demos

Perhaps the biggest advantage to using GamersHell, aside from the possibility of using plain old http links instead of a desktop client, lies in your choice of file server. GamersHell will usually proffer around or above ten different download mirrors, sharing their location, transfer rate and current workload. With less than an extra minute spent, you can make sure to have the best available download.

3. – Demos

More akin to GamersHell, FileFront is the third demo source we’re cheering. Sadly, it doesn’t allow you to rearrange the demo list. You can either browse it by date, or launch a query from the search box (that is, if you know what you’re looking for).

watch pc game demos

File searches will yield game demos, as well as game patches and the occasional trailer, where Game searches will lead you to a general overview of related downloads.

Do you know any other good sources for PC game demos? You can have your say in the comments section below.

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  1. Arun
    March 2, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Nice Games site, i will be always following

    How did u add Share Page, Stumble it,Twitter,Rss,Chat with your Friends....

    Share it with me...

  2. smikwily
    February 10, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Think you may want to add FilePlanet to this listing, as it has been around since 1999.

    • Simon Slangen
      February 10, 2010 at 9:47 am

      Thanks for the tip. You need to sign up before you can download from FilePlanet, though.