February’s Steam Next Fest has come to a close, leaving gamers buzzing with excitement and anticipation for the release of their favorite demos. Valve has released a list of the 50 most played games during the event, offering insights into the preferences of Next Fest participants. The rankings are based on the number of unique players who engaged with each game exclusively during Next Fest, excluding any early demo plays from the previous month. Let’s delve into the highlights of the list and explore the games that captured the hearts of Next Festers.

Topping the charts as the most popular game of Next Fest is Dungeonborne, a title that was announced just at the end of January. Developed by Mithril Interactive, this game blends PvPvE dungeon crawling with the thrill of facing fantasy skelly monsters. Dungeonborne’s success is further highlighted by the fact that it had over 19,000 concurrent players during its Next Fest playtest. It went from being ranked in the top 500 of Steam’s most wishlisted games to securing a spot in the top 50, all within the span of two weeks. Mithril Interactive expressed their gratitude to players for the valuable insights gained during the playtest, promising to address challenges such as class balancing, gear disparity, anti-cheat measures, and gameplay details based on the feedback received.

The remainder of the top 50 games includes a mix of familiar names and new discoveries that delighted Next Fest participants. Stormgate, a spiritual successor to Starcraft, claimed the second spot on the list, captivating players with its strategic gameplay and immersive storyline. Pacific Drive, a first-person car roguelike, secured its position in the top three, offering a unique blend of racing and roguelike mechanics. Homeworld 3, a highly anticipated space epic, also made the cut despite its recent release delay, showcasing its enduring appeal to fans of the franchise. Backpack Battles, an indie autobattler, showcased its innovative gameplay and earned a spot in the top five.

Upon examining the top 10, several notable titles emerge. Balatro, a poker roguelike, and Millenia, a Civ-rival developed by Paradox, both showcased their captivating gameplay and ranked prominently in the list. Deviator, with its Hollow Knight-esque style, captured the attention of gamers who appreciate atmospheric and challenging experiences. As a whole, the top 50 list is indicative of the exceptional taste and discerning preferences of Next Festers. However, one notable absence is the beautiful Until Then, which did not make the list despite its quality. It remains a hidden gem that should not be overlooked, especially considering the fact that its demo is still available for play.

The Next Fest demos, including those that topped the charts, continue to be available for eager gamers who want to experience the excitement firsthand. If you missed out on the event or are curious about the buzz surrounding these games, there is still an opportunity to explore and discover the demos that caught the attention of Next Fest participants. Don’t miss out on the chance to immerse yourself in these captivating worlds.

Steam Next Fest showcased an impressive lineup of games, with Dungeonborne emerging as the crowd favorite. The top 50 list is a testament to the diverse range of gaming experiences available, from strategic titles to immersive adventures. As gamers eagerly wait for the official releases of these demos, developers are hard at work addressing feedback and refining their games. The success of Next Fest and the enthusiasm of its participants speak volumes about the thriving gaming community and the potential for these titles to make a lasting impact.


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