Linux game demos on Steam

Discontinued due to lack of interest at readers‘ side…

This is a list of all(*) demos on Steam for Linux. I am testing if the demos actually exist for Linux (as some don’t), if they start up fine on my system (Debian Wheezy 64 bit plus some newer libs from Jessie or unstable) and I’m having a short look if they run stable and what the games are about and look like. If I’m aware of any work­arounds needed, I’m posting them as well. I am planning to keep the list up-to-date.

(*) As I am located in Germany, I’m missing demos that are not available in this country for licence (like Football Manager 2015) or for violence reasons.

Latest changes (apart from new demos):
* Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers added, 4/2015 (I’ve told them they had forgotten to mark their demo as available for Linux as well.)
* fault milestone one out of early access, 4/2015
* Paper Dungeons out of early access, 4/2015
* Running with Rifles out of early access, 5/2015
* Blockstorm demo has been removed, 5/2015

runs fine
runs with problems
did not start on my system
no Linux demo available
infos about workarounds


World of GooCould not test demo because I already own the full version.
Very good puzzle game needing some mouse skills as well.


The Graveyard
More of an art experience than a game. As an old woman, we slowly walk over the graveyard.

AI War – Fleet Command
Multiplayer realtime strategy space game.


Tile-matching (not my cup of coffee), decent tutorial.

Hacker Evolution
Now this one is special. You’re typing in commands into a terminal trying to hack computers. Later it becomes a matter of speed. doesn’t this sound just like made for some Linux users?! The demo didn’t set the correct display resolution and I couldn’t change it either.

Hacker Evolution: Untold
There’s a German expression „the same in green“, meaning it is „samey“. This really seems to be the same in green…


✘ Secret of the Magic Crystal – Missing executable
Fantasy horse stable game (including unicorns!).

In order to make the full version of Limbo playable on my 120 Hz monitor, I needed to switch to the „performance“ CPU governor. For the demo, this did not suffice and I had to switch to 60 Hz.
Very good puzzle game about a boy in a dark, fierce world.

The Clockwork Man
The Clockwork Man: The Hidden World
Puzzle and hidden object games, nicely drawn. Looks like graphics are scaled up. Shows (Adobe) Flash menu at right button click! Reviewed as having too small objects to find.

Hacker Evolution Dualityhad crashes
Successor to Hacker Evolution (see above). No terminal anymore, but point and click and nice world map. Crashed on first try, didn’t find files on second try, crashed after game over. Just like a persiflage on computer history – looks better, works worse.

Hacker Evolution Duality


Nice little action game, you’re supposed to steer your light particle by adjusting the amplitude and frequency of the wave it is following. No, that’s not hard to understand when you see it, yet it’s hard to master (at least for me).

Townsattention, game is reportedly unfinished and abandoned
Town building simulation

Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chroniclesran after fixes, crahes in config menu
 I had to put „BITS=32“ and remove the 64 bit part from the start script and I needed to install these libs: aptitude install libopenal1:i386 libxaw7:i386 libjasper1:i386 libpng12-0:i386
It’s a real good point and click adventure. Though if you’re into that kind of game and don’t have them yet, I’d recommend the predecessor „Book of Unwritten Tales“.

Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovershad a crash to desktop
First person action puzzler with a unique comic style. Very positively reviewed on Steam.


? Beatbuddy: Tale of the GuardiansCould not test demo because I already own the full version.
Nice looking action game where you’re supposed to move with the beat.

Assault Android CactusEarly access
Shoot ‚em up with quite some action in the tutorial already. Looks, sounds and plays like a good old arcade machine. If that’s your genre, give it a try!

BeatBlasters III
Rythm platformer in comic style. Visually, it may appeal more to younger people…

Arma Tactics
Turn based war strategy game ported from mobiles. Good lookin‘, bad reviews.

Project Zomboid
Runs from command line
Zombie sandbox game. You start infected in the demo and have only some days left.

Axis Game Factory’s AGFPRO v2
Ok, that’s not actually a game, but a development environment for games.Still Steam shows it when looking for Linux demos. Ran choppy, makes stupid sounds on editing, …

You’re a down quark on its way through the subatomic world. Who didn’t dream of that?!? Reminded me of Thomas Was Alone: You’re only seeing geometric forms, but good voice brings the story alive. Has got an email feedback form integrated!

Battle Worlds: Kronoscrashes to desktop
Turn based science fiction strategy game. Looks nice, just crashed to desktop when I tried in back in April – and still does today. Unenjoyable, at least on my system.

NEO Scavenger
Opens a window titled „Adobe Flash player“. A post-apocalypse turn-based survival game. Rather ugly, and still the reviewer from Rock, Paper, Shotgun says it’s the „best single player turn-based RPGs I’ve played for a long time“…


Nice looking puzzle platformer with comic graphics.


Leadwerks Game Engine
Game engine. Runs, but didn’t test it further than this.

Action game with 8 bit optics – wrapped in WINE! Seriously, dear developers?!? You’ve got the source code – please compile it, don’t wrap it! If I want to play 80s style games emulated, I’d take an MSX or NES emulator and play the real stuff…

Ground Poundershad crashes
The only game that does its fullscreen display under my task bar, crashed on every second startup. When it succeeds to start, you’ll get a hex-based, turn-based strategy wargame with a deck of cards.

Paper Dungeons
Walk through dungeons and roll the dice against monsters in paper-cut art.

Heldric – The legend of the shoemaker
In a 3D world, build up your town and collectively defend against waves of monsters. Even women in long dresses do decent roundhouse kicks here!

✓ Among the SleepFixed twice
First didn’t install anything, than didn’t install enough and glitched, now fully works. It’s a first-person horror game from a toddler’s view. You even gut a key to hug you teddy…!

Wing IDE 5
Another demo which is not a game, but an integrated development environment for Python. Looks reasonable, and according to some web search, it really is.

Running With Rifles
Real time strategy war game. Special look due to cell shading. I missed information what I actually should be doing…

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s MineMouse lag fixed
Looks like a nice point and click adventure with some oldfashioned graphics that could turn out funny. When trying it first, I had severe mouse lag due to my high polling rate mouse, but they’ve fixed that.

Frederic: Resurrection of Music
In a story not too appealing to me, you fight musicians by playing keyboard against them on your, well… keyboard. Far too hard for me.

I wonder if they played Limbo… No, let’s be honest: I don’t wonder. They did. It’s just as monochrome and hazy. But it has less violence, less dying, instead you’re carrying around your little brother. But the controls and animations feel a bit less harmonious to me. Still, nice looking.

Frederic: Evil Strikes Back
See Frederic: Resurrection of Music above.

Painkiller Hell & Damnation
First person horror shooter. To be honest, it was refreshing to have a professional production between all those (good and bad) indie and hobby games. Some part that seem to be not locked are not playable in the dmeoe, like the tutorial. Default in-game mouse sensitivity was extremely low (but can be changed).

Kill the Bad Guy
You’re supposed to kill those really evil guys in the world in scenarios that are mostly white and white. Only interaction objects are dark. Turns out to be a bloody puzzle game with limited possibilities.

ViolettCould not try it, but demo is reported to work
Neat little Puzzle game, nicely drawn in some Alice-in-Wonderland environment. My thoughts about it (in German) can be found here.

✓ UnrestRan after installing some libs
 I had to install (see comment from stan below): aptitude install libsdl2-2.0-0 libsdl2-mixer-2.0-0 libsdl2-image-2.0-0 libsdl2-ttf-2.0-0
Role-playing game in ancient India, with you as as an ordinary person striving for food and safety. Sounds like some serious topic.

XenoRaptorEarly access
Asteroids style action game.

✘ Heroes Rise: The Prodigy – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✘ Heroes Rise: The Hero Project – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

Puzzle platformer where you can turn parts of the world by 90°. Nice idea, but the drawings and animations feel too simple for me.

Survivor Squad
Steer a group of survivers through a post-apocalypse world, scavenging and killing. View from above, simple graphics – and do they really have to comment on each and every command given?

Black IceEarly access
Hard to tell what I’ve just played…
Futuristic Tron-style action RPG?

Heroes Rise: HeroFall
Part three of this trilogy of interactive fiction – and this time, the demo works.

✓ Braveland
Sweet and neat fairytale comic hex-based strategy game. Short demo.

✓ Zigfrak
Action RPG in space. Didn’t go far into it after I tried to crash another vessel and it didn’t hurt me at all. I imagined 180° turns in space to be harder as well.

✓ So Many Me
Colourful platformer where you get more and more clones of yourself which you can use as platforms and free again afterwards.

Tower defence with comic graphics. Did I miss the key to speed up the tutorial? Texts stayed like forever…

✓ The Maker’s Eden
Point and click adventure with comic flair in a dystopian world. Game comes in episodes.


✓ Bravada
Turn based strategy something. TotalBiscuit has covered this game.

✘ Choice of the Deathless – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✓ Blinding Darkhad control problems
 Workaround: Put LANG=en_US %command% into the start options like described here.
First person horror adventure game. But you’re not defenceless as in Anmesia. Suffers from a smiliar internationalization problem as Gone Home. In countries with decimal comma, like mine, ducking doesn’t work without the workaround.

✓ Great Permutator
Puzzle game about transporting and sorting boxes on conveyors you build. 8 Bit style graphics.

Blockstorm – Early access
Demo has been removed.
Minecraftish first-person multiplayer shooter.

Pier Solar and the Great Architects
Role-playing game in 16 bit console style. Looks a bit Zelda-esque to me. Even with scanline optics if you like!

A Golden Wakedidn’t start without some help
 I had to copy all files from SteamApps/common/A Golden Wake Demo/lib/ to SteamApps/common/A Golden Wake Demo/
Looks like some good old 90s point-and-click adventure. Real low resulution, but with speech.

✘ Thieves‘ Gambit: The Curse of the Black Cat – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✓ Spacecom
Space strategy game. You’re sending your fleets of only three different types from star system to star system. Nice sound background including radio babble, though I wonder if I would still like it after playing for many hours.

✓ Merchants of Kaidan
You’re traveling around in a medieval fantasy world, selling and buying goods and solving quests.

✓ Pirate Hell
Game about building your town and fighting with your pirate ship. Offered refresh rates of 50, 51, 52 or 53 fps. Looks quite alpha to me. The author seems to know, as there’s no game to buy on Steam yet.

✘ Devil’s DareNo demo anymore. Not worth buying from what I’ve seen.
 Put LANG=en_US %command% into the starting options.

The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça and PizzaboyDemo for kickstarter project
Looks like some good classic point-and-click adventure based on a comic book with cool (jazz?) background music. Doesn’t change resulution or go into fullscreen yet. The game reached its Kickstarter goal by a close margin.

Dog Mendonça and Pizzaboy

✓ The Talos Principle
A great philosphical puzzle game partly resembling of Portal. I reviewed the demo and the full game in German.

✓ Making History: The Great WarStarts now, but loads of problems – Early access
After an update, it does start now, but I don’t get into the actual game. Strategy game in World War I scenario.

✓ Winged Sakura: Mindy’s Arc
Tower defense in girls-with-child-faces-and-tits anime style.

✓ Daedalus – No Escape
Fast, smooth shooter from bird’s-eye view. Mainly multiplayer.

✓ fault milestone one
In contrast to the description on the Steam page, there is an English localization to this Japanese game. Over 1 GB of download led me to a visual novel. I skipped loads of text and did not see any interaction possibility. So, is this basically a book with background pictures and some animations? (But the child-faced ladies got reasonable chest sizes at least.)

StarMadeUnplayable on my system, early access
 Had to start it from terminal to get the sound working.
At the beginning of the tutorial, where you are supposed to walk around a ship, the viewpoint is drifting quickly out of the ship. Looks a bit like problems of other games with my floating comma locale (German), but changing the locale didn’t fix it.
StarMade seems to be a minecraftish game in space. You can build your own spacecraft if you wish to.

✘ Mecha Ace„Choice of Games“, missing executable

✓ iO
Abstract puzzle platformer. You’re controlling an orb which you can roll left and right and change size. By using its momentum, you try to reach the level’s exit.

✓ Millie
Cute little Snake style game, but with some extras and an inventory, made by the creators of Violett.

✘ Woodle Tree Adventuresmissing exceutable
Colourful cute 3D platformer – according to the descriptions and pictures. Mixed Reviews.

✓ Sign Motion
You’re controlling a stickman boy that got separated from his stickman father by a car accident. Now you’re jumping and running over traffic and other signs. It’s supposed to feature puzzles as well, but to be honest, I didn’t get that far.

✓ The Way of Life early access
From the game’s description: „The Way of Life has 3 main characters: a business man, an old man and a child. The core of the gameplay is to explore in order to see how different is each point of view.“ I had to take a look into a let’s play to know that the graphics are actually supposed to look that way…

✘ Choice of Robots – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✘ Psy High – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✓ Roundabout
Now, that’s some special interest stuff… You’re driving around a city seen from above with a large limousine always turning around. So it’s hard not to drive into buildings. Or over people. The passengers are shown in real footage.

✓ Sunrider Academy
According to the description, this is a „stat management sim“, but to me, it looks close to yet another Japanese interactive fiction story. Ok, it does have some stat numbers, but it seems more like loads of stuff to read. The writing might turn out to be funny, though.


dUpLicity ~Beyond the Lies~
According to the description, it is a romantic mystery visual novel. Sorry, this stuff bores me.

✓ Unhack
I’d call it neither puzzle game nor visual novel (as the authors do), it’s more like an action game with a story told by Japanese (girly) characters.


✓ Cafe 0 ~The Drowned Mermaid~
Ok, it seems I need to cope with visual novels. This one is about preparing for death as a femal protagonist. I wondered what could be worse for me than playing a visual novel. Now I know: They say this (probably the seven days of preparation) has to be done at least four times…

✓ Tales of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf
Lightweight RPG with a story told in visual novel style, including „romantic“ options.

✘ Slammed! – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✓ Forward to the Sky
Third person action adventure of a cute small girl with a big sword.

✓ Crash Lander
Stear some lander device (looking hand-crafted to me) through different scenarios, possibly against the clock. Has an Oculus Rift mode.

A. V.
Another very special one. Looks like Antichamber on speed. You’re supposed to move through a strange world figuring out its rules. The epilepsy warning comes for a reason, there’s a lot of colorful flashing to be expected.

✘ After Reset RPG – missing executable & early access
According to the description, this is only a tech demo of a post apocalypse RPG which itself is in early access.

Supreme League of Patriots Issue 1: A Patriot Is Born
Humorous comic style superhero point and click adventure with voiceovers.

The Hero of Kendrickstone – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

✓ Bermuda
Science fiction visual novel with a stealth minigame every now and then.

✓ The Way We ALL GO
Visual novel. Loads of text to read with nicely drawn background pictures.

✓ Flamberge
Turn-based strategy game in retro style. I’m so fed up with „retro“. If I would want to play a good 8 or 16 bit game, I’d take an emulator (or possibly my first computer) and play the real stuff.

Crazy Steam Bros 2
Side scrolling shooter with power-ups, just like in ye good olde Nemesis/Gradius days, in a silent film setting.

✓ fault milestone two
I’m not into visual novels at all, but this looks (and sounds!) good for such a game.

✓ Choice of the Petal Throne
Interactive fiction story. Now two of ten stories of „Choice of Games“ have a working Linux demo.

Age of Fear 2crashed before I could play
Fantasy turn-bassed strategy.

✘ Ronin – „not available for your platform“
Described as a „turn-based action platformer“, whatever that might be.

✘ Lovely Planetmissing executable
First person shooting thingy with graphics like drawn by a child.

✓ Square Heroes
Multiplayer 2D shooter

✓ Blue Rose
Visual novel in a fantasy setting

✓ Lord of the Dark Castle
Turn-based „roguelike“ RPG, with, erm… basic graphics.

Slinkicrashes with my nvidia driver
Had to install libxrandr2:i386. Still crashed.
Platformer. Graphics look nice.

✓ Hollywood Visionary
An interactive fiction game by „Choice of Games“ where the Linux demo actually works. Incredible.

✓ Alter World
Platformer where you have to switch between to worlds in the middle of jumps. Made me find out that my 50 bucks mechanical keyboard does not have N-Key Rollover.

✓ Discouraged Workers
Visual Novel without decisions, so in fact, it’s a book with drawings.

✓ Neon Struct
First person espionage stealth story.

Ramayana – Missing executable

✓ Audiosurf 2
Rythm racer with psychedelic graphics.

✓ Tobari and the Night of the Curious Moon
At first I thought I couldn’t get past the menu. You need to press „Z“ („Y“ on German keyboards, the one in the lower left corner) to select a menu item. The game looks like it wants to be Mario-like, but IMHO, the controls just don’t feel right.

✓ Zeuxis : procedural texture generator
Wow! Now this is an ugly GUI! Judging from the preview images, it is able to create interesting tiles by combining primitives.

Parcel – Missing executable

✓ The Body Changerearly access
Had to install libxcb-shm0:i386 and libcg:i386
Third person puzzler/shooter.

Tin Star – „Choice of Games“, missing executable

Way to Gowants root access
Wants to have root access and would start a mono exe. Sorry, no way to go.

Sierra OpsCrahes
Crashes on my system. Some mixture of visual novel and strategy game.

✓ Train Valleyearly access
Not a new Railroad Tycoon, but a nice railway builder and management simulation.

? Alarameth TDnot yet tested

2 Gedanken zu „Linux game demos on Steam“

  1. I have both Clockwork Man games and there is no problem at all with the size of objects. These are good games (especially the first one) if you enjoy hidden objects games.

    And Beatblasters III can be pretty fun, I’d have bought it a long time ago if the gamepad controls actually worked :(. I wouldn’t say it’s for young children because it’s a bit hard.

    Violett Demo works here. The game is not easy, puzzles tend to not be very obvious/logical. I didn’t go far.

    Unrest demo doesn’t work because they didn’t name the provided SDL2 libs correctly for the game to find them. If you install sdl2, sdl2_mixer, sdl2_image and sdl2_ttf it should/could work. Or just open „.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Unrest Demo/lib/“ and rename them by removing the last two numbers of each SDL lib.

    1. Thanks for your comments and help! Unrest works with your tip and I’m looking forward to giving it somes testing – it looks interesting. I updated some entries, like Violett (considered working) and Unrest (promoted to yellow).

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