Wednesday, 17 May 2023 18:15

Steam Brings Their Own Version of the Short Attention Span Review

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Reading time is around minutes.

When DecryptedTech was much more hardware and gaming focused we used to have a review style called Short Attention Span. It was a very quick 90-minute test of a game which included first launch, general configuration and any game play that could be accomplished inside a 90-minute window. If the game could capture our attention, we noted it and it got a follow on review. If it did not, usually there was no further mention of it unless we had a direct request for a more complete review. To me the 90-minute window was enough to get a good understanding of how a game worked, what hurdles to actual play time there were and if I would like it or not. It was very subjective with some basic objective observations around game engine, enemy AI, and startup complexity/cut scenes.

It seems that I am not the only person that feels the 90-Minute window is a good length of time to try out a game as Steam appears to be testing out 90-Minute full game demos. Currently the only game that has this option is the Dead Space Remake. You have to go to the game’s steam page, but you will see the option to “play now” and it will show you how long you have left on the demo.

Steam/Valve have not officially announced the new demo style and (as mentioned) it is only available for the Dead Space remake. The demo style could be a simple test and a way to offer a real in-game experience to people without going to too much effort. It also relieves the developer of the challenge of making a custom demo for people to play (which are usually not good examples of the game anyway). The demo also coincides with a 20% discount, which is a great marketing move. Both the 90-minute demo and the 20% discount expire on May 29th. The simplicity behind this type of demo makes me think that we can expect to see this pop up on other games in the future.

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