With so many PC games coming to the market, it can sometimes be really hard to decide which games to buy and which to avoid. To make matters worse, games are often packaged so that you only see a few select shots of the game, and it's usually difficult to tell whether those pictures are of actual gameplay or simply from some of the cinematic scenes in the game. If only there were some way to try the game before you buy it...
If your decision involved a console game, you'd be able to simply rent the game and see if it tickles your fancy. Unfortunately, PC titles don't usually come with a rental option. If you know where to find them, however, you should be able to get the next best thing: playable PC demos of a variety of games, all of which reveal the qualities of the game before you have to spend a dime. In order to find playable demos of the games you'd like to try, consider the following.
- One of the most direct sources for PC game demos is the website of the software developers themselves. Many companies that produce PC games will have single-level demos or timed demos of their newest titles available for download. The single-level demos allow players to play through a level of the game (usually the first level) before the demo ends, and timed demos let gamers play through the game until the trial period ends (usually around 15 days.)
After visiting the websites of the developers, you might want to try visiting the promotional sites for specific game titles. Since the site only deals with a single game, demo material will likely be restricted to that one game, unlike developer sites that may have demos of multiple games on them. This search method can be an easier way to find specific game demos, as well.
If you can't find the PC game demo you seek after visiting both the developer and game websites, don't give up hope. Choose your favorite search engine and perform a search for the specific game demo that you want (or use a broader search term such as "PC game demo" if you're just looking for demo games in general). You should be able to find a variety of different websites that offer PC game demo downloads, but make sure you trust the site and have an antivirus program running before downloading any demos.
Game review sites often have demo versions of games available for download as well, and may be able to give you a preview of the game as a whole. Trusted game review sites can be bookmarked for later reference when new games come out or demos are released.