Earlier this year, PlayStation has updated its subscription service. One of the big benefits of shelling out the most for this service is that it comes with access to game demos. In theory, this helps players evaluate the value of a game before buying it. It also helps developers get people interested in their new titles. Win-win, right? Well, sort of.
Of course, demonstrations work for some people. I am not one of them. Engaging stories and suitable difficulty levels are what draw me to games. Also the ability to hold my attention for five to ten hours. One cannot figure these things out just from the demo. Also, they’re often released weeks or months before the game’s full release, meaning those precious minutes you could have spent playing the demo are wasted in the meantime. So they rarely force me to play a full game.
Greedy suitors changed all that. Set in a South Asian community, it’s an incredible-looking game about family dynamics in which the main character, Jala, must confront her family (and their high expectations) and come to terms with her past relationships. He is bright, thoughtful, intelligent and funny, with a very focused cultural perspective. this for i this for my community. We are not just made up here. I wanted to replay this after the trailer ended.
But of course I can’t. The game doesn’t even have a release date yet. However, he has (eardrum please) demo available on Steam. With trepidation—and a quick prayer to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, that it would be compatible with my Steam Deck—I downloaded and installed it. Luckily it worked right away with no tweaks.
I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. I’ve been burned too many times before. But Greedy suitors was different and it made me rethink all the cranky things I’ve ever said about demos.
What immediately struck me was that the length of the demo was fantastic. It’s mostly the first 30 minutes Greedy suitors. It’s enough to understand the main character and the story, the art style, how choices affect the game’s narrative and how you fight with your exes (you can insult and tease them or flirt with them during turn-based battles!).
But it is not so simply length; it’s about how Greedy suitors is being built. Thirty minutes is not enough time to understand many games. I can barely get through the opening cutscenes of some of the longer games in that amount of time. This is not a dig at other games, but rather a compliment Greedy suitors‘ harsh writing. It gets to the point where the 30 minute demo is long enough for you to understand exactly how it all works.
This is the combination that made the demo work for me. Instead of feeling disappointed after I won the first battle and conquered the demo, I was excited for what was to come. And even if I forget some things, or if my game progress is lost before I get my hands on the full title, that’s okay. I’m excited to start over. We’re not talking hours of my life that I have to lose, just a cool, breezy half hour.
Maybe I should give more demos a chance.