Valfaris looks like what might happen if Metroidís Samus Aran decided to appear in a Ronnie James Dio video. Or maybe if a squad of Space Marines decided to take on Gwar. Itís a 2D action platformer thatís full of blood, guitars, and gross aliens. Itís coming out sometime next year, but now thereís a free demo to try.

Ben got a chance to check out Valfaris at Gamescom back in August, and he liked what he saw: tons of ridiculous guns, exploding heads, and a kind of skull-centric decorating motif. You play as the sword-wielding Therion, and your job is to figure out what happened to the space station you call home, mostly by means of various forms of violence.

Thereís more than a little Metal Slug in Valfarisí DNA, and the little time I spent with it today let me know that itíll likely be a pretty tough slog. But the sludgy guitar riffs, neon color palette, and alien enemies who blow apart into satisfying giblets hit my nostalgia nerves in a pleasant way, so Iím looking forward to seeing more.

The demo is essentially the same bit of the game that Ben got to preview at Gamescom, and itís free to try out right now, although itís still in the alpha stage of development. Some Steam users have reported slow framerates, but I havenít personally run into any technical issues so far.

If youíre interested in trying Valfaris, head over to the Steam page, where youíll find a download button. Youíll want to do it soon, though Ė the free demo is only going to be available until December 31. The full game is set for release in 2019.