|OT| Steam Next Fest - February 2024 edition soon

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prudis

prudis

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final batch

Basically FTL-like rogulike with realtime melee battles with space with sapce medieval theme . Super gun concept and tightly designed mechanics and art style is delightful. - strong recommendation , its great




Cultist lamb one the path of domination ... basically satatanist animal crossing mixed with hades-like dungeon crawling .. super tight gameplay and fun loop .
Adorable and disturbingly glorious

praise the Lamb , cleanse the nonbelivers



cute little turnbased rpg with battle cakes ... demo was fine if bit too short , basically just a tutorial section of the game so
kinda missing the more advanced mechanics or how the game will play later. One thing in was confused about was difference between fighting/befriendingm ... there was zero gameplay difference ... but maybe its something that comes later ingame. Walking was bit too slow ... so hopefully there will be some kind of speedup item or button later -
overall pretty fine wholesome RPG




pixelart wrestler parody jrpg ... gameplay is the standard jrpg fare , just with the twist of the battles being wrestling matches with active involvment of the player (QTEs for bonus damage , hit the moving bar 3 times to pin and similar) pretty fun
Not a fan of wrestling myself so cant really rated how it plays with wrestling history, or the character parodys or something , but the story shown in the demo was quite intruiging. On the technical side it needs quite a bunch of work (bit buggy with controlls (the qtes warnt always perfect) and crashed a few times) , but pretty solid and promising (especially for wrestling fans)



Gloomy soulsy metroidvania. Storybeats are about you being clay golem with a hunger that can be feby by killing things and absorbing their essense , which is then used as healing/spells resource. Which in turn forces you into quite offensive gameplay as you need to build this resource to even heal. Combat itself is just excelent. Might be just thing of the demo , but it introduced a bit too much mechanics in short sequence to take full grasp of things properly (hope they will spread it out a bit in full game) The level design seems like standard soulsvania with lots of shortcuts unlocked and enemies respawn on death The art style is gorgeous (tons of mute greys with flashers of red and occasional wild colouts from attacks or spells) if but too pixel for my liking on big screen (perfect for deck though). The pallet is muted greys and flashes of red, with occasional shocks of colour from spells and enemy attacks. High recommendation for combat alone




Comicbooky chose-your-own-adventure RPG with crad-based combat, demo was super short and only one combat encounter so hard to judge the card part (was bit confusing so i guess needs better tutorial and UI), but the setup of the story was inturiging enough. i would say the story will make or brake this one ... big potential , but demo was not enough to say muchmore




Brutal romp with fast-paced fluid combat. You can do the usual puncher or use the whole enviroment around you to fight the bozos. Any random object. Its super stylish , frenetic and just great fun . Between the fighs you can spend money and skillpoints to unlock new stuff for your char. From what i could see in the demo it has quite big aray of of stuff you can use or unclock and even the arenas gets more creative futher on from the initial alleyways and rooftops. Was absolute blast - strong recommendation




chinese made cyberpunky roguevania. The artstyle reminded me a lot of shadow complex . You play as a detective tasked to uncover some dissapearce sent to interrogate gang leader in a slums. Things go sideways and you awake and find yourself in a loop to repeat your investigation.

You can weild from katanas to guns (bit scarse ammo in the demo) and even silly stuff like giant fish . You also have prosthetic arm you can equip with battle chips with the usual cyberpunky tech . In the world ou encounter tons of challenges for bonus money, upgrades or collectiobles thats nicely build the world of the game. Demo was a bit short , but i quite derped to so it took me like 21 loops to finish it,Given the chinese origin , the VO is a bit messy but i guess expected. What took the game down was the performance and loading times in the demo and overall clunkyness thx to it, really hope they fix it before release. Promising , but the technical state must be imporved asap!!!
 
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prudis

prudis

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trying not to go crazy with demos like usual ... but so far did a few


vampire survivors with capy baras ... seemed fun enough and its cute



medieval citybuilder ... bit too limited in the demo , but very solid start



bullethelly metroidvania , cutr artstyle and fun prologue, wish the demos showed a bit more of late play
 

spiel

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Perfect excuse to procrastinate on my backlog :evilblob:

Tried out these few demos so far:


This was fun, very satisfying


Not very good at bullet hell games but I adore the art and liked the deckbuilding bits from what I played of it


Wanted to like this because the banner art was pretty but it was a little too slow and didn't hook me immediately the way that 20 Minutes Till Dawn did


I don't mind another Portal-like. Will wait on reviews.



The last game gave me motion sickness so I'm giving up for now.
 

Li Kao

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Jan 28, 2019
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Ok, so far I tried two games.

Desktop Dungeons Rewind Demo
Is... Desktop Dungeons in 3d. I guess. Without the charm of the portraits in the old ones. And it's still too puzzle-y for me.
I installed the original again in case I want to suffer, I don't see the point of this new version.

Theseus Protocol Demo
Problem with demo is that you generally get the tutorial and maybe some more. Beware of what you wish for, because hilariously this card game demo has no tutorial at all, and a few unique mechanics. So I had to wait for my second attempt to understand there was a gun and how to use it, and while I think I have a good idea of it, I don't really understand positioning as far as the main character goes.
Pretty generic at first in that 'well that's a modern card game / rogue like, alright', it has its charm. I still reserve judgement depending on the degree of Rogue Likeness or Liteness and monetization, but it's correct.
Pinging Tizoc
 
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Li Kao

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Well, Wildfrost is another rogue-like card game. Maybe more polished, less obscure than Theseus Protocol. Feels really Monster Train-y, with the added lane mechanics.
Cool. Not in love but solid.
Tizoc signal is used a lot today :sweaty-blob:
 
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prudis

prudis

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so did another few

action rpg/souls-lite with cartoony artstyle redead protag... demo got like 3 bosses (especially enjoyed the croc one), Bit clunky and overly linear , but solid fun for the fans of zeldas or more casual souls



this is a weird one ,,,, from the trailers expected it to be something completel differe , but am possitively surprised
Its like if lara croft and Isaac Clarke had a child with a tiny bit of soulsyness set on creepy alien planet with wied isecty and tentacly things , :-D .... really fun to play but still quite visibly its indev , animations and movement still need some improvement.




Survival on death planet ... basically what if Subnautica was set on post postapo dead Earth with airship (gets quite some time to get it in the demo)
I would say one to look for , really solid look for a game that will go through early access before actually reelasing




really fun shmup with corgi and his cyberfriend battling aliens , wacky, but surprisingly competent shmup but little on the easier side (so might be too easy to harcore shmup fans)
 
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Li Kao

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The Foretold Westmark Legacy

Was bad enough to make me stop playing for the day. One of these extremely rare moments when you ask yourself what you are doing playing a game.
It's on or will be on Kickstarter, so I suppose it's extremely early. It looks like a card game, could be a mix of card and adventure like the Arkham Horror LCG, and looks to have more than a little aped the Darkest Dungeon aesthetic.
But it's not always good looking, not a card game, it has choices I guess.
It's a game full of itself that just love to talk, badly explained, where the gameplay seems to be... some solitaire ?

It's certainly a take, but yesterday I felt an awkward silence in my head while playing more than anything.
Like bruh, that's it ? No, that's really it ?
 

spiel

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Trying out more demos today!
  • Lonesome Village: cute art, but took too long to get started, especially with animations and dialogue interrupting every 10 seconds.
  • Paperback Adventures: looks like an interesting take on Slay the Spire, but the tutorial was kind of overwhelming
  • Flat Eye: the Diner Dash-style gameplay is addictive so far, and I'm curious how it'll further develop mechanically
  • The Abandoned Planet: a fairly stylish looking point-n-click, unfortunately my progress got stuck on pixel-hunting. I'll keep an eye on this.
  • The Palace on the Hill: this is an unexpectedly charming find. Gameplay is a mix of resource gathering and life sim. The painterly art style reminds me of Heaven's Vault.
I ended up wishlisting these two games


 

Virtual Ruminant

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One of those baffling cases, where a previous demo that was released 1.5 years ago somehow ends up making a better impression than the current one. Recommend anybody interested in the game to play that older demo/teaser instead, called Cognition Method: Initiation. Remains wishlisted though.


Apes the look of P.T. quite well, but is the sort of bore-fest that gets you stuck looking for a key within five minutes of launching the game. Bad. Ignore-button smashed hard.


Successfully creates a creepy and unnerving atmosphere, but unfortunately waters it down by also incorporating an Outlast-style roaming monster bit, which at this point still looks quite low-rent. Still wishlisted.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Controller support is incomplete (can't navigate the inventory), so you'll have to grab the keyboard occasionally if you're a controller player, but otherwise this is already really good. Starts off like yet another P.T./Outlast/Haunted-House game and then ... becomes an SCP game. With all the SCP-styled flavor text goodness you'd expect. I get the feeling this is gonna be proper good. Wishlisted.


Sigh, what a disappointment. It looks pretty alright and the voice acting is good, but all the lines and most of the flavor text is so ... bland. Almost as if the writers weren't really into SciFi. And then the gameplay is annoyingly soulsy, but with super-corridor-ish level design that really seems like a throwback to the 00s. Performance was also pretty meh for me - it runs smoothly exactly until enemies pop up, then it freezes up for seconds at a time, hard enough to get you killed during the freeze. No wishlist for this one.
 

gabbo

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Haven't been gaming as much, and haven't really come across any out of the blue gems this time around yet.
So far only ACE Team's games have seemed worth while for my tastes:

The Endless Cylinder

This was an Egs-cloosie I think, but whatever, I like ACE team and the game's premise is as surreal and weird as their art style. The little Trebhum's are cute, the world is menacing, and it runs really well. It's kind of a strategy adventure, but not in a traditional sense

Clash - Artifacts of Chaos

Not sure how to describe this: Fighting/action game set in... i think the Zeno Clash universe where you play a... living wooden/meat puppet of some kind who is kind of aware theyre in a game.

Basically ACE Team is back to doing crazy shit with great art again.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Superbrothers of Sword & Sworcery EP fame made a new game ... and buried it in the EGS timed-exclusive vault. But it's due to break free from that next year and you can check out the demo right now. Somewhat unfortunately the demo is just the intro/tutorial of the game, which is just some walking and basic flying, when the main game looks like a much larger open world thing with a lot more going on. Wishlisted not on the strength of the demo, but me expecting a Superbrothers game to be good.

Also omegalul at the incredibad job Epic does at promoting their timed exclusives, I genuinely had no idea this game even existed before I found this demo a couple days ago.


A cartoony/cutesy third person action-RPG that does the stereotypical Chinese thing of trying to have every mechanic and gimmick from every other successful game out there and doing none of them properly. Bit of a shame, since the presentation is quite good.


Judging by the demo this is an exploration/scrapbooking game ... very chill and relaxed vibe, although there is a ever-present melancholic undertone that doesn't really get explained in the demo, but probably is there for a reason. Wishlisted.
 
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Li Kao

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Meh, bad demo day. A little underwhelmed.

Warhammer 40,000 Warpforge
Is CCG 101 more or less. With some very small variations. Boring.

Homicidal All-Stars

Was solid in its attempt to mix XCOM with the death show trope. But it remains to be seen what the full game brings, if it's simply a series of match it will be very light. Was whatever.

Potionomics

Was somewhat of a deception. Not bad, I can still see myself buying it, but it's very static and verbose. Character arts are great but very still.

Dredge

Is okay. Nice mechanics, cool atmosphere, but again, what about the full game ? The grind harshness is up in the air, it is not that scary at all and the map is smöl. As a novelty it's very promising, but not sure it will be as interesting XX hours in.
 
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prudis

prudis

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bit late to do my final batch as event is already over but here we go

Basically pokemon with cassete tape theme with fusing mechanic, really great fun and absolutely adore the UI .... i would say from October demos this was the one that positively surprised me the most




16bit Jrpg when you battle with tetris , charming pixel art and fun gameplay , i guess for release it needs to improve onboarding a lot as i was confused for quite a while at how the battle actually works , there are also occasionall some noncombat tetrosy puzzles ... could be cool if they manage to keep the combat interesting in the late game




Rogulike deckbuilder with frosty theme publushed by Chuchlefish... reall lovely artstyle , the fast pace reminded me Monster train a lot , loved the mechanic with "character cards" working as companions across the run and you have to heal them to continue .... really addicting




this was a weird one... kind of survival rogulike adventure withc ard battling.
you venture with bunch of kids from tower villange down the tower .... the encounters and battle are done with the cards with a mechanic where the side the card is facing changes the effect. Definitely interesting game



really beatiful and elegant firstperson puzzle adventure with talking gun that can rewind objects through time .Demo is basically just an intro to the game , but definitely got me intruiged to see more , great potential



Charming adventure platformer where you explore unknown world , espcape its dangers and solve puzzles as a space doggo. You use the canine senses to explore and solve puzzles and dogs body language to communicate ... There seems to be tiny vania elements and little combat (through companions) from the demo definitely recommended



as a final thing i tried ... was rather playtest build than the steamfest demo


Its basically Flatout but with slothfurries racing through the wasteland in road rollers with rocket boosters . Was pretty fun
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Charming adventure platformer where you explore unknown world , espcape its dangers and solve puzzles as a space doggo.

Holy shit, how have I not heard of this game before?!? AND I missed it while browsing the Next Fest pages.

It's a Space Doggo platformer, this should be almost as big on the hype as Stray ...

... or is it and I've just been living under a rock lately?
 
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gabbo

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Man, the action section lists any game that isn't outright sports at this point. Going through action adventure was a slog
edit: Steam starting to chug, which is annoying, but damn if this isn't my favourite week(s) outside the two big sales.
 

manchego obfuscator

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not playing as many demos as I used to but I tried a few thus far

Mika and the Witch's Mountain: Cute Kiki's Delivery Service-meets A Short Hike platformer set in what I think is a small open world, seems charming but I was turned off by jump being inexplicably mapped to the Y button, with no option to reassign controls. fortunately, it's still pretty early, I think

Planet of Lana: Very pretty and polished 2.5D cinematic platformer. Doesn't seem to be doing anything terribly novel for the genre, though the demo did hint at some interesting puzzle possibilities involving your companion creature, but I liked it a lot

The Last Case of Benedict Fox: Been looking forward to this one since it was first revealed at the Xbox not-E3 showcase last year - basically, it's a Lovecraft-inspired 2.5D Metroidvania with adventure game-style puzzles and some Souls influence in the combat. Unfortunately, while it has a ton of potential, the demo left me with mixed impressions = while the visuals are gorgeous, the game is very poorly optimized (including a delay of a few seconds when opening and closing the map), combat feels a bit awkward with a parry mechanic that's harder to pull off than it should be, and there's a very weird implementation of double-jumping (it not only consumes the game's equivalent of stamina, but you can only do so when there's an object for your spirit tentacle thing to grab onto). Additionally, the demo throws an overly large chunk of the map at you with what I felt to be insufficient indication of what you're supposed to do next. All that said, the demo does note that it gives you access to certain abilities earlier than you'd get them in the full game for demo purposes, so maybe it'll all cohere better with the proper Metroidvania flow of progression when the full game launches in a few months.
 

gabbo

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Finally got to spend some time with some demos:

Enenra - What if you took the speed and finesse of a character action game, specifically Revengeance, and made a game with less plot that also feels like it plays itself? You know, kinda shallow in my short time with it. Boy was the action smooth and sleek, but boring. Like a chrome-covered Camero doing donuts in the Walmart parking lot.

Tanthious - An action rpg with werewolves? Sign me the fuck up. What's this? The character creator broke trying to change my hair style - rendering two characters on top of each other at the same time, and I couldnt see any changes? Okay, whatever, it's a demo. Click to play....And the game broke again. This time loading the opening level, My character was in game and pushing keyboard and mouse buttons was causing audible movements from said character, but all I saw the action/skill bar AND a loading screen with the title menu animation and nothing could get me out of this weird loop? Yeah, this needs work.

Phantom Brigade - A little Battletech, a little Red Dawn, a little 4X/tactical strategy - this is my jam

Slave Zero X - 2.5D hack and slash brawler somehow connected to Slave Zero - a fun Mecha game from almost 25 years ago - I was intrigued for sure, and the action is crunchy, but this ran like shit on my machine, and I handled the above three demos maxed out without breaking a sweat. Also forced itself to run in some ridiculously small window size (1280x720 I think?) with no way to change it that I could see. Needs serious some optimization love if it's going to get any further interest from me.
 
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Amzin

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Not sure how many more I'll get to but here's my list so far:

Afterimage. I am so, so tired of metroidvanias shoehorning in souls mechanics for no purpose. At first glance, this is actually a classic metroidvania - no dodge, no parry, SotN-esque kill-and-level, item drops, pretty narrow platforming windows with tons of "need an upgrade" stuff visible everywhere. But it just shoves in the respawn-on-save, heal by potion (refilled at save points), lose xp when you die stuff that truly adds nothing. People in the discussions were actually wondering where dodge/parry were, that's how ubiquitous these things have become in a genre where most games didn't have either.

The graphics are pretty, the combat (what there was in the demo) is pretty simple but again classic metroidvania stuff, and it looks like there's a ton to explore. But even some of the best received games in the genre get flak for misusing mechanics like this does, and this is not the best game in the genre. I might get it on deep sale or part of a bundle.

Rusted Moss. A metroidvania that seems to emphasize mastering the grappling hook mechanic. It felt really wonky to use at first but I sort of got the concept before too long. The style looked better in pictures than in motion to me, at least the areas I was in, it all felt very drab. The combat felt kind of meh as well (all ranged weapon stuff, just dodging and shooting). The super jump you get felt clunky to use too but you could do some interesting stuff with it right away. It has an accessibility difficulty that reminds me of Celeste, but the game was not overly difficult outside of the optional climbs (which look frustrating). Honestly, my biggest complaint is there are pits/spikes everywhere under platforming you have to do and they do damage to you, I took more damage from learning to grapple than I took from enemies in the entire demo. If you could turn off pit damage I would do that in a second, I don't feel like it adds anything. Another maybe.

Nocturnal. This is a 2D platformer that uses a "flame" mechanic - you light your weapon on fire at torches / sconces / braziers / other fire, and it both serves as a buff, a ward (against some malignant darkness), and your mana (for healing, skills, etc.). It's fairly pretty at times when the fire aura around you is cutting through darkness and there are crystals gleaming around. The combat, however, felt pretty bad to me - it's functional but incredibly limited, the hitbox on enemy attacks seemed to be way bigger than indicated, and it's nearly impossible to see attack tells in the midst of the aforementioned fire + darkness + gleaming + your own character. Some of the demo enemies were very tanky too, and the first boss is a multi-phase test of enduring that didn't feel fun. It has a lot of potential but I feel like a combat pass would do it some good, but it otherwise seems finished so I'm not sure that will happen.

Terminal Breach. A bullet heaven with a 3D bit tech aesthetic, and an interesting shop mechanic that honestly feels neat. It's basic vamp-survival stuff, pick a character, you get to unlock / pick starting weapons (and have 2 equiped to switch between although no idea why you would want to bother), pick upgrades on level up and at the buy-anytime shop. You can use keys to reroll shop or level up rewards OR unlock chests that spawn which is a nice touch. You can jump and dash over enemies to get out of trouble.

However, and this is a big however, it ran like absolute garbage on my 3080 and i9. Stuttering from about minute 5 of 15 minute runs, making it borderline unplayable (I was strong enough to finish a run through it all once), regardless of resolution / settings / etc., it's just something broken with the game. Second run I tried was worse AND at some point I got yeeted into the void and just sat out of bounds in darkness for 2 minutes and the stuttering was still there. It's an OK entry into the bullet heaven that seems kind of low depth but the technical issues make this probably not even worth trying the demo right now.

Picayune.
Another bullet heaven, but also a bullet hell. The aesthetic is Megaman mixed with like 50s retro space plus unhinged claymation inspired enemies? I guess? It's certainly a look. Also, the xp pickups are the damage numbers you do which actually helps to alleviate the issue of falling behind and never getting xp if you can't kill things which is neat. The other gimmick is all the upgrades are described by just showing their code, more or less - they say they were inspired by games like Isaac where you get no info about pickups until you try them, and here if you can parse code logic you at least get a good idea. The problem is the balance feels way off, a lot of them are useless, especially the passives, and you really just want to focus on leveling one or two weapons forever which makes it kind of boring. I didn't hate it, but these games usually grab me and this one just didn't make me want to keep going.

Crafty Survivors.
A bullet heaven (sort of) mixed with cartoony village visuals and an absolute grind of meta materials. I played 2 of the three characters and they are VERY distinct - the first, a chef, applies different statuses to enemies based on the skill used (cut, spiced, frosted, candied, etc.) and gets charges for their "ult" when they kill enemies with the right combination of modifiers. The second character is a statue carver, his attacks do little damage to enemies but your abilities create statues that do stuff after you hit them a certain number of times, plus hitting a statue does a shockwave of damage to enemies. I died like 5 times in quick succession on them but it's a fascinating new mechanic for sure. You collect wood, gold, silk, etc. in different stages and use those to upgrade the town, it seemed like very small upgrades and not a ton of diversity unless more stuff gets unlocked in the full game or later than I played, but I might pick it up just for the uniqueness of everything.
 

manchego obfuscator

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played a few more demos last night:

Protodroid Delta: Mega Man-inspired 3D platformer with lock-on shooting. Didn't play this for long as the level design felt pretty bland and movement felt a bit awkward, but maybe later levels will be more interesting, IDK

Enenra - combines DMC/Bayonetta-style character action with Arkham-inspired freeflow, where you automatically target nearby enemies (well, as long as you're pushing the analog stick towards them, anyway). Fun, and the animations and general feel of combat are very impressive for a game from a single dev, but not sure how much more there is to it than that, and character action fans might feel it takes too much control away from the player.

Radio the Universe - this was infamously funded via Kickstarter over a decade ago in 2012, but based on the demo, this is the rare case where an extremely long dev cycle might actually be justified by the final product. Incredible atmosphere, with pixel art with just the right of detail, cutscenes that hint at a deeper story while leaving a lot to the imagination, and a perfectly ominous musical score, but it also plays extremely well too, with snappy and responsive controls and satisfying combat; also appreciated that there's an indicator that shows you where a jump will end up, which addresses some of the issues many top-down 2D games have with platforming from one elevation to another. My one real concern from my limited playtime is that the difficulty might be too high for my taste, since one hit kills you, but the game does autosave very frequently after every screen.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Did you know that Steam lets you click "Add to Library" on demos if you're browsing the page in a browser and then when you open Steam later, none of them have actually been added to the library? Ha-ha, very funny Steam ... anyway ...

Slopecrashers - Still in alpha, but already quite smooth and fun. Mario Kart, but it's snowboard-races with cartoon animals? Could be a big hit, if done right and promoted well.

DYNOPUNK - Pixelart, retrowave-styling, talking cartoon dinosaurs. Visual novel plus mini-games. Enjoyed it a lot, great vibes.

Eggcelerate! ... to the Tropics - Racing/rage-game, where you race a motocycle against the clock around courses. The twist: You're also carrying an egg in a shallow basket and it must not fall out. Very fun, and not easy! Apparently this is a series of games already, there's Eggcelerate! and Eggcelerate! ... to the Northpole, but I had never heard of those games before.

Zid Journey - Cute and wholesome point and click starring pixel-art dinosaurs. Has the charme and art-style of 1990s educational games, and the bits I played were pretty straightforward without daft point-and-click anti-mechanics.

The Star named EOS - A "The Room" style puzzle game, with some additional mechanics around taking pictures thrown in and a radically different art-style (all hand-drawn) compared to the usual "The Room" clone. Normally I don't do "The Room" style games because the puzzles seem just too arbitrary to me and don't really make much sense in the context of the stories, but this one is just so comfy and nice, I actually made it to the end of the demo.

5 demos, 5 times wishlisted, good start!
 
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rickyson33

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played a couple demos from games that were already on my wishlist tonight

Cook Serve Forever - seems to be trying to go for a bit of a different gameplay style than the previous games that's more of a rhythm game style QTE thing, anyways the demo just isn't a good showcase of this at all it just plops you into a random level and is like 5 minutes long with no customization or anything

Inkbound - new roguelike game from Shiny Shoe(Monster Train devs) this time without cards. I played this for a half hour or so, took a little bit to figure out how exactly it controls since that isn't really explained at all(stuff like how exactly the action point system works how to tell how much damage you'll take from stuff etc) but fun once you get that down, I doubt i'll like it as much as I liked Monster Train since I like card stuff but should be another good game from them, also has co-op which I haven't tried so can't comment on that


I got 9 more demos downloaded we'll see how many I end up actually getting around to, I really want to at least try out Tape to Tape and Phantom Brigade those seem interesting
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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It's just more fun to scroll all the way to the bottom of the list and start working your way up from there ... but inevitably, there will be some pure garbage in there. I think I might be through the absolute bottom of the barrel now, here's the list of complete stinkers I encountered. Only play those for a laugh.

Bakken - Ski Jumping - #SkiJumpingIsBack says the description of this game and it couldn't be further from truth

Ball laB 2 - Somebody tried to convert a popular minimalist endless runner into a precision platformer and failed

BIG DRUG - No amount of drugs will make this one entertaining

Chippy's Escape from Seaberry Keep - I"m hoping this (and the series of games it's a part of) are elaborate shitposts, otherwise it would be just sad

Dictator's Creed - There's no doubt that this one is a shitpost

Sisters of Sweetwater - Comes with a disclaimer that basically says "this is shit and also unfinished, even as a a demo" and that is completely accurate
 

gabbo

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Potion Tales - You run a little potion shop in the underground - making potions from your potion book and the stuff on your shelf. Simple controls,. simple premise - quite fun in practice. Do you give your customer what they want or do you give them what you want? Furry Golems becoming oakland raiders fans, fire spewing flower killers, the [potion] Life of Brian. For such a littler unity game - there is quite a bit of mischief to be had.

Slopecrashers - Virtual Ruminant hits the nail on the head - this is MarioKart with snowboards. The soundtrack reminds me of Sonic Allstars Racing Transformed just enough to not get sued

Repo Man - looks nice, crashes with a GPU error moments after I start the demo, every time. Would love to know if anyone else with an AMD card was able to play it successfully

Shadows of Doubt - An interesting take on being a PI - reminds me of Cloudpunk with its future dystopia and chunky art style. I was lost pretty quick, which may be more me than the game, but I digress. If it didn't have the blocky-Minecraft look I'd probably be more willing to give it more time but I don't really care for having to stare at that up close non-stop. YMMV
 

spiel

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Coffee Bar Renovator - meh

Cook Serve Forever - this one hurts to say but I wasn't all that hooked by the new mechanics. The multi-tasking, key smashing chaos of the trilogy has turned into something of a rhythm game? Fantastic music though.

Dawnlawns - it asked me to create an account. nOPE.

Voidtrain - the presentation is amazing. It's like Raft but on a train in space (?). But I think progression is slow even for a demo and too much busywork in the UI.

Townseek - adorable. But I noticed a lot of fetch quests that don't feel meaningful. So I imagine the full game would wear out its welcome pretty quick if it doesn't have a good narrative questline.

Painter Simulator - meh.

Pekoe - I really like the tactile feel of making tea in this one! But the rest of the UI feels finicky. If the devs can improve that in the full game I would play this.
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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The most fun part of every Next Fest for me is finding those games that really leave a unique impression. And it's always a tightrope walk - will a game come down on the "weird, but wonderful" side or end up being full-on cringe?

The Weird and Wonderful:

NecroNomNomNom: Eldritch Horror Dating - It's a VN / Dating Sim about going on a dinner date with various creatures from or inspired by the Cthulhu universe, in a restaurant to match.

And even though the game does not even have a release date yet, the demo is nothing short of perfect: Stellar writing that is outrageously funny and yet stylistically completely on-theme, gorgeous high-definition pixel art, fantastic soundtrack. Already guaranteed to be an absolute cult VN classic of the future and among the top VN releases of whatever year it will come out.

Even people who normally could not care less for Cthulhu stuff and / or dating sims should have a look here.

Mia and the Dragon Princess - Wales Interactive are really dedicated these days to their production line of modern-day FMV games, and usually they end up on the cringe side of things, because the concepts just fly on a different altitude than the production budget.

But: This time, they struck gold.

It's a time-travel fantasy comedy about a south-east Asian pirate princess being transported into modern day London during her search for her lost partner-in-plunder. The backstory and fantasy parts are told in hand-drawn animated segments (which the game trailer, to its detriment, completely omits to show) and the present-day comedy is FMV.

That way, both sides of the story get to shine - the fantastic part gets the atmosphere and grandeur it requires, while the actors in the FMV scenes can concentrate on giving great performances on real sets instead of standing around in silly costumes in front of green screens.

Worth checking out, even if you had previously dismissed these games (as I had).

1000xRESIST - This demo had me guessing what the hell was going on for the better part of the 1.5 hours I needed to play it, but by the end of it I smashed that wishlist button hard.

The development team describe themselves as "a group of majority Asian-Canadian diaspora creators with a decade of experience in dance, theatre, music, film, visual arts, and new media arts, bringing our background in the experimental performing arts to interactive media", and that really is what you get here - sci-fi JRPG aesthetics, but action game controls and exploration, but visual novel style story telling, but fully voice-acted, a very-very-anime dystopic scenario, but a story that is clearly also inspired by the combined life experience of the developers growing up as immigrants or children of immigrants to North America.

Worth taking your time for.

The Cringe:

Furry Finder - This could be a perfectly fine light-hearted VN about giving a slightly awkward teenage dude a shot at true love, but I strongly suspect the game was not originally written in English and very hastily translated to release this demo on time - and it really ruins the experience. Also the background artwork is quite hit-and-miss. Needs more time in the oven at the very least.

Ghost of Fall - This wants to be a (more?) furry Undertale, but is riddled with bugs, the combat bits are way too hard right from the start and the art style is just all over the place.

Goofy-Dee - This one brings every annoying cascading puzzle/fetch-quest ever encountered in a point-and-click adventure to a first person exploration/puzzle game, with obnoxious bright cartoon visuals and sound effects to match (the game comes right out of the gate with a lot of fart sounds). This game tries so hard to be funny, it comes with a dedicated "Ha-Ha-Ha" button that triggers canned laughter in the game's pause menu. Doesn't get much more cringe than this.
 

rickyson33

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Apr 26, 2019
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Tape to Tape - this is fantastic, it's an arcady Hockey game that's also a roguelike with a slay the spire esque map of picking between two different locations to go to and artifacts and powerups(teamwide effects and individual player effects respectively) to unlock during your run, nothing too crazy on the effects yet but it's really fun already and has a lot of potential to be more so

my one complaint was that it became really easy to maintain possession once you got the hang of it which made the game feel pretty easy but the demo even thought of that and unlocks a hard mode once you beat a run

random gameplay moment that was hilarious: the boss for the demos act(the demo is act 1 there will be more acts in the full game) is a team of refs and when I was playing against them the refs called off my first goal just because

this went from something i'd never heard of a few days ago to one of my more anticipated games releasing this year after playing the demo
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Long Sunday of playing demos behind me, this session was without a theme, just 6.5 hours of me playing random picks from the stuff I downloaded

Garbage / Needs more work:

Alpha Terminus - What if that bit in Halo 2 where you shoot stuff while stuck on a large moving platform was the whole game and you were trapped in a turret

Defi Gravity - What if somebody tried to reinvent WipeOut with a free game engine and the asset store, with a probably copyright-infringing soundtrack

My Dream Setup - What if somebody made a room planner software in Unity, added a feature to play chillout music playlists directly in the software and tried to market it as a game

RingRaceR - Somewhat original concept, but not much of a game here yet

Assault on Proxima - Art style somewhere between Borderlands and Void Bastards, but clearly very early in development still, everything about the actual shooting feels awkward. There's also no single player campaign to speak of yet, you just get dumped in a corridor and shoot things

Pekoe - Comfy visual novel / immersive sim around making tea. The actual game part isn't quite there yet, I managed to soft-lock the tutorial. But hey, the custom pronoun editor is already fully-featured and working, so the rest will surely follow at some point

Super Space Club - "A lo-fi arcade space shooter to chill to" - it has the graphics, the music, the style, and the controls, but if the first five minutes of your demo are harder than the first five minutes of Super Stardust (mostly because the enemies are so damn tiny), something went terribly wrong with the chill part

Tray Racers! - Another online cartoon downhill racer, but unlike Slopecrashers, this just has no mojo at all. Could still be turned around, but I won't hold my breath

Verlet Ascend - Bunny needs to platform and shoot his way out of procedurally generated levels while being chased by the rising tide. Needs more polish and maybe a bit of a story carrot to keep things interesting

Okay, but not my thing:

Iosis - Inspired by 2D twin-stick shooters, but heavily emphasizes mouse-control, a deep upgrade system and the fact that you don't shoot anything - you ram into enemies until they die. Meanwhile the enemies aren't really after you, they are after a companion object of yours that you need to protect from getting hit. Solid, but I just don't like playing games like this with the mouse

Roxy Raccoon 2: Topys-Turvy - A collection of Roxy-Raccoon-themed mini-games (tilt-mazes, labyrinths, one-button endless-runner style arcade challenges). Solid, but not for me.

Weird and wonderful:

Amanda the Adventurer - I think this is the playable trailer for a first person horror game, but it doesn't really have any classic first person horror bits in it - instead, it's a very weird and short first person puzzle game. No idea if the actual game will be any good, but the demo is worth playing on its own merit.

Good:

Baldy Bounce - This is a chill, casual open world novelty platformer, like a less obnoxious and gag-obsessed goat simulator.

DE-EXIT - Eternal Matters - This one was strange for me - the art style and skeleton protagonist reminded me of a whole bunch of garbage-tier 3D platformers I've seen over the years, but this is a proper game made by a proper studio that plays properly and will almost certainly be good when it eventually comes out, but purely because of the visuals I was heavily biased against it. I'm hoping it'll end up being REALLY good, so that art style can be redeemed at least for me personally.

Cavern of Dreams - A 3D platformer purposely designed in the style and fidelity of N64/PS1 games. Slow starting due to a slight lack of tutorialization, but once you get going it's hard to put down.

Great:

Planet of Lana - Had this on my wishlist from the moment I saw the first trailer, but finally played the demo now. This puzzle platformer has got it all - the looks, the character designs and animations, the interaction with the sidekick character, the level design, the music - this one will be right up there with the very best of the genre, can't wait.
 
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rickyson33

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Apr 26, 2019
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Phantom Brigade - I don't know if this was a bug or what but I wanted to try this one out and I bounced off of it really fast in the tutorial stuff because there was no sound at all....actually really curious if this is just an issue I personally ran into or if it's actually meant to not have sound because it felt really jarring

Lakeburg Legacies - had this one on my wishlist but also bounced off this one really fast, in this case it just felt a bit too menu heavy for a demo which felt a tad overwhelming
 

Stone Ocean

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A few of my standouts so far


Had to double check to make sure it wasn't a New Blood game, "Celeste with guns" definitely sounds like something Dave would advertise. With that said it does play as smoothly as Celeste with some Cave Story thrown in, kind of cruel platforming early on but I'm down nonetheless.


People are getting really good at emulating NES gameplay, this feels a lot like those amazing Sunsoft Batman NES games, pretty damn sweet.


Game was a bit more obtuse than I expected but still feels amazing. Not super fond of the XP gimmick, specially with the whole minimalistic approach that won't even tell how much damage your moves do but not a dealbreaker in the slightest.


Every game is made better by adding hookshots to it, and Megaman X is no exception.
 
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prudis

prudis

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so finally went to do mine :-D
went through 28 Demos , definitely once again added tons to wishlist

SteamNext Fest Feb 2023 - Prudi Batch 1/4


Really fun indie take on i FEARy kind of gameplay , its bloody , its buratl adn really fun
deffinitely recommendation here




singleplayer crafting sruvival game where you drive with steampowered train through space void.

demo was basically just rhe beggining of the game and tutorials and was quite fun .... could be really good fi they nail the late game

(also currently at early access on 🥚 store)




this was a weirder one ... its an FPS where you basically defend factories from robots but with an really cool and fun gun customization system., but the technically its quite unstable and when you go wild the framerate tanks a lot

If they manage to fix the performance this could be amazing fun , but the current technical state was too messy to safely recommend




cool 2d plartformer with genesis-esque tunes and mechanically focused on the bouncy-boomerang- hammer as a form of attack and exploration. Great looking art and level desing
Fun




cozy exploration-trading game where you play as a airship captain soaring the skies through cute world, relaxing and addicting



Domekeepery game with verticall spdier mining a wall ... was pretty fun , but seemed bit early ,too many "not available in demo" stuff in the demo so not entirely
But overall quite fun .... lets hope they naild the stuff that was locked in the demo (the basis thats in the demo is a bit too doomkeepery gameplay-wise but who knows whats in the locked section)



2D soulsvania with combat focused on parrying and bocling , game was mostly tutorial and beginning of the game so hopefully it doesnt break in late game ... storytelling seems bit weird with all the retteling , but could be just the demo thing
proimising but hard




A cute korean JRPG with potion material gathering and crafting about pie-obsessed dumb witch on an adventure.
Seems to be originaly mobile game , but didnt even noticed it at first so they did good job with that .... promising[
 
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prudis

prudis

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so took me a while but another batch

SteamNext Fest Feb 2023 - Prudi Batch 2/4

99 Fails

this one was weird one button precision platformer in really surreal world ...itsreally wiild and bizzare
but the gameplay is quite spedifi and not for everyone
i would say promising (but probably only for the fans of the gnere)
could be
XXXXXXXXX


Darkest Dungeon II

Well, well well,,,,
what the actual fuck was that?
who had this idotic idea and how can this be so bad and bugged after 2 years of early acces?
so fucking stupid thisDarkest Coach Ride, is like biggest dissapointment of the decade for me from the demo. Yes deepddown the artand VO is still amazing ... but pretty muchany compelxity is gone and useless "traversal thing is added"

not really sure if this is salvage-able , but this one hurt me deeply


Desynced

This is like 90s RTS mixd with scifi mars city builder .mixed with automization factorey buolders
UI and overall ccontrols is bit messsy and tutorization is missing from the demo. Also needs a speeedup feature
I would say big question mark depending on how it does during early access stage




Driftwood

Sloth skateboarding down the road .... and that pretty much it .... gameplay is super simple , graphics is servicebale .... but cant deny its just fun to play



Gravity Circuit

NES looking retro megaman-y platformer, its not as hardcore as games of its time , but its not easy wither. Gameplay is tight and great fun . Needs to tweek a bit before the full game ... as wall jumps and ledge grabs felt bit iffx
deffinitely recommended


The Great War: Western Front

This one was imo one of the biggest surprises in this steam fest, finally a RTS from petroglyph with actual good budget.
Felt super tight and super fun to play while having the WW1 specific pretty nicely designed .
... felt bit buggy though so hoefully they can fix it before launch

recommended



Guncar Arena

basically VampireSurvivors clone but with a car and active shooting.
The gameplay is pretty fun , but the controls was matter of getting used to (the way the movememnt works is iffy) on both M/K and gamepad ... so hopefulyl they will improve on that
 

Virtual Ruminant

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I also managed to take two more demos off the ridiculously huge load I put on my plate:

Blue Wednesday - Similar to Night in the Woods in concept, but with a stronger emphasis on rhythm mini-games. I didn't feel this one, the demo is much, much too long for what's in it and the main character felt quite unrelatable. Music is good, but I think I'll pass on this one.

Rallygator - A cute little Trials-style physics-heavy side-scrolling racing game that is considerably more chill than the usual game of this genre - no timer / leaderboard for example - and instead puts in some puzzles between the start and finish line - as well as hidden collectibles. Wishlisted.
 
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prudis

prudis

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second to last batch

SteamNext Fest Feb 2023 - Prudi Batch 3/4

Meatgrinder
chaotic FPS whereyou jump around on trucks on the highway and kick and shoot dudes around
bit simple in its presentation and a bit too hard even on easy
but really great overthetop fun



Bleak Sword DX

You battle through lofi monochromaric(+red) squary worlds with your stickma-ish knight .
Really fun rogulike with greatly done astetick and tight gameplay
Apparently it seems of Devolvers apple arcade title

All in all : another devolver win


Boti

cute little platformer set inside a computer , deni basically start of the game , really fun and enjoyable 3D platformer that feels great and looks great with bit of a weird VO,but the biggest problem of the demo was absolutely dreadfull optimalization and strong hitches
(suppsedly according to the devs demo had forced softwtare raytracing on and should be fixed till release)


Capes

Supperhero story game with Xcom-esque combat in a world where supervilalins won years ago.
Fun demo , but only shown the beggining so doesn have much options to judge .
i would say promising as the combat itself is fan and like the idea of postVilalinWin world


Chants of Sennaar

amwesome looking mysterious adventure where you deciphersymbols and uncover forgotten languages through environment puzzles and contact with people

one of the highlights abd surpises of the event !
Very poetic.


Dad by the sword

first-person melee sword dadoguelite. The fights are elaborate and physics based even with ("die by the sword-ish contrsols mode"), the visuals are stylized and there is a lot of humor.
Super silly , a bit hard , but great fun
 
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prudis

prudis

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Last batch

SteamNext Fest Feb 2023 - Prudi Batch 4/4


MISTROGUE: Mist and the Living Dungeons


action rogulike where you traverse "sky rocks" that work as an island to fight on ro sometimes change around ... the audiovisual presentation is bit of a meh , but the basic gameplay is fun ...
Definitely promising , could end up being really interesting after it graduates from Early Access



Mr Saitou
Simple RPG where you walk around and talk to characters as a "llamaworm" while the story satirizes office life.
Super hilarious fun short demo.
cute, charmming and overall just great


Mr. Sun's Hatbox

slaptsic comedy rogulike platformer where you do missions with a team of potato people and build your base. You can even capture thing with baloons liek in MGS5 lol . Felt bit too lowres artstyle for me on bigscreen, but looks fine on deck and even got used to it on PC.

Really fun and much more creative and complex than i expected
prett great



Phantom Brigade

This was a bit weid one i am entirely sure about ... basically tactical strategy with mechas ... but with added prediction mechanic of what happens next turn as well as timeline of action in that turn ... which kinda changes how you thing about things compared to standard Xcom-y game and feels lot more actiony

I would say definitely great, fun and cool , but after the few demo missions still not entirelly convinced if its gonna be day 1 or sale material for me as



Rusted Moss
Really fun metroidvaniashooter with grapling mechanic
this was was great fun , especially in last demo levels, tight combat with fun physicsy platforming.
one of the highlights


Shadows of Doubt
You solve procedurally generated crimes in a moody voxel fully-simulated city
Turn based voxel detective adventure w of generated city.
Really cool idea and so far pretty fun gamplay ( if maybe a bit too much adventure detectiving for my imsim like but fun nevertheless)
Big problem right now is that the demo ran like absolute ass ... so hopefully if they improve on it we will have something special in our hands

+ BONUS from Playtests :p(that were not directly part of SteamFest )

Windswept
It's a neat platformer about adventure of duck and turtle that's got some great visuals and feels very much like DK country. Its got a kickstarter on right npw



Astronimo

You construct things to go and exlore around planetary levels.
nice little game with co-op which has a lot of promise



Chasing the Unseen

Chill game about climbing abstract wolrd full of fractal geometry and weird creature ... feels weird at first , but you get into it really quickly. Bit rough around the enges , but already really gor for first playavle version.
Really relaxing and fun


Hexarchy

basically a mixture of Dominion-style deck building and Civilization. The demo is fun, though seemed bit too limited and got repetitive. Question sis how the final build will be.
Causiously optimistic here
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Elypse - Ori mechanics and Hollow Knight-ish aesthetics. Technically pristine, but the checkpoint placement sucks and I couldn't get past the first mini-boss. Not made for scrubs like me I guess.

Boti: Byteland Overclocked - There's a good 3d platformer buried in this demo with bad voice acting and worse performance. Will the developers manage to dig it up? Wishlisted to keep an eye on it.

TVs: The Revival - Strange plot and gameplay inspired by Inside, but plays and performs pretty badly. Doubt that this can be salvaged.

Candle Knight - Interesting power-up system and generally good concept, but clunky level design and clunkier controls.

Windswept - What if Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country had babies and those babies happened to be a duck and a turtle. A technically perfect imitation of classic 16-bit platformers, but the gameplay goes beyond imitation and manages to congenially remix some classic mechanics and controls to create an experience that transcends mere 90s references. Wishlisted.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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I checked out the Windswept and Chants of Sennaar demos after reading about them in prudis post and can confirm they are both very good and everyone should check them out (they are still available).

This is why this thread is really great to have, I spent literal hours going through the list when Next Fest was live and still somehow managed to miss both of these gems.

I also played Colored Effects, which is a fairly straight-forward puzzle platformer with single-screen levels and a retro-ish pixel graphics look. Plays very smoothly, looks & sounds nice, puzzles are good, wishlisted.
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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lol, I finally finished all my downloaded demos. And a bunch of them also expired on me.

Most of them were various shades of bad, but there was one good one I wanted to mention:

The Ramsey - It's a retro-styled pixelart platformer with visual-novel-style story-telling and a main weapon mechanic that seems a little clunky at first, but then allows for some interesting mechanics later on which helps making the platforming in this one a little different from most platformers out there. Wishlisted.
 
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prudis

prudis

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Welcome to Steam Next Fest, a multi-day celebration of upcoming games. Explore and play hundreds of demos, choose from dozens of livestreams to watch, and chat with developers about their games.

Join us June 19th - June 26th 2023 at Steam Next Fest: June 2023 Edition - Coming Soon

00:03 - Captains of the Wacky Waters
00:04 - Darwake: Awakening from the Nightmare
00:07 - Dreamed Away
00:12 - House Flipper 2
00:15 - Animal Trainer Simulator
00:17 - SteamWorld Build
00:20 - Galacticare
00:22 - Warhaven
00:23 - The Master's Pupil
00:27 - ArcRacer
00:30 - Dungeon Golf
00:33 - Pacific Drive
00:36 - SYNCED
00:40 - Echo Wisp
00:44 - Voidborn
00:47 - LunarLux
00:54 - Ugly
 

Panda Pedinte

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It's that time of the year again.

Sea of Stars

The first demo I've tried and I loved every minute of it. The Sea of Stars demo has a nice pace and gives an overall idea of what the game is about, the animation are full of life, as expected from the makers of The Messenger. Having the 3 characters running around the levels gives some Secret of Mana vibe and the music fits perfectly in the game.

Nour: Play with Your Food


As the store says it's an experimental game, you spawn different kind of foods according with the level and can have different interactions with them. Each item has a sound assigned to it so you can kind of create some melodies, but nothing complex. There are some interactions that change some minor elements in the level. While the demo was quite short, it was fun to burn and hammer the food.
 
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