|OT| Steam Next Fest - October 2021fest live now

prudis

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PLAY NOW FOR FREE
The Steam Game Festival: Spring Edition features dozens of demos available to download and play, as well as other highlighted games from the Indie MEGABOOTH, The MIX, Day of the Devs and WINGS.

Play them from now 'til March 23rd @ 10am PDT!

The Steam showcase features over 40 titles from studios that originally planned to exhibit at showcases such as the Indie Megabooth, Day of the Devs, and The Mix during GDC 2020, which was postponed to summer.

Indie Megabooth Demos
Wings Fund Demos
Day of the Devs
The Mix
MORE DEMOS FROM GDC

Decided to ake this separate thread for people to share impressions about them as it might get lost quickly in steamthread
(used list from gematsu and added few missing ones

previous Steam festival
  • Wooden Nickel (from devs of Burly Men at Sea)
  • Haven (from devs of Furi)
  • Acid Knife and The Drifter (from devs of Crawl)
  • Spiritfarer (from devs of Jotun and Sundered)
  • Moving Out (from devs of Death Squared)
  • System Shock (remake from Nightdive Studios)
  • SkateBIRD (from devs of Hot Tin Roof and Spartan Fist)
  • Chicory: a Colorful Tale (from devs of Wandersong)
  • Heavenly Bodies
  • Eastward (from Chucklefish)
  • CARRION (from Devolver)
  • Roki (from ex-Guerilla art directors)
 
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Wok

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I have tried Superliminal. The demo is shorter than I expected, and did not sell the game to me. When the mechanics work, it is great. However, the solutions which I came up with sometimes looked hacky and I was not sure whether they were the right solutions ; if they were not the expected solutions, then I had skipped a part in which I would have learnt new interactions of the main mechanic, which would lead to more and more frustration in the complete game. Overall, not a great impression for a first-person puzzle game.
 
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prudis

prudis

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from Steamthread

Tried a bunch of the demos from the Steam Game Festival:

Batbarian: interesting, half way between the old Castlevania in feeling, and the new one in more exploration with light RPG elements... but quite puzzle focused.
It's used as a game mechanic, but it's way, way too dark. Sure sending your light bat to activate buttons is interesting, but it just hurts to look at the rest of the screen.
Maybe?

Eldest Souls: it's 2D Dark Souls, big surprise huh? Decent pixel art, but it feels sluggish and unresponsive, worse than DS1. Bleh, but with some potential...

Evan's Remains: oops, this is a puzzle game :fearful-face:. I should have looked beyond the pretty pixels. Alt+F4, nothing to say about it.

Garden Story: a mix between Zelda and.. Animal Crossing? Or Zelda with fetch quests, pretty much. Thing is, I don't think the combat is even decent, it's like a worse Secret of Mana, with extra activities that are... a bit boring. And the dungeons are overly simplistic.
First deception, a game that feels weaker than the sum of its mediocre parts.
Also the pastel tone is cute... but makes visibility a pain, in particular in regards to heights.

Going Under: The Binding of Isaac brawler-style (how imaginative...), but you play as an intern protecting your company from monsters? Weird setting, and it looks like an interactive Kurzgesagt video.
It's just my jam, but the little problem is that it's physics based... so as cool as it is to throw everything around and break office material on the heads of goblins... it also makes the entire game slippery. It's like your character is covered in butter, and it's very easy to just be flung around by a hit (and to receive more in the process) or just slip backward while you just attacked an enemy.
Seems cool, but it really needs some tightening up.

Recompile: can"t say, the controls don't work. Steam forums are filled with people with the same issue, so, good job, your demo is broken within the first five seconds. :rolleyes:
 
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bobnowhere

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Backwords 😐
Recompile 😐
Raji (y)(y)
Vigil 😐
Resolution(n)

I had no issue with the Recompile controls it just seemed a little style over substance.
 
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Line

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Damn, I knew I forgot the thread...
And I'll add like in the Steam thread: Vigil looks like poo and it doesn't seem very good.

For Recompile, I could not use the gun. Kind of an issue when you can't defend yourself.
 
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prudis

prudis

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so went though few demos :face-with-tears-of-joy: (part 1)

Filament​
- quite unique scifi puzzer with scifi narrative. Dificulty kept inncreasing naturally and really enjoyed the​
narrative presented in the demo​
Going Under​
- silly lowpoly rogulike with groovin mosic and tight controls with silly humour,original theme, ton of content in the demo, love how everything can be a weapon, bunch of stuff felt in progress especially animations ,​
Mighty Fight Federation​
- arena brawler with whacky cartoon feel, could be fun party game , especially as it seems to gave quite a move ariety, some animations and models a bit too Work in progress atm​
Jack Axe​
- pretty punishment standard platformer with interesting artstile a a bit janky controls ... might be fun for fans of the genre of they fix the janky ness​
Mystic Pillars​
- simple puzler/VN about rearanging coins and numbers on pillars with story about india , storytelling kinda remind me Pyre with how it changed between puzzlesolving and the story, could use a bit more variation than what was in the demo​
Hundred Days​
- came for vinemaking tycoon , got vinemaking card tetris, felt bit overly complicated at first, could be cool if someone is knowledgable about wine​
When the past was around​
cute and simple point and click , with calm music, safe choice for the fans o the genre​
Welcome to elk​
- colouringbook looking advneture with silly characters, felt like playing Bobs Burgers episode​
we Should talk​
- bugged for me in the menu so didnt really tried further​
Klang 2​
- fun rhytm combat game, was quite fun if bit dissorienting , some tracks werent really polished so the markerst didnt hit the beats , hope its fixed in full game​
KungFz Kickball​
- simple 1v1 kick the ball to opponets bell kind of game just with kungfu characters, fun party game​
Superliminal​
- love the concept, but i am pretty sure i quite cheased the intended solution few times in the demo, might be fun if it keeps the ideas till the end, story felt nonexistent in the demo​
Moncage​
- gorogoa style game digital puzzle box kind of game, enjoyed it more than gorogoa personally​
Space for the Unbound​
- melancholic adventure with interesting setting , fine pixelart, confusing twist at the end , well done prologue (saying that as not really fan of the genre though)​
Pushy and Pully in Blockland​
- push boxes to kill allinec ... NES-esque arcade sp/coop game, simple fun , reminds me of Atari game called Pengo​
Lord Winklebottom Investigates​
- Lucas Arts-esque PnC adventure with weirdly looking animals, puzlers and a cheeky sense of humour, wasnt fan of the accents and talking speads of the characters, but fun PnC with nice writing​
Retrograde Arena​
- physics based twinstick Mo arena game , really lacks vs AI play​
Later Daters​
- dating sim with elders, silly and feels goot VN​
Vigil: The Longest Night​
-pretty much 2d soulsy thingy int the wain of castlevania , ove the enemy design ,but felt a bit too janky and the platforming needs lot of work​
 
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prudis

prudis

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so went though few demos :face-with-tears-of-joy: (part 2)

Carrion
- still enjoyed the hell out of it , different demo than last time , same fun , needs quite a bit to get use to controls though

Eldest Souls
-lovely artstyyle, reminds me a mix of Hyper Light Drifter and Titan Souls , quite hard but needs a bit tigher player controls (felt slow and unresposive) and improve how the game showcases crucial information to the player

Recompile
-really enjoyed what i played and love the idea of puzzle action-hackformer,was absolute blast, there was bit of a weird stiffness in the controls, so hopefully they will fix it before launch

Backworld
- 2d puzzler with painting in/out mechanic, had fun with the demo , it was quite inventive and never tedius with pretty narueal map layour, but not sure if the mechanics will last in full game

Jay and Silent Bob Mall Brawls
- pretty much ok NES-style river city / double dragon clone with Jay and Silent Bob skin, Its fun but it isnt much more than River City with a movie skin

Liberated
- sidescrolling noir action adventure set in comic book, tight controls, great art, atmosphere and soundtrack , story prologue seems interesting, reminded me of Deadlight , but this one felt much better

Quench
- you guide papercraft-y animals throught the world by using weather powers, adorablem and unique puzzler about nature

Curious Expedition 2
- substantial improvement over the first one, looses the pixel art m add animal companions, demo was bit too short though
, was fun recruited a soldier, visited natives , than descecrated native shrine, which caused rocks to rise and then the soldier killed himself and my char barely managed to enter the pyramide (whcih is where demo ends)

Embr
- pretty much cartoon fireman sim, was quite a blast , although felt bit too easy m btu might have been just the first demo levels as with the thrid one i tried to mess around a bit and the house burnt down rpetty quickly

Elementasls : Death MEtal Death Match
- chaotic smashbros-y party game with elemental demons and metal music with tight controls, was OK

Duster
- wild west pixelart survival rogulike, felt bit too early in dev , fun and challenging, but needs a lot of work as it bugged out quite often

Divisadero
- detective adventure with unique art style, demo is more of a proof of concept so not much to judge , concept is cool , but not much to judge in the demo
 
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prudis

prudis

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so went though few demos :face-with-tears-of-joy: (part 3)

Batbarian
- castlevania-ish platformer with puzzles playing as barbarian with bat friend which is mostly used in puzzles to actiavte switches or light up the dark dungeon , quite fun but jumps werent as resposnisve as one would expect , hopefuly they will improve that , might be good if they nail the progression

Neon noodles
- well this was weird one , very zachtronic-like , you "program" robots to cook in cyberpunk setting at the end it shows you graphs of how you did compared to players online and option to improve or try next, imo the game needs to improve tutorials to explain its mechancis better for nonprogrammers

Evan's Remains
- cute narattive puzzle platformer about finding a boy on mysterious island. The puzzles are nice and short (even with option to skip) but there is loot and i mean lot of dialogue (which might be deal brreaker for some)

HyperParasyte
- Isaac-esque roguelite with strong 80s aestetic and emphasis on dodging and possessing enemies as parasite ,smooth and responsive, one of the better arcade rogulikes , but well i got a soft spot for possession mechancic

Hazel Sky
- nicee introduction to the world and story, seems to be sort of a mix of firewatch and uncharted, lot of exploring and puzzle solving. The story adn worldbuilding seems intuiging especially the "engineers vs artists" part of it. Needs a lot of improvement in controls department, especially camera which was wonky as hell

Sons of Ra
- 1v1 tower defense game with egyptian setting and boardgamey look , Never thought TD versus would be fun. Mouse controles were bit messy so it might need some tweaks.

Rising Hell
- vertical rogulite with combobased combat and fastpace of action in hell setting , tight controls and overhall high level of polish , cool designs and music, constant upgrades, great flow and fun from start ro finish

Neverinth
- darksiders-y game with roguelite elements , substantial ennemy design , overall fun twist to both formulas in animeish take on nordicc mythology setting. Bit buggy and had a dew frame drops. Looks promising

Aeolis Tournament:
-chaotic Mario Party inspired party sports game with animals , mechanically bit simple (you get to blast or vaccuum stuff around) , but plays well and its fun with a friends

She Dreams Elsewhere
- this one was big surprise, Ultimately its jRPG in the style of Undertale or Earthbound with trippy art style and story about anxiety , LOT of anxiety.
Overall quite surreal experience and at least from the demo great take on the depression theme, the jRPG battle system got quite Person-y vibe.
Also you pet the doggos to save the game, so thats a winner.

Solasta
- promising turnbased cRPG based on DnD 5th edition ,bit lower on budget (compared to the likes of larian). Love what the verticality brings for a gameplay , but the camera dwas bit messy to work with (itsmuch better with free camera setting).
Other than that really solid if bit budgety experience from what i could grasp from this demo, especially like the way conversations are done

Raji: An Ancient epic
- PoP style platforming and combat set in Indian mythology, with shadow-play cut scenes. Looks lovely , plays well , only 2 kinds of enemies in the demo though

We Are Caretakers
definitely weird genremix , it has cRPG exploration, it has tactical battle (Renowned explorer style), map exploration, squad building and looots of texts. Needs a lots of tutorialising as demo lacked mechanic explainers, and UI wasnt great. Really like the afrofuturist artstyle , reminded me of Starcraft in a way, Overall it was more of a prototype than anything but i like the ideas and ambition.


Garden Story
- Zeldaish community building game in world of talking fruits on a broken island. Adorable pixelart RPG, nice worldbuilding , but bugged on me few times. Enjoyed it quite a bit but hope the full game is more varied, might get repetitive quickly.

Resolutiion
astpaceed action game set in weird cyberpunk world . Cool pixelart and unselting music.
From the destription i totally expected Hyper light drifter clone , but its similar only in the art , but this one is is much much weirder, has more worldbuilding and the gameplay is much more arcade.y. The world has this weird unsettling atmosphere and and is kinda confusing . Combat was fast and calculation , all the weapons in the demo playe a bit differently. Bossfights were hard , but not to the soulsy level.

Roki
- scandinavian folk adventure, lovely art , but felt painfully slow and bit clunky, Overall pretty charming game with toon of heart, but was way too short to properly judge.

Heavenly Bodies
- like QWOP in space , cool idea but not really fun of the execution in this demo

Chicory
Its Colourfull painting adventture with watercolouresque visuals. Was bit different demo than last time. You set out on a quest to find the Chicory the rabbit to give back his trusted paintbrush. It has lot of traversing through the world with the help of painbrunchs , there is lot of conversations and unlike the last time there was a weirdass bossbattle, Controls great and intuitive . Game has lot of personality and was quite ablast to get through,

Spiritfarer
- Story about ferrymaster who drives the dead to the afterlife. Lovely artstyle and wonderfull sounds. Cool concept for a game , quirky convos , funny chars and lovely audiovisuals , Super promising story and overall lovely and relaxing atmosphere. This demo shocased more of a minigames and task varioety than the previous one.
 

C-Dub

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If the numbers look good for the indies who take part, then I can't see why they wouldn't make this a regular seasonal thing.

I missed the last one because of work, so I'm hopeful I'll be free for the next event.
 

Line

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It's really nice way to do things.

I'd like them to do that with more thematic events too, and not necessarily for unreleased games.
 

madjoki

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Q. What if I’m unsure whether we’ll hit our target release before summer of 2021?
A. We're asking you to use your best judgment. If you think the game is realistically going to release within the next year, then we would like for you to participate. If it's more likely that your game will ship after the summer of 2021 or later, then we would prefer that you do not participate in this event and instead wait until an opportunity closer to the launch of your game.

seems to imply future events are totally not out of question.
 
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prudis

prudis

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its up , lot of demos online
 
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Pommes

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Rock Paper Shotghun is doing a livestream where they are playing some of the demos:

(at the beginning of the stream they have some audio problems).
 
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Alexandros

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I didn't play any demos but I did wishlist quite a few games in the strategy and RPG category.
 

kio

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What a ridiculous (in a good way) amount of demos... :sweaty-blob:

Even filtering by genre will output an insane number of games. Wonder if we've come full circle and now even events like this, that try to help discoverability, will have a discoverability problem of their own...
 
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gabbo

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What a ridiculous (in a good way) amount of demos... :sweaty-blob:

Even filtering by genre will output an insane number of games. Wonder if we've come full circle and now even events like this, that try to help discoverability, will have a discoverability problem of their own...
"Why do we let Valve pick which demos are winners and which are losers?"
 

Wok

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What a ridiculous (in a good way) amount of demos... :sweaty-blob:
You can go through all of them quite fast. You can recognize games which you already heard about, etc.

Here is the selection from my first pass:






I am doing a second pass. The tricky part is that some games do not have a demo on their store page: you have to click the "install" button on the festival page. That means that I dismissed games in the first pass because I could not find the demo, but it exists!



Edit: For the second pass:

(Winner of Excellence in Design at IGF 2020)



and games which I saw during the first pass and which have a demo hidden from their store page (at least currently):



That is 10 demos to try for me.
 
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gabbo

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I'm glad they've made eligibility requirements more stringent (devs can only participate in one of the next three Festivals, and the game has to be scheduled to launch within the next 6 months). Should prevent the massive glut of 900 demos we got last time.
Now if only more of the demos were permanent, and not time limited (which I think is up the devs, some of the ones from the Summer event are still usable)
 

Pommes

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How are the in the festival demos determined again?
Every developer can register demos. There are certain conditions:
  • A game/demo can be only in one of next three festivals
  • The planned release date of the game must be in the near future
More details can be found here: Steam Game Festival: February 2021 (Steamworks Documentation)

Specially featured (e.g. in the preview videos) demos are probably selected by Valve (perhaps based on their wishlist number?).
 
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fantomena

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Feels like it tried hard to become Dead Cells or something like that, but it isn't as good imo.


This one was pretty cool, hard to explain, try it out.
 
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Wildebeet

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Tried Tasomachi. It's ok I guess? Floaty platformer, didn't like the imprecision in control. Feels very early still. The demo was time limited, so I got to bounce around a very lifeless, empty town. You get to drive the airship at first, so maybe there's more of that coming up but I didn't get there. Not bad but not enough to even know what the hell it was.
 

Wildebeet

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Just did the Narita Boy demo also. The style and artwork is really good, sound is great. I backed this one on kickstarter and really had no idea if it would ever turn into much, but I'm now very impressed with it and excited to see it finished. It's kind of too wordy in the exposition bits though. I'm glad this is turning out well apparently.
 

manchego obfuscator

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Is Narita Boy actually good? I was extremely skeptical about the Kickstarter and thought all the early footage looked like proof-of-concept GIFs rather than actual gameplay, but I’d be glad to be wrong. And it’s on Game Pass too.

(My Internet is down so can’t download the demo myself at the moment)
 

Wildebeet

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This is neat. The tutorial seems to think I'm bad at this but I like my little pile of woods and houses.




Is Narita Boy actually good? I was extremely skeptical about the Kickstarter and thought all the early footage looked like proof-of-concept GIFs rather than actual gameplay, but I’d be glad to be wrong. And it’s on Game Pass too.

(My Internet is down so can’t download the demo myself at the moment)
The demo is definitely worth checking out. I'm surprised. Nothing gameplay or level design wise is incredible, but it's good enough and the atmosphere is better than I expected.





This game is fun. Short two level demo, but it gets the idea across. It's trains. If you like trains, you get trains.
 
Reason: Trains
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