So many demos, so little time! I spent the last couple days feverishly playing many Steam Next Fest demos. Here is a list of my favorites and some games you should definitely check out:
by Dillon Rogers & David Szymanski
As someone who grew up playing classic stealth games like Thief, I never thought I’d see that style make a comeback. Thankfully, Gloomwood feels very much like the first Thief game: a mix of fantastic audio, horror elements, and plenty of sneaking. I enjoyed this demo from start to end and am looking forward to when it launches on Steam Early Access this August.
The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo
by Gammera Nest
Incredible visuals are the first thing that comes to mind with this game. It features hand-drawn 2D animation alongside FMV tricks to tell a linear point-and-click story. It’s so stylized and meticulously crafted. Some sequences had me stunned because of how impressive it all looked. It felt like I was playing a fun and interactive cartoon art piece. I can’t wait to see more of this game!
by Bad Bones
Probably the least fleshed-out demo on this list, but I must say the gameplay foundation here is solid and a lot of fun. Piloting a ship through trenches while fighting off other ships makes VergeWorld feel like a post-apocalyptic, flight-based Wipeout game. It’s fast-paced and just chaotic enough to make it really engaging. It has a lot of promise, and I’m looking forward to how the developers flesh out this game further.
This one was a short demo but a highly effective one for me. SIGNALIS an atmospheric isometric survival horror sci-fi game that nails tension really well. It’s wonderfully stylized, from its cut-scenes to its zoomed-in camera angles on interact-able objects. And it’s all wrapped around a throwback visual art style. I’m very much looking forward to the full game.
by Wadjet Eye Games
As a big fan of Wadjet Eye Games, I must say I was not surprised by Old Skies‘ fantastic demo. It’s classic point-and-click adventure gameplay: searching for clues within its detailed environment alongside gathering information via dialogue options. It features stellar writing, great voice-acting, and an interesting time-traveling premise. It’s got the potential to turn into a fantastic game. Looking forward to seeing how the game progresses.
by Jasozz Games
This old-school-inspired first-person shooter is right up my alley. It reminds me of the old Build engine PC shooters of the mid-to-late ’90s. Its crunchy sound effects and purposefully dirty-looking textures make this shooter’s supernatural horror themes feel even more unnerving. I also really like the gameplay in CULTIC. Weapons feel satisfying to use. And the demo’s level was thoughtfully designed, with plenty of secrets and verticality to make things less stale. Looking forward to getting my hands on the full game.
Kulebra and the Souls of Limbo
Rarely does a demo have an emotional effect on me. In this game, you play as a snake stuck in Limbo who must help other lost souls move on. It’s inspired by Paper Mario and for the most part, plays like a modern point-and-click adventure game, but what makes this special is its writing. This demo features a wonderfully written story about two spirits whom you must help come to terms with the death of a loved one. It’s a heart-wrenching, gripping experience that left me teary-eyed. If this demo is any indicator of the type of quality we will see, I can’t wait to see more. I highly recommend you check this demo out.
What were your favorite demos from this year’s Next Fest? Let us know in the comments!