Steam Game Festival: Demo-Impressions, Part 1

So, as announced yesterday, the Steam Game Festival is here, which means that I have a lot of titles to write about. I picked 25 titles yesterday but then found four more titles again, within the last few hours, so I’m not entirely sure if I’ll get to those soon, but I’ll make sure to share my thoughts on most of these games… just like today! In today’s post, we’re taking a look at the first batch of games. Instead of going in rather in-depth into each of the titles, I’d like to try to share my experience in as few sentences as possible in order to allow me to cover a bunch of games within a post. The first time this event happened, I wrote mini-reviews on the games and ended up still writing about a lot of the titles way after the event concluded. Alas, I’d rather want to share my experiences so that you can check these games out yourself!

Timberborn:

Timberborn is a Colony Sim with City Building aspects that allows you to take control of a tribe of lumberpunk beavers! Build farms, houses, dams and bridges to make this land your own. Humans are no more, so it’s time for your beaver-brethren to shine and erect a civilisation that restores the devastated land that is plagued with deadly droughts. There is a lot of vertical architecture in the game and I love the aspects of controlling the rivers with explosives, terraforming and dams. It’s quite interesting how the game works and I personally really enjoyed it. The demo lets you play a fair bit but since it’s a pre-release demo, there are a lot of limitations to certain features and mechanics that will be there in the full version!

Potion Craft:

Potion Craft is an Alchemy-Simulation game in which you run your own little potion shop, invent new recipes, attract customers, harvest your garden for ingredients, and experiment. I really enjoyed it. The game offers a lot of creative freedom, allowing you to customize potions and add effects to it with ingredients while getting better at your craft. The customers are often quite funny with their reasoning behind needing a healing or poison potion. There are a lot of different recipes to uncover and the demo itself lets you play quite a bit! Really looking forward to the full release of it!

Gal*Gun Returns:

I played Gal*Gun: Double Peace ages ago (in 2017, apparently), and despite the premise being incredibly silly, I really enjoyed it. Girls are running wild because of something in the story-line that I can’t exactly remember, so you need to survive your school-day by sneaking away and shooting girls with a “pheromone gun”. Gal*Gun Returns scared me plenty of times, btw,… and I’m sure it will scare you, too. This rail-shooter demo lets you experience a level per heroine, which can be completed relatively quickly. While incredibly silly, it was rather entertaining. I still don’t get what’s going on but it’s all fun and games, I guess. 

Despot’s Game:

Despot’s Game takes Konfa Games’ Despotism-3K-universe and combines it with some interesting and rather tactical Roguelite Auto Battler mechanics! D’Spot, the game’s antagonist, is an evil A.I. (playable in Konfa Games’ previous game) that throws you and your fellow humans into an Arena of death. Fight against plenty of enemies, upgrade or purchase more humans, mutate them and use your head to strategically place them in order to proceed far enough into the game. If you survive the labyrinth, you’ll have to face off against the unstoppable end-game builds of other players and beat each other to death. The game itself plays itself similarly to other Auto-Battlers like TFT or DotA Underlords but it adds its own twist to it by combing the auto-battler formula with roguelite-elements and random events, known from the previous game. Incredibly challenging but also incredibly fun!

Unsouled:

Unsouled is supposed to be an “ultra-brutal Action-RPG with fast-paced and savagely rewarding combat” but it kind of feels like it’s lacking. The story is confusing, the combat doesn’t feel good at all with you having too many dashes and you being able to guard everything effortlessly. The game looks pretty but the gameplay feels clunky.

Loop Hero:

Loop Hero is actually a title that I’ve been excited about for quite a while. I’m really looking forward to March 4th when this title releases because I’m actually in the game. I, Magi the Lich, have thrown the world into a timeless loop and plunged its inhabitants into never-ending chaos, after all, so it’s your duty to go onto expedition and find out what’s wrong with the world and if there are any other survivors. Your hero loops on a path and battles on its own, so you have to place down mystical cards to create terrain, buildings, and enemies to fight. As you progress, you’ll receive loot and resources that can be used to equip and upgrade your hero and your camp. Once you return, you receive a new loop in your next expedition and you’ll have to try again to survive the loop! Incredibly fun game with some adorable and nostalgic pixel-art and an amazing soundtrack!

AK-xolotl:

AK-xolotl is as the name suggest a game where you play the cutest amphibian ever, an axolotl with an AK (duh!). It’s a top-down arcade battle-arena shooter with some bullet hell elements to it where you defend your pond from invaders to score big. It seems to have multiplayer and it gives me “Nuclear Throne” and “Enter The Gungeon” vibes, on top of featuring axolotl… So I HAD TO try it out. The art style is super adorable, there are costumes, it is challenging, the guns feel good and the soundtrack is fantastic! Pairing cute animals with guns and in-your-face-metal is a great idea that should be explored more often in games. 

SkateBIRD:

SkateBIRd is a game about Skateboarding… as a bird. Take control of a bird on a skateboard and perform tricks… it’s kind of relaxing and brings me back to the days when I played those Tony Hawk games on my Xbox… ages ago… but yeah, that’s about it. There are a plethora of easy to hard tricks to perform, the birds are cute, there are missions in the game, and the soundtrack is super chill. Try it out yourself!

Towermancer:

TowerMancer by Digital Synapis is a strategy tower building game where you gather resources, build rooms and face menacing threats. The story-line is about a lich that married the lichmancer and they got a lot of kids (lesser liches) and the youngest one is you, an aspiring lich that is trying to become a Towermancer. Nice! The pixel art style looked interesting, so I gave it a go, and… it’s quite fun. It’s a bit challenging here and there, although the overall premise of the game is rather simple. I really enjoyed building up the tower and coordinating all of the imps in order to rebuild what those fireballs have destroyed, and I’m looking forward to seeing the full game! The demo only lets you play the first few levels but it’s quite enjoyable, in my opinion.

Roguebook:

Roguebook is a new roguelike-deck-builder with unique mechanics from the developer of Faeria as well as Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering! The game itself is similar to other roguelike-deck-building games like Slay The Spire, with the difference that it revolves around two characters. On top of that, you can summon allies, upgrade cards with gems, find artefacts and unlock skills. The two characters can be changed in the full game. While the game itself is quite similar to Slay the Spire when it comes to combat, it also features an overworld akin to Trials of Fire, a Card Battler that came out in 2019. The art style is amazing and the overworld adds another layer to the game, although I’m not entirely sure if I like that system. On top of that, the game has some flaws here and there where it doesn’t explain certain mechanics to you, which made my experience a bit less exciting. Regardless, the game is quite fun and I’m also looking forward to this title when it’s fully released.

So, that’s it for the day. We looked at ten different games and I did enjoy this quite a bit. I hope you liked this post as well! What games did you check out so far? I’ll try to write a post on the next ten games tomorrow and will hopefully wrap this series of posts up within the next two days so that you can get all the recommendations that you want.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

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