Steam Next Fest – Demos! (Part 4)

The Steam Next Fest is still going… until tonight! Well, for another 11 hours at least, so here are some more demos I played and after today’s post there may only be an occasional post on these demos… but only the ones that are still playable after today. If “demos”, “steam next fest” and any of the other words uttered in this post make no sense to you, don’t worry at all. I’m not summoning an eldritch creature (maybe tomorrow?), I’m just talking about a series of posts that you can find right here. Check those out if you haven’t yet! Been covering a lot of interesting titles that may be worth wishlisting (wink wink nudge nudge). Anyway,… It’s Demo Time!

Moon Farming

This one’s another Simulation type game where you’re living on Moon (just like Jeff Bezos and his brother soon) and where you farm veggies and iron and that sort of stuff… but in low-gravity. The game itself puts you into an interesting spot where you land and have to find and use an old base, set up your machines, start extracting and filtering water and producing oxygen before you inevitably get to farming cabbage, beets, carrots, and berries. It’s really just that. You can also build a fair few structures to get a nice base going and you can zoom around the moon’s surface in Elon Musk’s space car or a nice rover… but I feel like there are some issues with the game in its current stage that will surely get polished over time. Namely, your stats (thirst, hunger and stamina) get reduced way too quickly while replenishing them is extremely hard and tedious. Meanwhile, it’s a shame that I couldn’t visit the dark side of the moon since the moon’s surface is not only flat but also limited. It’s a bummer. I’m sure they’ll fix this eventually though and the demo is fun for a while. Hope they add more materials and machines or more purpose to the premise.

Look Alive

The title made me think that this is a Zombie-Survival game where you have to deceive people and make them think that you’re alive… but no, it’s kinda misleading. There are humans and you’re a human and you can befriend them and kill Zombies. The controls are kinda janky and a lot of the systems in the game aren’t super intuitive but my main concern is that you have stats that barely do anything while the camera is in this weird fixed angle… and then there’s also no settings and the game shows a D-Pad but doesn’t seem to support gamepad controls… Honestly, this felt like a bit of a mess overall and I’m not entirely sure where the main game is supposed to lead you. Right now, it barely has a premise, from what I’ve gathered apart from “Survive the Zombies… also Story but you don’t need to care”, which is weird.

Len’s Island

This one is an interesting one… In Len’s Island, you build, fight, farm and explore the area surrounding you. You build up your own home at the cost with lovely decorations, a lot of nice houses, and a bunch of different gardens and plants… and you can fight your way through a dungeon with monsters, traps and lots of loot. It’s a Farming Sim’s and a Dungeon Crawler’s lovechild, in essence, which feels like a better implementation than Grave Yard Keeper’s or Stardew Valley’s combat systems. Inherently, the comparison is alright here, since both of those games are basically Farming Sims that also have the combat in place. In Len’s Island, though, you’ve got a bit of a skill-ceiling with crit-windows and a lot on the line… or you just ignore the Mysteries and Treasures underneath the island and build your dream house, explore the world, meet new people, and find lots of beautiful flowers and plants. I personally loved spending my time with this demo and I’m super excited about Flow Studio’s first project here once it arrives on Steam in October! Again, while dungeon crawling certainly is fun in this game… and nerve-wrecking… you can easily spend hours just exploring the island(s) and building your house and stuff, which is great!

Faerie Afterlight

In Faerie Afterlight, you join Kimo and Wispy on their adventure in search of the missing shattered light, Lucentia. It’s a 2D Platformer with Metroidvania and action elements to it and the gameplay actually feels quite good but I also feel like it’s missing something… like a map for instance or more directions to go into. The art is beautiful and the soundtrack compliments the game rather well, which is nice. On top of that, you can control enemies and use them to your advantage and there are a bunch of interesting twists on the platforming that you may know from games like Celeste… but also other titles. It’s an interesting title for sure and while I suck at platformers, I really enjoyed this one a fair bit.

Atrio: The Dark Wild

“Survival meets Automation” is how “Isto Inc.” describe their title Atrio, and honestly, I wouldn’t be able to describe it any better. It’s interesting and unique and gives me a bit more of a goal to work towards than Satisfactory, for instance, which is great btw. It’s quite satisfying and fun and very surreal in a way. You play as an Android tasked with lighting up the base below a massive machine. You capture creatures and add them to your assembly line. You mine stones and convert those into ores to then craft ingots, machines, tools, and fuel. The art style is very interesting. The character model is minimalistic while the whole world has rather vibrant colours and a great look that makes this game a lot more approachable, in my opinion, than other games in the genre, like Factorio. This title flew completely under my radar and I would’ve missed out on it if it weren’t for Krikket over here, so check her out if you haven’t yet and while you’re at it, download the demo for Atrio and wishlist it on Steam as it’s developed by only three people with a rather small budget. I can’t wait to write more about this one eventually once the full game is out!

Either way, this is already it for today’s post. Again, make sure to wishlist the games as it’s one of the few metrics that really mean anything for developers as it also determines discoverability and whatever, apparently… It’s stuff like that that is invisible to the consumer side of things on Steam and trying out the demo and wishlisting it afterwards would certainly help a lot of these developers! I haven’t played through all of the demos yet, so I’ll attempt to do that tomorrow… and if some of them are still around afterwards, I’ll cover those, too. As always, a week is too short for these events on Steam and it would definitely be better if Steam would announce it earlier and/or if devs would not disable these demos so quickly. 

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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