Steam Next Fest, October 2021 – Demo Showcase #1

As I mentioned yesterday, the Steam Next Fest is here again and with it… there are a lot of demos to play. For anyone that doesn’t know, that’s a “celebration of upcoming games” where Steam features a lot of demos on the store’s front page, resulting in a lot of discoverability for all sorts of Indie Developers. Hence, I tend to download a bunch of them and write about my favourite onesĀ in a plethora of posts. This time, I downloaded about 50 demos again that I’ll try to cover across the next few days on here. As always,… make sure to check these games out yourself, download them potentially and wishlist whatever looks interesting! I’ll link to the store page where you’ll also find the demos and adding the games to your wishlist helps especially indie developers a lot, so I’d appreciate it if you could do that when you see something cool!

Exo One

I really like Flight Sims. From Ayre to Aer to Outer Wilds, there are a lot of great games with interesting flight mechanics that are both relaxing and intriguing to me. Hence, it’s no surprise that I’d look into this title right here so early into the Steam Next Fest. Exo One is a rather casual and relaxing flight sim where you take control of a weird shape-shifting orb to find astronauts lost on a bunch of different planets… I, at least, think that that’s the story. The orb builds up speed when you activate high gravity, it floats when you activate low gravity and you can make it glide as well and fly around like that… and it’s frankly quite relaxing and chill and really enjoyable to zoom around a huge desert planet. Building up a lot of speed before gliding for a rather long time and eventually going down after reaching the cloud roof… It’s fun. 

Haiku, the Robot

This title here is a cute little Metroidvania game about a robot tasked with saving the world. The art style is adorable and pretty and I love the interesting colour scheme, although I would have enjoyed a bit more backstory or more lore in the first few minutes of the game. Either way, what makes Haiku quite satisfying is the way that the in-game mechanics affect you as a robot. You can repair yourself when you’ve taken damage by using a wench… and with a magnet, you can climb the metal walls. There are hot areas that make you overheat… and using the slide mechanic too much also limits you as you need to cool down by either waiting or by hitting stuff. It’s an interesting title for sure though at the simpler side of things.

Kaiju Wars

Kaiju movies are amazing. There’s something satisfying about watching them destroy cities but obviously, we’re supposed to root for the humans in this scenario, so… Kaiju Wars is basically about you trying to defend the city by deploying horribly outclassed military units to slow down the devastating kaiju as they grow in power. You need to slow them down, attack them, predict where they may attack next, build project cards and essentially, you stall until the scientists develop the deus-ex-machina solution… with SCIENCE! The humour is kinda hit or miss but overall, I found the game incredibly satisfying!

Inscryption

I covered this one a while ago actually but for anyone that hasn’t played it yet… Inscryption is a roguelike card battler with Horror-elements that plays around you sacrificing units to summon other units using blood and bones. There are also these Mystery/Escape Room elements to it where you wander around the house inside the game which basically means that the roguelike card battle game is actually a game within the game… and you know, it’s by the guy who made Pony Island so, of course, it’s gonna have some meta-stuff and it’s gonna break the 4th wall and fuck with you, but the demo is a ton of fun! For more details, feel free to check out my other post on it over here!

Hidden Office

I don’t know… this game looked very cute, so I checked it out and well, it’s kinda fun to try to spot some hidden objects in the game. It’s very chill and relaxing at first… but eventually it gets frustrating as you explore the same level over and over again… but suddenly it’s dark… or it’s black and white… or you have unclear instructions… and the music in this game probably is the soundtrack from my personal hell, so… I don’t know. Not my cup of tea.

APICO

Apico is the reason why I didn’t cover more games today. I’m gonna cover more tomorrow… but for now, I need to play more of this. Honestly, I love it because bees are cool and the idea of bee-breeding has always intrigued me and it’s a very chill game, kind of in the style of Littlewood and Stardew Valley, I guess, and the bee-breeding and stuff reminds me of Koi Farm’s crossbreeding mechanics, which is quite nice. Really, it’s a huge time-sink… and this is just the demo. I can’t wait for the full release in 2022’s first quarter!

But yeah, because I sank a solid hour and a few into APICO, I ended up running out of time. There are many more demos available right now and I’ll cover them in the next few posts, but definitely check these out while you’re at it as well – or don’t! Whatever you feel like… But Inscryption, APICO and Kaiju Wars are probably my favourites for now, although there are many other interesting and promising titles out there. Hope you enjoyed this one! Let me know what you think about these titles if you have the time to play them yourself!

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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