Over the course of the week, I have been playing a bunch of indie demos on Steam that I think people need to check out during the Steam Next Fest. This is my first Steam Next Fest and there are so many titles to play and check out, but these are the 10 that my favorites that I played this week. I think people should check out before the demos disappear on Monday, June 26th.
Eternights – Studio Sai ~ September 21, 2023
When this was announced back in a State of Play last year, this game was one I knew I needed to keep my eye on. This game is created by a very small team and it basically is a Persona like title that has more focus on romance and is an action RPG style combat. Studio Sai has created an extremely good game on its own that has its own wonderful charm and systems, but you can definitely feel the inspiration from an IP like Persona here. The controls in the demo were very solid, the music was great. The combat and story were just starting to get very good but then the demo ended. I think that works great to build hype for the title by not giving too much away and making you want to play more. I am absolutely hooked from what I have played and I am excited to get it in September when it launches.
Laika Aged Through Blood – Thunderful Games ~ 2023
Metroidvania titles come out all the time, but you know something that has never come out? A Motorvania; and that is exactly what this game is. It is a game where you are exploring a world that has many mysteries, a tale about a mother and child, revenge, destruction, and a whole lot more. There are so many indie games that come out all the time that have a lot of similar style of gameplay, but this one has you shooting and deflecting bullets while on a bike and in order to continue to do so, you need to do flips and tricks in the air to get your ammo back. It was just announced recently and I am very excited for this title when the launch happens later this year.
A Tiny Sticker Tale – Ogre Pixel ~ Coming Soon (September 2023?)
I like to support video games on Kickstarter when they come out, including things like Sea of Stars, Eiyuden Chronicles, Wonderful 101, and more. One that I have been eyeing for a while was A Tiny Sticker Tale and once I played this demo, I had to back it right away. The game is a puzzle adventure where you need to place objects that are stickers in certain places to reveal more of the map, or reveal secret collectables that you could unlock. It was a short demo, but a demo is not supposed to do anything more than show you exactly what a game has to offer, and that is exactly what this did. The Kickstarter says September 2023, but I am not sure if that is really the release window or just a placeholder for now.
Pizza Possum – Raw Furry ~ 2023
A possum game where your object is to hide from officers and to eat as much as you can in order to unlock more of the area? It isn’t just pizza that you are tasked with eating, but a bunch of different things but obviously there is pizza as well. The demo was actually so short, I ended up playing it three times as I just wanted to see more and more of the game. Causing mayhem is the object of the game, and every minute of this wonderful and funny adventure was a blast to play. You can even play this one with a friend, I just don’t have any friends close to me for the co-op piece. I am so excited to get my hands on this game when it launches sometime this year!
Stick It to the Stickman – Devolver Digital ~ 2024
When this game was first announced, I was like darn its PC only. Now that I have a PC though, I finally don’t have to feel that way anymore regarding this title. This is a wacky game that is basically a game where you are trying to take over and become the new CEO of a company by fighting stick figure workers. The game has a lot in its demo, but I didn’t want to play more than two runs in the tower since I didn’t want to hurt myself too much with the long wait time until next year when it launches. I tried to deny the board of directors, but it didn’t work so I had to give into the corporate overloads. However, if I have the option to ignore the board of directors request in the full game, I will absolutely do just that.
En Garde! – Fireplace Games ~ August 2023
This game was a title that I saw at a showcase recently and thought it looked fun. I am normally not a big PC gamer, but for certain titles I will make an exception for and this one might just be one of them. The combat in this game is very good and makes you strategies your approach on how to take down your opponent. The story is very comedic based in my opinion, but honestly, it is still an awesome one that makes you want to see what crazy thing the villain will do next. The demo of the game took me from a game I thought was cool, to one that I think I need to play pretty close to when it launches if I can.
JUSANT- DON’T NOD ~ Fall 2023
Announced back at the Xbox Showcase a couple of weeks ago, the game already has a nice playable demo. It is a slower paced, no combat (at least from the demo) game, and it is about climbing and scaling a massive area. The story is pieced together in ways that you find information throughout the world, but it didn’t really have a super strong story that was told directly to the player. Some of the controls were sticky in my opinion, but the art and audio design in this game are really well crafted. Excited for this game when it comes to Game Pass later this fall as I feel like it is a perfect game for in between massive AAA titles that are releasing consistently this fall.
Gunbrella – Devolver Digital ~ 2023
Ever since this game was announced at a Nintendo Direct a long time ago, I have been waiting for this game to release. The demo was not super long, probably 30 minutes or so, but it completely sold me on this game more than ever before. I just have to wait for Devolver and the team at Doinksoft to release it, and I hope that it is not delayed past this year. The action is terrific, platforming is solid, the music and audio design are killer, and the art is stunning. It definitely has, and will continue, to be one of my most anticipated indies of the year.
Spells & Secrets – rockaplay & Merge Games ~ 2023
Alright, to be completely honest here, I didn’t think I was going to love this game. I went in with low expectations and thinking I wasn’t gonna like it, but I was wrong. This game is a roguelike where each run you have will contain different items, room set ups, and more. I played two different runs and they had some similarities and also a good amount of differences. Just like in most titles in this gameplay style, you have permanent upgrades and ones that expire after it ends. This game was definitely one that was much better than I thought it was going to be.
Dicefolk – Good Sheppard Entertainment ~ Coming Soon
Pokémon is a fun adventure, but I have become a bit tired of that formula. Well LEAP Game Studio and Tiny Ghoul are crafting something awesome that has turn based battles, unique monsters called chimeras, and a couple big twists that normally aren’t in games. One of these is that you are controlling not just your team, but also the opponents team in battle. The other big one that is different is you are using dice to determine your moves so it is randomized based on your set up at that time. Strategy in this game is definitely key, and I am sucker for them if they are done correctly! This game is coming to PC and I am extremely excited for this title when it releases in the future.
Demos are a fantastic way for a publisher and developer to promote a game to make sure it is for the player or not. There are some on here that I never thought about putting on my wishlist, but now that I have played them, all ten of these titles have landed there on one platform or another. Is there any other demos that you played that people should check out before it disappears for now. Check out all of these games, and a whole lot more, on Steam Next Fest. I am excited for the next Fest on Steam now that I have a laptop computer that can handle new games.