So, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be playing a bunch of demos throughout the week (and beyond!) for the Steam Next Fest! I didn’t quite manage to play a lot of them but the ones I did play were quite interesting. I didn’t like a few of them but the ones I did enjoy were phenomenal! Let’s get right into it, shall we? As always, make sure to wishlist the games you’re interested in! Wishlists are one of the major metrics on Steam and you can help the devs out a great deal if you add their games to your wishlist. Also, it’s free!
The Wandering Village
I played three hours of this demo and I love it. The Wandering Village is a Colony Sim set in a world filled with toxic fumes! Hence, your tribe seeks shelter on this giant, wandering creature called “Onbu”. Over the three hours I played, I loved every single bit of it. Every new game of The Wandering Village starts on a procedurally generated Onbu where you need to forage resources, build up your village, research technologies, take care of your Onbu, and ensure your tribe’s survival. It’s challenging. Seriously! But it’s also a lot of fun. A lot of the buildings require careful planning as resources may regenerate but relatively slowly. Hence, Foresters are a priority so that you can secure that wood supply, right? Well, you also need to get Mycologists and the Onbu Kitchen going, so that you can feed the giant turtle that is sheltering you. What’s more, is that you need to gain the Onbu’s trust so that you can order it to sleep in an area that is beneficial for you… and you need to feed your population and build houses for them. Space is incredibly limited, as you might expect, so you need to optimise production lines and get life on the Onbu sorted to make it out alive… Oh, and toxic fumes are still a threat, even when you’re high up in the air, so that’s the most challenging bit! The Wandering Village has been a lot of fun and if you wanna check it out for yourself, you can do so right here. The game’s set to release in Spring/Summer 2022!
This one is a fun little physics-based puzzle game. “Abriss” (German for “demolition”) is incredibly satisfying, even if it eats away at your resources with its spectacular slow-motion shots and the many explosions and things. It may need a little optimisation but the graphics settings do the trick quite well! In ABRISS, you basically have to build up a tower with rotators, pistons, lasers, sticky blocks, pillars, and beams… and it needs to destroy a bunch of red objects. You can easily play through this demo in about twenty minutes, so I recommend checking it out if you enjoy physics-based puzzling! This game is set to release on Q1/Q2 of 2022 as well!
AgriLife is an interesting farming-based roguelike game that has a lot of interesting elements to it. When you think of farming-based roguelikes, you may think of games like Atomicrops but this one is… different. It’s chill and somewhat serene but then you get under pressure and the challenge gets bigger and bigger and eventually, you get boo’d for not meeting your population’s demands, and then you die and restart again. Honestly, this game left me puzzled for quite some time but it really is mostly about farming and strategy (?). You basically have to plant and harvest different plants to earn money but to also feed the population of your people. For whatever reason, you’re their only food supplier, so you need to spend your action points and money wisely to plant seedlings, nourish the soil, take care of your flora friends, and then harvest them to feed those pesky humans. It’s quite a lot of fun once you get the gist of it, especially with how much information and fine-tuning there is… if you wanna check it out, you can find it right here! The demo’s quite extensive and I enjoyed it for an hour before I moved on to other demos. AgriLife is set to release in March 2022!
This game is published by Daedalic Entertainment, which is already a plus in my book. The art style is fun and the idea is cool. You basically brew potions, sell them to customers, and automate the process. In contrast to games like Potion Craft, the brewing process is more magical at first before you eventually just automate it and I kinda like that. Still, I found the explanations not extensive enough and a lot of the time, it was telling me a lot of things using textboxes but it wasn’t really saying anything, in my opinion. I had a hard time getting into this one, even if the art style and idea are cool. Certainly not my favourite demo but if you wanna check it out yourself before it releases “soon”, you can do so right here!
The Witchmade Shop
Similarly to Potion Tycoon, this one also is all about Alchemy and while the art style is also very pretty and quite dreamy, I found this one to be even less intuitive and fun. Maybe it’s not the “fun” part that bothered but rather that I was literally lost for the first few runs I did, using expensive ingredients and foundations to brew bad potions. The potions don’t work as you’d think they do, as well, and it can get quite frustrating really fast. I think the game needs a lot more polish and it probably is a lot of fun once you get to it but some of the prices are too high and the customers need more tuning. Customers basically come in, list what they want, and while you’re brewing it, they leave because they’re impatient fucks. Then you suddenly have a potion that nobody wants and oh, suddenly you need to pay rent. Oh, how fun this demo is! The worst part about the demo was buying ingredients in bulk and only being able to transport two of them at once… because you only have two hands… Yay. This one will come out eventually in 2022 and I hope it gets more polishing until then. If you wanna check it out for yourself, feel free to do so over here. Maybe I just missed something?
This one is a Merge-Style puzzle game that is incredibly short. I managed to finish the demo in eleven minutes but that’s mostly because I played Doodle God before. I originally wanted to try this out because it made me nostalgic. One of the first games I ever played on my phone was Doodle God back when I first got one and it was a lot of fun. You effectively merge elements together to create new ones. Fire and Water create Steam. Lava and Water create stone. Stone and Fire? Who knows. A lot of it comes down to creating more and more elements and then unlocking new elements with it until you reach certain points in the game, at which it introduces new themes or new recipes. It’s fun and casual but if you played one of those games, you played them all. This one releases on March 7th, 2022, and you can check out the demo yourself right here!
As I mentioned before, I basically only played The Wandering Village. Yes, the other demos were cool, too, but The Wandering Village just left me wanting to try again and make it further by now planning my research and everything better… and even if we only got through six demos yesterday, I’m sure the next few demos that we’ll play today will be even better! If you wanna see that for yourself, I’ll be live later on Twitch! Come hang out and share your opinions on these games with me as I collect my own first impressions. Also, as I mentioned previously, make sure to wishlist the games you liked! Wishlists are super important to Indie Devs and so is mouth-to-mouth advertisement. Share it with your friends, play it yourself, wishlist it, follow them on Twitter! There are a lot of free ways to support devs!