Another day, another bunch of demos! As mentioned the other day, the Steam Next Fest is here! Hence, there are hundreds of demos, and similarly to yesterday’s post, I decided to play some more today – and as always, I spent more time on some demos… way too much time… compared to others. As always, make sure to wishlist games you like and try out the demos yourself! By wishlisting games and sharing them with others, you can support devs a lot! And it’s free! Also, if you wanna see me gather my first impressions live, feel free to drop my Twitch channel sometime if you’re free! We’re playing these throughout the week and it’s been a blast hearing everyone’s thoughts on them while I’m playing the demos for the first time. See you there!
We already checked out Beacon Pines last year but this demo got some updates. If you don’t know what Beacon Pines is, it’s basically a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style game where you use “charms” to change your destiny. You can always go back to different turning points and figure out if different options would have changed your path in a meaningful way. The art style is super cute, the story is quite disturbing though… And it’s just a very good time. I did actually an interview with Matt Meyer from Hiding Spot quite a while ago, so you can check that out for yourself. This demo, though, was a little bit different from the previous one. I found myself exploring new areas, meeting new characters, and the story went a bit further, I believe? I’m not 100% sure. What I do know, however, is that the narrator is new – and she’s amazing! The world just comes to life even more and frankly, I can’t wait for this game to release! After all, it even made it into my “most-anticipated games” list! You can check out Beacon Pines’ demo right here if you haven’t yet. Make sure to wishlist it as well while you’re at it!
In Tinykin, you hop into the role of Milo who has been shrunk down and has to find a way to get back to his normal size and to his home planet. To do so, you complete quests, find pollen, explore the world, and command tinykin to help the nearby critters and piece together a mysterious machine. The core gameplay works in a similar level to Pikmin or Overlord, if you’ve played those games. The demo is incredibly extensive and has A LOT of content in it. After nearly two hours, I was done with most of the things that you can do in it, including trying to find all the pollen scattered through this one huge level. Hence, I’m sure that the final product will have a lot to offer, as well, with plenty more (hopefully equally-sized) levels and so on. Tinykin are little fellas that wander the world and sleep in eggs that you can collect to amass an army. Pink tinykin are incredibly strong and can move around huge objects. Red tinykin explode stuff, allowing you to break barricades or unlock passageways. These two are included in the demo but I’m sure that there are plenty of other tinykin available in the full release. The art style is amazing btw with 2D sprites in a 3D environment. Despite it being a bit of a 3D platformer, I didn’t have too many issues with depth perception, which has been nice. Similarly, the soundtrack is amazing, the humour is nice, and I’m incredibly excited to play this. If you wanna check out Tinykin for yourself, you can do so right here. Highly recommend doing so! Tinykin is supposed to come out in Summer 2022!
This one is another demo that I spent way too much time on. I played an hour and a half of this demo right here and wasn’t quite finished with it, to be fair, so I’m looking forward to the full release. In Research Story, you set out to discover and record plants and creatures for the “Violet Archive”. To do so, you research samples, observe plants and creatures, grow crops, tame animals and build up your own little farm. Along the way, you meet people that want things from you and as you complete their quests, you earn rewards like gold, items and recipes. It’s incredibly adorable with the animals having different traits and perks… and you can make them follow you around… and it’s just super cute. I love it to bits. The art style kind of reminds me of Little Wood but the illustrations in cut scenes and in the research log are incredibly adorable and relatively detailed, so that’s a huge plus! There is no release date out for this one but I recommend checking out the demo for sure if you – like me – enjoy farming sims and creature collection in games as well as researching stuff and learning more about different lifeforms!
In this game, you basically control a swarm of bug-like creatures that want to kill all the humans. To do so, you manage your hives, increase their output or nutrient generation, and send out your bugs to slaughter mankind. Levels get more and more difficult but as you complete them, you can evolve your swarm and unlock new bugs to command! I like RTS games in theory but this one sadly felt super frustrating at times because you don’t actually have full control over your units. You set out markers that they may (or may not) follow but you cannot split up your bugs into different units to flank enemies with… and the bugs will keep on moving and most of the time, they’ll ignore your command, even if you levelled up the “influence” evolution perk. The game tries really hard though and honestly, it’s quite fun. The “not being able to control your units directly” part though makes the game feel quite slow and frustrating – a speed-up button would be more than welcome if direct control isn’t planned as a feature! I did like the evolutions and builders and stuff, as well as the ability to spread goo. This felt very much like a less-polished “SC2: Heart of the Swarm”-like experience and for that, I give it plus points. It made me nostalgic. Buggos comes out on March 17th, and if you wanna play it yourself, feel free to check out the demo right here!
As I mentioned previously in my “most anticipated games for 2022” list, I haven’t gotten around to playing this one’s demo yet… And well, you can cross that off the list because I played the heck out of it now – and I loved every single bit of it! In Card Shark, you play as a mute character that gets involved in a scam, leading to the death of a lady whose murder gets pinned on you. Hence, you make a break for it with your fellow scammer and you decide to travel France and scam the nobility out of their not-so-hard-earned money. To do so, you have to use actual sleight of hand and reduce suspicion by working on your performance and your timing. The game walks you through how tricks are actually done, going from magic tricks to famous cheats, and it spoils the secrets that are meant to stay secret, which is interesting… and I could see how it would be pretty devastating for some people if they knew how the magic is actually done… but I still loved it. It takes you through the different tricks… and then it explains how you will execute those tricks in-game… and then you risk your life to make as much money as possible. The art style, the characters, and the execution were superb. I’m excited for this one’s release since the 90 minutes I played of it so far have left me wanting more. Definitely worth checking out!
I had this game on my wishlist for quite some time now, so I’m glad I got to check out its demo this time around! I mean this in the best way possible btw: Coromon is basically Pokémon. In Coromon, you work as a researcher that helps a global research society, known as Lux Solis, complete the Coromon database. Yes, this is basically Pokémon. But hey, it’s on PC and it has its own interesting ideas here and there. You can make the game easier and harder and even turn it into a Nutzlocke of sorts, which is pretty cool. There is fast travel, gadgets, and an RPG system that allows you to allocate stat points to your Coromon when they increase their “potential”. It’s pretty interesting! Also, it has some super cute raven-like Pokémon in there and rather interesting abilities that make it more of a different take. Btw, when I say that this is “basically Pokémon”, I mean that in a good way! I like Pokémon and it’s a shame that emulators are the only way to play the Pokémon games on PC. Anyway, you can find the demo right here – and the game’s set to release on March 31st, so help these dutch Indie devs out by wishlisting the game!
This one was a bit of a surprise. I didn’t know what to expect exactly, so I had no expectations really… but then I was blown away by just a good time in general. Robo Maestro is a relaxing procedurally-generated Music-Game that creates very interesting and pretty cool (tbh) songs seemingly out of nowhere. You click on different buttons and music just… happens. No prior music knowledge is required, either! I suck at music but this game worked really well and created some good tunes. You can also make it so that the game automatically changes up things – or you limit its speed and uh, minors and majors and I don’t know what they’re called… You can make it go faster, add bass, remove melodies, evolve drums, add sprinkles, and you can just do a lot of it and it just seems like a good time really. I’m at a loss for words here btw because my music knowledge is really limited. This game is pretty impressive, in my opinion, and you can not only make random music with it but you can also change out instruments, save specific sets of melodies and music, and then you can edit it all together to create your own things, which is pretty amazing, in my opinion! It’s gonna come out in Q1/Q2 of 2022 and the demo can be found right here. I really recommend checking this demo out!
And with that, I end this post. The second batch of demos only had seven games, again, but I played all of these for pretty long, and it was phenomenal. Mostly, at least. I hope you enjoyed reading up on my first impressions of these today. I’m looking forward to the next few demos that I’ll play and I hope there are some gems in the remaining demos so that I can recommend them to you. Either way, make sure to wishlist these games on Steam if you haven’t yet! The Steam Next Fest is still going until February 28th, 10 AM PST, and a lot of these demos may disappear after that date, so check out what looks interesting and browse this page for more potential gems!