Steam Next Fest (02/2022) Demos #3!

It’s Day 3 and I finally got through a bunch of the demos that I was excited about! I also got to try out some other demos that looked interesting even though they may not be right up my alley and I’m looking forward to presenting you with my impressions of these demos! If you see anything that you might like, make sure to drop the devs a follow or to wishlist the game! Wishlisting is a great way to support the devs for free. If you wanna check out my impressions on the other demos, you can read up on those as well at any time. There were a lot of great demos covered in those!

Core Keeper

This one wasn’t originally on my list but I saw Splattercat play it on his stream (drop him a follow!) – and given that it looked pretty interesting and since I’m a big fan of Splattercat, I wanted to give it a go as well. Core Keeper explores a distant world where you get swallowed up my an ancient artefact, eventually awakening in a dark and gloomy underground cave. There, you have to fight for your survival by mining, foraging, farming, crafting and fighting – all to stay fed and to potentially find a way back home. This game kind of reminded me a bit of Terraria but with a top-down-ish perspective and a lot more dungeon crawling. I mean, you’re basically in a dungeon. You essentially chop some roots for wood, craft up some tools and torches, and then you mine into the walls, exploring your surroundings. In the starting room, you find four statues, each needing some sort of item in it. In the dark, you may find precious ores, items, seeds, but also dangers. Given that there is a lot to unpack in this game, I may have to write another post on it but if you wanna play it yourself (alone or with friends), you can do so right here! The Early Access of this game is going to come out on March 8th!

Onde

This one caught my eye as the art style reminded me of a cute little flash game by thatgamecompany, “Flow”. Onde is a sound-surfing platformer – and more importantly, a bit of a visual and auditive trip! You awaken in a dark place where life found its way into an empty shell… and mysteriously, you jump around sound waves and follow four little spirits of sorts? I’m not sure how to explain it but it’s honestly a lot of fun and it even has some challenges to it. The sound design is top-notch and visually, the game is incredibly pleasing! Onde will release on March 17th and is definitely worth checking out if you’re into games like Flower or GRIS and if you have 20-30 minutes of time!

Kick Bastards

Less serene and a lot more challenging is Kick Bastards, the fast-paced 3D Platformer where you overcome every problem with a kick! The developers actually reached out to me before the Steam Next Fest kicked off (hehe) but I sadly only now got to play the demo… and I kind of regret that. After all, Kick Bastards is fast-paced and challenging and incredibly fun. It started out as a game with a kick and a grappling hook mechanic but eventually, the devs noticed that the kick mechanic is a lot more satisfying to use,… so they focused on that mechanic alone. You essentially run along a stage, dodging projectiles, jumping over hurdles, sliding under pipes, kicking foes, doors and bosses, while you try to get the best time possible. Once you complete the demo, you can also try yourself at a time trial. The mechanics are easy to learn but hard to master. Sometimes, you’ll have to improvise because of your mistakes (let’s act as if you’re the one that sucks at platformers and not me), and that adds a bit of pressure onto runs but it’s incredibly satisfying when you finally pull off this level and when you even save some time (let’s pretend that you finally made it and not me who got stuck on a level for ten minutes because I suck at platformers). If you wanna give it a go, check out the demo right here! It’s pretty fun!

I couldn’t find a trailer on YouTube, so here’s Olexa playing this game!

Writer’s Block

I’ve been excited about this one ever since I saw it. Writing daily on a blog is rough, after all, and writer’s block occurs at times… so, seeing a game titled around that issue is pretty fun – and seeing that it’s a roguelike is even better, honestly! Writer’s Block is the game for you if you like Wordle or Scrabble. You essentially pick a path, akin to Slay the Spire’s path mechanic, go into fights, events and shops… and you get stronger! You need to type words to deal damage but some tiles have special effects to them. The longer the word, the more damage you deal, but if you use certain tiles, you’ll get damaged as well… Meanwhile, other tiles hurt you when you don’t use them. Hence, getting creative is key and at the end of the day, you can always start over and begin a new journey. The relics you find are incredibly unique interesting. What’s more, is that the game is adorable and filled with puns and I love it. The fights are quite challenging as well but you can get some incredibly powerful combos with unique power-ups! And the full release – set to come out in August 2022 – has a lot of neat promises lined up from a fully-individualized story that gets created with every run… to multiple classes… to different areas and more enemies… I’m looking forward to that! It’s also a great coincidence that Writer’s Block is coming out during Blaugust (which I’m excited about)… Definitely recommend checking out the demo right here if you’re into roguelike games!

Again, I couldn’t find a real trailer but I did find this Teaser Video on the devs’ YouTube channel, so that’s pretty neat?

Birding Simulator

I like birds. I like Simulation games. I like watching birds. They’re cool. This game does that, too. You’re essentially a photographer trying to snap pictures of undiscovered species or rare birds to save a forest! The story’s pretty neat and the graphics look quite great. More than anything, I enjoyed walking around in nature and just listening to these flying critters while trying to take pictures of bald eagles and woodpeckers and stuff! The full release will require you to take pictures of certain birds to earn money so that you can get new equipment. The demo already has a lot of birds in it though, which is pretty fun. What I’m looking forward to in the full release are the compendium, the new gear and the skill tree… I’m stoked. I love Simulation games, to be fair, so I knew that I’d love this title but I didn’t expect it to be this great! Play it yourself!

Wild Souls

This one seemed quite promising but it ended up feeling a bit boring. In Wild Souls, you create an ecosystem by placing down plants and animals as well as borrows. You can take control of animals and watch them as they do things… The tutorial ruined it for me though as it was frustrating and slow and pretty annoying for what it was trying to tell me. Don’t make me remove EVERY rock, tree and flower, please! Just show me how it’s done once and ask me if I got it. Anyways, the game itself is pretty neat with goofy animations and cute animals. I can see how this game would be quite cool for kids, in theory, but personally, I was craving more depth… and a speed-up button. This one’s coming out mid-2022 and if you wanna try it out yourself, you can do so right here.

Adapt

Adapt is an interesting Spore-like creature creator where you can create a lifeform and let it befriend, threaten or feast upon other lifeforms. The editor very much reminds me of Spore, which is a huge plus given that that game is amazing! Sadly, a lot of the critters that spawn in-game have terrifying insect-like features (spider legs, multi-eyes, etc.) which can be quite triggering to some people. I found some of the lifeforms there to be too much for me personally but after loading in multiple times, I was able to deal with less of them. Walking around the world, finding friends, eating bugs, and all of that has been quite fun but I think the game needs to be more fleshed out on release. I hope this is fixed in the EA btw as it seems that there is no way to generate more DNA points… Still, I’m looking forward to the Early Access coming soon to Steam! Check out the demo yourself over here if you liked Spore in the past. Adapt might be the right thing for ya! It’s not incredibly fleshed out but hey, a demo is just a demo, right?

Tiny Witch

This game is quite intense! In a way, it reminded me of games like “Out Of Space” and “Cook, Serve, Delicious!” that look “easy enough” but get quite difficult really fast! You work at a minion shop of sorts where you create minions such as skeletons, ghouls, mummies and Zombies for customers! Doing so, however, requires a lot of coordination and I feel like this game could work well in Co-Op with different modifiers – like in “Overcooked”. Either way, it’s pretty fun while it lasts. Check out the demo here!

Minabo – A Walk through Life

This one literally is a walk through life btw. In Minabo, you play as a Turnip… And you walk through the years of life as you meet people, get social/romantic/intimate with them and then you die. You also make friends, partners and lovers along the way, grow your own children, turn old and make choices. Life never stops, so you gotta keep moving! Also, you need to take care of everyone around you and talk to them, love them or make them feel welcome. It’s honestly quite wholesome albeit a bit on the odd side? I enjoyed my few runs of this quite a fair bit! Just like turnips, this game comes out in Spring – and the demo can be found sprouting right here!

Hikikomori Life

This one is a bit of a Life Sim, too, but in contrast to Minabo where you keep on walking… you basically hole up yourself in an apartment! A Hikikomori is a game addict or nerd that doesn’t leave the house and just kind of lives from day to day while indulging in games, anime or whatever without wanting to take part in society. At least, that’s what “Welcome to NHK” taught me when I watched that show in 2013…? Anyway, you basically hole yourself up and take care of your needs. You need to eat, drink, work, sleep, shower, tidy up and go to the toilet. You don’t really tidy up yourself, btw, but you just call someone to do it for you… Oh, and you need to play games because your desire for games is strong in this one. The demo is relatively short and it’s supposed to show you how disturbances are very infuriating… but to be fair, I just felt sad and sorry for the protagonist of the game. Not being able to leave the house (be it because of trauma or because of other causes) is incredibly scary and upsetting and seeing someone deal with it by playing games all day is… sad. It’s actually quite sad. Still, I recommend this experience to anyone wanting to try out another life sim! The demo can be found over here! It is quite short!

Either way, I hope you enjoyed reading up on these ten demos over here. Make sure to wishlist any games that looked interesting! The demos will be available for a few more days although some of them may vanish shortly after the event is over, so take your pick and play whatever you fancy! There are a lot of gems out there. I had a lot of fun with most of these demos and I can’t wait to try out more tomorrow. I hope you have a lovely day!

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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