What games demos did you play from the GDC/Steam festival?

Dinokaiser

Community Contributor
Mar 25, 2020
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Hello! Since the GDC/Steam crossover event is over I was curious what people thought of the games, I played 9 of them and to my surprise I liked most of them!
Here are the ones I tried with my thoughts on them

1) Tunche: A old school beat em up with a really nice art style.
I really like the art style and the fact the Hat Kid from "A Hat in Time" is in it but that's about it, I genuinely tried multiple times to play it since but the difficulty is off somehow, it FEELS like an old school beatemup only I don't remember old school beatemups normal enemies being both bullet sponges and really hard hitters, i'm curious to see its developement, but I do think it needs more work, combat is otherwise really great, though I did have difficulty connecting hits sometimes.

2) Rising Hell: A Vertical Roguelite where you ascend up a tower.
I like the art style and I REALLY like that double jumping is an attack (one that connects and increases your jump). Unfortunately controller support didn't work so I just used an external program to map my keys to em (I refuse to play a platformer with a keyboard). I think it could use a dash button since some bosses attack in a way that doesn't seem really thought out for the way the character moves.
Otherwise; Neat, reminds me of a vertical risk of rain/Dead cells though nowhere near as complex as either, apparently there will be more characters to choose for the full release so that'll be awesome! Always fun finding a decent Roguelite.
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3) Raji: Raji was fantastic, it's kinda a top down prince of Persia only kinda better imo!
It's a game based on Hinduism, you know how ever since Zelda OOT characters can do a pathetic roll to go "faster" she does flips and unlike all those other games she doesn't just abruptly stop and you can flip all over the place if you wanna go faster.
The combat really awarded hit and run or ranged tactics and put systems in place to ensure that the combat would not be as mindless by incorporating the environment to your advantage (eg you can run up a wall to perform an attack that not only puts you out of harms way but briefly stuns them, or a pole you can spin around for a electric attack that stuns them longer etc), it's a combat system that requires and rewards constant movement and I like that the story telling is literally two deities talking to each other while observing you.
I thought it was fantastic and I will definitely be getting the full game.

4) Vigil The Longest Night: When I saw the trailer I though Bloodborne meets Dead Cells style combat.
I was pretty spot on. It's definitely a souls-like, only way more like Dead Cells in terms of combat, movement and controls with more traditional souls-like and Metroidvania mechanics with exploration, owl statues (this games version of a bonfire) leveling up etc, one big difference is you have a skill tree and as you level up you can get special abilities for the different class of weapons you find.
It also apparently has a fairly overt story, you play as Leila who is a "vigilant" and you quickly find a village where you can interact with the villagers, take quests etc, I really liked it and this segment of the game kinda reminded me of another game called "Dust an Elysian tale" (which was bloody amazing), as you get quests and can interact with other characters, it's a really interesting game, appropriately grimdark and I am quite curious how the rest of the game will be like.
Really nice art style too.

5) Neverinth: Another souls-like! If you ever played Bloodborne's "chalice dungeons" (randomized dungeons) this is basically that only not nearly as detailed and without any verticality (the environments are also way more samey), I actually really liked the combat but honestly, this is a game where the stamina bar is totally unnecessary (it wasn't even a nuisance, it just didn't need to be there, it's only there because Dark Souls has it).
But like I said, the combat itself was really fun, I liked the special abilities afforded by changing the control scheme and even beat the boss both times, needs a bit of work, but it's a fairly solid rogue-like take on Darksouls, would be very interested to check it out after it's out of early access.
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6) Haven: My FAVORITE game of the festival! Of all the games showcased, they're all based on previous game formulas (it's almost funny just how many are Souls-likes) but this is so unique I'm having a hard time describing it, so here's my attempt; it's a slice of life narrative exploration game.... anywho you play as a couple who are stranded on a planet made up of a series of floating islands, when you go outside you realize your walking speed is atrocious, but as soon as you press R2.... you start to hover and move forward off the ground in a way that is super smooth! You can do fast u-turns and even drift for sharper turns, I LOVE the movement system! There's even combat, but instead killing the local wildlife you just "pacify" them and restore them to their peaceful states using a sort of real-time/turn-based system unlike any I've ever used; both joysticks indicate specific actions you can do.
Of course the entire time the characters are talking together, and when you get to the ship you can do things like cook and have dialog options that the characters accurately say XD
Also you can do pet mushroom lizards!

7) Röki: A sort of modern point and click adventure, very short but very sweet, I liked it and am looking forward to the full release :D

8) Curious Expedition 2: I didn't realize I had to feed my crew so one of them ate the other in a frenzy... 10/10

9) Spiritfarer: An absolutely GORGEOUSLY hand drawn animated game with beautiful scenery, crazy events like literally catching lightning, fishing and cooking said fish for guests, and completing the life goals of your boat guests to help them be ready to move on to the next world.... I feel this game will probably make me cry but I look forward to it as my choice of non-violent game I will sorely need to cleanse my pallete after going through all the souls games (which is what i'm doing now) like how Wandersong did for when I went through the Darksiders games hehe
So those were the games I tried out during the festival, how about the rest of you? :D
 

Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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Nice share there:) Not played any of those, but from what I have seen of gameplay, I must say that Spiritfarer is the one that I found to be most interesting. I really like the animation and color!
 
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PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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I played Solasta: Crown of the Magister, which is a turn-based RPG that uses D&D 5E's rules under a licence. It gives you a party of four characters (elf rogue, halfling wizard, human fighter, dwarf cleric), you get to talk to some NPCs, and then go into a dungeon where you roll dice and play some top-down combat. The UI could use some work, and I couldn't find a way for the rogue to hide in combat, but it's basically everything I want from a D&D videogame even if it's not using any of the official settings.
 
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