What's your favorite Steam Next Fest demo this week?

Lauren Morton

Staff member

Hey PC Gamers and welcome back to another demo extravaganza week. The Steam Next Fest is back on again and it always feels like this February edition is the one where I get to set aside the most time to try things. There's still time to jump in as it runs through February 12 and often times developers will keep demos up a bit longer than the official fest dates. @ZedClampet has helpfully already started a good thread about Steam Next Fest as a whole, so now that several of you have spent time browsing and sharing some possible demos, tell me:

Which Next Fest demo has been your favorite so far this week?​

My favorite so far has definitely been Magical Delicacy, the Metroid-inspired cooking platformer and shop sim about a young witch. I was actually bummed when I realized I'd completed the demo objectives and then went back in to keep fiddling around with recipes. The cooking isn't as tactile as what I've gotten spoiled with in Potion Craft and Kynseed but I was still having a great time trying to suss out new combos on my own. Mollie says that her favorite has been the tower defense Tetris game Emberward and our guest Chris Livingston has been telling us about jokey Poker game Balatro for weeks now.

Of the things I've yet to play, I want to see if I can find time this weekend for Daomei Village, another farm sim game up my alley (looks like that one isn't actually in Next Fest like I'd thought, whoops!), and Flock, a creature collecting and flying game of sorts. Oh, and Guild Saga looks really lovely too—an isometric tactics game for the Tactics Ogre and FF Tactics lovers possibly.
 
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So far my favorite is Harold Halibut. The animation, graphics/environment is solid. Love that you can zoom in closer and get a look at stuff. The story was interesting enough and the characters felt for the most part realistic. There were some odd body movements and word phrases that did not make that much sense, but those were minimal and not enough to wear down the overall good experience. It is an interactive adventure game by the looks of it and seems to have some physical endeavors with you cleaning up graffiti or unscrewing stuff. I'm OK with having to do some chores (as you are a janitor in this game) but I hope most of the tasks you have to do are well embedded into the plot of the game and just there for fillings. The main protagonist's voice is excellent, thought I'd mentioned that at the end. Oh, and he kind of reminds me of a slim and more cozy version of Javier Bardem from the movie No Country For Old Men.
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Lauren Morton

Staff member
So far my favorite is Harold Halibut. The animation, graphics/environment is solid. Love that you can zoom in closer and get a look at stuff. The story was interesting enough and the characters felt for the most part realistic.
Every time I see Harold Halibut I'm impressed by how great it looks! Sounds like it will be a pretty classic adventure game, then?

Oh and speaking of classic stuff that looks amazing, I just scrolled past Cryptmaster in the store again and remember Mollie said she was enjoying it. It does look more like a typing game than a text adventure or MUD game, she was right. It looks gnarly as hell.

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Every time I see Harold Halibut I'm impressed by how great it looks! Sounds like it will be a pretty classic adventure game, then?
I hope it will. We need some more adventure janitor protagonists hitting the scene. The last I can think of was Roger Wilco from the Space Quest series.
Oh and speaking of classic stuff that looks amazing, I just scrolled past Cryptmaster in the store again and remember Mollie said she was enjoying it. It does look more like a typing game than a text adventure or MUD game, she was right. It looks gnarly as hell.
Finished downloading while typing this. Looks cool!

Speaking of text adventures, perhaps this might be to the team's liking. It has changed a bit since the last time I visited, as I didn't need to sign into anything to save the game:


Throwing in at the end since I heard Chris Livingston talking about Dungeonborne: It is pretty cool, has that nice thief game aspect to it if you want to do that or just go bananas and whirlwind into victory or die trying. I'm still skeptical about the whole gold /marketplace thing, but at least the game has been fun to play besides the occasionally janky hiccups. I would recommend turning all graphics low or else it stutters as hell. The extraction part of the game I feel works also, tense at times which I like.
 
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We need some more adventure janitor protagonists

Let's see…




@Frindis Clearly you need to get your Dominar behind down to the basement more often!
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Speaking of text adventures, perhaps this might be to the team's liking. It has changed a bit since the last time I visited, as I didn't need to sign into anything to save the game:

Great guns, it has sound effects! Yeah, you do have to get a BBC account.

I just watched a long video on Ultima 3 which listed off some of the bestselling games of its time. This one was above Zork and well above Ultima 3. Freaky to see two references to the game in one night!

P.S. Feed the sandwich to the dog! DO IT!! It's been over 30 years and I still remember that important hint.

P.P.S. Infocom's Planetfall was about a janitor.
 

PCGMollie

Staff member
Aug 14, 2023
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Get back to those games, Mollie! A good game makes you forget the 'blah' of being sick! (Well, unless it's a stomach bug and the game is about making bread out of monsters.)
I'm officially back on the horse! :cool: Tried to do some Tekken 8 ranked grinding while I was still in the throes of the flu which was a terrible idea. Turns out Steam Next Fest demos are pretty perfect for bite-size gaming when you're stuck in bed for a few days.

I'm enjoying the dark but cozy city builder Dystopika.

full



It's kind of like Townscaper, and the developer said it would be priced around the same ($6.99).
I was meaning to try this after hearing Lauren talk about it! I love these Townscaper-esque games, sometimes I just wanna click little buildings together and not have to worry about any greater goal.

A demo I forgot about that I wanted to try was Kind Words 2. I bought the first one during the 2021 lockdown when the walls were really starting to close in and had a great few hours writing letters to people. I might try and give it a quick go before a lot of demos disappear today!
 
May 1, 2020
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I've installed a small handful of Next Fest demos but admittedly haven't actually got round to playing any of them yet 😅 Between having a busy week or so, I've just been sticking to some safe known quanities with my free time lately: Vampire Survivors, Lethal Company, Enshrouded.

But the two I will definitely make some time for are Pacific Drive and Balatro, purely based on buzz I've been seeing online.

As a sidenote, about the podcast itself, the audio levels on this week's episode are quite low (especially compared to the jingle intro), I had to really pump my audio to hear you both chatting - I checked both YouTube and Spotify, similar quietness. Not sure who edits and publishes the videos, but thought worth mentioning incase you're not aware ❤
 

Lauren Morton

Staff member
But the two I will definitely make some time for are Pacific Drive and Balatro, purely based on buzz I've been seeing online.

Chris has definitely talked all of us up on Pacific Drive really hard in our team chat! I've still not tried it myself but I love the idea of investing in the car as my companion character.

As a sidenote, about the podcast itself, the audio levels on this week's episode are quite low (especially compared to the jingle intro), I had to really pump my audio to hear you both chatting - I checked both YouTube and Spotify, similar quietness. Not sure who edits and publishes the videos, but thought worth mentioning incase you're not aware ❤

Thanks for this as well! I'll mention it to our vids editor this week.
 

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
Chris has definitely talked all of us up on Pacific Drive really hard in our team chat! I've still not tried it myself but I love the idea of investing in the car as my companion character.

The demo was fun, but that game wants to kill you really, really badly. Of course, the events are randomly generated, so it depends on your luck, or, in my case, your bad luck.
 
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