With gaming expos being impossible this year due to COVID-19, we’ve seen an increase in the number of digital events lately. I might be feeling drained by them but I’ve got to admit: it’s nice being able to try a game in the comfort of your own home away from a noisy exhibition hall.
Following the cancellation of GDC’s Indie Megabooth, Day of the Devs and more, Valve decided to showcase more than 40 demos planned for the events during the Steam Game Festival back in April. It returned again last week with the Summer 2020 Edition and gave players the opportunity to check out over 900 games for themselves. Although I didn’t have time to play all of them, I did manage to check out several which looked interesting – and here are my thoughts.
A Space for the Unbound
The prologue for A Space for the Unbound
by Mojiken Studio
came onto my radar after a discussion with another blogger about their projects and those published by Toge Productions
. Having already played A Raven Monologue
for a post about free titles in July 2018
and the demo for When The Past Was Around
for the spring 2020 Steam Game Festival
, I really wanted to like it – but I didn’t. I’m afraid to say that I caught myself nodding off a couple of times during my half-hour playthrough so I don’t think I’ll be picking up the full game.
The demo for LOVE
by Rocketship Park
may have lasted less than ten minutes, but it was very sweet and resulted in the title being added to my wishlist. Players get to know the inhabitants of an apartment block by rotating its floors to solve puzzles and see moments from their past and present. I get the impression that this is going to be one of those quieter games a lot of people will miss out on, but those who come across it will find something which tugs at their heartstrings and has an emotional impact.
Point-and-clicks with science-fiction storylines always appeal to me so it was no wonder I tried out Mutropolis
by Pirita Studio
. Although it’s nowhere near as dark as some of the other games of its type, the demo was enjoyable and the puzzles contained within were logical. The title takes place far in the future when Henry Dijon and a team of archaeologists leave Mars to visit an abandoned Earth and dig up lost treasures. Things go well and they make an amazing discovery – but then Henry’s professor is kidnapped and it all starts to get a bit weird.
Nine Noir Lives
A comedy noir adventure featuring a cat detective? The description for Nine Noir Lives
by Silvernode Studios
sounded awesome and I loved the feline title art, but I’m sorry to say the game didn’t live up to the expectations they’d set. My main issue with it was that there was just far to much dialogue where the player was required to passively listen; it was over 15 minutes before I was able to make my first real move and I was beginning to get bored. I made it to the end of the demo but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing the full title.
I like games which feature interesting mechanics and if the prologue is anything to go by, One Dreamer
by Gareth Ffoulkes
is going to be included on that list. You can look at the code of objects found in the environment and change their variables to get around obstacles; so update ‘enabled’ to ‘true’ to open a closed roller door or switch files to get a goose honking like a cat and wearing a top-hat. It seems like there’s going to be quite a touching story underneath this pseudocode too so sign me up.
is a point-and-click which immediately reminded me of the releases by Amanita Design
thanks to its charming characters. It’s absolutely gorgeous and this can be attributed to the fact that it’s handcrafted: making the game entirely out of paper gives it a really unique look. This was another short demo coming in at under ten minutes, but it was enough to get a taste and make me keen to join Pape on his adventure to stop the dark and flaming monsters from burning down his world later this year.
Although I ultimately didn’t get along with the game, my favourite thing about Sea of Thieves was the exploration
. That’s why Sail Forth
by David Evans Games
jumped out at me: this procedural adventure would give me the ability to explore the waters without having to put up with players who just wanted to kill me. The demo was a little janky and it’s clear the project is still being worked on, but it gave a good enough idea of what the team is trying to achieve and the type of mechanics they’re building into their release.
The Wild at Heart
My favourite demo from the Steam Game Festival
this time around. The Wild at Heart
by Moonlight Kids
was a wildcard (no pun intended) as I picked it randomly thanks to its artwork – and I was left impressed, with another title added to my wishlist. It’s similar in gameplay to Overlord
, and its story about two kids finding a mysterious realm within a forest is charming. I may have encountered a bug during the demo which prevented me from finishing it (the developer is working on fixing it) but I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.
Did you manage to check out any of the demos during the Steam Game Festival last week? If so, were there any that you really enjoyed and will you be looking out for them in the upcoming summer sale?