Steam Next Fest – June 2021

They changed its name from Steam Game Festival to Steam Next Fest, but the result remains the same… Hundreds of demos of upcoming games are available for a short period of time for all of us to play. Zaratoth and I did it again! We tried as many demos as we could during the first days of the event, which will come to its conclusion on June 22, and included our favourites in an article.

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Moviehouse by Odyssey Studios (Zaratoth)

A small indie game where you play as a film studio. You hire writers and directors who can level up and have a say in the scenarios, casting and budget of each project. However, it doesn’t have space management, it’s more like Game Dev Tycoon in that aspect. At the time of writing there’s only a sneak peek, while a full demo is expected further down the road.

Check the game here!

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Tiny Thor by Asylum Square (Zozoulini)

For a forty year old gamer, a 16-bit inspired Side-scrolling Action-Platformer with astounding pixel art by Henk Nieborg and retro-like soundtrack by Chris Hülsbeck is a must try! I jumped to the demo of the game at the very beginning of the event. I definitely loved the graphics and the music and I was amazed by the mechanics behind the behaviour of Mjölnir, the powerful hammer that you can use to kill many enemies in one go, reach collectables which are far away from your character and solve puzzles. Of course, you don’t have to be as old as myself to have fun with a game like this!

Check the game here!

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The Sundew by 2054 (Zaratoth)

A cyberpunk point & click RPG by a solo French dev. We had covered this several years back when the project ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign, but now was finally the time to actually play out the pre-release demo. And it was full of character, promising a noir cyberpunk story and plenty of puzzles to solve.

Check the game here!

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Len’s Island by Flow Studio (Zozoulini)

The ideas behind the gameplay of this Open World Action Adventure/Simulation game aren’t revolutionary by any means, but if you like spending hours building, crafting, farming, trading and, why not, entering into dark dungeons and fighting horrible monsters at your own pace, Len’s Island is for you. The demo allows you to do all the above in a rather small part of the exotic world that we will explore in the full game. The lighting effects, the shadows and the changes of colours in nature during the different hours of the day and night are beautiful by the way!

Check the game here!

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Paths & Danger by GoldenGod Games (Zaratoth)

A turn-based RPG that at its core is like an amalgamation of Darkest Dungeon and Battle Brothers. You play on interconnected linear maps where you play out turn-based battles before you return to the hub village where you can upgrade your equipment and skills, recruit new characters to join your side and take on new quests. It currently runs a Kickstarter campaign and the demo got to me so much I’ve backed it!

Check the game here!

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The Frogs by Michael Wells (Zozoulini)

I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I started playing the demo of this «very loosely based on the play by Aristophanes» Point & Click Adventure. You got me here… I am lying! I had a pretty good idea after watching the trailer and reading in the description, that the game is a work of «a mind way too influenced by the likes of Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde.» How could I resist that? I watched paintings come to life, listened to familiar classical music and laughed my head off with the hilarious dialogues between my character Dionysus, the god of wine in Ancient Greece, and the dozens people I met on my way to Athens. I solved a couple puzzles too!

Check the game here!

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NORCO by Geography of Robots (Zaratoth)

A point & click adventure at heart that isn’t afraid to experiment and try out new things. From the protagonist’s mind, that acts like an investigator’s board of pictures and connections between different characters to actual combat mini-games, you’ll do more things in this captivating dark futuristic game than just solve puzzles and make decisions. And there will be a lot of the latter too!

Check the game here!

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The Plane Effect by Innovina Interactive & Studio Kiku (Zozoulini)

The demo which kept me busy for more than an hour doesn’t reveal much about the story of the full game. The question «Is this, the end of the world?», which flickers on the Steam page in the same way the neon signs and lights go on and off in the atmospheric dystopian isometric world, is intriguing! Playing as a family man, you will solve a bunch of puzzles as you will try hard to return home in one piece after the final day at the office.

Check the game here!

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Der Geisterjäger / The Ghost Hunter by Graverobber Foundation (Zaratoth)

An old-school first person dungeon crawler RPG where you play as a solo mech located in the bowels of a megacorp building. It is not the easiest game to play and master, but it definitely needs to be checked out by fans of the genre.

Check the game here!

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Above Snakes by Tobias Schnackenberg (Zozoulini)

Crafting is a very important feature in the gameplay of the single-player Simulation/RPG developed by the solo developer from Germany, just as in Len’s Island I present to you before. Here though, you will not only craft weapons, tools, medicines and other stuff to help Aiyana, a young Native American woman, surviving from hunger, thirst, fatigue, wounds, but you will build tile by tile the world you will explore as you try to discover the truth behind the emerging of the dead from their graves. Everytime you will have the materials to buy a let’s call it expansion for the map, you will get three options corresponding to different types of tiles. The resources aren’t endless and you will have to keep Aiyana in good condition at all times.

Tobias Schnackenberg is getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Above Snakes in the near future. Keep an eye for it!

Check the game here!

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The Fermi Paradox by Anomaly Games (Zaratoth)

A really unique game in concept. It is based on the Fermi Paradox which points out the paradox of, on one hand believing that alien life exists based on statistics and, on the other, having acquired zero credible information to support the former theory. In this scenario, you are put in the role of “galactic god” where you try to lead different space factions to meet each other. Unfortunately, the demo had some game breaking bugs that didn’t allow me to finish it, but the concept is right up my alley that I’ll be waiting for its release nevertheless.

Check the game here!

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Warp Frontier by Brawsome (Zozoulini)

If you take a look to the website of Brawsome, you will notice the small list of games with the different graphical styles and stories developed exclusively by the Australian studio. Jolly Rover is a point & click Adventure about pirates in cute dog form. Lucas, the character of MacGuffin’s Curse, a Puzzle/Adventure, lives in a small town and transforms now and then into a Werewolf to deal with the evil rulers of his small town.

Warp Frontier, the upcoming not quite traditional 2D Point & Click Adventure, which comes almost a decade after the previous release by the studio, will find us on a planet called Cetus. Playing as Vincent Cassini, a Captain in the police force, who is accompanied by a small robot, we will investigate the disappearance of a great number of residents of Cetus. Next to solving puzzles, the interaction with the characters we meet and our decisions will play a very important role in the revelation of the truth.

Check the game here!

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Grotto by Brainwash Gang (Zaratoth)

A game where you play as a Soothsayer living alone in a cave. You get various visitors during a day from a neighbouring clan who ask you questions about current events, themselves or the future. Your way of replying is by showing one of the available star signs and let the NPCs interpret your response however they want. However, you can get hints on how certain stars may be interpreted and choose one that would lead towards a thought process of your choice and to shape the future narrative.

Check the game here!

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Stellar Monarch 2 by Silver Lemur Games (Zaratoth)

While I’ve had the first one on my radar for quite a while, I’ve never came around to actually play it. Since the second one was available in the event I thought to try it out. I can’t comment in comparison with the first game, but even though the demo was just a basic showcase with many mechanics not yet implemented, I liked the way things controlled and showed, as well as the premise that you deal mainly with grand strategy and characters.

Check the game here!

One thought on “Steam Next Fest – June 2021

  1. Pingback: Paths & Danger – Interview | Indie Game Picks

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