Steam Next Fest 2022

Is anyone trying out any of the demos from Steam Next Fest 2022?
I’ve downloaded the demos listed below so far, but I’d love to hear about any other demos that people have tried and recommend.

  • Anger Foot
  • Paper Trail
  • Nine Sols
  • Metal Hellsliger
  • The Spirit and the Mouse
  • Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist
  • Cult of the Lamb
  • Terra Nil
  • Melatonin
  • Naiad

The list of demos is pretty big so I’ll keep my eyes open for other interesting titles.

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Anger Foot plays well on Steam Deck, right out of the box. It doesn’t quite hit 60 fps, so I played it at a locked 30fps without any issue. If you are looking for Hotline Miami in first person and a lot of kicking, this will be your jam. Also dying is hilarious because the enemies have the best dance moves!

Paper Trails works on Steam Deck with a modified control scheme that maps the mouse to the analogue sticks. Really pretty and enjoyable puzzle game.

Metal Hellsinger isn’t quite working on Steam Deck with default settings. It needs control adjustments, especially analogue stick sensitivity. It also stuttered a bit and then crashed a couple times. I haven’t had a chance to really tinker with it to make it work. As a result I can’t really say what I think about it but given its a rhythm game I’m probably going to pass this one up.

Nine Sols works beautifully without tinkering except for an opening video that doesn’t play, but I don’t really know if that’s Steam Deck related. It’s also an absolutely stunning 2D Soulslike, specifically in the vein of Sekiro.

I thought of trying out Steam because there was a game I wanted to try, but it’s so slow/stuttery that it’s unplayable for me. I looked up what to do but nothing worked

Oddly enough, it worked fine the first day I tested it, but never again

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The artstyle is nice but there’s absolutely no gameplay here. You just swim through essentially a linear river with almost nothing to do. Not interested.

This also stood out due to the artstyle. Is a fun rhythm game in which the cues to press the button are completely in the environment and vary from stage to stage. It’s a bit on the stringent side, I think, but kind of fun once I got the hang of it.

Nine sols
I wasn’t expecting such a gruesome game. The “souls-like” tag gave me some pause but I decided to give it a go anyway. It’s fine, I guess. Is not all that difficult once one gets into the rhythm of parrying and attacking. Movement feels a bit stiff, though. Not bad, but probably not for me.

Glimmer in mirror
I’m not entirely sure why I installed this. It’s a very generic platformer with a generic chibi character in rather ugly environments. The jump is very floaty and is one of those games in which the character has a ranged attack that you cannot aim. :-1:

Faerie Afterlife
The character is cute and the backgrounds are beautiful. It was good until the bossfight, which was rather miserable. The fact that you are forced to always float on the water makes character movement literally floaty and very hard to control. On top of that, the basic attack has very short range (and I think is not even consistent with the animation). The end result is that it’s very hard to position yourself in the tiny window in which you can attack and not be killed by the boss. And even then, your attack pushes you back out of that window.

Well, it’s late, so I’ll keep going tomorrow.

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Did you play with a gamepad when you played Nine Sols? I switched the directional input from the analogue stick to the dpad and found movement felt much nicer after that. Also the game isn’t coming out until 2023 so there’s time for them to smooth things out.

Is it The Steam client itself that is stutter, or the game? And which game was it?

Yeah, I used the analogue sticks. I think that the issue is that the animation is kind of lacking. The character doesn’t feel like is jumping when you jump, and the jump attack looks the same as the regular attack. There’s something off. It doesn’t feel fluid.

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I don’t know what that is. It’s Ultra Street Fighter IV

The computer is slow lately; I wondered if that was it

I’ve used and never really had any problems there

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I do think some of that was solved by switching to the d-pad, I liked the movement. But I agree about the jump attack, and I wonder if that will change before release. It wasn’t needed very much in the demo so the animation might be a placeholder just so they could get the demo out.

The fact that it works similarly to Sekiro, and is gorgeous, has me sold. I had previously thought to back the project just based on the art style alone and the fact that it’s by Red Candle Games, but I’ll just wait until final release and pick up a physical copy if there ever is one.

Sometimes turning the Steam overlay off in Steam’s preferences can help. It can improve general performance of certain games.

Added the following demos to my wish list to download and try:

That wasn’t it but I finally got it working anyway! Thx ><|:OD)

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I’m crossposting from the main site just… because.

Metal: Hellsinger :+1::+1:

This game does the FPS rhythm game right! The music is amazing, each weapon has its own rhythm, and the music changes depending on your actions, with the lyrics only kicking in at maximum combo and getting softer when near death.

Two minor complaints: 1) the red-brownish enemies don’t sand out from the red-brownish environments, which hinders the fast-paced combat a bit. 2) the narrator’s voice sounds out of place with the rest of the game; too human and normal.

Brightseeker :wave:
A Transistor-like aesthetic with a more Hades-like gameplay, if I had to described this game by comparing it to Supergiant’s catalogue. The style is good and sounds are nice, but combat and movement feels stiff. The character keeps getting stuck in the geometry, running is slow and melee has a slight delay. Combat feels unbalanced, as there is no reason to use melee anyway since the only smart strategy seems to be running away from enemies and shooting cheap-shots from afar. Feels very unfinished, but has potential.

Master key :wave:
This feels like what I imagine Tunic to be. Absolutely obscure, no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going, simplistic combat and hard. Not my thing, but I cannot say that it’s bad either. I’m 100% sure that the game plans to pull the “you were the baddie all along” twist though.

Agent 64: Spied never die :wave:
With its low poly graphics, bare environments, simplistic gunplay and no jumping this game is 100% sold on nostalgia. Also, the main motivation seems to be to beat the levels quickly, judging from the fact that the endscreen shows you your time and a “par” time. Not having played Goldeneye for the N64 and being allergic to time trials, I’m clearly not the target audience.

Eyes in the dark :+1:
I guess inflation has hit colours the most since, like Master Key, this is also in black and white. This is a rougelite, so it all hinges on the moment-to-moment gameplay, which is pretty much on point. Movement is fluid and combat is just on the right side of hectic. The controls take a while to get used to, though. Movement with left stick and pointing the flashlight with the right is nothing new, but jumping with RT is not common.

Fech the ferret :-1:
I don’t understand this one. You’re a ferret (hence the name) and you run around on some forest area. You can go fast and the music starts playing more tracks. That’s fine as it is, although gravity is kind of wonky and sometimes the ferrets falls very fast. But what then? I ran around the place for a while and can’t fine any objective, any exit or any way of progressing in the game.

Paper Trail :+1:
This puzzle reminds me a bit of Carto not only in aesthetics but in gameplay. You modify the world by folding the map to reveal what’s underneath. I liked it a lot.

Impression legend:
:+1: = Good, recommended.
:wave: = Neutral.
:-1: = Bad.

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Astronite feels inspired by Gato Roboto but lacks that games charm and finesse. The demo has a bug wherein after all your gear is taken away, you can close and restart the game to get all your gear back. You can then explore areas that were locked off to you at the start. This led me to an area that is clearly inspired by Celeste, for some reason:

There’s potential, but there’s also a good chance people are better off playing Gato Roboto instead. Perhaps if you’re starved for a new Metroidvania.

On the bright side it plays perfectly with default settings on Steam Deck.

Hamster on Rails: Is exactly what it looks like, a mix of Hamtaro and Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, but on rails. Locatlization is a little rough right now but the game plays without a hitch. If you like Captain Toad and want more when done with that, this might be worth your while. It plays very well on Steam Deck with default settings, but plays best with KB/M. If you want to play with gamepad controls you’ll need to tweak and customize a lot.

Spiritle: a very pretty hand drawn turned based PvP strategy game. Unfortunately I didn’t find that it explained itself well so I was struggling to understand what to do. There is an offline mode that allows for single player, but I suspect this is more fun with friends. Has potential, but I’d like to see it more fleshed out. Works out of the box on Steam Deck but KB/M is preferred.

Another black and white game? Colours must really be expensive these days!

I think it’s the popularity of Minit, Gato Roboto and Toem influencing these games.

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Those devs must be feeling pretty good about themselves for kicking off a whole wave of the same aesthetic.

Another round of nextfest demos.

Nuwe :-1:
Kind of generic platformer with the floatiest of floaty jumps. Nothing stands out from the game, including the platfroms, which don’t stand out from the background. I dare you at a glance to tell me which of these almost identically-looking leaves are platforms and which aren’t.

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I quit the demo after a chase sequence with a boar that literally ran faster than the character, so the sightless mistake was a long game-over.

Near Mage :wave:
The hook of this point-and-click Harry Potter knock-off – the thing that is front and centre in the description – is that you can combine “near-spells” to create all kinds of spells that you use to solve puzzles. The problem is that the demo is all about walking around talking to people. The demo does warn that is a narrative prologue, but the problem with that is that either if fails to demonstrate the main gameplay loop, or the main gameplay loop is only walking and talking. Giving my aversion to point-and-click games, I think I’l give it a pass.

Frontier Hunter: Erza’s Wheel of Fortune :-1:
I gave this one a try lured by the anime aesthetics. I had to go from your room to a training room on the other side of the map and in the meantime I wandered around, picking items and seeing a couple of weird birds that I couldn’t interact with. Then, after the training I meet this NPC who tells me that he lost 3 birds and thus starts the first fetchquest of the game. I have absolutely zero faith in a game that not only has so few ideas that it has to introduce a time-filling fetchquest in a demo, but that it’s so badly designed that it didn’t give me the option of collecting the birds first.

Black ink :wave:
The main character narration has comedic timing, but the jokes land flat more often than not. Besides that, the game is very unfinished, with very bad controls, shoddy collision detection and plenty of bugs.

A little to the left :+1:
This is a small, cute, puzzler in the vein of Unpacking. The presentation is cute and is quite satisfying. The penultimate level was a bit obscure, IMHO, as I got to something I considered quite tidy but the game didn’t advance because it wasn’t tidy in the precise way it had to do. My girlfriend loved it.

We stay behind :+1:
This one’s really short --more like a trailer than a complete demo, if you ask me-- but get’s the job done. I love the style. The stark colours, the blocky models and the far-away camera makes you feel like watching a small model of a town. I though it was going to be a Lake-like placid game, but the demo ended with a rather violent cliffhanger, so there’s more to it. Not a lot of gameplay, though. There are dialogue trees but I didn’t get the sense that my choices mattered much and even the van drives itself; if you just press the accelerator, it turns corners even if you don’t touch the stick.

Railbound :+1::+1:
Very cute, smart and easy to play puzzle game. Played the whole demo, including the optional levels. It’s got lots of little “aha!” moments that are the best part of any puzzle game. Absolutely fantastic.

Terra nil :wave:
With every other game predicated under the notion that the environment is there for the player to plunder, this “reverse city builder” concept is intriguing. In execution seem both boring and less revolutionary than it sounds. Boring because I don’t take fondly to city builders, so that might be on me. Less revolutionary because, mechanically, it still plays very similar to any city builder. You have to build various structures to transform the land and you get resources while you do it. The fact that the soil turns green and grows trees instead of rising skyscrapers feels like a coat of paint and not a radical departure from the usual.

How to say goodbye :wave:
I liked the demo a lot. The arstyle is gorgeous, the story seems cute and the puzzles are novel. However, I have to say that the controls are very very very spotty. The floor is made of tiles that move in rows so you click and drag in any of the 4 directions to move your character or other things placed on the it. The problem is that more often than not the game registers a different direction from what I meant. I hope the devs fix that for the full release, although I’m a bit worried that such a core gameplay concept is in such a bad state compared with the other elements.

Impression legend:
:+1: = Good, recommended.
:wave: = Neutral.
:-1: = Bad.