Following the conclusion of Steam Next Fest, we give our thoughts on a bunch of interesting demos that caught our eye over the event.
Update: Some of the demos on this list have been removed from Steam following the conclusion of Next Fest.
Steam Next Fest drew to a close earlier this week after providing players across the world with demos for hundreds for exciting titles releasing in the near future. It was here that we were able to discover several titles that weren't on our radar and we got the chance to try out some of our most anticipated indies for the very first time. The event might now have concluded, but the demos that made their debut within it are still available for download. Here is a list of several games we'd highly recommend you to download and check out:
There Is No Light is a game that we rushed to download upon reading its description. This punishingly difficult action-adventure game has a methodical combat style similar to the Souls series and its dark and dreary pixelated art style is largely inspired by H. P. Lovecraft. In the game's terrifying world, human life as we know it has been completely erased by an unnamed catastrophic event. Those who have survived now live underground and a sinister group known as the Church of the Great Hand now call the shots. It certainly sounds intriguing and it won't be long until it's out in full, as it has a release date of Q4 2021.
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My Time at Sandroc
Given how magical its predecessor was, we have some pretty high hopes for My Time at Sandroc. It sees players once again step into the shoes of a fledgling builder, and its gameplay is characterised by elements of farming, crafting, and exploring. Unlike its predecessor, however, Sandroc takes place within a gorgeous sun-drenched world that is surrounded by vast stretches of desert and many of its inhabitants are characters that you have yet to become acquainted with. It looks to contain more of the same charming and addictive action and that's something that we are pretty okay with.
Guinea Pig Parkour
You might look at the name and already be completely bamboozled, but we can assure you that this one still isn't what you might think. Guinea Pig Parkour is a hand-drawn comedy platform adventure, presented as a '90s inspired cartoon world that sees you use parkour moves and skills to traverse a series of levels, as you work through a lost episode of a '90s cartoon. Developed solely by one person, Jeff Mumm, Guinea Pig Parkour features a series of fluid animations, each created frame-by-frame, where every single frame is a unique drawing to capture the essence of a traditional animation.
If you are a fan of indie games, Shedworks' adventure title Sable is probably already on your radar. Designed with a truly mesmerizing art style, this game puts players into the shoes of Sable, and gives us the task of guiding her through the Gliding: a rite of passage that sends the masked adventurer out across vast golden deserts and through remarkable locations. With the ability to explore as you desire, and the opportunity to upgrade and enhance your hover bike with new parts and gear, Sable is looking to set itself as one of the most anticipated indie games of 2021.
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The Rocket Stop Incident
Against how it may sound, The Rocket Stop Incident is an atmospheric horror game, one that sees you play as an employee of a petrol station in the middle of nowhere. Even with the setting being a little scary, this title that is described as an "unusual experience featuring a variety of atmospheric environments with chilling ambiances", will see you fighting for your life, as you travel through dark hallways, down bottomless stairwells, and across otherworldly structures, all whilst something watches from the shadows.
Do you love Doom 64, and have you been waiting for an opportunity to go back to the era of classic '90s FPS's? If so, Dread Templar will be right up your street. Developed by T19 Games, this brutal indie shooter sends players into the depths of Hell on a revenge mission. With hordes of demons and creatures from your deepest nightmares standing in your path, Dread Templar pays homage to old-school Doom with fast-paced action and '90s-inspired graphics.
Designed as a 3D rogue-lite action title, Rogue Spirit puts players in the shoes of the Ghost Prince of the Kingdom of Midra, where it will be your duty to use your ability to possess various enemy types to put their unique skills to the test to defend the lands from the growing evil presence. With 20 different characters to possess, and ten procedurally generated levels to explore, each set in one of five biomes, this indie is one to try before its launch date on August 25.
City builders are pretty commonplace these days, but one thing that none of them really explore is the impact of infrastructure construction on the environment. Terra Nil, developed by Free Lives, takes that responsibility on its shoulders by being a "reverse city builder" that instead focuses on returning nature and ecosystems to a barren, inhospitable location. With hand painted environments and a relaxing, meditative soundtrack, Terra Nil is a great way to see how renewable energy and the environment can live in harmony.
Set on a beautiful, lush paradise, Len's Island is an open-world, base builder that gives players the options on how they want to approach the game. Whether you are interested in exploring the gorgeous surroundings, making the home of your dreams, tending to your crops, or venturing into deep caves to face darkness that lurks within, the choice is entirely in your hands. Featuring eye-catching visuals that will make you desperate to set foot on Len's Island yourself, you can look forward to experiencing the full game when it launches this October.
We couldn't help but be reminded of former Switch exclusive Golf Story when Dodgeball Academia first took to the court at E3 2021. Like the Aforementioned game, Dodgeball Academia appears to be a hybrid of different genres as it has a fully-fledged RPG quest system and intense 5v5 dodgeball battles that players can engage in. Here you play as Otto, a starry-eyed kid who hopes to become the best dodgeball player at his school. Be sure to check out the demo for this one ahead of its release later this year.
Lawn Mowing Simulator
When people say that there's a simulator for everything, they're really not kidding. Lawn Mowing Simulator does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows players to saddle up on a variety of authentic, licensed mowers, to cut the grass in the lush Great British countryside. Coming from the same developer who brought us Train Simulator, Skyhook Games, Lawn Mowing Simulator is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, ideal for the people out there who don't have the opportunity to get out and mow their own lawns.
And there we have it. If there are any demos that we've missed or that you recommend, let us know in the comments below.