This past week was the February 2024 edition of the Steam Next Fest! Hundreds of demos were dropped left and right but I’m going to give you a list of my 12 favorite demos.
This is the best combination of a farming sim and a mech game. You crash land on a planet, find ruins and corruption poisoning the land and take charge in curing the planet. It adds a level of freshness that’s needed in the farming sim genre. I feel like time is going to tick away when this game drops in early access next month.
Imagine the combo of Groundhog Day/Quirky Roleplaying game. You have seven days to prevent a cataclysmic event and with each attempt (or loop) you come closer to solving the event. Beautiful art style and 4 player online co-op will make it a much played part of my community game night collection!
Imagine a farming sim mixed with a cozy version of Star Trek Voyager. Instead of a cute idyllic village, you are on a ship. You are captain of a ship tasked to explore a planet, while also maintaining relationship/friendships with crew members and their families. You can also go on away missions for resources. This taps in with my love of space and cozy games. Love it!!
Echoes of the Plum Grove
You are ship-wrecked on the island of Honeywell, and you start your new life however, your actions have consequences. Your actions matter in the long term. Set in this pseudo Colonial American style, you must farm, craft and forge in order to survive. Winter is coming and you must be prepared. I found this game to be another breath of fresh air in the farming sim genre. The art style has this beautiful “Paper Mario” aesthetic to it.
A roguelite coffee barista game. I can’t really say anymore than that. You can tweak your setup between runs, improving equipment and getting ready for that boss customer rush.
This city builder I have had my eye on for a very, very long time! It is set on a planet where the inhabitants have to brave the ever-changing elements in order to survive! I love how the art style has that classic SierraGames flair to it. Broad as a ocean and deep as a pond. Quick to learn and hard to master. Had me smiling on the inside from start to finish! Day one for me!
Duck Detective: The Secret Salami
A goofy take on the Detective Noir genre. The voice acting was top-notch, stellar and hilarious. The De-duck-tion system was so interesting and kind of, sort of based on Mad Libs. Such a good time. I can’t wait to play it
A cozy street management game. Its just a chill time cleaning up trash and finding tanukis. Adding houses and buildings to improve street performance. I can’t wait to play this game and listen to podcasts and audio books!
Oddsparks: An Automation Adventure
Pikmin meet Factorio! Simple as that! It has the makings of being something special!
NIMRODS: GunCraft Survivor
Vampire Survivors with Guns! That’s it that’s the tweet!
Tales of Kenzera: Zau
Rarely have I ever played a platforming game but this one is something special. The game oozes African excellence. The art style, mechanics, level design and voice acting are superb. I needed to mention it and give it the air it needed. I’m not a fan of platforming games but this might have changed my mind if they are all as good as Zau. You have to check it! You must!
Balatro (secretly my Game of Show)
This was about to be an Honorable Mention. I was wrapping up my coverage, getting ready to write this article. I was scrolling through the Most Wishlisted games on Steam and saw this. Looked it up, downloaded, booted it and then I was hooked. Within 15 minutes, I was hooked. This game has the makings of being a time killer for me. The devs call this game a “Poker Roguelike”. Each run you have blinds, each blind has a chip score. You use hands to score chips. As you play you can unlock these help cards called Jokers, Planets and Tarots. Jokers are consistent buffs. Planets buff your hand types. Tarots affect your playing cards abilities. Now you can’t play like this in Vegas of course. This game is going to be a Game of the Year list member off the rip. GO WISHLIST IT NOW!! PLAY IT!
And That’s All!
So there you have it. My Top 12 Steam Next Fest demo list is complete (and on time too, lol). If you want to see all of the games I mentioned in action, I made a Youtube playlist of my gameplay videos for these and other demos. I will be writing an Honorable Mention list in the near future, sooo look out for that. Thanks for your time and go play games!! *Goes back to play more Balatro demo*