A Few Promising Places to Start Steam Next Fest is back with “100s” of demos

Steam Next Fest, Valve’s semi-regular celebration of upcoming gamesis back for another week of dev talks, livestreams, and an intimidating set of “hundreds” of demos that will likely frustrate even the most committed to completion.

Actions are now firmly underway, and will continue until next Monday, June 26th, and Valve has submitted a Full list of demos and live broadcasts available For those who are eager to dive straight in. But in case you’re struck by decision-making paralysis, you’ll find some potentially promising places to start – based on some games Eurogamer has been harboring growing excitement of late – below.

The list isn’t exhaustive, of course, and all of the games I’ve listed are pretty much known quantities – it’ll take a lot of digging around Valve’s subterranean depths before Steam Next Fest’s latest collection of hidden gems reveals itself. But in the meantime, while the research continues, maybe the following will provide some initial inspiration—and if anything catches your eye as you dig deeper, feel free to share in the comments.

gossant

This amazing puzzle adventure from Life is Strange studio Don’t Nod is all about finding a way higher, taking players on a “medial” climbing journey as they attempt to scale an immeasurably tall tower and uncover the mystery behind a long-lost civilization. Christian actually played the demo and loved it. [Demo link]

Gossant Trailer.

Bhutanese Manor

Balloon Studios’ Botany Manor (another one that caught Christian’s eye) is the very picture of tranquility, transporting players to the titular 19th-century English home for some tantalizing botanicals and plant preservation. By exploring the farm and its vast grounds, they can discover seeds, pot them, and find their perfect home – with letters, newspaper clippings, and other helpful information providing clues on how to proceed. [Demo link]

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Vegetable farm trailer.

camera lens

Viewfinder by Sad Owl Studios is another one of those puzzlers built around a truly mind-bending premise: players can take pictures and then overlay them on their surroundings – at which point everything in the picture becomes a navigable 3D part of the world. We’ve been excited about this for a while. [Demo link]

Camera lens trailer.

venba

Venba, from Visai Games, is a culinary-based narrative adventure that follows an Indian immigrant mother in Canada in the 1980s as she reconnects with her heritage by creating South Indian dishes. It’s described as a story of love and loss that takes place through cooking and branching conversations, and if that sounds like an appetizer, Eurogamer contributor Emad Ahmed spoke with its developer in 2021 to find out more about Venba’s background. [Demo link]


Venba release date trailer.

Jumplight Odyssey

Steam may be nothing short of a spaceship management simulation, but developer Armello League of Geeks’ Jumplight Odyssey is an instantly eye-catching offering for a big genre-first fan like myself, blending roguelite progression with an engaging art style inspired by ’70s sci-fi. anime fi. Oh, and yes, you can pet the pig. [Demo link]


Early access reveal trailer for Jumplight Odyssey.

Goodbye high volcano

Goodbye Volcano High is still a bit far away after its recent delay, but those eager to try out developer KO_OP’s “hybrid cinematic narrative/rhythm game/rhythm game/interactive movie experience” — which follows a group of teenage dinosaurs as they learn to nest And love in a world teetering on destruction – you can do just that with the newly updated Steam Next Fest promotion. [Demo link]


Goodbye High Volcano Story Trailer.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

This pirate adventure from Mimimi Games looks like sheer fun, combining the core stealth strategy action of the studio’s games Desperados 3 and Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun with some great matches as players explore the Caribbean in search of the legendary lost treasure of Captain Mordecai. [Demo link]

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Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew release date trailer.

Stray Gods: The Role Play Musical

Stray Gods, from Dragon Age creator David Gaider’s Summerfall Studios, is “one part narrative-driven adventure and one part interactive musical”. The film tells the story of Grace, a young woman whose life is turned upside down after the last stalker of ancient Greek mythology dies in her arms, and features a tune by famed composer Austin Wintory, bought to life by a star-studded cast including Felicia Day, Laura Bailey, Rahul Kohli and Troy Baker. . [Demo link]

View the release date of Stray Gods.

hole 2

The Chucklefish-inspired Advance-Wars strategy game Wargroove gets a sequel brought to you by Pathway developer Robotality. Its new adventure (and fun hack) spans three interwoven campaign arcs that promise the likes of new unit types and new commanders – at least some of which are presumed to appear in the new Steam Next Fest demo. [Demo link]

Wargroove 2 announcement announcement.

camper life

More than a decade after its original release and subsequent removal from sale, Richard Hoffmeyer’s Kart Life slice of life, Kart Live, has been “lovingly” restored by Ad Hoc Studios for an imminent re-release. This remake stays true to the original – players will still experience the lives of three different street vendors, each from very different backgrounds – but promises the likes of new art, story content, mechanics, and updated controls. [Demo link]


Trailer Advertisement Shopping Cart Life Advertisement.

underground blossom

Developer Rusty Lake’s love of point-and-click escape-style adventures meets The Room is no secret — and now the studio is gearing up to return with Underground Blossom, another wistful slice of weirdness that sees players puzzling their way through Laura Vanderboom’s life and memories, gradually unfolding as they travel from station to station. In the Rusty Lake underground system. [Demo link]

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Underground Blossom ad trailer.

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