Who Loves Demos?
I always love when Steam hosts a Game Festival, showcasing upcoming games for us fans. The best part of the Game Festival is that there’s a ton of demos to try, albeit for a limited time. Which brings us to the point of this article. I have plans to play several demos while the event is happening, from today until February 9th at 10AM. But before that, I’m gonna list several demos that I feel are must plays. Either because they’ve been on my radar for a while or because they just won me over. To be fair, I’ll list them in alphabetical order, not in my order of preference. If any look good, be sure to follow the links and download the demos!
Aeon Drive: Prologue
Aeon Drive: Prologue has been on my radar for months and months now. The reason is simple – I backed the first game by the same team, a SHMUP called Dimension Drive. Though the first game was a mixed experience, I really appreciated the creativity and hard work put in by 2Awesome Studio. When I saw the cool new visual style of Aeon Drive, along with the fact it’s a platformer, I got really interested. This game is all about the events following Dimension Drive, and it’s a race against the clock in a sci-fi world. You have some great tools at your disposal, such as teleporting daggers. If you love platformers and sci-fi style, give this one a shot.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Chicory is the one that got away. I had several chances to demo it, both from the comfort of my home and at events such as PAX. But I kept messing up, and really felt a ton of regret over it. You’re probably not in the same boat, so why not avoid my situation and try Chicory today? It’s an absolutely delightful looking game featuring a dog wielding a magic brush. You can draw on anything and manipulate your environment. Oh and did I mention it’s by the same team behind Celeste and Wandersong? I’ll wait while you go and download it now.
Rose City Games are all magicians. They keep defying expectations and coming up with unique, fun and charming games. Floppy Knights is the latest, and it’s one of my favorite genres – a turn based strategy game! Better yet, it also throws in fun card mechanics, jubilant artwork and a whole bunch of great decks to play. I actually played an earlier demo of the game last year, but I’m really hyped to play the latest version. If you like strategy games at all, try it out.
In recent years, I’ve really grown to love rogue games and twin-stick shooters. But when you take those and fuse them with a lush and vibrant pixel art, then my attention is caught. I hadn’t been following Metal Mind prior to today, but you can bet I’ll be doing so now. Metal Mind is all about robots, rogue and tons of mechanical mayhem. If you have a hankering for some hardcore fun, I think this will do the trick.
I also hadn’t been familiar with Narita Boy, but I’ve learned to pay attention to games published by Team17. This one is a Metroidvania that evokes the style of things like Tron and Saga. It’s really quirky and really attractive, with neon flourishes everywhere. It also apparently a game about a digital world. It looks like an absolute trip, and I cannot wait til the full version is out. But in the meantime, you can see what it’s about here.
Pronty: Fishy Adventure
Sometimes I have to try a game just cause of how crazy the title is. That’s definitely the case for Pronty: Fishy Adventure. The game looks solid as well. You swim around, fighting mutant fish creatures and wielding a javelin. In some ways this reminds me of Ori and the Blind Forest, but with a more cartoony vibe. Either way, Pronty: Fishy Adventure looks charming. Take a swim and try the demo today.
It’s probably clear at this point I’m a sucker for games with card mechanics. And while that’s absolutely true, there’s another reason to get excited about Roguebook – it’s designed in part by Richard Garfield. You know, the guy behind Magic the Gathering. Small game, you probably haven’t heard of it. In Roguebook, you work your way across a vast map with a team of two heroes, facing dangerous monsters and villains. It looks pretty amazing, and it’s officially releasing this June. But you can feel the magic yourself by trying the demo before that.
Sands of Aura
Normally open world games aren’t my favorite. Hell, I never even beat Zelda: Breath of the Wild, mostly cause I was frustrated by how easy it was to get lost. But Sands of Aura might be the exception. Here you sail across a sea of sand, restoring a broken world. The game also features challenging Souls-like combat, in case you’re worried it might be too easy. Regardless, this one looks promising, for the visual flair if nothing else. To see what you think, just click here.
There’s just something I can’t deny about SkateBIRD. I don’t normally play sports adjacent games, but when you put a tiny bird in there, it speaks to me. Maybe it’s just the spirit of Snowboard Kids come back to haunt me. Hell, it could also be cause the aesthetics of cardboard ramps reminds me of Chibi-Robo! Either way, I know I want to play this one. It’s actually been pecking at my brain since I saw the trailer in a Nintendo Direct. Here’s hoping Glass Bottom Games doesn’t keep us waiting much longer.
It kinda worked out that my last Game Festival title here is one I’m also super hyped for. Nostalgia keeps drawing me to awesome retro-styled games, and Steel Assault is one of them. The title is being published by the fine folks at Tribute Games, and it looks like a rollicking apocalyptic adventure. Fight giant bosses, mechanical mayhem and all sorts of lushly animated creatures. While I’d prefer to demo this one on my Switch, it’s still very much a game to be excited for.
And that’s it for my Game Festival list! I’m sure there’s plenty of other amazing Game Festival titles to try out, but hopefully this helps guide you in the limited time we have for the event.