Anyone checking out the Steam Game Festival? Any recommendations?

Avatar image for sandm0rph22
sandm0rph22

37

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

So this week is the Steam Game Festival. It's basically an opportunity for Steam users to check out upcoming indie games. There's demos and developer livestreams.

If you have, what games do you like or dislike? I checked out these demos:

  • Loop Hero- minimalist roguelike, deckbuilder, medieval-like with knights
  • Lunark- Flashback and Another World inspired
  • Dwerves- pixel art, tower defense with dwarves
  • Minute of Islands- comic book like art, story driven, dark and heavy themes
  • Graven- I didn't enjoy this. Inspired by Hexen, which I never played. No nostalgia there for me
Avatar image for bill_mcneal
bill_mcneal

920

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I've been following Loop Hero for about a month now. I downloaded the demo but haven't tried it yet, but I'm still planning on picking it up day-one. Graven looks and sounds cool, I'm going to check out some gameplay though.

Avatar image for sandm0rph22
sandm0rph22

37

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Loop Hero is a Devolver game and that publisher tends to put out some high quality stuff.

Avatar image for franzlska
FRANZlSKA

106

Forum Posts

17366

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#4  Edited By FRANZlSKA

I haven't had time to really root through the list (if such a thing is even really feasible with how many demos are on that page), but I downloaded a few that caught my eye from this or prior events.

  • Genesis Noir - Cosmic jazz noir story with some light puzzles. Really neat art style, although the demo is pretty short and doesn't set up much intrigue. Controls were also a little odd at times. Didn't leave me with much impression of whether I'd care for the full game or not, but I don't regret checking it out.
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale - An adventure game about a dog with a magic paintbrush repainting a world without color. This one is really cute, and has a pretty good demo, showing off enough to really give an idea of what the full game will be without any one part wearing itself out. Seems like a real good all-ages type of thing. My only real complaint is that the palette available to paint with is limited to four colors (at least from what is shown in the demo), which feels a bit constraining.
  • Power of Ten - Space dogfights and resource management. UI could use a bit of improvement, font and health display especially, as some of the fonts were fairly hard to read, and the the health display is somewhat tucked away out of view. Control scheme is also a little squirrely by default, but not hopelessly so. Seems like there could be something cool here. Unfortunately it crashed on me near the end of the second sector, but I'd be willing to give it another shot if it seems alright on release.
  • Rise Eterna - A Fire Emblem-adjacent strategy game. Downloaded it right off the festival page mostly for that alone. The opening cut-scene quickly whittled away my confidence in it, as everything from the voice over to the visuals felt painfully generic. That decreasing confidence only got worse when the basic setup wound up being that a generic fantasy kingdom, arriving in viking ships wearing crusade armor, invaded a kingdom called "The Juden Empire" (edit: technically they said Dynasty rather than Empire, my bad, but also same difference) and crushed it in less than a week. Is it possible the name is an unfortunate accident? Sure, maybe. Is it possible that it's intentional and the full game has some surprisingly knowledgeable takes that justify the name and make it not kinda weird? Somehow, I doubt it. The rest of the game seems pretty rough too, with generic dialogue, 0 tutorial (although what I saw of it seems pretty readily understandable to anyone who played a few minutes of FE), different music for the map vs. attacking (meaning you mostly hear the same five seconds of each track ad nauseum), and pretty mediocre tile-feel. I think I'll pass, and probably also go out of my way to watch the trailers before trying any other demos from the festival.

Still a couple other things I want to check out from the festival, but for now I've seen enough demos for one night.

Avatar image for bladeofcreation
BladeOfCreation

2019

Forum Posts

27

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 3

@franzlska said:


  • Rise Eterna - invaded a kingdom called "The Juden Empire" and crushed it in less than a week. Is it possible the name is an unfortunate accident? Sure, maybe.

Well that's certainly a choice. The game is developed by a French/Japanese studio and published by a Polish company. So that seems perhaps less than accidental.

Avatar image for franzlska
FRANZlSKA

106

Forum Posts

17366

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#6  Edited By FRANZlSKA

@bladeofcreation: Yup. The only information I could find on the main developer was that they were Japanese, so part of me was like "well, maybe its just some really unfortunate language barrier... thing?", but the more I think about it the less probable that seems.

Avatar image for sandm0rph22
sandm0rph22

37

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#7  Edited By sandm0rph22

@franzlska: Gonna check out Chicoroy. The art looks good. And like you said about how rough Rise Eterna looks, it's the same for me from demos I've played. Some games look early access and needs more time in the oven.

Avatar image for obcdexter
obcdexter

996

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 14

I downloaded a few demos, gonna check them out as soon as I can. So far, I have only been able to put some time into these two ...

Aerial Knight's: Never Yield
A runner with funky music and a nice art style. Seems competent and well polished. Not my genre, but I can see the appeal.

Dead Estate
This one I would recommend people give a chance. It's a simple top-down shooter rogue-like with a well-realized pixel-art horror/comedy-theme. Hooked me right away, managed to beat two bosses until the difficulty spiked a bit on the third level. Very easy to get into. Tried and true concept.

Avatar image for sandm0rph22
sandm0rph22

37

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@obcdexter: Will check out Dead Estate. Looks fun.

Avatar image for onemanarmyy
Onemanarmyy

5633

Forum Posts

431

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

#10  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Potion Craft

Interesting lil puzzle-game where you use ingredients to move your position across an 'effects map' to land on spots that give your potion a certain effect . Each ingredient moves your position on the map in a different way. Goal is to create potions to deal with customer's ailments and issues, haggle through a QTE to increase your revenue and use said revenue to buy more ingredients.

Great style, and a neat puzzle mechanic idea, but after 30 minutes of playing i feel like i have seen most the game has to offer sadly. But i imagine that if you were really into the cooking element of Battle Chef Brigade, this will be right up your alley.

Floppy Knights

Levelbased turnbased strategy deckbuilder with a cartoony style and upbeat music. Top down game , you play units on the field and spend your action points playing cards to move, upgrade stats and attack opponents. You gain new cards as you progress. Somewhat has a Dicey Dungeons vibe.

Loop Hero

Played this for many hours. If you're into tinkering with stats, deckbuilding and enjoy a rogue legacy upgrade layer, this will keep you captivated. I will say that runs probably take a bit too long. Either they need to make this more of a hands-off idle game where you check in every 30 minutes, make some changes and keep it on in the background, or they need to let you increase the speed more than 2x. I also hope that there are more interesting modifiers to get. I'm thinking about cleave/ splash damage, Crits, bleeding damage, cripple, elemental damage. Right now the equipment is not all that exciting.

Avatar image for franzlska
FRANZlSKA

106

Forum Posts

17366

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#11  Edited By FRANZlSKA

Think these are the last three I'll check out, unless something pops out at me in the next few days.

  • Balan Wonderworld - Yuji Naka-led 3D platformer about switching costumes to do different abilities. This demo technically came out a little while ago, but it's listed among the festival so I'm counting it. This feels baffling in the same way that an especially half-assed Y7 cartoon might. There's little bridge to fill the gaps between the theming of the setup and the different environments, it has its own Chao system like NiGHTS and Sonic before it, and entities just sort of occur in the environment with little rhyme or reason, from giant dudes to dancing animals. Even aside from direction issues, the visuals look off, with a nauseating blur effect on any moving object that's over ~15 feet from the character and the human characters themselves looking as off as humans in Yuji Naka games usually look, the controls are tepid at best, with every button doing the same thing, only changing when you change costumes, and the actual movement not feeling particularly great, and the costumes system ranges from the occasional mildly interesting ability (the plant costume in particular has something to it, at least) to things that feel like regular movement options that they've put arbitrary restrictions on (like ground pounds and long jumps.) On one hand I feel like people should play this, just to experience it, on the other hand I can't in good conscience suggest it.
  • Dorfromantik - A laid-back village-building puzzle game. This one's super pleasant, from the art style and music to the gameplay itself. It's based around placing hexagonal tiles with different resources (houses, fields, forest, water, rails, etc.) on a grid, building out from previously placed tiles. Tiles are limited, but a fair number of them will have quests, which give more tiles upon completion. No end goal necessarily, outside of building as big a board as possible, and getting a high score (points are given based on how compatible tiles are with one another.) There's an unexpected level of strategy here, but one that won't totally screw you over if you don't think a dozen steps ahead. If I wishlist any game from the festival, it may honestly be this one.
  • TASOMACHI: Behind the Twilight - Anime 3D platformer with collectibles reminiscent of a Banjo or a 3D mario. Some menu oddities here and there, like defaulting to Japanese and requiring a bit of guesswork to get into settings and change it, but nothing especially annoying. Music is apparently by Snail's House, who does some pretty good chill music from the stuff of theirs I've heard. Some of the music here is fittingly nice, although some of it is way too intense relative to what's happening in-game. The game's a little rough around the edges, especially on the animation-front, but the gamepad controls don't feel too bad in spite of that, and the visuals have a minimalist appeal to them at times. I could see myself checking up on this a little after it's released and seeing where it's at.

Avatar image for imhungry
imhungry

1428

Forum Posts

1241

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 3

I've braved the depths of the abyss and have returned to inform you all that Gal*Gun Returns is, in fact, Gal Gun returning. It still does not seem very good.

Avatar image for franzlska
FRANZlSKA

106

Forum Posts

17366

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

@imhungry: I respect your bravery, even if I could never be so myself. o7

Avatar image for bitbat
bitbat

33

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I played Shady Knight and really liked it. It’s like short level based attempt at what that first person melee Might & Magic game was doing and it’s really well done. Part of the fun is discovering the different moves and ways to dispatch the enemies so I won’t go into it much but I am looking forward to seeing the full thing.

Avatar image for gundato
Gundato

1040

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Tried a few. Graven in particular looks like it could be worth keeping an eye on. Played a GTA2-like whose name I somehow already forgot (was a play on Cyberpunk, you played an an android bounty hunter) that had potential but is just way too rough right now.

For me, it was just really interesting because it increasingly seems like (almost) nobody remembers how to make a demo anymore. It always sucked when studios were forced to devote resources to modified scenarios (want to say all three missions in the Operation Flashpoint demo were very different than the full version?) but just giving us the first half hour of the game and making the first exposure to a bite sized vertical slice being unskippable slow walk/ride cutscenes is... a choice. I know nothing is "just" in game dev, but it can't be THAT hard to just start us in the second level.

Avatar image for grappler
grappler

6

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

A few that haven't been mentioned here that look pretty good:

Beacon Pines - Anthropomorphic animals in a creepy storybook. Has a charm mechanic that allows you to change your past. Probably the most interesting thing in this festival imo.

Tiny Room Stories - Escape the Room game with a nice aesthetic.

Osteoblasts - You are an undead cat in the Dog Underworld looking for some tomatoes. JRPG.

Avatar image for mikewhy
mikewhy

589

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#17 mikewhy  Online

little nightmares II (demo) - It is in fact more Little Nightmares. Which isn't a bad thing if you are into Limbo, Inside, et al. I also didn't realize this demo has been around for months.

glitchpunk (demo) - I'll have to get it running at a decent fps before giving it a real shot. Cyberpunk in a GTA1/2 topdown style.

genesis noir (demo) - I dunno what that was. Jazz? A mouse is not the most expressive input ... I can imagine it's also going to be on mobile where it will make a lot more sense.

GRAVEN (demo) - feels floaty. melee doesn't feel great, like wonky hitboxes. at least it works in your favor too. graphics bug out in an unintentional way. world design is fun, plenty of goodies off the beaten path. the fire spell has ruined breaking boxes for collectables in other games for me.

Avatar image for boogot
boogot

8

Forum Posts

33

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Echo Generation - Very simple little turn-based RPG with kids/teenagers in a small town with weird stuff happening. Everything's made of voxels with some nice depth-of-field/tilt-shift effect going on. It's a very short demo of the beginning of the game but I think there's enough there to showcase what the rest of the game might be like. I enjoyed it. The trailer on the Steam page seems to show a lot more of what happens later in the game.

Avatar image for boogot
boogot

8

Forum Posts

33

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for onemanarmyy
Onemanarmyy

5633

Forum Posts

431

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

#20  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I checked out a few more games.

Healing Spree

This fits in a lineage with Moving Out, Good Job and Overcooked, but this time around you're a doctor.

You'll be dashing around, wheeling in patients, throwing them onto a bed or x-ray scanner, using stethoscopes and sprays and mix various ingredients together to cure your patients. Sadly the controls and mixing mechanics require a bit to get used to. You can't use the 'pick/drop' button to pick up the wheelchair, that's what the Use button is for. But when you're done with the wheelchair, i think you have to use the 'pick/drop' button to stop using the wheelchair, instead of using the use button again or trying to ditch the wheelchair with the 'throw' button. The x-ray machine and bed require you to press the throw button, not the use button. You can't grind an ingredient while you're holding another ingredient in your hand. It seems like you need to use two grinders to grind the ingredients together and then put both of them in the same device to combine the two effects. I imagine it just takes a little to get used to all the control intricacies, but i will say that my first attempt was an absolute disaster :D

Narita Boy

stylish 80's 2d platformer. You're a kid that gets sucked into a PC and meet characters named Motherboard and Techno-Father. You use your Technosword to battle enemies, in both melee and ranged combat. The combat feels quite nice with plenty of impactful hits, but sadly the platforming didn't do it for me. Narita Boy is quite a heavy dude with tons of inertia before he moves around in the air. The foreground art also obfuscates platforms at times making it hard to see at a glance where you're supposed to land. At one point an arrow pointed between two platforms obscured by the foreground, as if there's some hidden tunnel or elevator in between. Sadly it just got me killed over and over. The storytelling didn't do it for me neither. On one hand it goes for all the tropes you expect in a 'you got sucked into a game' game. There are hackers, there are computer parts, a game creator, glitches, references to code and all that jazz. But it all gets introduced to you in the very first message prompt to the point where the terms and names just washes over you. Game has a lot of style though.

No Place For Bravery

It's an isometric metroidvania with quite a deep focus on the combat. You don't only have a health and a stamina bar, but also a defense bar. Some enemies require you to parry their attacks, which gets their defense-bar down and opens them up to get attacked. Others can just be attacked directly. Enemies have a light, medium and heavy attack. medium attacks can't be blocked but can be parried, heavy attacks need to be dodged all together. If you attack an enemy during his block, your stamina takes a serious beating. This all makes it quite a challenging game. Weird quirk is that you don't straight up kill enemies as you get their HP bar down. You still need to hold a button on their near-death bodies to execute them and send blood flying around. Only executed enemies drop items for you. Will you stand still for a second for a chance to find a throwing dagger or potion?

Although i generally enjoy the game, there are a few downsides so far. First, the screens seem very obviously stitched together to the point where you can see the seams in the art. There was also a weird place where i had to sort of wiggle my way through a bit of stones and got very worried i softlocked myself. The dodge also functions as a jump, similar to Hyper Light Drifter. Sadly, it's distance is much shorter and the platforms seem positioned in such a way that you really have to wait till the edge of a platform to make it to the other platform. Especially in the middle of combat, with multiple arrows flying around the place it's extremely easy to miss your jumps. Finally, the game straight up feels like it has combat screens, instead of a more organic world where enemies are strewed around . The screen moves to the right ,and boom.. A combat puzzle with 3 melee enemies, a ranged enemy and a maze of fences. Good luck.

AK-xolotl

A cute crimsonland-like. A top down arcade-style bullet hell shooter where you gather weapons, dodge bullets and kill enemies until you die. Sadly it doesn't seem all that good yet. There's a dodge, but no indicator of the cool-down time it takes to regain your dodge. Guns don't seem to differ all that much neither. You generally spawn a yellow bullet and sometimes the attackspeed is a bit faster or it spreads in a shotgun pattern, but it still all feels quite samey to the point where i don't immediatly realize when my 'good' weapon has run out and i reverted back to my standard pea-shooter.

Don't Forget Me

Sci-fi point & click game about the evil government planting memory chips into everyone's brain and you trying to stop them from mind controlling their population. You're working at this facility that stores memories for their patients and to do so, you must dig through their brain. You do this by typing in keywords and hope that you slowly but surely uncover the background story of your patients. Sometimes it's quite easy to hit a keyword like searching for 'friend' after the patient told you a friend recommended your clinic to him. Others are quite difficult to find and don't seem to be traceable through the text itself. To find the keyword 'conspiracy' you just need to make the connection that an organization against the government must be part of some conspiracy.

Sadly, I don't think the writing is all that good, and it contains a few spelling errors. Normally that's not a huge issue, but in a game where you're typing down a bunch of keywords hoping that one of them will unlock information, you don't want to get screwed by a typo. The writingstyle also leaves something to be desired. As my boss asked me if i wanted to rage against the government, it took like 6 pop-up messages of him trying to convey that he wanted me to join the operation, before i could accept.

Avatar image for sandm0rph22
sandm0rph22

37

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@onemanarmyy: Tried Narita but got lost because I couldn't find the damn keys lol. Still a visually striking game. Not sure about the platformer.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Will check out some of the recommendations.