Steam Game Festival Demos 2020

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SuperJoe

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#1  Edited By SuperJoe

I learned how to record animated Gifs today. That being said, here are 2020's Steam Game Festival demos that I liked. Thanks to Jason for bringing some of these to my attention in his recent Lockdown video.

Unto The End

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It's like a mix of 2D Prince of Persia, Inside, and Bushido Blade. The deliberate, stance-based combat of attacking/parrying high or low feels good, with enemies that have enough animation frames for the player to react accordingly. Other than the prompts for picking up loot and crafting, there's no HUD. There was a point where I barely survived a 2-vs-1 fight and I had to continue on with a limp, repeatedly falling on my face.

Mad Streets

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Aside from the wobbly Gang Beasts-esque movement and head tracking, there's a realism to the way punches land and throw enemies off-balance that is beyond what the Fight Night and UFC games have ever done. Even if the final game ends up being a glorified tech-demo I'll still get it.

Wytchwood

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It's a standard crafting game where you're an old witch doing sidequests for NPCs you meet, but I love the medieval, pagan art direction and personality of the world. My biggest issue is that this demo needs a lot more QA because my gamepad, keyboard, and mouse suddenly become unresponsive after performing certain actions.

Fights in Tight Spaces

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Card-based Superhot. I made it to the Prison Boss on my first run, which took me over an hour because I was overthinking every move and figuring out what all the onscreen numbers meant. The AI is generous enough not to give you a hand of trash cards because I was always able to escape being killed, till I ran out of health. Still don't know exactly when the gun enemies decide to shoot.

Anew: The Distant Light

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This was featured in a UPF a couple years ago. Having now played it myself, the gameplay is nothing special...a Metroid-like that controls loosely like Shadow Complex. I'm mostly into the bizarre, French 70s sci-fi art style and evocative score.

Demos I'm on the fence on

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  • Ghostrunner - I think the forward momentum of the game goes against the trial-and-error nature of the difficulty, because I always got killed from the side or behind by offscreen projectiles I can barely hear under the thumping music.
  • Haven - I don't understand why this is being so wishlisted other than it being hornier than the usual game.
  • Cris Tales - A very pretty turn-based RPG with decent voice acting, but I'm worried this will be another Child of Light -- beautiful to look at but with little depth.
  • SkateBIRD - Probably the most disappointing demo I downloaded based on my expectations. It needs a lot of work.
  • Eastern Exorcist - The stamina-limited combat relies too much on figuring out (via getting hit by various attacks) when to exploit the parry counter. It's a shame because not many games are set in fantasy-China, but then Dynasty Warriors exists so I guess too many games are set in fantasy-China.
  • Pull Stay - I give it a D+ for gameplay and an A+ for craziness. No other game has a shrimp tempura that can do a Raging Demon.
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LykeT

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For the gun guys in Fights in Tight Spaces, I believe they only shoot if when they ready up they are aimed at you if not they will not shoot. You can see the difference on the symbol they are displaying a fist for shooting( I know right) and an exclamation mark for not. You can also move into there aim to make them shoot.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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I agree with you on both Cris Tales and Ghostrunner, they both have potential but I can see them missing the mark quite a lot.

I played a few others:

- Garden Story: The vibe is nice but the controls need a lot of work. Felt very unresponsive so I didn't keep with it. Hopefully it'll be better at release.

- Röki: Fairly standard puzzle/adventure game so far but it got nice graphics and the writing seems to be good.

- Black Book: The most intriguing one to me so far. It has a card-based combat system and a pretty interesting story where you play as a woman trying to invoke demons to get a man that killed himself back from hell. I don't have a good idea of how well the combat will evolved, it definitely needs more impactful animations, but the story seemed pretty interesting to me.

- Riftbreaker: Good mix of twin-stick shooter, arpg upgrades and RTS/tower defence building management. The productions values are very high and while the theme is not the most interesting to me, it seems to be fun to play.

- Chicory: Really liked that one too, it's hard to say if the mechanics will evolve past standard 2d-Zelda type stuff but the writing is charming as hell. Some of the team worked on Wandersong and it shows.

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BladeOfCreation

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I loved the mix of RTS turtle-base building and and active mech-based combat in Riftbreaker. Two of my favorite things all rolled into one. Also, the game has a great look to it.

Ghostrunner looks so cool and full of styyyyle, and I appreciate the quick restart upon death, but I didn't love the controls. I wonder how it would feel with a controller.

Project Haven was a boring XCOM type game that just didn't seem interesting at all. And it has one of the worst lines in a video game that I've ever heard.

Iron Harvest seems cool, but I got my ass handed to me both times. It's much more Company of Heroes than StarCraft.

There were a bunch of others I didn't get a chance to play. It seems that many of the demos are no longer available, but SOME are still playable.

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newhaap

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@superjoe: this is a great idea. It's nice to be able get a quick feel of a game via short impressions and clips like these. Thanks for sharing!

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