Hope you got a breather from the hours of trailers for upcoming games during last week’s game conferences because Steam Next Fest is now upon us. It’s a week-long event in which Steam users can play demos and watch previews for upcoming games, chat with developers, and give feedback on new titles. The demos will only be available to play during the week of the event, which runs from June 13 to June 20.
While I was able to write about every single game demo during last October’s Steam Next Fest, Valve has a seemingly bottomless catalog of demos for you to explore this time around. Here’s a quick round-up of games I found intriguing that might suit your fancy during this month’s Steam Next Fest.
Arto, developed by OrionGames, is a picturesque action-RPG in which you paint your way through diverse environments while duking it out with monstrous creatures and enemies. In between upgrading weapons and fine-tuning your skills in art-based combat, you’ll unearth the mystery hidden within Arto’s color-splashed world. Arto is slated to release on December 1.
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator, developed by Auroch Digital, entails exactly what its name implies: You’re making your own brewskies, bud. In this chill sim you’ll customize your own brewery, concoct recipes for your liquid libations, and label and bottle your delicious suds for shipment. If you’re particularly fond of one of your recipes, you can share it with your friends via the Steam Workshop.
The Cub, made by Demagog Studio, the developer behind Wasteland Golf, is a post-apocalyptic platformer, or “Limbolike,” as Kotaku staff writer Ari Notis described it. You play as a child parkouring for their life through abandoned cityscapes and overgrown forests, fleeing hostile animals and returning Mars colonists who are hunting them down in search for the secret behind their immunity to Earth’s harmful climate.
Cursed to Golf, developed by Chuhai Labs, is a roguelite sports game that assigns you the unenviable task of returning to the world of the living after escaping a dungeon-like afterlife of purgatorial golfing. While keeping track of rudimentary details like par count, you’ll also have to overcome otherworldly hazards like spike traps, exploding boxes, and space-bending teleporters.
The Fridge Is Red, developed by 5WORD Team, is an episodic first-person psychological horror game in which you sit in a chair and try to keep an eye on the creepy objects and unsettling people that occupy the liminal space around you. Be warned: Failure to do so can result in a horrific failstate in which your character gets eaten alive by a refrigerator, which is almost poetic if you think about it.
Goodbye World, developed by YO FUJII, is an atmospheric puzzle platformer that casts you as two aspiring female developers named Kanii and Kumade as they navigate the debilitating landscape of game development. Throughout the 13 chapters of their story you’ll help the pair try to get their first game off the ground while working part-time jobs to fund their passion project and stay afloat. Although Goodbye World’s story is soul-crushingly meta, its soft pixelated art style finds a way to be warm and charming. Ganbatte, Kanii and Kumade.
Kaichu: The Kaiju Dating Sim, developed by Squiddershins, is a dating sim where you’re a kaiju looking for love. You play as a Gigachu, who goes on dates with six other hopelessly romantic kaiju, vocalizing what you seek in a mate while also dishing out mutual destruction on humanity’s most beloved landmarks. Kaichu is expected to land later this summer.
Last Time I Saw You, developed by Maboroshi Artworks, is a coming-of-age love story set in Japan in the ‘80s. You play as a teenager named Ayumi as he wanders through the melancholy countryside in search of the mysterious girl he saw in his dreams, who may have also put a curse upon his town. You know the type.
Metal: Hellsinger, developed by The Outsiders, is a rhythmic first-person shooter where you play as a half-human half-demon hellbent on destroying demons. If that premise doesn’t sound hardcore enough for you, you’ll be slaying hordes of demons while listening to a soundtrack featureing songs from metal icons like System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, and Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmayluk. Metal: Hellsinger is coming out on September 15.
Moonscars, developed by Black Mermaid, is a pixel-art metroidvania in which you play as a warrior made of flesh and clay named Grey Irma, who’s battling her way through the bowels of the earth in search of her maker and the truth behind her existence. Throughout Moonscar’s side-scrolling, nonlinear world you’ll battle hordes of fearsome generals, corrupted monstrosities, and turncoat allies who seek your destruction. Moonscars is set to release later this summer.
Nitro Kid, developed by Wildboy Studios, is a roguelike deck builder in which you’re a kung-fu master straight out of the ‘80s. Building a deck of kung-fu action martial arts moves in grid-based combat areas, your quest is to save kids with special abilities from an evil mega corporation based in Miami, all while bumping to 30 fresh synthwave tracks.
Power Chord, developed by Big Blue Bubble, is another deck-building roguelite, this one inspired by genre notables Slay the Spire and Darkest Dungeon. Instead of dishing out kung-fu action, you’ll be doling out devious licks from your guitar as you and a team of musicians battle demonic gangs in a rock ‘n’ roll battle of the bands.
There Is No Light, developed by Zelart, is a dungeon-crawling Souls-like action-RPG where you’re a forsaken hero who rejects his god and battles hordes of monsters in search of his kidnapped son. There Is No Light looks to focus on fast-paced action, stunning-looking pixel art, and Lovecraftian monsters, including the great Cthulhu himself. It’s due in September.
Signalis, developed by rose-engine, is a pixel-art sci-fi survival horror game inspired by the works of Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, and Hideaki Anno. (Imagine that trio on a road trip together…) You play as Elster, an android who awakens from cryostasis in an abandoned spaceship on an off-world planet. Your goal is to help Elster find her lost partner as well as her “lost dreams” while she fights off horrific aliens in the narrow corridors of the derelict spaceship. Signalis is coming out on October 27.
The Spirit and the Mouse, developed by Alblune, is a puzzle-platformer that has you playing as a cute electric mouse “with a big heart”—and not owned by Nintendo—named Lila, as she tirelessly restores electricity in the quiet French town of Sainte-et-Claire.
There you have it, 15 out of the more than 1,000 demos you can check out during Steam Next Fest. If any of these games caught your eye or if you’re brave enough to venture further into Valve’s catalog of games, be sure to follow and wishlist them to stay abreast of their release dates. It’s an easy way for you to keep track of when these games will come out and it’ll help boost their visibility so your fellow gamer can flag down games that caught your eye as well.