With the impressive number of demos on offer during the Steam Game Festival, there was just no way to play everything that looked good, but boy, did I try. All told, I managed to download and play 30 demos during the 6 day long event.
The games in this post are ones I either added to my wish list or that I confirmed belonged on my wish list after playing the demo. These are just quick looks – there was no way I could do a full post even on the my favorites of the festival.
However, I did manage a few more in-depth looks – here’s a list, in case you missed them:
- Touch Type Tale (estimated release sometime in 2020)
- Best Friend Forever (“coming soon”)
- Barn Finders (available now)
- Ruinarch (estimated release August 2020)
- Ten Thousand Coins (estimated release late 2020)
For the rest, I wanted to at least write a quick paragraph about why they made the cut for me.
The Eldritch Zookeeper – Estimated Release Date TBD
This one has been low-key on my radar for so long, I honestly thought it was one of those really cool concepts that ended up dead in the water. I was absolutely thrilled to see it show up with a demo. That said, a five minute video tour, no matter how cool it looks, is not a demo. Still, I know this is a game I will like, and it was enough progress to hold its spot on my wish list for awhile longer. I’d really like to see this one go into early access if that’s what’s needed for the solo dev to get it done.
LOVE: A Puzzle Box Filled With Stories – Estimated Release Date 2020
Gorgeous art, gorgeous music, and a heartbreaking tale told through photographs. The demo only had one puzzle, but it brought tears to my eyes. The fact that the developer contributed their previous game (Word Forward) to the Itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality just makes me more eager to throw some money at them.
Cartel Tycoon – Estimated Release Date Late 2020
I’m kind of a sucker for tycoon games in general, as well as economic-focused city builders, and Cartel Tycoon definitely has aspects of both. Its logistics are kind of fiddly at the moment – when placing buildings it’s hard to tell where you need to connect the roads in order for them to function appropriately. The foundation in solid, and with months to go before the estimated release date, I expect the fiddly bits will get cleaned up quite a bit. It’s not so unique that I feel like I’ll need to buy it immediately on release, but it looks well thought out.
Circadian City – Estimated Release Date July 24, 2020
This game was on my wish list already, but actually trying out the demo wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Character customization isn’t implemented yet, and a lot of the basic systems (like working in your office or at your home) are completely non-functional. I know the devs are planning an Early Access period, but it doesn’t even feel ready for that. I’m a little disappointed – the concept is enough to keep on keeping an eye on it, but the reviews are going to have to be pretty good to convince me to pull the trigger. If they don’t have a whole lot more going on that what you get in the demo, that’s unlikely to happen. If the game isn’t ready, I hope they at least push back the EA release.
Sovereign’s Will – Estimated Release Date Fall 2020
I’m grateful to Paeroka for pointing this one out – it totally flew under my radar. I found it interesting enough to keep an eye on, especially since the demo was clear that the English translation isn’t yet final. As it stands right now, I found too much of the text to be poorly worded, and it kept me from truly being immersed in the game. However, I do love a text heavy strategy game, and this one has a lot of potential if they can hammer out the finer details.
Sayri: The Beginning – Estimated Release Date 2020
An absolutely gorgeous puzzle adventure that is focused on helping and healing instead of killing and looting. After crashing on a foriegn planet, you must explore the world and help the creatures you come across to learn about your new home. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of Ode, which I loved despite being so far outside of my normal comfort zone, and I think I’ll love this as well. There seems to be no fail state, and the themes of friendship and cooperation make me think this is going to be the ultimate feel-good game. The demo recommends a controller, but I had no issues using keyboard and mouse.
The Final Earth 2 – Estimated Release Date Q3 2020
This was the very last demo I tried, because I was afraid that if it wasn’t timed, I’d lose hours to it. It’s an absolutely delightful little city builder, oozing charm, and easy to learn. With both story mode & sandbox mode planned, this is going to be the perfect chill out and play game. Provided the price point stays reasonable (currently, the dev is estimating around $10 USD), this will be a release day pickup for me.