Steam Next Fest – October 2022 Edition – Part One

We’re right now in the latter half of the third Steam Next Fest of 2022, and this time around, I’m mostly just wishing that game demos would make more of a comeback outside of these limited time events. I’ve only selected twelve titles to look at this time around, but man, it was a struggle to pare it down so far. However, since I am behind on absolutely everything right now, I knew I had to be selective.

If you’re curious about the other Next Fest posts I’ve made this year, I’ll drop some links for you.

If you mixed up some Dorfromantik with some Islanders, you might end up with something pretty close to Reefland. You get random tiles with which to “paint” your island, and you’ll need to be mindful of what types of buildings you connect with each other, and where your natural resources are located. It’s a neat concept, and very pretty, but I’m not sure that for me it is different enough from other games I already own I haven’t played as much of as I would like.

Right & Down is a super simple dungeon-crawler concept. Each level is a game board, and you can only move either to the right or down to reach the exit on the opposite corner. Sounds simple enough, but different abilities come into play with the correct series of moves. Do you skip that healing potion to the right and move down and complete your spell cast? It’s got an ultra-casual coffee break vibe, but I can see this being a compulsive one-more-run sort of game.

Full disclosure: I backed Wanderlost on Kickstarter, so knowing I was going to be playing this eventually, I didn’t want to spend too long on the demo. This zombie-survival game feels like it still might need some balancing, and it would definitely benefit from an interactive tutorial. The demo goal is to survive for 5 days – I didn’t even make it one before getting eaten by a crocodile!

While I find they’re better suited for mobile gaming than PC, I’ve played (and enjoyed) a bunch of Doodle God games. However, I’m not sure that Doodle God Universe brings anything new to the table – it’s pretty, but it felt awfully familiar. The 3D renders on the planet are pretty, and the little minigames you unlock by creating some resources are kind of fun, but I’ve always felt that this franchise is way overpriced on PC, and I don’t expect this iteration to be any different, so I’m not likely to pick this one up until it shows up in a bundle.

I almost skipped Potionomics entirely, despite the fact that I very much would like to run a magical potion shop. However, this game suffers from the inclusion of a card game haggle system that – for me – added nothing to the game play. I played the demo through to completion, but found it a bit tedious, so I’ll likely be giving this one a pass.

Diluvian Winds was my favorite game of this first half dozen. You step into the role of a lighthouse keeper, who feeds and houses travelers in exchange for work. Each day, you’ll have the opportunity to assign tasks, such a building or gathering, and each night, you’ll need to feed your workers and tend the lighthouse fires. It’s a neat management concept with adorable animal friends, and a charming art style. This one is definitely staying on my wishlist.

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