Steam Next Fest – October 2022 Edition – Part Two

Can’t get enough quick looks at demos? Here’s a bunch more I tried out during Next Fests this year.

Park Story maybe wasn’t going to be up my alley anyway, but the demo for this one really irritated me. The first thing that the game asks you to do is follow a cat, which disappears behind a tree, never to be seen again. At least not by me. I was hoping this one would be great on the Steam Deck, and I love me some puzzles and friendly ghosts, but with its release date right around the corner, I feel like I shouldn’t have gotten soft-locked in the demo in the first couple of minutes.

Pets Hotel is another game I really wanted to like, but the default settings on this one made me motion sick. It’s too bad, because the graphics are pretty good, and I am a sucker for games where you tend to adorable animals.

Aquatico is an absolutely beautiful city builder that takes place entirely underwater. It looks like it might take some time to really get all the mechanics, and I wish the tutorial section gave me a little less freedom and a little more guidance. Still, I can see myself losing a lot of time to this one, especially if it has scenario-based gameplay, and isn’t just a sandbox.

Dredge is a horror fishing game, and that alone earned it a place on my wish list. There’s something weird going on around this tiny island, and your job is to catch enough fish to feed the people, make enough money to improve your boat, and never ever get caught out in the open water after dark. I’ve got mixed feelings about the packing-style inventory puzzle that limits how many fish you can bring back per trip, but everything else about the game so far really appeals to me.

Undecember is an ARPG that looks phenomenal, but everything else just seems a bit bland. Since it is also a mobile game, I’m interested to see if it comes with a purchase price on release, or if not, what monetization strategy it’ll employ. Given that this isn’t my favorite genre, and nothing about the gameplay blew me away, I won’t be rushing to grab this one in a few days when it becomes available.

Post-apocalyptic colony sim Floodland was probably my favorite demo experience this time around. I expect it to be complex, and the learning curve to be steep, and I’m still 100% here for it. Just playing through the tutorial scenario was fantastic, and I had to force myself to stop playing, since full release isn’t too far off now.

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