Steam Next Fest October 2023 (Part 1)

The following are descriptions of demos from the Steam Next Fest that caught my interest and which I actually was able to successfully complete enough to desire them in my library one day and to present to you as demos worth experiencing and games to put on your wishlists. The Steam Next Fest is a huge virtual show so I shall be presenting it in pieces so as not to bombard you or myself.

REVEIL: I got an early access to this game demo through Terminals. You’ll want this experience even though it’s a demo that leaves you with “more please”. Creepy, sad, and a lot of “What happened?”. Is it a dream, a nightmare, a delusion, a walking day dream through memory distorted through hellish nightscape or just through the breaking of the mind? Clowns, fun houses, circuses, what is past? what is present?

Take one part OLDBOY, one part Inception, a bite of Matrix, a little Shutter Island, and toss it in a blender with Final Fight and Streets of Rage, sprinkle with Ju-On, Akira, and some more horror and those ilk and you get a JIST of what this game is. This demo feels like it shows a lot but at the same time leaves you wondering what is truly happening. I was also amazed at how generous the ease was and I wonder if the final game is only using a side scroll beat-em-up as a story telling device instead of it being an actual beat-em-up. If so, I love that narrative concept.

A brilliant art style. The latest from the developers of Manual Samuel and Helheim Hassle and continuing that universe. A point and click and puzzle game with time travel manipulation (forwards, backwards and in between). Very clever, very fun to solve. Very interested on how big the game gets as you go along, as it feels it can get very big. Did I mention the art? Cause it’s so good… it looks like Manual Samuel but even better.

This is your daddy’s Flashback or even your Flashback. This sequel is a 3D rendered beautiful Open world scroller full of running, jumping, shooting, puzzles and story. The demo gives you a taste of the visuals, the gun play and an idea of where the story is going. It seems you’ll need to get a job, to raise money, to get a mech, to get info to save a friend. I’m sure along the way much more will happen. The demo gave me enough to know I’m in for the ride.

Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express:
A quiet subdued demo and which I hope the game itself is as such. Very good voice acting, an interesting visual design. Moving the story to modern times and creating something new while still revolving around the original mystery and Poroit’s style of investigation is fantastic. I enjoyed the most recent film versions by Kenneth Branagh but Christie work is so easily adapted and this seems to have done it quite well. Investigation work was simple, but will your intuition without enough evidence trip you up? The addition of more than one playable character is also special for this type of game.

THE GAP: A visual novel that you must pay deep attention to. There are in depth puzzles to solve, interactions to wonder. I reached the end with so much answered and yet so many questions. I also watched a streamer play through a more complete version with the Devs there for discussion. Knowing this is a two person project is also amazing. Alternate realites? Cures for neuro destruction? Excited for this.

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