Steam Next Fest: More Demos to Install and Never Play

Hold on a second. Didn’t we just do this?

Checks notes…

Ah yes, way back in February. Well then, it’s time to wade our way through another virtual bazaar teeming with demos. Complete with live streams that follow you around, hawking their wares, form page to page!

I guess I know what I’ll be writing about this week.

This time around, I had more of an idea of games I was looking for. I’ve been in the mood for more relaxed and colorful games as of late. Probably because I’ve been playing a lot of Yonder over the last week or two. Lucky for me there is a Colorful filter by which to sort out games.

I was also on the hunt for demos I could try out on the Steam Deck. Being new demos, most of them are labeled as Untested for the Deck. Still, I was on the lookout for games that looked like they would be fun to play on a handheld if they worked. Plus, I figure I can probably get another blog post out of it….

After an hour of searching I ended up with 17 demos. Probably way more than I’ll have time to play in the coming week. I’d rather download them now and have them sit on my desktop where I can see them rather than sticking them on my wish list.

Still, there are demos I am making a priority to check out this week. There’s 5 of them so that seems reasonable.

Genfanad

Some games break the fourth wall. We simply forgot to put one in ours.

A self-aware parody of beloved MMORPG legends like (insert huge MMORPG franchise that our lawyers won’t let us mention here), manifested in the form of the world’s most committed meme, Genfanad doesn’t take itself too seriously.

In fact, it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. The one thing we are serious about? Giant rats.

It caught my eye because it looked like a Runescape parody. Upon further investigation, it is a Runescape parody. That’s more than enough reason for me to check it out.

Nanomon

Nanomon is a tiny virtual pet that sits on your desktop. Only with your love and training can they evolve into the perfect companion!

I’ve been looking for a new idle game. A Tamagatchi/Pokemon mash up seems like an interesting combination.

The Courier

The Courier is an open world game about running a mail delivery business on a mysterious island. The more letters you deliver, the more you uncover the island’s secrets.

I don’t think I’ve ever played a game delivering mail was the focus. I’m also down to uncover secrets of a mysterious island in the process! I was also drawn to the colorful visuals and the stylized graphics. There’s also some mention of dark secrets of the island and I’m a sucker for things that look happy turning dark. I’m not sure what that says about me

Glitched

When a glitch appears in the video game world of Soren, an NPC named Gus becomes aware of you- the player. Travel together to solve the mystery of the glitch and save Gus’s friends, hometown, and digital world. As the story unfolds, Gus might start to question what role you play in his world.

This is one of those games that looked like it would be fun to play on the Steam deck. We shall see if it actually runs. Also, and NPC gaining self awareness sounds like an interesting plot hook.

Nobody’s Quest

You start with nothing, not even your body!

Play as a wandering soul in this cozy sandbox RPG adventure and discover a mini pixelated open world!

Explore the realm of Hubbington, collect crafting materials and resources, save the citizens of Hubb Burg so they can help you in return, defeat Evil spawns and eventually face the Lord Of All That Horrible Evil… at your own pace!

Ah I see what you did there with the title. This is another one that looks like a good Deck candidate. Interested to see what this one plays like.

Honarable mention to the other icons on my desktop. These are the “get to them if I have time” demos.

Steam Next Fest: The Demo Flea Market is Back

The Steam Next Fest started yesterday. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a week long window shopping event with hundreds of demos to download and play. Sounds like a good idea on the surface right?

For the most part it is, if you can wade through the mountain of games to find ones actually interest you. There are a lot of filters to help sort through the noise but even narrowing down the field to sub genres leaves a lot of games to go through. Clicking to the store page of any given game will reset the event page which isn’t the least bit helpful. I’m more likely to check out another genre or sub-genre page then scroll through the page I was on to find where I left off.

I took a brief look last night for about an hour just to see what was out there. The last couple of times these demo events have come around I’ve had an idea of what kind of games I would like to try. Yesterday though, I wasn’t feeling drawn toward any particular style. I mostly scanned through a few genres and the lists within and downloaded whatever grabbed my attention from the thumbnails.

I found the VR category, which was not very big. Totaling 19 games in all it was easy to look through and find a few demos that looked interesting. I grabbed Hyper Hook a grappling hook arcade game, Desolatium a Lovecraft inspired point and click adventure, and Now there Be Goblins a VR tower defense game, which I’m going to make a priority to try this week. There was another game that looked interesting, The Last Taxi but a 30 gb demo is a lot of space. Maybe if I finish the other 3 VR demos I’ll try it out.

I do wonder how effective these events are in selling games afterwards. For me, it’s fun to try a demo, maybe stick it on the wish list, but that’s where it stays for the most part. I think the only game I’ve bought after one of these events is *Sable*. Loved the demo, bought the game when it came out but haven’t made the time to play it. Everything else seems to sit on the wish list and I’m reminded of it’s existence only  Steam emails me about what’s on sale. I think I’d be more likely to buy if the game was available for purchase after I played the demo rather than sometime later this year.

So maybe I’m not the target consumer for these kinds of events but they must be effective. There seems to be a number of them that pop up throughout the year. I ended up with 12 demos in all downloaded from yesterday. I know I won’t play all of them but maybe one will generate enough interest to buy at 50% off a year from now…