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…

Siralim 2-PC/ Mobile Cross Saves


A few weeks ago I picked up a game called Sirlaim 2. I had gotten the first Siralim during the steam summer sale and proceeded to play it for hours on end. It’s been described as a mix between Pokemon and Dragon Quest Monsters the latter which I have never played. Basically the premise of the game is you are a king (or queen) of the castle Siralim. Bad things are happening and you and have to save the kingdom. You do this by exploring randomized dungeons with a menagerie of monsters who you can catch out in the wild and train to progress. It’s kind of like one of those hero collector mobile games except you only pay once and can get all the content.

At its core Siralim and Siralim 2 are a dungeon crawler grindfests with no end. Monsters gain levels, weapons equipped to monsters gain levels, your castle can be upgraded, there is a lot of things to craft and a lot of materials to be farmed. The name of the game is progression for progressions sake and to see what how many types of team comps you can come up with. But the best feature of Siralim 2 is the PC/Mobile cross-save.


I bought Siralim 2 on steam for $15 and had no interest at first of getting the mobile version. After I few days I found myself wishing I could take it with me. So I went to the Google Play store and found that the mobile version was an additional $5. Best purchase I’ve made gaming wise in a long time and I’ve put more time into the mobile version than the PC. It’s such an easy game to pick up and play during some down time and when I want to play it longer I can export my save to the cloud and pick it back up on my computer.

I wish there were more of these especially for smaller indie games. Sure a lot of games have mobile ports or more commonly a lot of mobile games have PC ports and end up on Steam but this is the first time I’ve seen a game that has PC/Mobile cross save. It’s a feature I didn’t know I  wanted as I don’t see my phone as a platform for gaming. There have only been a few other games The only other game I’ve really played on mobile was the port of Dragon Quest. But playing Siralim 2 on my phone has turned out out be at least as enjoyable as playing on the PC.


Back to the Backlog One Game at a Time


I haven’t actually beaten a game in a few months. I think the last game I’ve played all the way through was Tengami in June. Part of the reason is it was a busy summer and the other part is that I can never seem to stick with a game very long. I like plaing he beginning and then somewhere through the middle I walk away from a game intending to return and then never do. By the time I want to play it again I’ve forgotten where I was in the story or how to play and end up starting it again and the cycle continues.

Unepic is one of these games that I really enjoy playing and have gotten a few hours in and walked away coming back almost a year later and having no idea how to play. I picked it back up again this week. There’s something about the art style and the game play that are really hooking me in right now and it has a great sense of humor.

The whole idea of my personal backlog challenge was to play more of the games I own all the way through. Now that things are slowing down in real life I think I’ll get back to playing through my steam library. Though I had a system of playing games from the shortest playtime to the longest I have no interest right now in playing any of my games on deck.

I’ve always been a little envious of people who played single titles for a long time, really getting their money’s worth out of a game. I’m trying my hand at the whole one game at a time thing or as close to it as I can with Final Fantasy 14 in the mix. But I want to avoid the trapping of playing games to play them.Sometimes I get this way with books where it becomes more about finishing it and checking it off the list than actually getting into the story. I want to beat the games in my backlog while actually enjoying what I’m playing and appreciating it.


Backlogged: Tengami and Where is My Heart?

I haven’t done this in a while. July has been a crazy month for me in my non gaming life. Between going on vacation and taking on some more responsibilities at work  there hasn’t been a whole lot of time to work on my backlog. These games I actually finished back in June but haven’t had the chance to write about them. Both were under 2 hours long, I wish Tengami was longer but Where is My Heart? couldn’t end soon enough.


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Developer: Nyamnyam

Playtime: 114 minutes

Tengami is a point and click puzzle game in a world that looks like its made out of paper. The game itself  reminds me of an interactive pop-up book complete with tabs to pull and flaps to flip. The goal of the game is to go through each level and find a flower to put back onto the Cherry Blossom tree.

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Each of the four levels reflect the four changing seasons and have a few puzzles to solve on each. The puzzles are difficult but not impossible to solve without hints. The glowing circles on the interactive parts of the world were very helpful. While I tried to use hints sparingly, there were some puzzles I just couldn’t wrap my head around to start until I looked up a walkthrough.

At the end of each level you are rewarded with a Haiku

While it did feel a like cheating to use a walkthrough for some puzzles, I really wanted to see more of the world. I love the art in this game, it’s simple,unique and very visually pleasing. Couple that with the great soundtrack and you can see why I didn’t want to spend hours figuring out that a few symbols were actually Japanese numbers.

I wish the game was longer. It seemed as soon as I was really getting into it it was over. That’s one of the issues with short games. Overall it plays really well, the character walks a bit slow but other than that it’s a really enjoyable experience that I highly recommend.

Where Is My Heart?

Where is My Heart? They’re all over the place.

Developer: Schulenburg Software

Playtime: 98 minutes

I picked up this game in a Humble bundle a year or two ago. What started off as a cute platformer with an interesting idea became a headache after about 10 levels. Where is My Heart tells the story of a family of forest spirits whose world has been fractured. You are tasked with guiding them through each level to put their world back together and gather  hearts.

Hey Ma, I’m in two places at once!

The main feature of the game is the shattered world, the level is broken up into different pieces and shuffled around. This adds a challenge to the platforming. Jumping out of one square could drop you into one across the screen. After a few levels, this becomes more of an annoyance than anything special. It’s not the easiest platforming and when you don’t know exactly where your character is jumping to, it ends in a lot of missed jumps and miserable deaths.I wouldn’t recommend trying to play this in one sitting, I ended up with a headache trying to keep track of how all the shattered pieces were connected together.

Each forest spirit can power up and transform to have different abilities. This adds a few more mechanics to the game. For example the Rainbow spirit, who looks like a fluffy marshmallow, jump and rotate the screens to get to hard to reach places. The Deer spirit can jump higher than the rest and the bat spirit can reveal hidden passages and platforms.

The spirits are allergic to spikes and water. I must have died 50 times on this levle.

I think I would have liked the game if it was a normal platformer. It’s challenging enough as such but throwing in the confusing, jigsaw, shattered levels makes it frustrating. I understand why they did this, it’s a unique idea and it is fun for the first few levels and if you took this feature away, it’d be just another retro looking platformer.

The Least Impulsive Steam Sale Ever

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I finally pulled the trigger and checked out my cart on Steam. In total I bought 5 new games and spent around $15 dollars. This is way less than I’ve bought or spent in previous years.Hey, I’m not complaining.

So Long and Good Riddance Flash Sales

This is the first Steam Sale I’ve been through that didn’t have flash sales. I know a lot of people were upset that these flash sales wouldn’t be appearing this year and at first I agreed with them. But as the week went by, I realized I’m really glad they didn’t make an appearance.

Sure, it was fun to check back every 8 hours to see what the new deals were and to see if that one game I really wanted would go on sale for cheaper, but that was rarely the case. Most of the time, the games I bought from the flash sales were things I didn’t even have an interest in at first but the price and the time limit had me scooping up game after game. A lot of these games I still haven’t played two years later.

No Rougelikes 2016

My first steam summer sale I discovered this lovely genre of game. I had never heard of or played a rouge like in my life. Randomly generated levels? That sounds cool! The game is different every time you play? Wow that’s crazy! If you die you have to start over? SOunds like a fun challange! I promptly bought all of them I could find. I really like the genre but my steam library is drowning in rougelikes and rougelites. I refrained from getting any this year as I haven’t actually beaten any of the ones I’ve gotten.

Single Player Only

I have a friend who I game with on a weekly basis, we play anything and everything together. So when my second Steam Summer Sale came around, we bought  a ton of multiplayer games. We have tried out almost everything we bought for multiplayer over the next year, but a lot of the games either don’t have a single player mode or don’t have a very good single player mode. When we didn’t play them together anymore, they just sat in my forgotten.

This year we both realized that we had so other games to play through that we didn’t need anymore filling up our co-op backlog. We stuck to buying only single player games that we  wanted to play and I think that’s saved us both some money.

Avoiding Early Access

I don’t really have anything against Early Access as long as a game is still being developed and is not just an excuse to make a quick buck on  a half finished game. I’ve bought few early access titles in the past and they have all eventually made it to a full release. This year I decided to avoid them.

I wanted to spend my money on games that are complete this year.There are certainly a lot of early access titles I’m interested in like Project Zomboid, Software Inc, Factorio, and Secrets of Grindea but a lot of these weren’t even on sale. I want to play a complete game, I don’t want to pay to beta test a game and wait for updates to fix things and balance the game. I’ve realized that I have so many games to keep me occupied that I can wait for release before adding more to my library.

More Demos Please!

I love when I see the Demo download button on a steam games store page. Every game should have a demo, it has helped me decide whether to buy a game or not on numerous. Before buying any game I usually meticulously research it to make sure its what I want and the kind of game I want to play. Having a playable demo to get just a taste of the game is extremely helpful. There were a few games I had in my cart ready to go this year and then tried the demo and promptly removed them.

The Final Cut

At the beginning of the sale I put everything from my wishlist that I wanted into my cart, as the days went on I thought about which games I really wanted and which games I could go without. At the end I was left with 5 games.

  • Aquaria– Metrovania set underwater
  • The Cat Lady-Point and Click horror/thriler
  • The Secret of Monkey Island– I keep hearing about this game and I’ve been really into Point and Clicks lately
  • Monkey Island 2– I’m a sucker for bundles…
  • Siralim– It’s like Pokemon meets Dragon Warrior and it’s suprisingly addicting
  • Space Pirates Aliens Zombies– I’ve been wanting a top down space game for months and this one looked pretty



Backlogged: Out There Somewhere

Screenshot (130).pngDeveloper: MiniBoss

Time to Beat: 2 hrs

It’s a puzzle platformer with teleportation and shooting aliens how could it not be fun? After getting shot out of the sky and landing on an unknown planet one loan astronaut and his trust teleportation gun must make his way across the planet collecting ship upgrades and health canisters to repair his ship and beat the big bad boss.

I’ve been playing this game off and on for months. It came in a bundle with Polarity and a few other indie games. Every once and a while I remember I have it and complete a level or two, get stuck and stop playing. My backlog challenge has actually forced me to finally beat it.

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The mechanics are quite simple. You can jump, you have a teleportation gun that will teleport you to a location where the beam hits a wall, and while teleporting you carry your momentum with you. This leads to a lot of puzzles being solved by jumping, firing the beam, landing on the ground and then jumping as soon as the beam hits the wall to jump higher. Along the way there are (insert name of item here cause I can’t remember it) that you can collect that will make your ship stronger, I think, I didn’t go out of my way to collect them which is why  the boss fight at the end was so difficult.

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Let’s talk about the last boss real quick. So most of the game is a puzzle platformer except for the very  beginning and the very game. At these two points in time, the game is a side scrolling space shooter a la R-Type.

I was not prepared for this, the game didn’t prepare me for it, it just threw me in there and said “hey, if you want to actually beat this game play a completely different game.” It’s not that it was hard, it was unexpected and took more than a few tries to get through. I’ve never been that great at dodging bullets and missiles in games like that. What I enjoyed a lot more was the mini boss fight which actually had you use the skills you’d developed through the game and put them to the test. That fight was a lot more fun and a lot less frustrating.

I actually want to go back after the backlog challenge is over, and try to find all the ship upgrades. I would like to know how much easier it makes the final fight plus it’ll add some extra puzzles. I’m not going to lie, I actually had to look up the solutions to two puzzles. As a rule I don’t like doing this but I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out where exactly to jump. In my search for the solution, I saw that the entire game can be beaten in 17 minutes which gives me hope my next play through can be under 2 hours.


Backlogged: Polarity and Cosmic DJ

The great thing about short games is that they’re short. You can sit down, start the game, beat it, see the credits, and have plenty day left to spare. This week I was able to check two games off my backlog list. Well, one was a game. The other was more of  a muppet infused fever dream.

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Total Play Time: 2 hours

Polarity has you take on the role of a hacker trying to break in to one of the most secure systems in the world. And by hacking, I mean solving 3D platforming puzzles. It’s kind of like portal except the portals are replaced with moving colored cubes around.

You can switch between 2 polarities, blue and red. While your polarity is red, you can pass through red gates and lasers and vis versa for blue. There are blue and red cubes that when placed on corresponding platforms, will unlock doors, turn on jump pads, and raise or lower platforms. The  levels are a mix between puzzles solving and obstacle courses that test how well you can switch polarities on the fly.

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Each level has 3 data pieces to collect that unlock additional levels

I think this one is also a mobile or tablet game. It ran really smooth on my laptop even with the graphics all the way up. I finished the first 11 “story” levels in just under an hour but I enjoyed the gameplay so I took a swing at completing the bonus levels as well. I’m glad I did, the bonus levels were a lot more interesting. They took longer to complete and required a little more thinking and reflexes. There was only one pesky data piece I wasn’t able to collect in the single player puzzles but I can live with that. Sadly I was not able to try out the co-op campaign because the game didn’t recognize the PS4 controller.

Cosmic DJ

Pure Nightmare Fuel

Total Play Time: 70 minutes

This was an experience. I have no idea why this game was in my steam library, maybe a friend gave it to me, maybe it came in a bundle I honestly don’t know but it was there. I played it and it was glorious.

You are a Cosmic DJ  spoken to by a disembodied voice who calls himself the Cosmic Conductor. Steve4 (really that’s not a typo) has invaded the universe and is pumping out bad vibes. The Cosmic Conducter decides it’s your job to fight off the bad vibes and fix the 5 Jamtennas. Each Jamtenna has its own weird story to play through including but not limited to headless corgis, robot bands, and two felt puppet best friends.  You’re only goal is to make sweet jams by looping sounds togetherr, eventually filling up the jam bar, and moving on to the next scene.

It’s hard to put into words exactly how strange this game is so here’s a bunch of screen shots instead:





So if you ever find this game lurking in your steam library turn the lights off, put on some headphones, and save the universe with the power of music.


Taking Inventory

Hello, hi, and welcome to my very first post here at I’m Not Squishy! This blog will chronicle my adventures through my backlog and serve as a platform to write about my unyielding love for MMOs,RPGs, and video games of every flavor.

Now I know what your thinking, having a backlog of video games is probably the biggest first world problem right next to the Starbucks running out of whip cream. Why does it matter if these games go unfinished? Well the truth is it doesn’t, but it sounds like a whole lot of fun trying to beat as many as I can!

Meet the Backlog:

It’s always best to know what your up against when you start a project. I took the time to actually look through my Bin O’ Games and see just how many games I have left to complete. The break down looks something like this:

PlayStation 4: 9 unfinished games*

8 PS4 Games
*Digital Download: Tom Clancy’s The Division


PlayStation 3: 32 unfinished games*

*Digital Downloads: Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3, Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch


3DS/DS: 7 unfinished Games*

5 3DS games and a DS game
* Digital Download: Little Battlers Experience


Things didn’t seem so bad until I opened up my Steam Library. When I did….oh god, the horror!  I’ve only had steam for 2 years and only discovered Humble Bundle last year. This has resulted in a whopping 79 unfinished games, many of which I never even started up.  According to, it would take about a month of playing 24/7 to beat the main story in all of my games.

I’ve decided to tackle my Steam Library and my PS4 collection first because I can take pretty screenshots easily. (Full disclosure, my laptop is 4 years old and runs an Intel 4000 integrated graphics chip so the screen shots from steam may not be so pretty.) For Steam I’m going to start with the games that take the least time to beat and work my way up. For PS4, PS3, and 3DS I’m going to play whatever I’m in the mood for.

I’m going to consider the game beaten once the credits role and/or the last level is beaten, the main story is over, the goal is obtained at which point there names will be immortalized on the Games Beaten page.  Actually after sitting down and going through the collection I have found some games to add to the games beaten page.