October Steam Next Fest 2021: Compilation of Demos

From October 1 to October 7, Steam presented another demo festival to the players: Steam Next Fest. A lot of demo versions, an opportunity to try more than 700 non-standard projects. I am sharing a small selection of interesting games found during the festival.

Wytchwood

In a distant enchanted forest there lived a witch. How did she look? Usually: on the head there is a horned pan, on the hands – bird’s claws … What, you say, witches are not like that at all? Have you met a lot of them? Here’s something.

The game is obviously similar to Little Witch in the Woods, only instead of cute Ellie we have an old snarling and grumpy hag, using that very saucepan instead of a helmet. But crafting multiple witch potions and items in Witchwood is noticeably more convenient, if only because the inventory is of a normal size. The hag wakes up after a doze about a couple of centuries long, gets a load of an incomprehensible talking demon goat, tries to navigate the riots happening around … The graphics are incredible and magical – if I saw a book with such illustrations, I would buy it without hesitation.

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It is easy and pleasant to create new potions with various effects and collect components for them, the images are pleasing to the eye, the story – judging by the shard seen in the demo version – will be exciting. We throw it into the cauldron, we interfere, we interfere, we interfere – we’d rather have a release!

Download Wytchwood Demo

Strange horticulture

A charming simulator of the owner of a shop selling magical plants. Pharmacist, gardener, business executive, handyman. Glowing mushrooms for abdominal pain, thorny stems – to open any locks, one flower relieves nightmares, the other – makes you speak the truth. All this takes place in a strange universe, a bit like Fallen London \ Sunless Sea, and in general is incredibly exciting.

Customers enter the store – one is tormented by allergies, the other is disturbed by restless ghosts in the attic. The postman brings letters from friends. There is a map of the city’s environs that you can roam in search of blooming or thorny treasures. And there is a black cat on the counter – and it purrs if you stroke it!

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We identify plants from the reference book, hang tags on them, try to understand what the next buyer needs. Do not expect delights of graphics from the game, everything happens in one main window (even traveling through forests, fields, swamps in order to find another rare cactus). But we’re not here for the graphics, are we?

Download Strange Horticulture Demo

Dread delusion

A very old-school and very pixelated first-person RPG that brings to mind the dearly beloved Might & Magic and Wizardry (from the newer games I recall The Quest). The most outstanding thing about Dread Delusion is without a doubt the world.Huge mushrooms, ridiculous cities, purple skies, levitating trees. Gorgeous, unpredictable – and very stylish. Yes, yes, even with pixels that do not interfere at all.

Our hero is an unnamed criminal who is pulled out of the dungeons of the Inquisition – only to be sent on a suicide mission with a rusty sword at the ready. And, of course, this is only the beginning of a long journey. The battles here are real-time – without step-by-step and even without a pause. There are classic skills like picking locks and stealth, there is strange magic, there is a change of day and night, on which the appearance of many monsters and life in cities depends.

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Dread Delusion is not a game for everyone. The graphic style in the best traditions of the first PlayStation will scare away many, and the era of first-person RPGs is going through hard times. But if the creators succeed in everything they aim at, it will, without a doubt, be a small masterpiece for true fans of old school.

Download demo version of Dread Delusion

Chinese Paladin: Sword and Fairy 7

If you are interested in the number 7 in the title, then I will say right away: the previous five games in the series have not been translated into English. The sixth received an English version for Steam and PlayStation 4 in 2015, but was not successful. (Have you heard of it before that day? Me too.) But it’s worth noting that the Chinese Paladin series itself is considered very popular in China – almost like Final Fantasy to us.

The game is very beautiful. Three-dimensional surroundings, splashing water, rustling grasses – all this is no longer new, but Sword and Fairy 7 really seems to open a window into the fantastic dimension of legends. Battles are dynamic battles with many spectacular techniques. The heroine who is allowed to run in the demo (her name is Yue Qingshu, don’t make me say that) gracefully cuts monsters into pieces with her thin blade and calls for help from a familiar – a giant bird. And the guy who joins a little later has earth magic and can, like Noctis from FF15, teleport around the battlefield.

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The plot, however, is completely incomprehensible – because the whole game is in Chinese, the English version will only be on release. Obviously there will be demons, gods, people; there will be cultivation (cultivation of mind and body to achieve immortality, a popular motive in Chinese literature and manhwa). There will be absolutely stunning landscapes. Let’s see what else awaits the player. On the one hand, translations of games from Chinese often sin with Google translate, with “guess what we mean” as a bonus (as a former community manager of a Chinese MMORPG, I say this). On the other hand, the same Gujian3, another classic example of a Chinese RPG, was received by the community quite positively.It seems that we were given, as they say.

Game – point-and-click quest, impressive pixel art and full voice acting included. The main character is Amira Darma, a former INTERPOL officer who left the police to found a private detective agency. Around – Singapore, 2032, neon lights, dark gateways, reference droids, mafia, corporations, street gangs. A detective’s paradise!

Some puzzles will require you to dive out of the game to go through a real google search! Yes, Chinatown Detective Agency makes players think outside the box: the WEB button at the bottom of the screen minimizes the current program and opens the browser. Sometimes you have to use diplomacy, sometimes – to hack a computer terminal (mini-game, simple and interesting). Plus, of course, all the other detective components: searching for evidence, making connections, exploring city back streets. They even promise the possibility of hiring assistants.

Download demo version of Chinatown Detective Agency

Of course, this is not a complete list of worthy projects: it was simply impossible to play all seven hundred demo versions.

But demo of many games is on Steam even now, even after the end of the festival – so hurry up to try it !.