The 13 game demos to try before Steam Next Fest ends
Demos of hundreds of video games are available to try on Steam for free – as part of Steam Next Fest. Valve describes the event, which runs from June 19 to June 26, as a celebration of upcoming games, and it certainly is.
Navigating the sheer number of available demos can be overwhelming, but it’s worth digging through the lists. You’re sure to find something that catches your eye, and there’s no limit to how many games you can install and play. We’ve compiled a list of 13 games we’re excited about, but that’s nowhere near a complete list of the promising games featured at the latest Steam Next Fest.
Venba, from Visaai Games, is a narrative cooking game set in the 1980s after an Indian mother moves to Canada with her family. The game centers around a cooking puzzle that will recover lost family members and unfold a story of family, love, [and] loss. Venba is slated for release on July 31.
SPIRIT SWAP: LOFI BEATS TO MATCH-3 TO
From developer Soft Not Weak, Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To is a puzzle game with a queer, witchy twist. The narrative swirls around the match-three gameplay and lo-fi music. There are dating sim elements, a story, and even a room to decorate. Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To is expected out in 2023.
GOODBYE VOLCANO HIGH
KO_OP’s Goodbye Volcano High just won the video game award at the 2023 Tribeca Festival, and now you can play its demo via Steam Next Fest. Goodbye, Volcano High is described as a cinematic narrative adventure where you play as Fang, a final-year high school student. It looks moody, sweet, and sincere. Goodbye, Volcano High is out on August 29.
Viewfinder is a game about perception and perspective, using photographs to transform an already trippy world From Sad Owl Studios and publisher Thunderful Publishing, Viewfinder is an innovative game where you use photos to solve puzzles and open up the world. Viewfinder is scheduled for release on July 18.
The survival adventure game Pacific Drive is a high-energy experience where your customizable station wagon is your most important tool. From developer Ironwood Studios, Pacific Drive is a journey into a dangerous world where you must scavenge and explore if you want to survive. It is expected in 2023.
LAIKA: AGED THROUGH BLOOD
Developer Brainwash Gang describes Laika: Ed Through Blood as a Western-inspired Motovania set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. For that, I say: Yes! The beautifully stylized world features a mother coyote warrior who rides a motorbike and embarks on an endless path of vengeance to take back what her people have lost. Laika: Ed Through Blood is listed as coming soon.
4X games are known for being long, letting you play for hours and days, and weeks. That’s great and all, but sometimes an inclusive experience is nice. This is where the 4X game Stellaris Nexus comes in The sci-fi strategy game is designed to be played in under an hour, condensing everything you love about 4X games into a short, nuanced, and almost board game-like experience. No release date yet.
If you’ve ever wanted to try building a small, creative business, Sticky Business is for you. A cute, relaxing game from Spellgarden Games is a small-business sim built around making stickers. You’ll design, sell, and then pack up orders as you navigate running a cute little shop. Sticky business is expected in 2023.
From the creators of Mutageon, Die Gut Fabric’s Salty Chronicles is set on the high seas in a post-Flood world. There is a lot to explore in the Salt Sea and you can meet a lot of people as you walk through the old-world ruins. Plus, there are cats! Saltsea Chronicles is coming in 2023.
Curt Life is back thanks to a partnership between developer Richard Hoffmeyer and Ad Hoc Studios. The acclaimed game disappeared from the store a few years ago, but it’s back first as a demo at Steam Next Fest so players can once again explore the lives of three street vendors. Curt Life is expected to be released in 2023.
MIGHT & MAGIC: CLASH OF HEROES – DEFINITIVE EDITION
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes – Definitive Edition has it all: puzzles, strategy, and role-playing elements. The game was first published by Capybara Games in 2009, and the definitive edition arriving on July 20 combines the original game with its DLC, new character art, many quality-of-life improvements, and an expanded, completely reworked, and rebalanced online mode.
Team Fortune’s Fortune’s Run has a classic first-person-shooter feel with a twist it’s got a fighting game system. You’ll slash your way through a world of punches and slashes while mastering various combos and special moves. Fortune’s Run ends on September 1.
AMERICAS TOWER SIMULATOR
Americas Tower Simulator puts you in the seat of an air traffic controller, clearing planes for takeoff and guiding them to the gate. You can quickly rotate multiple plates as you transmit severe weather data, clear runways for birds, and respond to emergency landings. Immersion is completed through the use of the game’s voice recognition. You’ll have to learn a bit of jargon, but it’s worth it for the magic of maneuvering a plane around an airport with nothing but your voice. America’s Tower Simulator will land sometime in 2023.