Steam Next Fest 2023 – 4 Popular Demos

It seems like a waste to talk about the Steam Next Fest after it ends next Monday. So instead, let’s talk about it now. Here’s what I’ve played, and here are my thoughts on the games. I’m gonna break each of these out into like 4 games per post, hopefully so things get some visibility.

The most popular game on the Steam Next Fest is effectively a battle-royale extraction shooter. Except instead of guns, you’re using medieval weaponry in the style of something like Chivalry or Dark Souls.

I also suck at it. Technically it’s an extraction game where you’re supposed to escape with loot, but I haven’t had that happen once. I tend to die to the basic enemies, and on the occasions where that doesn’t happen, I die to players. Maybe it’s a great game if you have hours to grind, I don’t know. I just know I’m unlikely to play more.

I was excited for VoidTrain. It looked fun, had a fun theme, and was multiplayer (something I heavily prize in games I can play with my friends). It’s also the second most played demo on the Steam next fest.

I don’t know how, because the demo ends after like 15 minutes.

And while it’s somewhat well polished, it has a massive problem: the game is Raft. It’s just in Raft in space on a train. And while some people like Raft, I’ve played 6 hours and hate it. I’ve never done a writeup on Raft because I don’t think I have much of value to say on the game.

Still, though, I’m a bit pissed that I downloaded 14 gigs for 15 minutes of gameplay. If you like Raft or survival crafting games, it might be perfect for you. I’m gonna stick to Minecraft.

When the Atomic Picnic demo loads up, you can see in the bottom left of the screen that it’s actually alpha 0.1. The game’s graphics are very much placeholders relative to the splash page, and it has some performance problems.

That said, unlike the first two entries in this list, I actually had fun with it, even in this early alpha incarnation. Would I play more? I’m not sure. It feels very similar to Gunfire Reborn or Roboquest being a PVE roguelike shooter. Both of those are fine games but I don’t like PVE shooters that much past a certain point. Still, I enjoyed the hour or so I played, which is more then I can say for a lot of these.

Based on time played, I beat the Elasticarts demo in about 10 minutes. It’s a co-op physics puzzle platformer. It feels like it wants to be something in the spirit of say JellyCar, but the issue I have with the game is simple. Physics based platformers feel like they need to depend on having consistent physics models and behaviors, and Elasticarts feels very wonky. The jump mechanic in particular feels really weird, and can sort of just launch you through the air.

Anyway, that’s the first four. More games in the next one. These might be a bit short, but hopefully something here piques your interest enough to check it out.