20 Steam Next Fest Demos that You Should Try Right Now

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Steam Next Fest Demo

Steam Next Fest has just begun, and we’ve spent a whole day searching for the 20 best demos for you to try. You will find action shooters, roguelites, puzzles, horrors, and even JRPGs here, but let’s take it one step at a time. Sit back comfortably, and welcome to our guide to Steam demos!

Attention! Some demos will be unavailable after June 26th!

Laika: Aged Through Blood

Laika: Aged Through Blood

Starting our list of the best games from Steam Next Fest with Laika: Aged Through Blood. Imagine if the Trials, a motorcycle game series, got a story-driven Metroidvania in a post-apocalyptic setting with the main character who could shoot and do tricks on their bike to fend off enemies. Have you visualized this? Good! That’s what Laika is, also boasting impressive hand-drawn graphics and cutscenes!

According to the plot, the apocalyptic biker Laika wanders around the world to help her village and avenge her friends, who were brutally destroyed by a warring faction of birds. You can perform various side quests, such as destroying enemy groups, searching for materials, finding collectible items, and so on.

The developers have provided an extensive demo where you can play through the prologue and some quests from the beginning of the game, as well as fight a couple of huge bosses. We highly recommend trying this motorivania (as the developers call it), which impresses with its thoughtful game design and epic gameplay.

Viewfinder

Viewfinder

The Portal game series demonstrated that puzzles could be thrilling and full of action by using unique mechanics in basic environments. This style of gameplay inspired numerous indie developers, resulting in the creation of many fascinating projects, including Viewfinder.

The main idea of Viewfinder is about photo pictures. Each photo can become a part of the world. For example, you may use an image of a bridge to place it and open passage to an inaccessible place. Or another example is when you require two generators to complete the level, and you photograph the first to obtain the second one from the photo.

The concept of Viewfinder is quite hard to explain in words. You’re better off trying Viewfinder yourself, especially when the demo version has become available to everyone!

A Tiny Sticker Tale

A Tiny Sticker Tale

Speaking of puzzles, A Tiny Sticker Tale also deserves your attention.

The main idea of the game revolves around stickers. You have the ability to take almost any object or person on the map, make it as a sticker, and put it in a book from which you can take it out at any moment. This power comes in handy for solving puzzles, such as moving one character to another location to make the sun appear or taking a fishing rod, which you can use to catch a fish to complete a side quest. In some ways, it’s not just a puzzle but also a quest, where by doing tasks, you progress further and further through the level.

The demo version is short, but it gives you a sense of the project’s concept, as well as shows its pleasant and cute art style.

Reaver

Reaver

Finally, fans of fast-paced shooters can add another intriguing project to their Steam Wishlist — Reaver.

Over the last year, there has been a rise in shooter titles that prioritize speed and weapon combinations. Reaver openly acknowledges its inspiration from popular projects like Ultrakill and Quake. Reaver builds upon their ideas to create a unique experience featuring fast-paced gameplay, unique weapon abilities, and challenging enemies.

You have four weapons in your arsenal — a Revolver, a Shotgun, a Machine Gun, and an Artillery. Each weapon has an alternate firing mode that has the potential to change the outcome of a battle completely. For example, with the Shotgun, you can create a black hole and gather all enemies in one place. You can use the alternate firing mode + punch to create a powerful explosion with the Revolver. This way, Reaver becomes Ultrakill on steroids, where standing still and not using the weapon’s unique features means death.

During the demo, you can experience the Reaver’s first levels, experiment with all the weapons, and groove to an awesome funk soundtrack.

Sludge Life 2

Sludge Life 2

The original Sludge Life was inspirational with its art design and the overall atmosphere of a graffiti writer in a trashy town, ironically reflecting our lives. The sequel expands the original’s ideas, offering a new city to explore with its curious characters and stories.

The demo serves as a small prologue to the full game, where you can explore the building in which the new soundtrack from BigMud is being recorded. You can walk around the floors, chat with colorful characters, laugh at local mini-plots, and try a separate game within the game, which is also a demo!

We encourage you to explore the project, as it contains a great deal of self-irony that you may find quite amusing.

The Invincible

The Invincible

If you find this walking simulator insufficient, we suggest trying The Invincible, a philosophical first-person adventure based on the novel of the same name by Stanislaw Lem. One of the most well-made games demos in Steam Next Fest!

As a skilled and savvy astrobiologist, you embark on a space expedition where your crew lands on Regis III. What begins as an exciting mission to investigate the planet becomes a puzzling mystery when your crewmates vanish, leaving only you to locate them. Over time, you realize that you are not alone on the planet. Could those inhabitants be your enemies? Remember, each of your decisions affects the outcome of the story, and the fate of each character is in your hands.

Urbano — Legends’ Debut

Urbano

You might have already seen Urbano on Twitter or TikTok, namely a clip of the main character dancing on stage. Yes, that rhythm game is now available to try in a Steam demo, but you’ll be surprised — it’s just one of the mini-games.

Urbano is a story-driven visual novel where your actions will determine the ending and subsequent events. In the plot, you play a guy who leads a double life, fighting crime at night.

During the day and evening, he spends time with new girlfriends. While in the evening, he has a chance to make some extra money at the nightclub, dancing there. At night, he hunts down paranormal things in the city and deals with them.

The activities described above are three rhythm mini-games that are distinctly different from each other. To fully enjoy the experience, we recommend downloading the demo and exploring the world of urban legends for yourself. We won’t give away any more details — it’s best to discover them on your own!

Little Kitty, Big City

Little Kitty

Last year, we enjoyed the adventure of a kitty in a futuristic world. This time, we can enjoy the demo about a kitty in our contemporary world!

Picture this. You’re chilling in your go-to spot by the window when you suddenly fall out! You panic while falling down, but thankfully, you grab a crow and land safely in the trash can. But now, the real challenge begins – finding your way back home. You’ll have to make your way through the town, dodging dogs and people. Who knows, maybe you’ll even catch a bird, break some stuff, sneak into someone else’s house, or have a chat with some local animals along the way.

The demo left us with pleasant impressions, as it’s genuinely an entertaining platformer. The cat quickly responds to the player’s actions, and nobody even restricts you in jumps, like in Stray. Plus, you have the ability to put a cute hat on the kitty, automatically making the title the most anticipated this year!

Cross Blitz

Cross Blitz

Fans of Hearthstone and card games during the Steam Next Fest 2023 in June could also cheer themselves up with the Cross Blitz!

Cross Blitz events occur in a pirate world where you’ll reclaim the sea as one of four legendary Captains. In the demo, you play as the lion Redcraft, who was presumed dead until recently. Regardless, he’s back, and he’s restoring his reputation with his team.

In terms of gameplay, you have to assemble your deck of 30 cards and, during each turn, arrange them to fend off the opponent and defeat his Captain. You are given one mana point per turn, which is required to use your card from the deck. Each fighter has unique skills that can instantly damage the Captain, boost your allies, or receive protection if your minion is wounded.

Colorful and detailed pixel graphics combined with thoughtful card gameplay make Cross Blitz one of the best demos from Steam Next Fest!

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

Shadow Gambit

Mimimi Games studio stays true to traditions and makes new Desperados… Only now, it’s in a different universe and about pirates!

Suppose you’re not familiar with this studio’s works. In that case, Shadow Gambit is a real-time tactic where non-linear progression opens endless possibilities for players. Complete each mission however you want with any team of heroes, and only your imagination could limit you!

The release of Shadow Gambit marked the studio’s first move towards creating fully replayable missions. Completing these missions is now essential not only for earning achievements but also for enhancing your pirate ship and finishing main storylines and side quests. Moreover, the mission conditions are constantly evolving, which is a delightful feature.

Check out their new title demo if you’re a fan of tactics, pirates, or Mimimi Games works!

Loddlenaut

Loddlenaut

Want to feel like a defender of marine life? Then Loddlenaut is the game for you because you will save the seabed from garbage and dirt!

You’ll understand the gameplay loop here if you’ve played Powerwash Simulator. You swim around the seafloor looking for pollution and trash to remove or convert into valuable materials. As you progress, you’ll need to clean various areas and also take care of adorable creatures called loddles by feeding and loving them.

It’s a perfect game to relax after a hard day’s work!

Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars

After a long day, there’s nothing better than playing a classic JRPG that could remind you of Final Fantasy. The creators of The Messenger have long since showcased their new project, Sea of Stars. You now have the opportunity to try out the game at the Steam Demo Fest without any spoilers for the full version. The authors highly recommend giving the demo a go, as well as we do too.

Sea of Stars tells the story of two children who want to unite the powers of the sun and the moon to perform Eclipse Magic, which may defeat the monsters of the evil alchemist, The Fleshmancer. Along the way, you’ll encounter numerous turn-based battles without loading screens. They have the ability to use regular attacks, magic, attentiveness, and ingenuity in the battles. And a nice bonus will be that you could try fishing, which can captivate you for hours!

Captain Wayne — Vacation Desperation

Captain Wayne

The second shooter on our list, but this time it’s a stylish boomer-shooter!

As Captain Wayne, you are tasked with arming yourself against the reckless mercenaries, the Killer Whales, to rob all the rich people of the land. All you require for this is a pair of bare fists and a powerful Shotgun. The main character constantly throws out funny phrases in the style of Duke Nukem. Enemies are also not weaklings; they attack in a bunch and do not hesitate to blow everything up to annihilate you by any means. At the same time, a brisk and encouraging soundtrack keeps you from getting bored on the battlefield.

The demo offers three complete levels with trendy pixelated cartoon graphics. However, don’t be deceived by the appearance. It is a challenging shooter through and through.

Olliefrog Toad Skater

Olliefrog Toad Skater

Immediately we came to the best Steam demo ever. Miss the Tony Hawk’s titles? Then give Olliefrog Toad Skater a try because it’s a cute project about a frog skateboarder!

In the demo, you can fully customize your frog (as in the screenshot above), go through the tutorial, and try out three different arenas with their own obstacles for performing cool tricks. There’s nothing to add except that that’s the cutest skateboarding game!

The Mute House

The Mute House

After playing a project about a frog, you can switch gears and experience a survival horror that may thrill fans of the original Resident Evil. The transition from cuteness to horror is sure to keep you engaged.

In The Mute House, you’ll find yourself in a mysterious, isolated mansion where all sorts of evils roam in search of their prey. Your task is to find your sister and get out of here alive, while solving intricate puzzles and trying to maintain your sanity. The Mute House pleases you with its carefully carrying spirit of the classic horror titles with fixed camera angles, familiar inventory management, and the fear of what might be waiting for you behind the next door.

We recommend you to try The Mute House as fast as you can, because for it may be the most intriguing project among all game demos.

Odinfall

Odinfall

Did you miss twin-stick rogue-lite titles, where there’s only room for skill and crazy guns? Then you definitely have to try Odinfall because that’s what Doctor Odin prescribed for you!

Fight off a crowd of the most disgusting creatures that have flooded the earth after Ragnarok on procedurally generated levels. All you need is to find a powerful gun and start shooting at everything, blowing up and shredding enemies into small pieces. In the demo, you can try out several unique characters, level up a bit on the skill tree, and try to defeat Odin!

Videoverse

Videoverse

Missing the old internet and Miiverse, when people gathered in small communities to discuss games and show off their drawings? Videoverse will fill this void in your heart, telling the story of a teenager from 2003 who just joined the community of a popular JRPG called Feudal Fantasy.

The demo allows you to try out the first chapter, fiddle around with the Kinmuko Shark console, chat with various friends of the protagonist, and see his first works as an artist. This story may touch your heart, and you decide to dive into it when the complete game comes out!

Moving Out 2

Moving Out 2

If you’re searching for an ideal title to play with a small group of four friends, Moving Out 2 offers you a fun-filled night of carrying things around and having a good laugh!

Moving Out 2 is a sequel to the cooperative game about a Furniture Arrangement Relocation Technicians team, who now have more work than they may handle. Grab the furniture and other items, because we must fulfill the order as soon as possible, as the client won’t wait.

In the demo version, you have access to five missions to complete, each of which will surprise you with its variety and ideas!

Super Adventure Hand

Hand Adventure

Remember how we often played with our hands, running fingers over the table or walls as children? Apparently, the developers of Super Adventure Hand thought such an idea worthy of a videogame and presented a demo of their project.

At first glance, it’s an absolutely absurd title, which might be off-putting with its concept of a running hand and fighting feet. However, there is an engaging platforming inside with a bit awkward camera but decent puzzles.

Your goal on the levels is to get to the mug. To do this, you have to go through a series of obstacles and sometimes look for keys to proceed further in the level. Your hand has the ability to crawl over any surface at any angle, drag various objects, and move quickly. You have the opportunity even customize the hand to your liking! How isn’t this a brilliant game?

Jumplight Odyssey

Jumplight Odyssey

And finally, we recommend you a spaceship management simulator named Jumplight Odyssey with an additional pinch of anime space opera from the 70s.

In this project, you will lead a space ark to send it to the mythical refuge of the Eternal Star. In Jumplight Odyssey, you’ll manage the team (food, sleep, relationships, state, their work, etc.), upgrade the ship, build, grow, and also defend yourself from Admiral Voltan’s army. However, space travel could be unpredictable; crew members may catch space diseases, things may explode, and pirates are always active. And don’t forget about the pig on board; it needs attention too!

Only you have the power to determine the success of this journey, but you can always try again. This game is both a roguelike and a sandbox, meaning there are many attempts and plenty of opportunities to explore.

Final Words

Well, that’s the list of the 20 most interesting demos from the June Steam Next Fest. We hope our recommendations will help you find a gem or a new game for your wishlist. If we missed something and you want to tell us about it, we await your comments below, each of which we’ll respond to!

Thanks for reading! Owl is flying away.

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