5 gems found in the Steam Next Fest

The fall Next Fest has come and gone. It brought a number of new demos with it and ran for a good 7 days. I truly appreciate these are running longer, it’s truly a daunting task to find games for these recaps when it’s only a weekend. Check out my top 5 picks for demos and my honorable mentions down below.

Moons of Ardan – Pandora Technology

Oh boy is this a gem. Moons of Ardan was a game I found at the very end of Next Fest. This game is a planetary city builder with a smidge of automation. You are set out to rebuild your civilization and spread your population amongst the planets of your solar system. Each planet offers different resources and eventually, you can program constant trade routes throughout the system. The game is incredibly approachable but deep if you really want to dive into maxing your outputs.

Moons of Ardan is set to release on October 21, 2021. Wishlist and try the demo on Steam.

Timothy and the Tower of Mu – Kibou Entertainment

Timothy and the Tower of Mu (TatToM) was a game I knew nothing about before I downloaded it. I was immediately drawn in by the retro GameBoy Color like aesthetic. You play Timothy and you were deceived by legends and your grandfather passed. You now go to follow another legend of a tower that 1 wish will be granted to those that can ascend to the top. In TatToM you will face puzzles, action, lore, and RPG elements.

The art is beautiful but what really captured my eyes was the amazing animations. I spent far too much time reading a sign because when you did the 2D sprite actually turned to look at it and that’s just something I don’t think I’ve seen in 2D platformers. This demo was a blast and I cannot wait for this game.

Timothy and the Tower of Mu is set to release in 2022. Wishlist and try the demo on Steam.

Hirilun – Gone Mad Studios

Hirilun is a 3D platformer similar to Mirrors Edge. The game is presented to you in black and white with yellow and red highlights on pickups and checkpoints. This is a time trails runner that allows you to mix in skills like a dash or glide to race to the top of the leaderboards. Not all areas allow for these skills which leaves you to your own wits to score that top time. The parkour in this felt great and I immediately began racing with fellow Indie-Gems writer Strateture.

Hirilun currently has no release date but you can wishlist and play the demo on Steam.

Strange Horticulture – Bad Viking Games

I had heard some rumblings about Strange Horticulture and I wasn’t sure that this game was for me. It has certain qualities that drew me in enough to give it a try. The Shop management aspect definitely caught my eye, as did the mystery surrounding this town. You were passed down the plant shop, Stange Horticulture, without much knowledge at all about the plants, or customers, that are there. As you help people with their requests for plants, you can travel and find more odd herbs and fungi, read letters with hints to more…Unique finds, and learn about this strange town. Plus, you can, and should, pet the cat.

Strange Horticulture is set to release in early 2022. Wishlist and play the demo on Steam.

News Tower – Studio Nul Games

Newspapers are definitely becoming a more digital thing but many years ago, this was the way to learn what was happening in the world. News Tower harkens back to the 1930’s newspaper scene by having you build a newspaper company from the ground up. Hire reporters, artists, editors, and more. Manage supplies and even the layouts of your issues. This game is really interesting and has a killer soundtrack of big band music. I could have just listened all night while playing this demo. News Tower is a truly interesting take on management sims and one I can see myself sinking a large number of hours into.

News Tower says it’s coming soon. Wishlist and try the demo on Steam.

Honorable Mentions

Blub Emporium

A cute idle, shop management, and automation game that I will be covering more of and fans of any of those should check out!

Diplomacy is Not an Option

A cool RTS game that allows for MASSIVE battles. Made me feel like fighting with Zerglings and is worth a look.

Everdream Valley

A farming sim that has you crafting, exploring, fighting enemies, and using your doggo to herd! Check it out.

I love these demo festivals. It’s overwhelming but there are some awesome games that can be found in them. There were a lot of RTS games this go around and I am excited to see those coming back into the light. At the time of writing this, all of these games still have their demos up. Hopefully, they remain. Did you find anything fun worth checking out? Let us know!

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like