The first Steam Game Festival of 2021 has concluded. 6 days with access to 500 demos from every genre you can think of. It definitely was a lot to take in. The first seasonal festival Steam did was somewhere around 40-50 games if memory serves me right. I kind of miss those first festivals. It felt more curated. Really allowed for games to have more visibility in a store that really drops the ball on that front. None the less I scoured through the list of games, streamed some (Demo Nights 1,2), and played a number off camera. With that said, here are my top demos of the Steam Game Festival 2021.
Where do I begin with Rubeki’s Lorn’s Lure? This demo surprised me and made me immediately make a video of the demo. In Lorn’s Lure, you play an android that had left its colony after spotting a weird anomaly. You end up being lost for 250 years in this weird building that you know nothing of. The game starts here with you exploring and looking for a way out. After some time, you find some pickaxes and computer logs that help clue you into what’s going on here. The game has a ton of mystery and intrigue to it. The atmosphere created really kept me interested in exploring everywhere I could. The music made me think I was listening to Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92, and I loved that! This demo promptly put this game into my most wanted of 2021 list.
I’ve been meaning to play this demo for some time now and finally got to during the Steam Game Festival. Dap by Melting Parrot Games, ended up being a great surprise and seated itself clearly in my wishlist. Dap has this haunting and beautiful aesthetic to it that immediately drew me into the world. You are one of the many beings called, Daps. Daps are cute and make adorable noises when they speak, but don’t let that fool you. In this action-adventure horror game, you will have to fight monstrous creatures, solve puzzles, and explore. The forest offers many secrets if you’re willing to explore. However, it also harbors great danger and risk to you and your fellow Daps!
Wishlist Dap on Steam. For more information follow the dev on Twitter.
Devolver is an amazing indie game publisher. I rarely play a game they’ve published that I don’t like. Loop Hero by Four Quarters Team is no exception to this. Loop Hero is an auto battler roguelite. You are the sole survivor after what you think was the end of the universe. It falls to you, the only one that seems to come back, to rebuild the world. As you walk the land in loops, you rebuild the world. New mountains, forests, meadows, vampire towers, and much more. This game grabbed me pretty quick upon realizing the hidden synergies the world has. I’m not big on auto battlers but I was willing to play just this demo all night long.
The art drew me in, the gameplay kept me. Rogue Invader is a 1-bit black and white roguelite from Squishy Games. The 1-bit graphics mixed with HD resolutions just made the art of this pop. Its looks are so good that I found myself staring at every object as I played my runs. They bring a very modern way of paying homage to the older games it took its aesthetic inspiration from.
In this side-scrolling shoot ’em up you’re fighting back against the Zenos on their homeworld. You and a huge army are ready to invade but sadly you have no supplies left but a single pistol and one drop pod. You’re able to send up the items you find in your runs to your mothership which serve to help outfit your future runs and arm your current run as well. It makes for an interesting way of setting up your meta; Your future runs are dictated by how well you were able to perform in previous runs.
Brutal, visceral action is what you get with Unsouled from Megusta Game. This beautiful pixel action RPG tells the story of a boy and girl whose fates are intertwined. They’re brought together through a shared ability. The ability to absorb the souls of the dead. Experience their stories through environmental storytelling, meaning, as you interact with the world you will learn more about it. This game has the feeling of a soulslike mixed with Devil May Cry. It adds a more complex layer that I personally feel the genre doesn’t have enough of. Making big, ultra-violent, and destructive combos feels and looks so damn satisfying.
Pronty: Fishy Adventure
I’m a sucker for metroidvanias. Hollow Knight has really inspired many metroidvanias to come out lately and to me, that’s a great thing! Pronty Fishy Adventure from 18light Game LTD makes no attempts to hide its inspirations and that is ok. They definitely have some similarities, like equipping charms for example, but they also make it obvious early on that this game is it’s own. The biggest and most obvious is that it’s underwater. I don’t think I’ve played an underwater Metroidvania and as I thought about it when trying the demo out this new locale can really aid in some interesting powers.
Most metroidvanias have left of platforming, which obviously isn’t an issue when you can swim everywhere. Pronty has a lot to prove with but so far I’ve loved what I’ve seen. You have an electric eel swordfish thing that fights at a distance for you. Overheat it and it stops though which then forces you to wait for it to cool down or swim next to it to cool it instantly. The world is beautiful and interesting. Fish seem to have mutated and occupied technology and cities that were left behind generations ago. Your enemies have become mutant trash fish so you might find yourself fighting fish with dentures!
Power of Ten
Power of Ten from Pew Times Three has you saving all of humanity from a giant armada. In your ship (up to 7 to choose from and unlock) you will explore procedurally crafted star systems striving to save as many civilians as possible. Gather weapons, resources, upgrade your ship, trade with other ships (or just destroy and pirate their goods), and more to become the hero of humanity. As you explore each solar system you can find hidden secrets and special events that will help aid you in your quest. This game was a lot of fun to play. It’s responsive and beautiful to look at. The fact that you can be a pirate if you want to be made it all the better (even though I didn’t realize I was being a pirate at first hahaha).
More time, please!
Like I said at the start, 6 days for 500 game demos just isn’t enough time. Thankfully a lot of devs have left their demos up at the time of writing this. I truly hope in the future events there is more time given. For your average player, I’m sure it’s not as big of an issue but for the press, it’s quite stressful and well, impossible to cover it all. I really enjoyed these demos and have found some great games that hopefully intrigue you. Erik’s recap for the Steam Game Festival is up and you should go check that out. let me know down below if you found some gems in this event and what they were.