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Check Out These Next Fest Demos!

Join us in eyeballing some upcoming games.

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We can't get enough of Next Fest - it's always a blast! (Well, except for those times when we can't possibly try out all the demos - ugh!) This year's festival runs until October 16, 2023 (or October 17 in certain regions). And, as expected, there are tons of survival demos to choose from - though it seems like every game is trying to apply that label these days, whether it's fitting or not.

As we gear up for the final stretch of Next Fest, and hopefully a little free time on the weekend, let’s dive into some of the available titles- graded on the HashtagSurvival curve.

Game: Polylithic
A 3rd person crafting survival set in the Paleolithic/Neolithic era where the player crafts items, unlocks technology, discovers the world, builds bases, and can either grow the tribe and command the settlement or play the game solo.

Jordan tried the demo:
“Enjoyed my time in this demo during Next Fest! Interesting art style, low key society survival kinda reminds me of ASKA or Tribe: Primitive Builder. Not a huge fan of how the radial menu handles.”

Our Thoughts: Try it! It’s a cute concept, interesting execution, and actually feels like a survival craft game.

Game: Wagon
A 1-bit card game where you make tough decisions to try and survive winter on the Oregon Trail.

Our Thoughts: We haven’t tried Wagon yet, but Jordan is super keen to hop in, and he’s not even a fan of card games! If you try it, let us know your thoughts!

Game: Hold Your Breath
A top-down survival game set in a world on the brink of ecological collapse.

Our Thoughts: While we haven’t tried HYB (yet), the concept seems a little interesting. From the store page; Battle for every breath of clean air, devising strategies to extract, purify, and conserve oxygen. Man, though, all of a sudden top-down POV is the happening setup for some of the latest survival titles.

Game: Under A New Sun

Jordan tried out the demo:
” Honestly, so far, it plays very similarly to Stranded Deep- but with a better inventory management system since I hated the way SD handled their inventory/radial wheel crap. Very (very) early days and basic, though.”

Our Thoughts: We recommend trying out the demo and getting involved in the Discord server from the start- never too early to provide feedback!

Game: United 1944

Dee tried the demo:
”I had fun, but it’s no more a survival title than Tarkov or Day of Defeat. Overall fairly smooth demo with little to no issues during gameplay. The menu and inventory remind me of Dying Light or The Division 2.”

Our Thoughts: If you like playing shooters, pick up the demo and give it a whirl. And if you’re in our Discord, give Dee a ping. She’s always up for fraggin’!

There’s honestly a shit ton of demos available this Next Fest, so let me do a down-and-dirty PARAGRAPH of links and snippets.

Dee tried ‘medieval dark fantasy survival game with RPG elements’ (man, what a mouthful) ENDALOR and was not a fan of…any aspect of the game at all. I don’t own a VR setup, but I wish I did because VR roguelike survival Bootstrap Island has been getting some solid feedback and reviews in their Discord. Dee and Becca spent some time in Enshrouded, the ‘co-op survival action RPG’ that seems to be the most talked about thing currently. Their thoughts? Better off just calling it a co-op action RPG and leaving it at that- the experience felt like a blend of Valheim and New World. The pictures and trailers for Wild Omission and East Wind make me think they’re going to be pretty generic Survival Craft titles, though I can’t get behind the art style on either game. Son of Killwa seems like it could turn into something that’s a nice solid experience (like a Subsistence or Mist Survival), or it could be the latest empty asset-filled world that we all avoid. I think my favorite part is the DENSE WALLS OF TEXT on the store page. The Crust seems like another resource management colony sim that I’ll be too stupid to figure out. ZSGO and Disease Z fill the quota for token zombie survival games- and if you think I’m joking, ZSGO’s full name is Zombie Survival Game Online. If you fancy living life at a slower pace, check out All Quiet in the Trenches, a narrative turn-based title. Finally, maybe check out Your Journey of Survival. The vibe I’m getting from the images and the store text is very…” DO ALL THE THINGS” since they mention “the best elements of FPS, Survival, Tower Defense, and RPG games” and opt in to (basically) all of the genres.

Be sure to comment below and tell us about the demos you’ve tried out!