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12 Next Fest Demos Worth A Look!

Much better than last month! (Low bar, I know.)

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Heyo, Next Fest is actually bringing a good number of solid demos to the table. (#NeverForgetWorldCraftSurvDisappointment2024) And, while I didn't list them, there's some truly gorgeous looking citybuilder demos available – if that's your jam be sure to get in there.


Game: Skye: The Misty Isle
Pre-Demo: I'm actually pretty stoked to finally lay hands on this title. I've been keeping an eye on the game via their Discord since...2021? I thought about backing it via their PayPal "back for alpha access" pitch but frankly the visuals were beautiful but the gameplay footage they released was rough AF. Beyond (near constant) showcasing of graphics and, lately, lore - there's not been a ton more footage or progress released until 2 weeks ago when they dropped a bunch of these Early Access teaser videos. It'll be nice to get in there and touch stuffs. 🤔

Game: ASKA
Pre AND post Demo: I've danced with this game multiple times - under NDA and not - and I'd encourage folks to check it out. It's shaping into a very interesting mashup of Valheim and Tribes of Midgard.

Game: EndZone 2
Pre-Demo: I enjoyed EndZone a lot more than I thought I would - honestly Frostpunk really turned me onto these "society survival" styled city builder games. I mean, I fucking suck at them and my math is always wrong and people die because I forget things like heat when it's cold or to put aside wood for houses versus building something else. But the point is that I am trying. And you should probably try this too.

Game: Once Human
Pre-Demo: Personally I think the survival label is a crock and this is just another run and gun builder fest with a half assed nod to meaningful mechanics like 7 Days to Die. Or like a typical MMO inhaled the looks and monsters from Remants plus some extra crafting and building quirks. That being said. Let it be not said that I snark without putting my snark where my keyboard (or is it my keyboard where my snark is?), so I will try this and report back.

Game: City20
Pre-Demo: I've wanted to try this out since I first saw it on one of the key campaign sites, so it'll be nice to check it out when the demo is freely available and Becca can check it out as well. (And do better than me, naturally.)

Game: Project Castaway
Pre-Demo: I was super duper briefly helping out with their Discord before I purposefully cast-away myself from the project. (Okay the joke almost worked.) I'm wary of their track record with other games. The way things were handled in their Discord in the early days- the desperate and constant foisting of the playtest onto everyone that entered the room, the dizzying array of bugs, and other quirks just made me want to stick clear. I may try and jump in to the demo and see what's changed- last I remember it was very much Stranded Deep with a dash of Green Hell mechanics and straight up UI variations.

Game: Under Canopies
Pre-Demo: Still mad at the way Among Trees handled that entire clusterfuck? You may want to check out this title. Similar naming style, similar visuals, but hopefully a giant difference in development and community engagement.

Other Games

Game: Eden Crafters
Pre-Demo: I know it's tagged as survival (actually folks are fighting a tag war on it so help tag shit other than survival!) but I refuse. Anyway! If automation and zapping things with your fancy high tech ray gun seem appealing, you may want to check this out and build towards a more beautiful world.

Game: Caravan SandWitch
Pre-Demo: Full disclosure, I SEVERELY doubt there will be a post demo posted because the game just doesn't appeal to me. But! It seems interesting to folks on my subscriber list, so here we are.

Game: REKA
Pre-Demo: My wife and I have been waiting to try this game out for a hundred years. Pretty stoked to finally try it out this week!

Game: Tiny Glades
Pre-Demo: Okay once again I probably will never crack this game open, but holy fuck I kinda bet that Becca will love it. Check out the awesome building in the trailer! (Shit actually Anne, our main mod, would probably build crazy stuff too.)

Pre-Demo: Okay I know it's technically labeled as survival but I've jumped in and out of a couple variations of the demo and I gotta say - I don't see it. It's the type of stylized adventure and explore (and craft) rampant in Valheim. Actually to the point that multiple people, including me, call it Valheim in the sky. If I get time I'll try this new/updated demo and see if it still sticks?
(And actually to further cement that view, they just announced a partnership with Funcom - makers of Conan Exiles and the upcoming Dune game- so really the entire lack of relevant mechanics makes complete sense.)