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Survival (and other) Festival Thoughts

It was there. That's about the best I can say.

Table of Contents

...of survival fest.

This weekend, my brain decided we were in a depressed mood and should sleep away the day(s). Always a big helper, my brain is. (Says me- never.) I did manage to rally Sunday evening and hopped into Discord to livestream some of the demos on my list with some folks in the community, and that was a big thumbs up.

Not gonna go too in-depth, but enough for a game feel, at least!

Game: ASKA
Pre-Demo: I participated in closed playtesting for the game last year, but it was under NDA. So I was looking forward to trying it again- obviously, so I could open my mouth about my thoughts, but also because the latest trailer made the game's vibe seem hella different.
Post Demo: After watching Becca mess around in UE5 the past year, I have a new appreciation for well-made environments and UI - so in that aspect, the game doesn't disappoint. I couldn't get to the same progress point this weekend that I had reached previously, just because of time constraints. But it was interesting to jump into the game from more of the "true beginning" and compare that early feel to some of the other titles I've played since the last time I jumped into ASKA. Nightingale felt like they aimed for a survival MMO, gave up, shot for a survival game, and missed that, then ended up as a lesser version of New World. ASKA resembles a non-stylized, darker, and more intricate combination of the exploration vibe and build-up of Valheim and the graphics and RPG aspects of New World.
Overall: Try it.

Game: Renown
Pre-Demo: Every few months, we seem to get another attempt at a large-scale medieval PVP game, and I figured this would be another one. I was also curious as to the "vibe" of the community, given that it's been featured by OTK Expo, and Asmongold's player base can be pretty jackass filled at times.
Post Demo: Everything that could be janky was janky. I couldn't actually pinpoint a feature or mechanic that had gotten enough work to feel smooth -or able to be judged. I get that this was an Alpha, but is going on here? (I did try to get them all to beat each other down, but I couldn't get them to twist enough.)


Overall: This seems like it needs many many moons to cook itself into a playable state. They're also looking for 65,000 via a Kickstarter campaign so like...bless your heart, good luck with that.

Game: TAORA: Survival
Pre-Demo: I originally followed this game last year but then wandered off for some reason. It's an overload of poly zombie games, maybe?
Post Demo: When players aren't being angry little harpies, they refer to games like SurrounDead and DeadPoly as "low poly zombie crafting and survival games." When they are being obnoxious crusaders in the Steam review section, they call both games "asset flips of popular low poly packs." So if those games make you angry- you probably won't like this game. But if your head isn't up your ass (for that reason only, because obviously there are MANY reasons that people put their heads up their ass), then it may be worth a look! It looks and plays similar in SOME ways to both of the mentioned titles, but it's got a very similar camp setup to how you handle your base in State of Decay 2. Honestly, pretty polished and issue-free when I jumped into it- and that's always refreshing.
Overall: I think it'll be worth a try for some folks. Be sure to check out this prologue/demo first!

Pre-Demo: My expectations were pretty low after watching the developer and their Discord community praise Valheim as an exemplary survival game that showcased ground-breaking mechanics like checks notes - buff food. And also, basically, that most survival games were mean and shouldn't penalize folks but instead reward them for doing good things.
Post Demo: I'll give it a point since many of the demos showcased were broken or empty. It's not the type of game I'd play, so I tapped out relatively quickly.
Overall: If the sci-fi and top-down hurdles don't deter you, the vibe I'm getting from the community building around the game is that they want it to be easy MMO-style—where you can have one hand scrolling your phone while watching Netflix and 'surviving.' I got a bit of an Astroneer/No Man's Sky/Subnautica vibe in the technology and gritty aspects of the collection and exploration. (Also, it's got this wonky Destiny 2 Ghost-style sidekick robot thing.) So, if you'd like a game that eventually may "never punish and constantly encourage," perhaps this may be for you. (Unless the developer doesn't listen to that random person, but who knows.)


So, the number of games I got hands-on with was pretty small- I also randomly fell victim (time-wise) to some city builder I had meant to check out ages and ages ago, so that was a thing.

What did you try out at this festival that I didn't? Was there anything you enjoyed or didn't enjoy? Hit me up in the comments or reply to the email - if you're an email type of person.



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