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Steam Next Fest- 5 Demos Worth Checking Out

If you want to fill your game backlog with only the BEST quality games, Next Fest is an excellent time to jump into some demos and see what's out there.

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While survival titles continue to be an afterthought - or a mood/theme- there are some excellent games to check out this week.


The Last Plague: Blight

Release Date: TBA
Links: Discord, Steam Store
Steam Blurb: The Last Plague: Blight is an authentic survival experience rooted in realism and immersion. Endure the hazards of a brutal open world and uncover the origins of a mysterious disease. You are humanity’s final hope in ending the Blight.

I've been hanging out the Discord of this game since way back in the day when they were known as Blight. Unfortunately, I never managed to get chosen for one of the closed playtest periods, so I'm happy to finally be able to check the game out in demo form. It strikes me as a blend of Subsistence and UnReal World- so I can't wait to try it!

Tribe: Primitive Builder

Release Date: Q3 2023
Links: Discord, Steam Store
Steam Blurb: Become an exile - the only one who knows the truth. Survive on the island lost to time, build your own settlement, reunite your tribe, explore the open world and deliver a message from the gods before it’s too late.

First announced in 2019, there have been several time gaps where communication faltered enough that the game was considered dead. I'm glad they ran a closed playtest recently and had a demo up in time for the current Next Fest. This gives folks a little hands-on time with the progress thus far.
(Hashtag will be covering a review of the playtest shortly.)

Farmer's Father: Save the Innocence

Release Date: 2023
Links: Discord, Steam Store
Steam Blurb: War breeds heroes you've never heard of. You are the ordinary person holding a huge burden of protecting what's most precious and innocent. Fight with hunger, wounds, cold, disease, and enemy cruelty. Defend your family and survive the war!

Freemind S.A., the publisher behind the title, specializes in small simulator or life simulation-type games that are well received. That, coupled with the more traditional survival mechanics listed in the game's Steam store page, made me pop it on the list to check out. It seems like it could be a candidate for our Lifestyle Survival subgenre list. 🤔

Infection Free Zone

Release Date: TBA
Links: Website, Steam Store
Steam Blurb: Take charge of a group of survivors from your city. Choose your base of operations, then rebuild and readapt the buildings around you to create a self-sustaining settlement. And when the night falls - Defend the zone from the infected! Play on ANY CITY IN THE WORLD, using real geographical data!

I will nudge this game into the list as being somewhat survival-adjacent. Frostpunk has hooked me on these top-down management-type games. I like them when they're gritty: filled with the friction of helping your little survivors claw their way into normalcy from the depths of... whatever tragedy has befallen them. Also, I'm terrible at them! Still fun, though.

Voidtrain

Release Date: 2023 (Steam)
Links: Discord, Steam Store
Steam Blurb: Become a crew member of an Interdimensional Express Train! Discover a new world full of mysterious creatures, enemies and places. Upgrade and customize your train, gather new materials and build better weapons. Play solo or online сo-op with up to 4 people.

Voidtrain, on paper, is billed as a co-op first-person survival game in which you build an interdimensional train and pilot it through the Void. In reality, it's a game announced in 2020 as an FPS Survival game (self-described by the developer.) Added to the Epic Game Store (Early Access) as an exclusive back at the end of 2021, billed as coming to Steam in October of 2022, and exists now as a Steam demo for the duration of this Next Fest. The Steam demo is the most up-to-date version of the gameplay systems, so the best bet to check out. I'll give it a nod to check if you're interested in a space-based Raft (similar reliance on your vehicle as transport and base of operations) with nominal survival mechanics that play as a Shooter couched within a more detailed narrative. An excellent way to test the waters before purchasing on Epic (older content to be updated) or waiting for a Steam release.


While We're Talking Demos...

HumanitZ

If you still need to try HumanitZ, I can recommend it! Note that the demo is available at all times. It's a reasonably traditional zombie post-apocalyptic game in a top-down style. While others compare it to a baby between DayZ and Project Zomboid- it hits me a little more like Survive the Nights paired with End Zone: A World Apart. My only frustration is how the camera movement is handled; I frequently find myself running backward...

Survival: Fountain of Youth

It's an incredibly high-quality pickup for anyone who enjoys a good bushcraft survival-styled title. A considerable amount of content is included in this demo -available at all times on their store page- and will surely net you countless hours of exploration. Also, pop into their Discord to engage directly with the developers and pass along your feedback.

Aloft

The demo, always available on their store page, was tremendously updated at the end of January during Steam's Base Building Fest. It's been described as 'Raft in the sky,' boasting a vibrant art style and a relaxed take on exploration & survival. Builders especially should take the time to check this title out!

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