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Steam Next Fest: Hit me with your best demo.

The battle in defense of my wallet!

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That's right, baby, it's time for GAME ON.

For the uninformed:

Does anyone watch the developer livestreams? Hmm.

The week-long digital event offers access to over a thousand demos and runs until February 12 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET / 6 pm GMT. It's THE perfect time to try out every game that catches your eye. Sure, for the experience of playing something new, but even better: to protect your wallet from a shitty purchase down the line.

Here's a handful of games I'm looking to try out. Be sure to dip into the comments with your suggestions as well! (These are in no particular order- NO FAVORITE PLAYING HERE.)

Game: Serum
Why: I've loosely followed Serum for a couple of years. The studio developing the game- Game Island, Game Island Studios, or Game Island S.A, depending on how they choose to address themselves that day- was originally making four games simultaneously before tabling the other titles in favor of pushing forward on this one. I'm pretty sure it's going to play like another spin on the "What if we took Division 2 and Dying Light 2 (read: pretty) and added food and a crafting hammer, and now it's survival" trope. But we shall see!

Game: Winter Survival
Why: This will be the third (I think) time that I've given this title a chance to pull me in -and that counts from way back in the day when it was still called Winter Survival Simulator. The previous demo versions made me wonder why the 'simulator' part was ever taken off since it played like a "paint by numbers" experience. Or I guess that would be 'survival by numbers.' The most recent demo version, Winter Survival Prologue, languished at Mixed status for an array of reasons, and I'm interested to see if my issues with the title have been remedied- or it's just the same old- reliant on their sanity mechanic to carry the gameplay.

Game: Pacific Drive
Why: Surprisingly, I don't have anything snarky to say about this title. I mean. I don't know if I believe the survival tag- it seems like it will just be the typical "Try not to die!" gameplay that we've clung to as early as Pac-Man and Super Mario. (Sh, not being snarky.) But the premise for the game seems a bit interesting. At the very least, I want to see if it's worth the "out of the gate at $27 bucks, complete with pre-order and a deluxe edition pre-order" -since lately, it's seemed like confidence has been paired with catastrophe.

Game: Last Whisper Survival
Why: I know, I know. Apoc zombie survival game, how unique and barely ever done or talked about or dreamed of! I figure it's like trying out hundreds of donuts for research. They are pretty much all the same in practice, but sometimes, they have neat quirks that surprise you.
(And then you retreat to plain old white powdered sugar because it is the best.)

Game: SoulMask
Why: Honestly, no idea. There's a decided glut of game demos this Fest that are seemingly marked survival just because they have zombies- so it's nice to see something different. I'm not very big into the "shepherd and care for your little followers" type deal - MMOs with pets or companions have broken me deep inside when it comes to having to safeguard broken NPCs- but overall, the images and footage look good. (Honestly, it seems like an open-world RPG/adventure, but who am I to argue with Steam tags, which are clearly all-knowing??)

Honorable Mentions: Survive the Fall, Abiotic Factor (I tried this before, and it's a derpy fun multiplayer game if you want to relive your Half Life days), Summa Expeditionis. PlanetSmith may be interesting to builders.
Whatever These Are: Life Effect and Dread Dawn