The Steam game Festival is active for a few more days and I’ve dug into the massive amount of demos available to pick out five more I think are worth checking out. At the very least you might gain a few additions to your wishlist.
Artificer: Science of Magic
Artificer: Science Of Magic releases July 23rd
You have probably seen this game on a few of my monthly game release lists. It has sadly been delayed a few times. The concept is really unique, a single-player survival adventure where you combine science with magic on an alien world.
Spells, alchemy, and creature dissection all play a part in the game. The demo ended before you got to that stuff but it did tease me enough to intrigue me. The world is very alien and your character comes from a place without magic, it has a very firm feeling of discovery and exploration.
I was able to do some of the basics. I created a few tools and a fire that scared off predators when the sun went down. While I played I could examine a variety of flora and that would grant me research points to learn about new things. Each research subject seemed to have lore you could read about as well. The act of researching used a match two-card game to represent the character’s work. It was really neat.
The trailer shows a few other mini-games so I get the impression you get to play a more active part in mechanics that would just be a progress bar in other games. I am intrigued by what I played and your companion is a talking dog. I’m down with that.
Insatia is slated for release in 2021.
The Insatia Steam game Festival was surprisingly long, featuring 15 stages and the option for split-screen co-op. The games concept is similar to the classic game, snake but you don’t have to worry about ending the game by running into yourself.
You control a carnivorous worm in a variety of levels where you primarily eat to grow so you can eat things that were previously bigger than you while avoiding the jaws larger worms until you are big enough to eat them.
The movement is interesting, you have to train your fingers to alternate back and forth to slither like a snake. You can also jump or initiate a slow-motion mode. You can kill a worm by biting off a portion of its neck but, you are vulnerable the same way.
The worm’s body is largest at the head and shrinks as you move down to the tail. You can eat the tail portions of a worm even if its bigger than you, allowing you to grow in size while shrinking it. The same weakness applies to you. It’s a neat balance of aggression and guarding your tail.
I saw the potential for a lot of neat level ideas during the demo. There are a lot of quirky things that could be added to the full game. It’s simple fun and worth a look.
The Iron Oath
The Iron Oath is slated for release in 2020.
The Iron Oath is a tactical turn-based RPG. The demo offered a slice of its combat and a peek at some of its mechanics. It was easy to see that the full game is going to offer a ton of freedom.
I navigated a dungeon map in a style similar to FTL’s system map and I could encounter hazards, events, or combat. Some obstacles required a skill check and I was usually presented with a choice that would take varying amounts of time. Time matters in Iron Oath, events can occur as it passes and it affects even more in the full game
The combat was awesome, plain, and simple. It’s turn-based on a hex grid and each party member had a bunch of spells or abilities. The terrain really seemed to matter and units could create environmental effects such as setting a tile on fire. Other units could attack and knockback or otherwise move enemy units to take advantage of such effects.
On top of that, the combat animations and visual effects were superb. There is a lot of demos in the Steam game Festival and I nearly overlooked Iron Oath, there is a lot of turns based games coming. I am very glad that I didn’t and I’m very much looking forward to the full game.
Starmancer has no current release date.
StarMancer is a colony sim. Rimworld is one of my all-time favorite games so I was eager to jump at a chance to try another game in the genre. StarMancer puts in you in harddrive of a space station AI. As the station AI you oversee a crew of meat bag colonists and your goal is to make money.
You have to design and manage your station to help you accomplish this goals while also keeping your crew happy and healthy. You need to manage atmospherics, biomass, fuel and prepare for potential hazards and missions.
Each colonist has needs and traits that affect how they act and they can train in a variety of skills. If you don’t keep them happy, they will refuse to work.
The demo lets you play for an hour which is plenty of time to get your feet wet. It is an alpha demo so it is missing a bit of polish but the game has serious potential.
Tanknarok releases in just a few days on June 23rd.
Tankarok is a crazy party brawler you can play offline with bots or in multiplayer either locally or online. The game is incredibly easy to pick up and play. You move around, point and shoot.
Every round takes place in a different arena full of hazards and powers ups. You can always just shoot, but power-ups can alter your projectiles such as making them explode or turning your cannon into a chain gun. Other power-ups add a secondary weapon. Grenades, airstrikes, and alligators, yes alligators are all possibilities.
Unfounretly I couldn’t find anyone online, but the game showed its promise with the bots. They ate dirt a little bit too easily but I really think where Tanknarok will shine is as a local or online party game.
It’s super easy to pick up and play and should be a blast with friends.
That concludes my Steam Game Festival adventure. You might also be intrested in Part one and two where I list five more games in each one. I recomend trying as many demos as possible, there is no better way to see if a game is for you. Are there any neat demos you have found during the Steam Game Festival? Let me know in the comments.