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20 demo highlights from Steam Next Fest October 2022

Steam Next Fest

Steam Next Fest is back once again, giving PC gamers a chance to sample loads of upcoming games.

If this is your first Steam Next Fest, allow me to give you a brief explanation of what to expect. Steam Next Fest is a week-long event typically held twice a year. During the event, gamers will get a chance to try out tons of upcoming games by playing free demos. There are also developer livestreams going pretty much 24/7, giving you another way to discover upcoming games you might not have heard of yet.

The sheer number of demos on offer can definitely be overwhelming. The current Steam Next Fest has just shy of 800 games participating. It’s with this in mind that we decided to browse through the first several hundred or so on the list to select a few games that look particularly interesting. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so be sure to browse the demos yourself as well.

Here are 20 demos to check out during the October 2022 Steam Next Fest:


Asterigos: Curse of the Stars
Developer: Acme Gamestudio

Publisher: tinyBuild

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars

The Asterigos: Curse of the Stars demo has actually been out for a while now, but the game is still participating in Steam Next Fest. This action-RPG follows Hilda, a brave young woman from the Northwind Legion that has been sent to explore the cursed city of Aphes.

The game features lots of beautiful environments, enemies, and lore inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The combat system, like many action-RPGs these days, takes a few cues from the ever-popular Soulslike genre, with fairly challenging engagements using a variety of weapons and abilities you’ll discover as you explore the interconnected ruins of Aphes.

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars‘ release is just around the corner as well and will be launching on October 11th.

Total Tank Generals
Developer: Noobz From Poland
Publisher: 505 Games 

Total Tank Generals

Total Tank Generals is the next game from the developers of Total Tank Simulator. While their last game was more of an action-strategy hybrid that delved into some of the wackier vehicle designs in WWII, Total Tank Generals is a hex-based wargame along the lines of Panzer General and other classics.

Play as Patton, Zhukov, or Rommel in 3 different campaigns based on real events, as well as many other scenarios inspired by WWII battles. Build your armies using a wide range of authentic units and vehicles, then send them to battle on hex-based maps representing real locations from the war.

Total Tank Generals releases sometime in 2023.

The Knight Witch
Developer: Super Mega Team
Publisher: Team17

The Knight Witch

The Knight Witch is an extremely unique bullet hell Metroidvania that features deckbuilding elements. Fly around colorful 2D worlds shooting barrages of bullets and spells, with your loadout based around a deckbuilding system of cards you’ll collect on your journey.

As you explore the world of Dungeonidas, your heroic deeds will earn you rewards and praise from the citizens. Knight Witches gain power the more famous they become, presenting players with a bit of a moral choice system based on how honest they will be as their fame increases throughout the game.

The Knight Witch releases sometime this year.

Death Roads: Tournament
Developer: The Knights of Unity 

Death Roads: Tournament

Death Roads: Tournament is another unique deckbuilding game participating in Steam Next Fest. This turn-based vehicular combat roguelite is set in the desolate future of 2082. The lucky and rich live sheltered lives in a high-tech megacity, while everyone else scrounges for scraps in the wasteland. One way that scavengers can hope to gain entry to the city is by competing in the Death Roads, a popular combat racing sport where contestants use custom scrap cars to fight and race from coast to coast.

Choose your car, driver, and starting gear to earn a life of luxury in the city. Build a deck of cards representing different parts and weapon systems on your car and fight against rivals in turn-based tactical combat races.

Death Roads: Tournament doesn’t currently have a release date.

Hellcard
Developer: Thing Trunk

Hellcard

Hellcard is a cooperative deckbuilding roguelite spinoff of 2017’s Book of Demons. You and up to two friends must brave the Archdemon’s hordes as you descend deeper and deeper into his corrupted domain. Like the other Book of games, Hellcard features a colorful and charming papercraft art style.

Pick your class, build your deck, and fight in fast-paced tactical battles against demonic minions using loads of powerful skills and abilities. While the game is meant to be played cooperatively, you can also play it solo by recruiting AI companions.

Hellcard is set to release sometime this year.

Theseus Protocol
Developer: Starseeker Studio 
Publisher: Archive Game

Theseus Protocol

Rounding out the deckbuilding roguelites is Theseus Protocol. Set in a sci-fi dystopia, you play as one of three characters searching for clues to unravel a grand and dark conspiracy that threatens the future of humanity.

As with most roguelite deckbuilders, Theseus Protocol features tactical turn-based combat encounters where you use a deck of cards that represents your various weapons and abilities. The combat also features a positioning system that lets you avoid some attacks, giving you greater control over combat as you play your cards.

Theseus Protocol doesn’t currently have a release date.

Mask of the Rose
Developer: Failbetter Games

Mask of the Rose

Mask of the Rose is the next game from the developers of the cult hits Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies. It is a bizarre mixture of dating sim, choose your own adventure, and murder mystery in the darkly comedic Fallen London universe. The first murder victim since the Fall has gotten better, and wishes to see their killer brought to justice. Explore London looking for clues, take on odd jobs, and maybe find love along the way.

Like most Fallen London games, Mask of the Rose is a text-based adventure full of story-altering decisions. Many options and choices will be opened or closed based on your character’s backstory, the clothes they wear, how you present yourself during conversations, and the choices you make throughout the adventure.

Mask of the Rose is set to release in April 2023.

Potionomics
Developer: Voracious Games 
Publishers: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA

Potionomics

Potionomics is a mixture of business management sim, yuri dating sim, and deckbuilder. You play as Sylvia, a young witch that has inherited her uncle’s potion shop after his untimely death. Unfortunately, she also inherits his astronomical debt.

Become the best potion shop in Rafta as you hire adventurers to gather ingredients, befriend or romance a colorful cast of characters to gain their help, brew exotic elixirs, and negotiate deals in card-based minigames.

Potionomics releases on October 17th.

Volcano Princess
Developer: Egg Hatcher 
Publisher: Gamera Games

Volcano Princess

Volcano Princess is a daughter raising life sim along the lines of Long Live The Queen and the other titles by Hanako Games. You live a quiet life in the Volcano Kingdom with your daughter following your wife’s sudden and tragic death. Raise and nurture your daughter by assigning her subjects to study, jobs to finish, and hobbies to practice, with your choices gradually shaping her skills, personality, and wishes as she grows older.

Interact with other citizens of the Volcano Kingdom so that your daughter builds friendships with other children her age that she can grow up with. Eventually she will be able to pledge allegiances to different lords and nobles within the Volcano Kingdom. The approach you take when raising your daughter will determine the person she grows up to be, and her role in the Volcano Kingdom’s future.

Volcano Princess doesn’t currently have a release date.

Dubium
Developer: MUMO STUDIO

DUBIUM

Dubium is a survival social deduction game for 5 players. Each player controls a Frontier agent on a team sent to retrieve data cores from an abandon space station for a contract from Shadd Enterprise. However, one of the five Frontiers is secretly a traitor hired by Shadd’s rival, Blamane, to retrieve Keystones and sabotage the rest of the team.

Each player will need to accomplish tasks to retrieve cores or Keystones scattered around the space station. Players will have to work together, but also be aware that one of them is definitely a traitor looking to kill everyone else or leave them to die on the station. Even if the traitor is dead, however, a new traitor might be selected if a Frontier receives a transmission from Blamane and accepts their contract.

Dubium releases sometime this year.

Dungeons of the Amber Griffin
Developer: Frozengem Studio

Dungeons of the Amber Griffin

Dungeons of the Amber Griffin is an old school first-person party-based dungeon crawler based on Kashubian folklore and mythology. Create a party of 4 brave adventurers and explore forests, towns, caves, and dungeons inspired by ancient Polish environments, locations, and architecture. Upgrade your characters with magical items, enchanted weapons, skills, and abilities so you can tackle the game’s diverse bestiary of Eastern European monsters.

Dungeons of the Amber Griffin releases sometime in 2023.

Erra: Exordium
Developer: Fair Pixel 
Publisher: Kirkidexi

Erra: Exordium

Erra: Exordium is a 2D action-adventure set in a dieselpunk world inspired by Sumerian mythology. The world has been destroyed in a mysterious cataclysm. You play as a scientist that has cheated death by transferring himself to a mechanical body. Explore a desolate land overrun by rogue constructs that once served humanity. Scavenge for resources and uncover the truth behind the destruction of the world.

Erra: Exordium is set to release sometime this year.

Dredge
Developer: Black Salt Games
Publisher: Team17

Dredge

Dredge is a deep-sea fishing adventure with a Lovecraftian horror twist. Board your fishing boat and set off for adventure in the mysterious archipelago known as The Marrows. Catch a diverse selection of fish and sell them to the locals for information about the archipelago and valuable upgrades for your ship.

Prepare yourself to face dangerous deep-sea leviathans and otherworldly beings that haunt your vessel at night. Get lost in dense, unnatural fogs that hide unfathomable horrors. Dredge up forgotten relics and ancient treasures, and discover why some secrets are best left at the bottom of the sea.

Dredge releases sometime in 2023.

Aquatico
Developer: Digital Reef Games
Publisher: Overseer Games

Aquatico

Speaking of the bottom of the ocean, the deep-sea city builder Aquatico also has a demo during Steam Next Fest. The Earth’s surface has become a barren wasteland, forcing the last remnants of humanity to retreat to cities beneath the waves. Build a sprawling, multilevel city on the ocean floor. Gather resources, research new technologies, and adjust to the challenges of living hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface.

Also, beware of the secrets that lurk in the deep before you expand too quickly and disrupt the natural order of your underwater ecosystem.

Aquatico is set to release sometime this year.

Against the Storm
Developer: Eremite Games
Publisher: Hooded Horse

Against the Storm

Against the Storm is another survival city builder highlighted in this Steam Next Fest. This city builder with roguelite elements is set in a fantasy world tormented by never-ending, cataclysmic rainstorms. You are the Scorched Queen’s Viceroy, and have been assigned the task of establishing settlements in distant lands to gather resources and ensure the survival of civilization in these uncertain and dire times.

Build settlements in diverse biomes so you can gather resources to unlock permanent upgrades for the Smoldering City before the rains inevitably destroy your towns. Deal with other randomized crisis events and utilize the unique strengths and skills of the humans, lizardmen, beavers, and harpies that populate your settlements.

Against the Storm is supposed to release sometime in October.

NecroCity
Developer: Gameparic
Publisher: Games Incubator

NecroCity

The final city builder from the Steam Next Fest I’m going to highlight here is NecroCity. You play as a young undead prince who wishes to prove his worth to his older brother, the current Lich King. Establish undead settlements in distant lands to expand the power and influence of the Undead Kingdom.

Your task won’t be easy, however. The “good guys” aren’t too happy about their new undead neighbors and will regularly attack your settlements. Defend your ziggurats with undead minions, traps, arcane magics, and powerful mods that can alter the performance of your structures and units.

NecroCity doesn’t currently have a release date.

Earth From Another Sun
Developer: Multiverse

Earth From Another Sun

Earth From Another Sun is probably one of the most ambitious games in the entire Steam Next Fest. This massive hodgepodge of a game has been in development for some time now, and has elements of an RPG, FPS, and grand strategy game. Earth From Another Sun is a vast open universe sandbox where you can build a massive army, explore exotic alien planets, forge diplomatic relations with other galactic powers, and just generally shape the galaxy as you see fit.

Most of the game’s trailers tend to focus on the massive battles, where you can fight on foot or in vehicles alongside your personal army against rival powers. The game can be played alone, cooperatively, or competitively as everyone tries to dominate the galaxy. The game also promises frequent updates and will launch with modding tools.

Earth From Another Sun is set to release sometime in 2023.

Zoria: Age of Shattering
Developer: Tiny Trinket Games
Publisher: Anshar Publishing

Zoria: Age of Shattering

Zoria: Age of Shattering is another game that has been featured in previous Steam Next Fest events simply because it has been in development for quite some time. Zoria: Age of Shattering is a tactical party-based RPG set in a fantasy world on the brink of chaos. You play as Andar Witherell, a young captain that has been assigned the task of gathering warriors and preparing to defend the Kingdom of Elion from an ancient enemy.

Recruit allies, build outposts, explore the world of Zoria, and prepare your forces for a big climatic war that will change the Kingdom of Elion forever. Zoria: Age of Shattering‘s turn-based tactical battles take place within the game’s map, meaning that its possible for other roaming mobs to stumble into your engagements if you aren’t careful.

Zoria: Age of Shattering is set to release sometime in 2023.

Homicidal All-Stars
Developer: Artificer
Publisher: Good Shepard Entertainment

Homicidal All-Stars

Homicidal All-Stars is a turn-based tactical RPG with real-time exploration through deadly traps and obstacles. In a dystopian future, the world’s most popular game show is the brutal and violent Homicidal All-Stars. Hardened criminals and psychopaths compete against each other in elaborate deathtraps to gain fame and fortune from legions of cheering fans that want to see as much blood and guts as possible.

Guide your squad of heavily armed competitors through trap-filled arenas full of rival teams eager to kill you for their next big sponsorship deal. Earn sponsorships so you can outfit your surviving competitors with new gear and skills. Be aware that there is nothing fair about Homicidal All-Stars, and your corporate overlords are more than willing to change the rules on the fly if it will make for good TV.

Homicidal All-Stars doesn’t currently have a release date.

UNDECEMBER
Developer: Needs Games
Publisher: LINE Games

Undecember

Finally, we come to UNDECEMBER, a Korean action-RPG that is finally about to come to the West. Create your character and explore a dark fantasy world on your quest to slay evil gods, either alone or with friends. UNDECEMBER doesn’t have a true class system, allowing you to change up your playstyle on the fly by swapping your gear and skills. Craft your playstyle from a combination of Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence builds at will. Collect and combine Runes to further customize your character and their abilities.

UNDECEMBER is set to release on October 12th.


Steam Next Fest will run until October 10th. Which of these demos will you be giving a try? Are there any other games from Steam Next Fest you are playing?

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Frank was a former Niche Gamer contributor.