Steam Next Fest is a week-long celebration featuring hundreds of free playable demos as well as developer livestreams and chats. Players can try out upcoming games on Steam pre-release, developers can gather feedback and build an audience ahead of their Steam launch, and everyone can have fun discovering new and exciting titles.
But with so many demos to choose from, how do you decide which ones to play? Well, we have done some of the work for you and picked out 10 of the best Steam Next Fest games that you should try now. These are games that caught our eye with their unique concepts, impressive visuals, engaging gameplay, or intriguing stories.
Table of Contents
What is Steam Next Fest?
Steam Next Fest is a multi-day event where you can try out hundreds of free playable demos of games that are coming soon to Steam. You can also chat with the developers, watch live streams, and learn more about the games you are interested in. Steam Next Fest is a great way to discover new games, support indie developers, and have fun with your friends.
Trying out game demos is a smart way to find out if you like a game or not before you buy it. You can get a taste of the gameplay, the graphics, the sound, and the story of the game, and decide if it suits your preferences and expectations. You can also give feedback to the developers and help them improve their games before they launch. Plus, playing game demos is fun and free, so why not give it a try?
Top 10 Steam Next Fest Games You Should Try Now
There are over 700 game demos available during the Steam Next Fest, so it can be hard to choose which ones to play. To help you out, we have compiled a list of our top 10 picks that we think you should try now. These are games that impressed us with their originality, creativity, quality, and fun factor. Here they are, in no particular order:
Japanese Drift Master
Racing enthusiasts have always longed for video games set in Japan, especially arcade racing fans. However, that dream was shattered when Forza Horizon 5 chose to feature the lively streets of Mexico instead of the narrow, neon-lit alleys of Tokyo. Fortunately, several independent game developers have stepped up to create this experience, and one of their remarkable efforts is Japanese Drift Master.
Playing on the abbreviation JDM, which stands for Japanese Domestic Market, this game lets you customize and build your ideal drifting car to compete across an island. It offers atmospheric, smaller towns with traffic, a dynamic day-night cycle, a comprehensive car customization system, and a single-player story involving a foreigner trying to establish themselves in the world of drifting. JDM aims to scratch that itch for the perfect arcade-style drifting game set in Japan, allowing players to immerse themselves in Japan’s rich automotive culture.
Jusant is an action puzzle game that combines a soothing, melodic atmosphere with moments of tension. It’s set in a world where the water has receded, and our main character finds themselves on the seabed. When they spot a towering mountain, they decide to conquer it. Climbing in Jusant closely mirrors the challenges of real-world rock climbing.
In the game, you need to skillfully use carabiners and pitons to secure yourself to the walls, hold onto triggers for a solid grip, and take breaks to replenish your stamina. All of this is set against a backdrop of calming music, beautiful lighting, and an art style that feels inviting. If you’re looking for a tranquil yet realistic mountain-climbing adventure, give Jusant a try.
Another tradition we diligently follow here is including a unique and noteworthy title from HyperStrange when we compile our Steam Next Fest lists. The reason is straightforward: they develop and publish games that are genuinely worth your attention. “Empty Shell” is one of these titles, and it’s set to be released in just a few days.
Developed by CC ARTS, “Empty Shell” is a top-down survival rogue-lite shooter that immerses you in a dark industrial setting. The game unfolds within a secretive facility on a Japanese island, with you assuming the role of a volunteer. These volunteers sign up for a recovery mission that’s far from safe. Every time you meet your demise, you step into the shoes of a new volunteer, equipped with randomly generated gear and maps to explore.
Throughout the game, you have the option to tackle puzzles and collect logs that provide you with the backstory of the narrative. “Empty Shell” effectively creates a tense atmosphere in the Steam Next Fest demo, and for that reason, we highly recommend it. Additionally, any progress you make in the demo will carry over to the full version of the game.
Vengeance of Mr Peppermint
We’ve come a long way from the days when games like Kunio-kun and Capcom dominated the side-scrolling beat-em-up genre. As the gaming landscape evolved, the focus on this genre faded. Nevertheless, there are a few developers who recognize that there’s still a lot of love and appreciation for beat-em-up games, and “Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint” is one such game.
This is a hardcore side-scrolling beat-em-up where you step into the shoes of a gritty detective seeking revenge against those who kidnapped him and his sister. “Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint” claims that in the final game, your actions will affect Peppermint’s psyche, making it a brutal and dynamic experience. The game’s art is inspired by classics like Kunio-kun, and it boasts smooth, fluid fight animations. If you’re a fan of Korean thrillers, this demo is a real gem and definitely worth trying out.
Explore the article “Steam is Banning Games with AI Generated Art” to understand the recent developments where Steam, a popular gaming platform, has been taking actions against games featuring art generated by AI. This informative piece delves into the implications and reasoning behind these decisions.
Playing a co-op horror game is always a blast. It creates some unforgettable moments, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy seeing their loved ones get a little scared while playing a video game? “Silent Rain,” an upcoming co-op horror game, aims to deliver that kind of experience.
In this game, you and your friends team up to explore a haunted mansion. It’s also a hide-and-seek game where you must evade a deranged doctor roaming the mansion. Together with your friends, you’ll work to uncover the mysteries of this spooky house by solving puzzles and facing challenges. The demo provides a taste of what’s in store. If you’re looking for a horror game to enjoy with friends, this is one to keep an eye on.
The Last Exterminator
Of course, when it comes to a Steam Next Fest demo list, we’ve got to include a few classic shooter games. And what better game to recommend than “The Last Exterminator“? This title has really impressed the retro-shooter community. In this game, you step into the shoes of Kira Parker, an exterminator who’s barely making ends meet. Unfortunately, her luck takes a turn for the worse when an alien invasion begins, and they destroy the one thing Kira had left – her van.
“The Last Exterminator” offers straightforward first-person shooter gameplay inspired by classics like Doom, Blood, Duke Nukem, and more. It has its own game engine and a visual style reminiscent of games like SiN and Kingpin. Additionally, upon release, you’ll have modding options for those who enjoy it, episodic levels filled with numerous secrets to discover, and straightforward shooting action. The Steam Next Fest demo includes the first level of Episode 1.
“Anima Flux” is a cooperative game that combines elements of Metroidvania with a story set in a dystopian world. In this world, two specially trained agents reside in the midst of a dictatorial regime. The only human city they call home faces constant, organized mutant invasions. This is where you and your companion step in to combat the mutant hordes and rescue the colony.
“Anima Flux” blends two genres, Metroidvania and local cooperative play. Both characters in the game evolve differently as the story unfolds, and the game features some rather grim settings. While it’s designed with co-op play in mind, the developers have also confirmed that you can enjoy the game as a solo player.
Fans of Diablo will find a lot to enjoy in this top-down, narrative-focused adventure. “Thaumaturge” is a full-fledged RPG set in 20th-century Warsaw. In this game, there are beings known as Thaumaturges who possess remarkable abilities to perceive auras, emotions, and even predict a person’s future actions. The main character, Wiktor, is one such Thaumaturge, and he’s on a quest to find a healer who can cure his ailment and restore his connection with Upyr, a friendly monster.
The game features turn-based combat, allowing players to choose specific actions and anticipate how enemies will react. Despite its top-down perspective, “Thaumaturge” includes cinematic cutscenes with intricate skills and a complex story that ties everything together. So, if you’re seeking an RPG adventure with a darker twist, give this demo at the Steam Next Fest a try.
Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor
“Deep Rock Galactic” is a popular underground resource shooter that has garnered immense love and popularity worldwide since its launch in 2018. However, “Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor” offers a different perspective. This upcoming game is presented in a top-down view and features simpler gameplay compared to the original.
In “DRG Survivor,” players, referred to as ‘Miners,’ are deployed to the planet Hoxxes IV. Their mission is to fend off waves of incoming enemies, including a final alien boss. The game incorporates an auto-shooting mechanism, so there’s no need to manually aim your weapon. However, you’ll face massive enemy hordes, so it’s crucial to move around while eliminating threats and collecting valuable minerals.
My Work is Not Yet Done
While “My Work is Not Yet Done” might have a long name, it has some impressive plans. What it aims to achieve aligns with what we appreciate. It’s a narrative-focused horror game that combines elements of survival and simulation genres. The story unfolds during the final days of a scientific expedition in a remote and uncharted region of a sinking country.
The game stands out with its non-linear storyline that delves into the disintegration of human identities. It offers open-ended investigative and analytical tasks, haunted radio signals, and a constantly changing landscape reclaimed by nature. Its stylish art is reminiscent of the 1-bit art style seen in the game “World of Horror” developed by Panstasz. It’s a horror game that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Steam Next Fest?
Steam Next Fest offers a week of free game demos, developer events, and chats on Steam. Players get early game access, devs gather feedback, and all can enjoy new game discoveries.
How can I access Steam Next Fest?
Access Steam Next Fest through its site or in the Steam app. Follow Steam on social media for updates on the event.
How can I play the demos on Steam Next Fest?
To play demos on Steam Next Fest, click “Play Game Demo” on each game’s page. You’ll need Steam installed, and some demos may require extra downloads.
Steam Next Fest is a wonderful opportunity for gamers to explore and enjoy hundreds of free demos of upcoming games on Steam. Whether you are into racing, puzzle, horror, shooter, RPG, or any other genre, you are sure to find something that suits your taste and interest. We have selected 10 of the best games that we think you should try now, but there are many more to discover.