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The Steam Game Festival Summer Edition is over, here's our round-up

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Now that the Steam Game Festival - Summer Edition is over, here's a round-up of of our coverage and some more thoughts. In true Valve style, it went off with a few problems including some developers not getting a demo button until the second day of the event.

We started off by highlighting a list of ~30 demos for games that looked interesting, ensuring that each of them was verified working and then going from there. After that? Plenty caught my eye personally and some were genuinely great.

There were far too many to cover all of them across only a few days and a weekend, apologies if we didn't get to the one you were interested in. In case you missed the individual games we've already gone over, with each of them having a video too, here's a quick list of what we played and enjoyed:

Might have 1 or 2 other articles and videos to come in the next few days on others…

We should also give CARRION a very honourable mention. While we didn't do a fresh look at it directly this time and it had the demo up again during the festival, we did cover their demo before with a video and it's absolutely fantastic.

What's most surprising though, is that the quality of some demos were really quite high. Two months or so from Valve's announcement is not a lot of time to scrape together a demo from unfinished code, so congratulations to all developers involved for such a fun event.

Hopefully we've managed to highlight something you like along the way, there was certainly some seriously good games on offer for testing and a huge amount to look forwards to across this year and next for Linux gaming. Picking a personal favourite has been a very difficult decision because they're all so damn good. I'm completely torn between CARRION, Patrick's Parabox and Tallowmere 2 personally. Three completely different games but so good!

I can only hope Valve do this every year, as it's a great boost for developers and gamers.

What was your favourite from the 2020 Steam Game Festival?

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Ehvis Jun 22, 2020
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I only tried the non-story demos.

DRAG was pretty good, but found it hard to control. It doesn't help that I suck with controllers. Need my wheel! On the other hand, I still did better than with art of rally.

Some interesting puzzle games, but didn't really play them all since a lot of demos failed to include key rebinding.

Also tried Everspace 2 in proton. That's looking really good!
Zelox Jun 23, 2020
Why once a year. Demos should be something you always should have available. I preferred summer sale :P. Or atleast let me try the game for free for 20-45 min
Interknet Jun 23, 2020
Quoting: ZeloxWhy once a year. Demos should be something you always should have available. I preferred summer sale :P. Or atleast let me try the game for free for 20-45 min

Developers loss.
I'm more inclined to buy a game if I can play the demo of it first.
Otherwise I'm more reluctant to go through the process of Steam Refunds, which if you do too many times can get you a ban from refunding games in future.

Got quite a few games I plan on buying when they come out, had they no demo available, probably wouldn't have had any more than I did prior to the event.
Kimyrielle Jun 23, 2020
To add the "other opinion"...I really don't bother with demos. Now, that's coming from somebody who almost never buys game at full-price, either. But for the price point I am willing to invest for most games, I am confident enough to just buy them based on what I know about them.
slaapliedje Jun 23, 2020
There used to be a point in time when most gMes coming out had demos. Remember the days of magazines with cover disks full of the latest demos? How hard is it for developers to build a demo version that just ends with a nice "if you liked this... buy the full game!" Especially with a digital store front where when you buy the game it just unlocks the rest of the data.
Hell it could be a built in feature of Steam!

I always thought this nuts. Remember, Doom and Quake took off so fast because you could pick up the demo disks at grocery stores!
NoSt Jun 23, 2020
I really enjoyed the Steam Game Festival. I think I've tried about 20 different demos.
The highlights for me personally were Carrion, Starmancer and Tallowmere 2, but there were plenty of others I liked.
Hadean Tactics is a very interesting game that is clearly inspired by Slay the Spire, but with quite a few differences.
Another great tactical game is Tenderfoot Tactics. It's still rough and the graphics remind me of the early 90's, but it definitely has a lot of potential.
The Zone: Stalker Stories is an interesting game too, given that it's a cross-breed between the visual novel, RPG and deck building game.
And finally, as a person who enjoyed playing point and click adventure games since I was a child, I'm really happy that there were many demos of such games: Backbone, Mutropolis, Slender Threads, Port Valley...

Last edited by NoSt on 23 June 2020 at 7:23 am UTC
Some demos i tried and enjoyed :
- Lore Finder (metroidvania)
- Windjammers 2 (sport)
- Drag (racing)
- Everspace 2 (space shooter)
- Hypercore (shmup without the shooting part)
- Fae Tactics (tactical rpg)
- Art of Rally (racing)
Nanobang Jun 23, 2020
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I don't really need or want demos. I have 640 titles on my Wishlist that I've already decided I want to buy; I'm just waiting for the right price point or for a game to leave Early Access. The Steam Game Festival "Summer Edition" (Have there really been any other "editions?") was simply a non-event for me.

Last edited by Nanobang on 23 June 2020 at 12:50 pm UTC
logge Jun 23, 2020
It really should be up "everyday" just like Doom the old days had a demo.

I tried Soldat 2 and was unable to start the game as the menu was borked massively. A pity, I hope for another demo else I will not buy it.

Last edited by logge on 23 June 2020 at 5:22 pm UTC
Anza Jun 23, 2020
I did roundup already earlier. I kind of tried to play all the available Linux demos, but fell little short. After the original post I played little bit of Vagrus - The Riven Realms , which seems to be kind of pen and paper RPG style thing, which makes it feel bit like visual novel. I tried also OFF GRID - Stealth Hacking, but controls were so horribly broken that I couldn't get past the menu.

Here's the original roundup:

  • Sail Forth
    Pretty nice cute sailing simulator with little bit of FTL style area progression thrown in there
  • Midnight protocol
    Surprisingly fun hacking game. It expands bit on what could be a minigame in some other game and cyberpunk flavor works quite nicely.
  • Hadean tactics
    Very Slay the Spire inspired autobattler. Once I got over that and concentrated on just enjoying the game, game mechanics actually seem to work. I'm not sure if it's actually better than Slay the Spire though.
  • Ray's The Dead
    This one was bit of surprise. Beginning of the game felt like a generic beat'em up game, but there's a twist in the plot that makes it more tactical and more fun game.

Pretty good
  • Patrick's Parabox
    Unique twist on the puzzle genre. I got bit stuck, but I guess I should have another try.
  • The Long Gate
    Somewhat frustrating at first as it really doesn't instruct at all what the game wants you to do. Once you figure out what you actually need to do it gets actually bit fun. It takes bit of risk as puzzles are quite nerdy.
  • DRAG
    Quite challenging racing game. I had quite fun failing though, so basics are quite right.
  • HyperCore
    Pretty challenging bullet hell inspired rhythm game. I'm not sure if it would be still fun in longer sessions though
  • Deathbulge - Battle of the Bands
    Music themed game with quite clear JRPG influences. World is quite wacky and there's plenty of humor.
  • Protomancer
    Pretty interesting space base builder. Hopefully final game has enough content so it doesn't end up as another Spacebase DS-9
  • Nine Noir Lives
    Comedy point and click adventure with cats. Demo has just so much exposition that it gets slightly tiresome, even when it's funny at times. Developers hinted that they are going to change the pacing for the better, so final game might be even better (though you need to be bit of a cat person get all the jokes).

Dunno, maybe
  • Growbot
    Cute point and click adventure with bit more original backstory, demo is just so short that it's hard to say if it's good or not.
  • Fragment's Moonrise
    Seems to be old fashioned RTS, I'll have to play some more to figure out if it has still something surprising
    Keeps crashing, hard to enjoy at the moment as it is
  • Port Valley
    Somewhat charming old fashioned adventure game. I got pretty stuck in it, so let's see if I have time to finish the demo on time
  • Monster Camp
    Maybe this one is better if you have played the first one. For me there was some funny moments, but everything seemed too random to feel like a game.
  • Mutropolis
    Interesting background story about future archaeologists. Characters could have been more intriguing if they had voice acting
  • Learning Factory
    Idea might be good, but demo was somewhat too simplistic. It's kind of Factorio inspired game with machine learning and cats.

Nope, not for me.
  • art of rally
    Almost had fun with this one. DRAG looks much better.
  • Beat Beat
    Some kind of rhythm game. I didn't get past tutorial. Maybe I'll should try to finish 140 and Bit Trip Runner instead.
  • ProtoCorgi
    Shmup with dogs. Maybe it was too hard or I just don't like corgis...
  • Tenderfoot Tactics.
    I couldn't get excited after losing training match. I didn't have any sound, which made the game even less fun.

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