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Valve has launched Steam Next Fest - June 2024 edition, another big event for you to try plenty of upcoming games and see what sticks for you to add to your wishlist.

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Here's some games I think are worth your attention and these all have a Linux demo. I've been writing up various games recently that put up demos, and some of them were in anticipation for this event. There's just so many of them! So have a look at each of these for sure:

Airships: Lost Flotilla

Airships: Lost Flotilla is a steampunk autoshooter where you fight your way through waves of enemies on your way to a safe harbour. Destroy your foes, harvest wreckage, and upgrade your ship.

Dungeon Clawler

Dungeon Clawler is a Roguelike Claw Machine Deckbuilder. Build your unique deck, fight enemies by grabbing weapons and items from a claw machine and find special artifacts that help you on your quest to reclaim something you lost... Aim carefully to claw your way through this dungeon!

Dungeons & Degenerate Gamblers

Battle your way through a seedy tavern filled with gambling addicted townspeople in this Blackjack Roguelike Adventure. From aces and face cards to tarot cards, business cards and more, create your unique deck to beat the house.

Gourdlets

An easygoing sandbox game about building towns for cute vegetable folks. Create your perfect community then watch as the gourdlets make themselves at home. No objectives, no points, just good vibes. Play in full screen, or let your gourdlets hang out at the bottom of your screen!

Heroes Of Loot: Gauntlet Of Power

Mount and upgrade your weapons into special combos in this randomly generated action RPG shooter. Mow down thousands of dungeon dwelling creatures and survive as you descent deeper into the dungeon! Unlock items, complete quests, and find all the secrets to help you reach the boss of bosses!

Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess

Pilot the Megacopter, a sentient weapon that gains power by feeding on the blood of its enemies. Play through the campaign featuring seek and destroy, boss, rescue, and defense missions against the evil reptoid army. Upgrade Megacopter with the fabled AZ-TECH: ancient weaponry and armor.

Silence of the Siren

Turn-based sci-fi strategy game that combines exploration and exciting clashes on the battlefield. Take control over several different species, raise powerful armies and destroy your opponents!

SCHiM

SCHiM is a game about jumping from shadow to shadow in a relaxing and lively environment. This 3D platformer takes elements of light, shadow & animation and adds them directly to the gameplay, delivering an experience that you will only find in SCHiM.

Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter

Embark upon a vast, snow-ravaged kingdom in Tails of Iron 2, sequel to the critically acclaimed action-RPG. As Arlo, heir to the Warden of the Wastes, adventure through harsh northern lands, home to giant beasts and ragtag bandits, in an epic quest to overcome an ancient, blood-starved evil.

Tiny Glade

Tiny Glade is a small relaxing game about doodling castles. Explore gridless building chemistry, and watch the game carefully assemble every brick, pebble and plank. There's no management, combat, or wrong answers - just kick back and turn forgotten meadows into lovable dioramas.

Vampire Therapist

Guide vampires through centuries of emotional baggage, decades of delusions and the odd bout of self-loathing with real cognitive behavioral therapy concepts and become a Vampire Therapist! Even vampires need a shoulder to cry on when a neck to bite just won’t do.

ZEPHON

From the developers of Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, ZEPHON is a post-apocalyptic 4X strategy game built on Proxy’s unique tactical combat system. Guide survivors through a turbulent future, navigating unexpected disasters, eldritch horror and cyberpunk monstrosities. What will you do to survive?


There's obviously a lot more than that, and there's plenty of interesting games coming up that don't have Native Linux versions but do work fine with Proton on Linux (and plenty on Steam Deck) too.

A few interesting games with a demo that work with Proton 9.0-1 tested on desktop Linux include:

Wizard of Legend 2

Face perilous magical trials in the fast-paced rogue-lite follow-up to the acclaimed original, featuring up to 4-player co-op and vibrant new 3D visuals. Master new Arcana and elements, experiment with spell combinations, and become the next Wizard of Legend!

Enotria: The Last Song

Enotria: The Last Song is a soulslike set in a beautiful sun-lit world inspired by Italian folklore where the brightest sun casts the darkest shadow. Wear unique role-altering masks, face formidable foes and alter reality with the power of Ardore to unravel the secrets of Enotria.

Fera: The Sundered Tribes

Fera: The Sundered Tribes is an enthralling mixture of monster hunting survival action RPG with village building and tribe management in a unique post-apocalyptic fantastical world of untamed magic and ancient secrets.

Endzone 2

Endzone 2 is a post-apocalyptic survival colony builder, where you embark to secure humanity's survival after a cataclysmic disaster. Discover and repopulate the last habitable grounds, while the survival of your people hinges on your wits, foresight, and resilience in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Loading time was quite terrible, but the game worked well.

With my list here there's just about something for everyone I think. I think this Next Fest has probably one of the best variety of games on show so far. I've been constantly surprised by what I've seen.

See all of it on the event page.

If you're going to be testing some out be sure to leave a comment on your top games for people interested, and if you tested them with Proton be sure to note the Proton version used in your comment.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Demo, Event, Misc, Steam, Valve
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30 comments
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Eri Jun 11
I have to try the Metal Slug Tactics and Tails of Iron 2 demos.
based Jun 11
I both love (because of what a huge help for indies this is) and hate (because i end up spending a LOT) Steam Next Fest
Eike Jun 11
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Quoting: NezchanTime for my takes, get 'em while they're hot!

Just Crow Things (Native): Unplayable. Runs, but no sound and inputs b0rked. Constantly moves character to the right on keyboard, Steam Controller barely works, and Logitech controller can't open the pause menu. Only way to quit is alt-F4. Shame, because I really wanted to try this one.

Worked very well for me when I tried it some weeks ago (using an Xbox 360 controller).
ToddL Jun 11
The one demo you should avoid right now if you're playing a Metroidvania on the Steam Deck is Clockwork Ambrosia because the graphics are pretty messed up, with error messages appearing after the splash screen and the character doesn't appear, making it hard to navigate through the opening area of the game. Also, there are graphical glitches in the background whenever you try to use the directional buttons to move the invisible character.
rkl Jun 11
Be warned that many of these demos "self-destruct" when the Next Fest ends. This wouldn't be so bad if this was made clear on each demo's page, but it usually isn't. Also annoying is that you may never see a demo of the game again once the Next Fest ends - quite often, the later on game launch of a Next Fest game isn't accompanied by a demo version!
ToddL Jun 11
Quoting: rklBe warned that many of these demos "self-destruct" when the Next Fest ends. This wouldn't be so bad if this was made clear on each demo's page, but it usually isn't. Also annoying is that you may never see a demo of the game again once the Next Fest ends - quite often, the later on game launch of a Next Fest game isn't accompanied by a demo version!

It's too bad some of these demos don't last forever and there are some that will convert to a Purchase button once the final game is release even though it's a demo.


Last edited by ToddL on 11 June 2024 at 9:45 pm UTC
Anza Jun 11
Quoting: Doktor-MandrakeI tried gourdlets the other day when I read your article

It was fun to build things but I was expecting more from the ai, they didn't seem to do much apart from weirdly just hanging out in the cemetery
Tried Gourdlets myself too and that's quite accurate description. It's kind of fantasy themed Sims. Gameplay loop seems to be to build something new and see if gourdlets interact with it. If they do, they might evolve and help unlocking something new. At the same time, you can make everything look nice, though gourdlets don't really care about that. Can be fun until you run out of new things to build.

Quoting: Doktor-MandrakeI'll probably try Schim next
I gave it a go and and it's positively weird one. Yes, there's jumping from shadow to shadow, but the world is alive. The world is telling a story, which at times hits right into feels. The objectives are quite vague, they just point to right direction and then there's something to interact with at the end. Not a blocker, just takes some time to adjust.

Worth trying out.

Quoting: PhiladelphusI don't think it's part of Next Fest as the demo came out last week, but I quite enjoyed the demo for Tactical Breach Wizards, the third game from Tom Francis, continuing his quest to make defenestration an integral part of every game he makes. It's a bit like a combination of Into The Breach and XCOM: Chimera Squad, with some great writing and interesting puzzle battles to solve. And watching wizards use Breaching Glyphs to breach 'n' clear is just hilarious.
It was surprisingly fun. Into the Breach inspiration is kind of clear as levels are puzzle like and pushing enemies mechanic is lifted clearly from there too. It's not exact copy though. Giving characters bit different spell set adds to the tactical depth for example.

The story is nice touch too. Lot of bit wacky characters and levels seem bit less random as they have some relevance to the story. The magic in sci-fi setting goes into weird places too.

Worth giving a go if you're into tactics games.

Cats and Seek: Kyoto
Hidden objects games are usually nice diversion and this one is not an exception. Nice touch is that cats have small descriptions. Also the color palette is adjustable. I watched the stream for a while and there's also coloring book feature and jigsaw puzzles.

Vampire Therapist
Ever wanted to be a therapist? This game lets you have a try and it does require some observation skills. There's bit of a story and it's mostly well written enough. Small section are bit oddly written and how one is transformed into vampire doesn't seem entirely logical. I haven't played lot of visual novels, so it's hard to compare it to other games.

I Am Your Beast
Boomer shooter mixed with speedrunning game. There's maybe bit of Superhot influences thrown in the mix too. Basically there's limited time to fulfill the objective and then escape. Demo shows how difficult it will get by throwing in level 17 as last level of the demo. Last level requires bit of tactical thinking and I was able to survive after quite many tries. Too bad time ran out and then I gave up.

Level design is quite nice and story is nice subversion to trope of getting people out of retirement for a last mission.

Worth trying out if you like fast paced shooters.

Top three at the moment for are:
Schim
Tactical Breach Wizards
Dungeon Clawler


Last edited by Anza on 11 June 2024 at 10:46 pm UTC
ToddL Jun 12
For those that are playing Megacopter on the Steam Deck, make sure to change the layout to Keyboard (WASD) and Mouse since the default layout doesn't work with controlling the copter.
Nezchan Jun 12
Played a few more, so here are my thoughts:

SCHiM (Native): Puzzle platformer, in the sense of jumping from shadow to shadow to get to places, and having to figure out how to get there. The intro is confusing and for a while I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing, before finally getting to the actual gameplay after several minutes. There are one or two interesting variants on "jump from shadow to shadow", but they're only useful a couple of times so they don't have much impact. Could be a better intro to the game.

So To Speak (Native): Crashes on startup. Unplayable.


Demonschool (Native): Interesting concept and seems to be laid out well, but the combat mechanics made no sense to me at all. In particular I couldn't figure out how to confirm commands, everything I did just gave me a rejection sound. Gave up in frustration.

Dimhaven Enigmas (Native): First person puzzle game by the people who made Quern. Puzzles are less mysterious than a Myst-like, but obtuse in a more...bureaucratic way, I guess? Things are locked behind codes, you need to pick up hints from notes and memos, that sort of thing. Relatively modern-day setting, taking place at some undefined time after 1981. Seems pretty good so far, although the pixel graphics might put some folks off.

Legends of Astravia (Native): By the numbers Lufia-like JRPG, with environmental puzzles and an original combat mechanic that I'm not entirely sure I care for. Basically a simultaneous, moving timeline where certain actions speed up or slow down your character, giving it other chances for action afterwards. It's a bit awkward, but I did get used to it after a bit. Story in the demo is nothing special, basically a brief intro and dungeon crawl, with a break midway through for a short lore dump. I imagine the full game would be more fleshed out.


Last edited by Nezchan on 12 June 2024 at 5:40 pm UTC
Anza Jun 12
Fera: The Sundered Tribes
Seems to be some kind of openworld survivald craft thing with a tribe management. There's some verticality though some kind of grapling hook and gliding is also possibility. Sadly got soft lockup in building menu, so I didn't actually get past the tutorial. Might have potential, but hard to say now. It's indeed an alpha version.

Megacopter: Blades of the Goddes
Quoting: kaimanMegacopter reminds me of Desert Strike. Quite the fantastic game on the Amiga (at least graphically). But not something I feel overly keen revisiting, though ...
I'm also familiar with Desert Strike. Megacopters graphics at least are somewhat from that era. Graphics look slightly amateurish. Based on the screenshots I have seen, things will get even wackier and there's some taste of that in the demo.

Gameplay is fine though. There's some enemy variation and exploration is encouraged (especially if you're running out of health or missiles). Mouse and keyboard will probably make the game lot easier, but didn't try that out.

Still interesting enough, so if the genre interests at all, just try it out.

Just Crow Things
As far the technical issues, only problem I had was that the gamepad mapping didn't match to my controller. Took a moment to figure out what the controls actually where. Otherwise it's Rain on Your Parade, but with a crow. OK, not exactly, but it does feel familiar at places.

Basically there's some quests around the maps and lot of opportunities to cause mayhem.

Steam Next Fest flyers is nice touch.

Worth trying out if you have some patience with the technical issues


What the Car?
Quoting: NezchanWHAT THE CAR? (Steam Play): I mean what do you expect on this one? If you played WHAT THE GOLF? this is more of the same, but racing this time. It's very good and you should play
I don't have much to add. Soundtrack is nice, though this time around the surprise element is missing as cars form is announced before the level starts. Also wackier ideas seem to be drying out. Surprisingly demo had user created levels and it seems to be a thing in the full game too. Bad humor hasn't been drying out though, there's example bear that's waiting for steam release.

Still, had enough fun. It's worth taking a look.

Goblin Cleanup
Variation of Viscera Cleanup Detail. This time around you're goblin waifu who has to restore the dungeon for next set of heroes. Expect to die many times as the traps are intact. Some of them you can disable temporarily. So not exactly relaxing cleaning game.

It was fun enough, so it's worth trying out.



Top five at the moment, this time around they are actually in some kind of order:
Tactical Breach Wizards
What the Car?
Schim
Just Crow Things
Dungeon Clawler
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