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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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Anza Jun 13
Just quick one today, spent lot of time with Endzone 2.

Wizards of Legends 2

Basically rogulite where you do randomly generated trial and probably die before you finish it. Second one seems to have gotten slight Hades influences. First one had more dungeon like structure, but this one has more open arenas.

I guess it's fine and might be improvement on the first one. Though I think I would rather play Hades.

Endzone 2

This one feels like simplified Surviving the Aftermath. Not necessarily in bad way in some cases. It's post apocalyptic city builder where plastic and scrap are important resources. There are multiple bad things that can happen starting from running out of food and water. It doesn't get easier as drought can limit your production quite drastically, so you need to have good stockpiles. Radiation and sickness you cause issues too. At least in the demo, the radiation was slowly raising, so you need to produce more and more different protection gear.

Exploration by car is rewarded with resources and small scavenging puzzles, which barely offer a challenge. If you decide to play the demo, when it asks you to find another site that might contain uniquer resources, there's total three sites in total and the unique resource is revealed only after you settled in.

Small exploration is needed to get knowledge points, but tech three is mostly blocked in the demo, you might need maybe five or six knowledge points in total to unlock everything.

One thing I was confused with is that people need houses, but there's nothing where you can check how many homeless people you have. Workaround is just build another house and see if it gets full. Not sure how much it affects happiness as mostly happiness is either rising or dropping.

I guess this is best out of three city builders I have tried this time. Though it's the most traditional one as Gourdlets is more of sandbox and Fera is in third person view. So 57 demos still to try if I want to have more complete comparison.

Still, Endzone was mostly fun, even when there were few indications that some essentials are still missing. Only annoyance I didn't mention is that autosave blocks everything and cancels whatever you were doing. At least there's warning that it's coming.



I think my top five remains the same for now.
Nezchan Jun 13
Quoting: AnzaEndzone 2

This one feels like simplified Surviving the Aftermath. Not necessarily in bad way in some cases. It's post apocalyptic city builder where plastic and scrap are important resources.

Wait, it's not an American football sim?
Anza Jun 14
Quoting: Nezchan
Quoting: AnzaEndzone 2

This one feels like simplified Surviving the Aftermath. Not necessarily in bad way in some cases. It's post apocalyptic city builder where plastic and scrap are important resources.

Wait, it's not an American football sim?

As developers are from Germany, they might not have know the term. So now there are sports game developers who are pissed that they didn't using that name first...
sudoer Jun 15
I quite like WoL2, after 10 years of the unsurpassable co-op -classic now- Gauntlet (endless mode in particular), done by no others than the masters of co-op, Arrowhead (Magicka, Helldivers), this one seems really worth it for co-op (solo is also fine), particulary for it's fast (Gauntlet's Merlin) gameplay. It has spawners like in Gauntlet and borrows mechanics and enemies from Dead Mage's other game, Children of Morta, a nice flow, perfect effects and animations.


Last edited by sudoer on 15 June 2024 at 2:23 am UTC
Anza Jun 15
Alters

Base builder mixed with crafting and mining. On top of that is sci-fi story wrapped in AA package. Slight Control vibes.

Basically you get stranded in alien world and have to figure out how to survive. Good fun, especially if they can keep the story going in the full game and there's hints that that will be the case. I have hunch that these AA quality games disappear fastest.

I think I played this with Proton 8 (I switched the default to 9 after this)

Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter

Souls like side scrolling RPG influenced platformer. There's lot of exposition in the beginning, though far from worst offender. Fights have lot of telegraphing and once you get hang of it, one or two enemies should be easy enough to handle. Though problem for me was how to keep my weapon sharp and health from running out in middle of battle. I gave up before I figured it out, though there is easier difficulty.

The RPG part seems to be collecting loot and choosing what to use. Seems solid enough, so if you like the genre, it's worth a try.

PS: gamepad works maybe for a while in the menu, rest of the demo you need to use keyboard (game suggest using a controller though, so maybe that will be eventually sorted out)

Aska
Openworld survival craft with vikings. Compared to Valheim though, the textures have higher resolution and objects have more polygons. Building are premade though, so there's less room for creativity.

Higher fidelity means though that seeing objects is harder. It takes a while also to figure out what can be interacted with. For example there's lot of bushes and stones that are there just to look pretty. Game has workaround for that as there's option that let you scan for interactive things.

The tribe management might slightly more unique feature. Tribe people do have some basic requirements, but after you get that sorted out, they can start doing all sort of tasks. I haven't played the demo all the way through, but there seemed to be several buildings that let you automate lot of the manual tasks if you have enough workers.

If you're not already bored with the genre, it's worth trying out.

I think I had Proton 8 still when playing the game, didn't notice any issues though.

Dungeons & Degenerate Gamblers
Does Balatro feel too complicated? In blackjack your decisions are just to hit or stay. Like Balatro there's lot of cheating opportunities, though I got bored after a while. Higher difficulty might make things bit more interesting. Though Balatro still wins hands down. And for those looking for simpler experience, there's also highly addictive Luck Be A Landlord.

PS: I had odd issue that if hit esc, hit and stay buttons stopped functioning. As keyboard user, I have instinct to do that.

VR

None of the interesting VR games happened to work. Lot of crashes and things not rendering in the headset. Only one game almost worked, but had double vision.

Switched back and forth between Proton Experimental and Proton 9.0, but that didn't fix any of the games.

Here's list of games that I tried:
- D-Day VR Museum (didn't start)
- On Point (started, but there was double vision)
- Pirates VR: Jolly Roger (crashed)
- Subside (not sure, but i think problem was that I didn't render anything)
- Frenzy Blood (didn't render in the headset)
- Rune Bender (didn't render in the headset)
- Phantom Bound (didn't render in the headset)

So probably just in case need to test game that's know to work, just in case if something is wrong in the VR setup. The On Point would be nice to get working as it's basically lightgun minigames.



Top five is now as follows:
Alters
Tactical Breach Wizards
What the Car?
Schim
Just Crow Things
Anza Jun 16
Quoting: NezchanLinkito (Native): Electronics puzzles with a mid-20th century corporate/propaganda vibe. Looks like a solid game, but I don't have sufficient brain for the genre. Runs very well though, and the vibe is on point.

Tried it as well and due repeatable crash during tutorial, I switched to Proton. I was way too tired to properly enjoy it, but as far as the difficulty goes, it feels easier than Zachtronics games, though demo is almost all tutorial. Last few puzzles start to give some challenge.

I think I can recommend this, though might not be in my top five demos.

Heroes of Loot: Gauntlet of Power
Pretty solid roguelite. There's bit of arcade feel in there, though that could be the Gauntlet influence. Clear rooms and collect loot. I like how you can mount weapon to each direction when leveling up. Too bad the weapons don't have any explanation what they do.

Developer mentioned that the aim is that everybody is able to finish the game at least once. Which is rare in games like this.

If you like bullet hell games or rogue lites, this one is worth trying out.

Moon Mystery
Sci-fi FPS, with some actual plot thrown in. Demo is bit incoherent mess at times and at times it's easy to get lost what to do as the demo jumps through the game in random order. Ambitious for sure though and maybe they're even able to deliver some kind of game in the end. Maybe even too ambitious as there sure is some jank.

If you're starving for FPS, it might be worth taking a look, though I am Your Beast might satiate you better as it's in better shape. And there must be better FPS demo out there as I have tried only few so far.



Now it feels that I have played enough good demos to enlarge the top five to top ten. Sorted in level of excitement:

Alters
Tactical Breach Wizards
What the Car?
Schim
Just Crow Things
Aska
Heroes of Loot: Gauntlet of Power
I Am Your Beast
Linkito
Endzone 2


Last edited by Anza on 16 June 2024 at 10:14 pm UTC
ToddL Jun 17
I know Steam Next Fest ends tomorrow but whatever you do, don't play the Fera demo on the Steam Deck because the framerate isn't good and you can't adjust the resolution in the main menu or in-game.


Last edited by ToddL on 17 June 2024 at 3:17 am UTC
Hannes Jun 17
My favorite so far is Big Helmet Heroes, which is a 3D version of Castle Crashers with two-player multiplayer.

Unfortunately, it drops FPS like crazy on the Steam Deck. But it technically works (probably through Proton), so I'll buy it for my beefier Bazzite machine when it is out.


Last edited by Hannes on 17 June 2024 at 4:22 pm UTC
Anza Jun 17
Quoting: ToddLI know Steam Next Fest ends tomorrow but whatever you do, don't play the Fera demo on the Steam Deck because the framerate isn't good and you can't adjust the resolution in the main menu or in-game.

Try Aska or Aloft. Both offer graphics settings, though I don't have Steam Deck to check how they perform. Aska I described few posts up, Aloft has gliding and base building from parts. Latter also has vibrant colors like Fera.

Also if other people have same bugs than I do, you won't get far with Fera.


Last edited by Anza on 17 June 2024 at 7:12 pm UTC
Anza Jun 18
Maybe at least one post fest update as there's bunch of demos still available, games that didn't reach top 50 just get less visibility.

Aloft
One among many openworld survival craft games, but this time around there's floating islands and you're able to fly them. You can also glide, which makes traversal between the island possible.

Crafting does nice compromise. You don't know the recipes beforehand, but ingredients that belong to undiscovered recipes are marked, so there's not that much trial and error.

You can also restore islands ecology, though that's something you need to discover on your own, at least in the demo. And one important part of the ecology restoration is not implemented in full yet.

Good fun, despite some frustrations.

Die in the Dungeon
Can Slay the Spire with dice work? Apparently it can. Die placement and buffing are cornerstones of the gameplay and bit more rare dice unlock more options. Dice can be improved too.

Feels bit too easy or I just got too lucky by having health regeneration.

Still surprisingly fun.

Spilled!
Self published ecology cleanup game. Basically you steer a boat that can clean up oil spills and collect trash. There's also animals to be rescued and you have few different upgrades you can buy. Quite simple. There's at least more biomes planned, so probably gameplay will evolve a bit in the full game.

Demo was simple and fun.

Silence of the Siren
Sci-fi strategy game. Playing tutorial is optional, though there's lost of mechanics to teach, so you'll probably miss lot of the things if you don't play it.

Mechanics are fun enough, though I got bit bored in the first real mission as it's cleanup mission. Root cause might be that I'm just playing it in boring way or it might be that there's not many interesting decisions during the turns.

The overhead map feels bit like a boardgame and tactical battles are played on one screen with simple map. There's danger things getting bit repetitive.

So I guess it's fine. Somebody else might have more fun time with it.

Reka
There's not that much exposition, but basically it seems that you want to become a witch. Before that you can do small side quests. Game starts up properly when you get to build your chicken legged house. Though even before that you get to do some witch things.

While the map is small, there multiple point of interests around the map.

Base building actually feels easiest that I have seen in 3D game, usually you need lot of corner pieces to integrate roof to wall properly, but this time around the wall pieces just change into corner pieces automatically. One problem might be though that once you create a piece, there's no way to transform it back into wood.

Bit janky, but I like that they are doing at least something that feels unique. The openworld survival craft part is bit shallow and focus seem to be bit more on the story and quests. Which might be good decision as this is the studios first game.

Worth trying out.



This time around top ten changes around a bit as some of the games were quite good. All of the demos are online still.

Alters
Tactical Breach Wizards
What the Car?
Aloft
Schim
Just Crow Things
Aska
Heroes of Loot: Gauntlet of Power
Die In the Dungeon
I Am Your Beast
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