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Steam Game Festival February 2021 edition is live now with lots of demos

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Ready to try the next set of upcoming games on Steam? Wait no more, as the Steam Game Festival February 2021 edition is now live with plenty to take a look at.

The event features over 500 demos across multiple genres, plus developer-hosted livestreams and chats. Additionally this time around the event itself will have its own livestream show on the event page and Twitch for the first day featuring a select group of demos.

We'll be gradually going over the list and pointing out / capturing footage of a few that stand out. For now, here's a few that look delightful that offer up a Linux demo for the event:

  • Alisa
    • "Alisa is a Horror-themed Action Adventure game and a genuine throwback to the golden age of 90s 3D games."
  • Don't Forget Me
    • "A jazz-punk adventure game with a twist, Don’t Forget Me is a new breed of puzzle game. Dive into the memories of your patients, use your own observations to unwrap their minds and uncover a dark conspiracy set to claim dominion over humanity."
  • Dwerve
    • "Dwerve is a tower defense dungeon crawler RPG. It tells the story of a young dwarven tinkerer that adventures into dwarven ruins armed with turrets and traps, the only weapons that can protect the dwarves from Witch Queen Vandra the Wicked and her army of bloodthirsty trolls and monstrous creatures."
  • Kathy Rain: Director's Cut
    • "Award-winning adventure Kathy Rain returns in the Director’s Cut, featuring an extended story with more puzzles to solve and new areas to explore. Witness the rise of an iconic detective as you uncover a dark and sinister truth hiding behind the calm exterior of a small rural town."
  • Loop Hero
    • "The Lich has thrown the world into a timeless loop and plunged its inhabitants into never ending chaos. Wield an expanding deck of mystical cards to place enemies, buildings, and terrain along each unique expedition loop for the brave hero."
  • Loveland
    • "Take on the role of The Detective, a member of an agency tasked with hunting down supernatural and cryptid creatures. Will you be able to uncover the mysteries of Loveland?"
  • Luna's Fishing Garden
    • "Luna's Fishing Garden is a cozy fishing and building game. Catch fish, trade it in and create the garden of your dreams by planting new trees, placing water objects and bringing animals to the archipelago."
  • One Dreamer
    • "Manipulate the world around you by editing source code in an adventure game about a burnt out indie game developer's quest to fulfill a lifelong dream."
  • Viscerafest
    • "Viscerafest is a Sci-Fi Fantasy Singleplayer Arena FPS with minor Collectathon elements. Fight through hordes of aliens and eldritch monstrosities wielding a slew of powerful weapons, juggling your resources, and exploring over 26 intricately designed hand crafted levels."

There's absolutely loads more coming to Linux, a fair amount just don't have a demo (either for Linux or at all). Some are supposed to have a demo but the box isn't appearing yet too, the usual Steam issues with a new event launch. These listed are just a bunch that immediately stand out to me and as always it's quite subjective whenever we do a list to tastes. Be sure to give your recommendations in the comments.

It's still a shame that having a demo is no longer a sure thing but it's nice to see them used like this too, as it's a fun bit of marketing for developers and gives us a chance to test and find out about new games we weren't aware of before.  The whole event runs until Tuesday, February 9 at 10AM PST / 6PM UTC.

See the event page here and you can find the entire list of demos available on Steam any time here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Demo, Event, Steam
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12 comments
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Spirimint 3 Feb
Anybody tried Distand Kingdoms? I stuck in loading screen.
Evil Inside is not working through Steam Play. I get the menu, followed by a black screen with text. However, when the text ends, it's just a black screen.

Rise Eterna also not working. Controls were wonky (reversed) and I managed to get through the first dialogue which took me to a map where no buttons did anything.

Trail of Ayash also not working. The game launches and I can hear the music, but that's all. Just spent five minutes staring at Steam, listening to creepy music, waiting for some sort of visuals to come up, but no dice.

We Are The Plague is also not working. Menu is unresponsive.

All told, I am disappointed. These were the only four games in the festival that looked even remotely interesting to me - none of them support Linux and none of them worked with Steam Play.


Last edited by Expalphalog on 4 February 2021 at 5:14 am UTC
dubigrasu 4 Feb
I only tried Evil Inside and We Are The Plague. With the current Proton they don't work and I suspect is because of missing video codecs.
Try Proton Experimental, it displays just a video placeholder, but the games are working.
If you want the movies too, use a GloriousEggroll Proton. I used the latest (Proton-6.1-GE-1), and the games are fully working this way.
Eike 4 Feb
QuoteDon't Forget Me

"A jazz-punk adventure game with a twist, Don’t Forget Me is a new breed of puzzle game. Dive into the memories of your patients, use your own observations to unwrap their minds and uncover a dark conspiracy set to claim dominion over humanity."

When I click on the demo button, in browser or the Steam client, nothing happens (while four other demos were downloading all fine).
Anybody got the same or a different experience with it?
Anza 4 Feb
Quoting: Eike
QuoteDon't Forget Me

"A jazz-punk adventure game with a twist, Don’t Forget Me is a new breed of puzzle game. Dive into the memories of your patients, use your own observations to unwrap their minds and uncover a dark conspiracy set to claim dominion over humanity."

When I click on the demo button, in browser or the Steam client, nothing happens (while four other demos were downloading all fine).
Anybody got the same or a different experience with it?

I played it two weeks ago, so it worked at least earlier.
ageres 6 Feb
I've tried a few.

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood (the demo is Windows-only and has issues with Proton; the game will have a Linux version). It's The Coma 2 but without horror and with The Wizard of Oz story. The demo is very short and consists only of dialogues and a couple of puzzles.

Viscerafest. I'm disappointed. Besides bad graphics, there are boring plain levels, lack of ammo, enemies inflict too much damage on high difficulty levels. But the worst thing is having no quicksaves or at least checkpoints. Instead, there are consumable items (one or two on a level), like in WRATH. What's the deal with quicksaving in these 90s-ish shooters? Why can't modern developers just let me use good old F5 and F9? The levels are short, but still it's annoying to repeat everything after a sudden death. Nice protagonist, nice plot, but the rest is not good enough.

Alisa. Yet another game that gets games of the 90s wrong. This time it's Resident Evil 1 but with even worse graphics, animation and voice acting. It feels like the developers intentionally do everything as bad as possible, totally ignoring all things that were improved in later games, like a dedicated button for a map, displaying a character and important stuff on a map, etc. It's painful to play this game. Also, it's glitchy, has big problems with FulHD resolution and controller support. After I died, it even crashed with an error saying its Windows .exe hadn't been found (despite it's native Linux and Unity). If you want a game that gets it right, play Them and Us.

Slavania (Windows-only, but the dev promises to make a Linux version). A metroidvania with some unique elements, like tracking and hunting bosses. It's very glitchy and unfinished at this moment. I'm looking forward with hope that all defects will get fixed.

HROT (Windows-only, no Linux support planned) - this isn't a part of this demo fest, just a demo for a new game in Early Access, but I played it along with others. A worse version of Dusk and Quake 1. Its monsters and weapons are just reskinned ones from Quake. The gameplay is enjoyable, but levels are too quadratic (at least that one level available on the demo), visuals are too brown, weapon sounds are very lame, enemies love to jump high too much. Nice music though. I'll get it on a sale eventually, but definitely not at a full price. You may need WINEDLLOVERRIDES="openal32=b" launch option to get sound working.

Lamentum (the demo is Windows-only; the game will have a Linux version). A pixelated 2D Silent Hill with a limited inventory and bottomless item boxes from Resident Evil. Definitely the best of these demos. Walk around a 19th century mansion, avoid or fight Lovecraftian monsters, solve puzzles. Its UI isn't good though, hard to manage and use items, no marks on the map (but the dev says this will be improved). It's easy to get lost, only diary notes can drop a hint.


Last edited by ageres on 6 February 2021 at 2:43 pm UTC
dubigrasu 6 Feb
I would like to give a shout to the old-school looking Graven: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1371690/GRAVEN/

It needs Proton Experimental or Proton GloriousEggroll, but is quite something, although the demo unfortunately has performance issues (even on Windows). They said the issues are solved for the main game though.
ageres 6 Feb
Quoting: dubigrasuI would like to give a shout to the old-school looking Graven: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1371690/GRAVEN/

It needs Proton Experimental or Proton GloriousEggroll, but is quite something, although the demo unfortunately has performance issues (even on Windows). They said the issues are solved for the main game though.
I tried it on the previous demo event. It is good indeed, but I got lost quickly having no mana and no clue where to go. I remember I fixed its bad performance but don't remember how. Probably by switching the game's renderer.
Anza 6 Feb
I played bunch of demos too. I think I downloaded most of that have Linux demo.

  • Lunas Fishing Garden
  • Kind of mashup between fishing and gardening game. Lot simpler than Star Dew Valley. If you're bored and can't think of more interesting games, it's worth giving a go.

  • Jupiter Moons Mecha
  • Mecha themed card battler. Seems just little bit too simple, but that might be because I mecha was destroyed after few battles and I gave up.

  • Load Roll Die
  • Kind of dice battle game. There seems some potential for bit more deeper tactical gameplay, but user interface is bit too confusing. I didn't feel like completing it.

  • Rain On Your Parade
  • This one was positive surprise. Basic gameplay as simple as pouring water on people, but general mayhem you can cause makes it lot more fun it sounds. Levels get bit more complex during the demo so you get to blow and burn stuff up for example before demo is finished.

  • Loop Hero
  • Liam did already article about this one. Worth giving ago, it's great retro RPG, card game and tile laying game mashup in short.

  • Endline
  • I wasn't sure if I like this or not. It's abstract shoot'em up with small bit of rhythm game. There's some potential, but I have feeling that there must be better games in same genre out there.
Anza 7 Feb
Next batch. There might be few visual novels that I haven't downloaded, but otherwise I think I have tried all the demos that that Linux support.

Good

  • Copy Editor: A RegEx Puzzle
  • Game for a niche, but quite promising. Might be quite hard for people who are not familiar with regular expressions, at least in its current form. Meant to be educational game and source should be available on GitHub (link is broken though, so ask from developers where it is, if you're interested).

  • Dwerve
  • Sort of tower defense JRPG mashup. Tower defense parts happen when enemies approach and quite often all escapes are blocked until enemies are defeated. Takes a while to get used to how to place the towers (moving them can be crucial too).

  • Kathy Rain: Director's Cut
  • Retro adventure game. Retro part is that pixels are clearly visible, but art is still very nice. Plot has just right amount of mystery. I think I like this one bit more than Whispers of a Machine, which is from the same developer.


OK

  • Zombie Soup
  • Very short demo. Game seems to be twin stick shooter, with some emphasis on story.

  • Mini Countries
  • Mini Metro clone. Basically you build factories, farms etc. and transfer resources to cities that request the resources. Could be worth a try if you have itch for easier Mini Metro.

  • Pawnbarian
  • Roguelite version of chess with reduced number of pieces. Can be fun diversion for a while. Nothing clearly wrong, but I didn't feel like finishing the demo dungeon.

  • Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide
  • Cute puzzle game. Kind of cat and bat version of Lemmings with spirits. Spirits can't die at least demo, so finishing level just requires little bit of patience. Might be great for kids who are not ready yet for the more challenging puzzle games.

  • Viscerafest
  • I mildly disagree with ageres. I would think it's kind of between OK and bad as there are clear faults.

    Quick saves get introduced later in the demo, but you have to collect them before you can use them and there's only one found in each level.

    Graphics are very much retro, but at least aesthetics are somewhat nice. Game has gotten some inspiration from DOOM (the 2016 version), as music is bit similar style and gibs give health. You can gib dead enemies, which helps as that way there's bit more health available.

    Gunplay is fun once you find something else than the default pistol. What kills it for me is the platforming sequences. It gets even worse as action sequence with platforming with time pressure.

    I recommend also starting with easiest difficulty. Doesn't not help at all with platforming, but at least you feel bit more like badass as you don't get killed right away.

  • Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon
  • Mashup between Robotron and Berzerk mixed in with rhythm game and roguelite (rooms are randomized). Nice diversion for a while, but difficulty is pretty high, so only in short sessions.

  • Haiki
  • Super Meatboy inspired platformer. So Haiki is a platformer with relatively short levels with deadly spikes and mechanic where changing background colors will hide same colored platforms. I don't know how inventive the game gets with the gameplay as I didn't finish the demo. But can be nice for somebody who likes hard platformers.


Bad

  • Alisa
  • I didn't play the games that this gets inspiration from. But by todays standards, the interface is quite horrific. OK, fine, tank controls make sense if you want induce fear by making walking and aiming hard. I don't remember though modern game needing a button for descending stairs, so that's something. I guess it's good game to make yourself appreciate how far games have progresses since from 90s in some ways.

  • Enemy Remains
  • Gory twin stick shooter. There's barely any reason to go anywhere, but arrows at least try to hint how to get into dead end of maybe even forward. Some of the guns can be fun while ammo lasts. Shadowground games are closest in style that I have played and are much better, Linux ports are not available on Steam though.

  • EVERGLORY
  • Practically RTS engine demo. Store page promises much, but at the moment it seems to be best for people who want to get their hands dirty in developing. Engine is open source.

  • The Parrot That Summons Demons
  • FMV horror game. Everything is computer graphics though. Main character is looking side to side almost all the time, which might help seeing bit more of the area, but end result is just annoying.

    If you like bad horror games, this one might be quite funny and hopefully that was what developers intended.


Broken

  • Loveland
  • I only get black screen when starting the game. That's bit of same thing what happens if buggy version of Unity made game resolution 1x1. I found the configuration file for the game and that didn't seem to be the case, go figure. End result anyway that game is unplayable.

  • Medievalien
  • Supposed to be some kind of medieval RTS with aliens. Couldn't play it though as shiny things shine way too much. After travelling through the first portal screen goes largely white and there might be menu. Couldn't proceed after that as I didn't see what I was doing.

  • Lion Quest Infinity

  • For this one I'm not 100% sure if it's broken as game is quite weird. It's some kind of puzzle platformer where you also play as developer of the game (I think). At one point I lost ability to traverse between rooms and just went to empty space outside the room. I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do, so I quit.
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