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A few more picks from Steam Next Fest

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Steam Next Fest is in full swing, and earlier this week we put out some recommendations. Here are a few more games that run great via Proton on Linux to take a look at this month: Cosmoteer, Dredge, and Potionomics.


Cosmoteer

Cosmoteer is an open world spaceship constructor sandbox where you build a ship piece by piece then adventure about the galaxy to perform your usual slate of space jobs like mining, bounty hunting, and trading. This is my number one find from the Next Fest so far, and I've already had a lot of fun with it. It reminds me of playing Space Pirates and Zombies for the first time way back in 2011, but more relevant references for the gameplay would be Star Sector, Star Trader: Frontiers, or Nimbatus. The core mechanics for a fantastic game all are here without even touching on building a fleet or multiplayer, both of which will be included in the Early Access.

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A quick look at Cosmoteer

The demo does have a vicious performance bug on Proton but thankfully it's solved by changing your launch command to %command% --cores 1. Cosmoteer releases into Early Access at the end of October.


Dredge

For you fishing minigame aficionados, Dredge is an exploration fishing game with a distinct style. I went in blind thinking it would be a cute time waster, so imagine my surprise in discovering Dredge appears instead to be a Lovecraftian horror game with fishing mechanics. The core loop is innocent enough: you undock from the village you start in and spend the day fishing and exploring the bay before selling your catch to upgrade your boat. It's not long, however, before the game reveals its horror aspirations - fishing in the dark raises your stress (think Sunless Sea), fish rot in your hold with unidentified disease, and pretty soon you start catching full-on Eldrich abominations in your fishing nets. It's also not clear what happened to the bay's previous fisherman. 

Dredge definitely sets a tone

Give this one bonus points if you enjoy 'inventory Tetris', as you can fiddle with your cargo to maximize the size of your haul. The deceptively cute graphics and simple gameplay paired with a darkening story and some grotesque 2D art made for an enjoyable state of discombobulation, and I'm curious how heavily the full game will lean into its horror elements.  Dredge ran flawlessly for me via Proton and there's a good couple hours of content in the demo. It's slated for a 2023 release.


Potionomics

In Potionomics you create and sell potions from a potion shop you inherit from your deceased uncle. Think the relationship-building Stardew Valley meets the sales part of Moonlighter. The game looks and performs fantastic via Proton, and there's a fun card game for the haggling process. The character design is, frankly, spectacular, and there's a fun mechanic whereby improving your relationship with characters via conversations/dates earns you new cards to use in the haggling minigame.

Selling a potion to Quinn, the village witch/hustler

There's far too much going on to call Potionomics a dating sim, but from the demo my guess is that building relationships will be the primary focus of the game rather than the shop simulation. One caveat here is that the demo is quite short (less than an hour) and has a lot of tutorialization, so it's hard to know how well the final product will come together. Potionomics releases on October 17, so we don't have long to wait before 'shipping for our protagonist and the the Public Relations Moth from the cover of this article.


It's impossible to keep on top of everything with Steam Next Fest, so if anyone has dredged (sorry) the depths and come up with something special I'm curious to hear about it.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I'm a long-time Linux user and a long-time gamer, and have enjoyed combining these two hobbies over the past 10 years or so. When I'm not gaming or working, you can find me annoying my cat, watching movies, or raving about my 40% keyboards to anyone I can corner.
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8 comments

Spirimint 8 Oct
The best demo i got was "manor lords"! This is just a must for any base builder fan :)

My biggest surprise was "The Entropy Centre". If you like Portal.

I got a lot of fun with "RXC". If you like racing.


Last edited by Spirimint on 8 October 2022 at 11:14 am UTC
Anza 8 Oct
Played Potionomics and I mostly agree. The demo is short, but I guess if it manages to whet your appetite for the full game, it has accomplished its goal. If that's true, it has applied close the deal early enough.

Have to see how it all comes together. Based on the mechanics, everything seems to be serving the haggling minigame. The relationships minigame is exception to that rule though as it benefits from money.
Demo has applied close the deal on us.

If it's not clear enough, I'm intrigued.

Rest that I played weren't as interesting.

Might be worth a look

Seasick is turn based tactics game with ecology as theme. With my skills it was bit too realistic. Everything just was filled with trash and my plants and sea life was utterly destroyed.

It certainly is doing something unique as instead of shooting enemies, you will be mostly pushing trash out of the map. In three layers that have different set of units.

Kaiju Catastrophe

This one has broken native build, but if you force Proton, it works. Basically it's game where you play as huge monster and try to do as much damage as possible. There will be increasingly difficult waves coming at you.

In overall good fun, but I worry bit about the bigger picture in the game. There's upgrades and maybe different levels, so there's hope.

Not worth it

Catsploration. Native build kind of almost works. Proton works, though game is quite janky.

Because of jankines, this one is hard to categorize. Some of the jankiness is harder to forgive though. Camera needs to be manually controlled all the time (e.g you have to hold down right mouse button all the time). Controls also feel bit like the cat would be ice skating.

Once you accept those janky things, game is somewhat fun for a while. There's plenty of things to explore. Fund stopped though once I was teleported to untextured area and died after falling. Couldn't figure out if there was way to resurrect the cat.

Mile High Taxi gets clearly inspiration from Fifth Element, but there's too much exposition and minimap is pretty confusing. Seems to need something radical to salvage it.
I played Techtonica, The Eternal Cylinder and Super Buckyball Tournament on the Steam Deck and they all played great, Eternal Cylinder needed a little tweaking for better FPS.

Techtonica is very Satisfactory but subterrainean, i.e. like Deep Rock Galactic just with automated drills, conveyors belts, smelters etc; very standard automation game however, if you've been through to the end of the automation game several times it brings little new to the table, but it's above the average in terms of visual and technical quality, most go for 2D because they can't do it in 3D, this one can without being poor quality (just thinking Fortresscraft Evolved here).
The demo is extensive, I havent come to an end in 1,5 hrs

The Eternal Cylinder is a narrated open-world about small creatures that constantly need to run from a collossal cylinder that plattens everything in its way. Your familiy grows as you find, hatch or free others of your species. You can switch control between them any time, each has its own inventory and the main mechanic: in the open world there are many plants, fruits, crystals and small creatures like fish and flies that can be consumed, some nuture, some grant a mutation such as becoming fat and having increased storage or growing larger legs to jump higher. Mutations can be combined.
High quality voiceover, surreal, reminding of Alice in Wonderland, fun.
The demo is extensive, I havent come to an end in 4 hours


Super Buckyball League is a combination of Rocket League and Overwatch, 3v3 players choose from around 15 defense, offense or support heroes with unique abilities and stats and try to get the ball into the other teams goal.
Very well executed, creative and varied abilities, good fun
There are no restrictions to the demo, all heroes are available, all the abilities and game modes can be unlocked.



The latter two I will play them again.


Last edited by audiopathik on 8 October 2022 at 6:50 pm UTC
Anza 8 Oct
Quoting: SpirimintThe best demo i got was "manor lords"! This is just a must for any base builder fan :)

I played it a bit too. It's quite solid medieval builder game. There's bit of survival aspect there too. My villagers were starting to freeze to death and then the game froze. I kind of get it why this is most popular demo right now.

Quoting: audiopathikI played Techtonica, The Eternal Cylinder and Super Buckyball Tournament on the Steam Deck and they all played great, Eternal Cylinder needed a little tweaking for better FPS.

The Eternal Cylinder is a narrated open-world about small creatures that constantly need to run from a collossal cylinder that plattens everything in its way. Your familiy grows as you find, hatch or free others of your species. You can switch control between them any time, each has its own inventory and the main mechanic: in the open world there are many plants, fruits, crystals and small creatures like fish and flies that can be consumed, some nuture, some grant a mutation such as becoming fat and having increased storage or growing larger legs to jump higher. Mutations can be combined.
High quality voiceover, surreal, reminding of Alice in Wonderland, fun.
The demo is extensive, I havent come to an end in 4 hours

I haven't finished the demo yet, but the world building really is something special here. Everything is just right amount of weird and alien. I guess only thing can go wrong with full game if it can't bring something fresh now and then until the end of the game.
Quoting: audiopathikThe Eternal Cylinder […]
High quality voiceover, surreal, reminding of Alice in Wonderland, fun.
Funnily enough, I was playing the board game Wonderland Wars last night and one of my friends launched into a recitation of "Jabberwocky", and the first stanza instantly made me think of The Eternal Cylinder and felt like it could be describing it:
Quoting: Lewis Carroll'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Quoting: AnzaI haven't finished the demo yet, but the world building really is something special here. Everything is just right amount of weird and alien. I guess only thing can go wrong with full game if it can't bring something fresh now and then until the end of the game.
I watched a full playthrough when it released last year on the Epic store (and I'm still interested enough to buy it myself, for what it's worth), and as I recall it generally did a good job of introducing new stuff pretty much all the way through. Eventually you run out of new mutations, but you start unlocking the ability to manifest them at will, which is pretty handy. (Well, Trebhums don't have hands, but… )
anewson 8 Oct
Quoting: AnzaIf that's true, it has applied close the deal early enough.
I see what you did and I'm here for it.

Quoting: Anza
Quoting: audiopathikI played Techtonica, The Eternal Cylinder and Super Buckyball Tournament on the Steam Deck and they all played great. Eternal Cylinder needed a little tweaking for better FPS.

I haven't finished the demo yet, but the world building really is something special here.

100% agree about the worldbuilding, really unique and well done. Had my eye on TEC for a long time.
Anza 9 Oct
I played Dredge too and there's not that much to add. Based on store page description, horror seems to be integral part of the game. At least so far in the demo there's always safe haven, so there's bit of a breather before venturing out into night. Though it could be that towards the end horror intensifies, but at that point player might be hooked already. Alternatively strange just becomes the new normal and things are not as scary anymore.

So far night has just the right amount of uneasiness, so maybe they're doing things right.

If videos don't work and game is very unstable, just for latest Proton (no need for GE, Proton 7 seems to work fine).

I played bunch of other games too.

Worth checking out

Void Scrappers
Sort of mix between Vampire Survivors, shoot 'em up and pinch of roguelite. Basically you have bunch of weapons that shoot automatically, and by collecting scrap you get to choose from random selection what to upgrade. Enemies come from all around, which gives bit more Vampire Survivors vibe than traditional shoot 'em up where enemy placement is done manually and enemies might fly towards you in a straight line.

If the price is right, there might be something here. Only gripe could be that upgrade screens come so often that they interrupt the flow. I know, it's my fault because I'm collecting so much scrap, but still...

Maybe worth taking a look

Against the Storm

Kind of fantasy Settlers with somewhat unique setting and gameplay. It's not that easy game as buildings are enabled in random order. Odds are improved by offering player selection of three buildings. So usually you might not be able to use all the resources, but I assume it's possible to get by with what you have, if you know what you're doing. Tutorial might fool you a bit as that's quite linear and you get what you need when you need it.

So quite solid game, but with some potential design flaws.

Sole Saga

This might more blatant Vampire Survivors clone (which I haven't played, so can't be sure if there are differences). Quite approachable, even when the difficulty is bit on a roguelite level.

Inkulinati

Kind of medieval hand drawn line battler tactics game. There's commander unit, which has bit god like powers. Ink is used to buy units and dead enemies drop it and there might some sources around the map. I have feeling that this one might be good for people who beat these kind of games for breakfast, I rarely just have the patience.

Go play something else

Extinction Eclipse

Top down space RTS. There might be good game in there somewhere, but it demo doesn't really show it. It's quite basic and campaign seems to be missing something that's required to progress. Mission goals require more units than the unit limit allows and I couldn't figure out how to raise the unit cap.

Background story seems to be more epic than the game itself. Though based on the discussion forums there's slight possibility that the Linux port is not the latest version.
anewson 9 Oct
Quoting: AnzaI played Dredge too and there's not that much to add. Based on store page description, horror seems to be integral part of the game. At least so far in the demo there's always safe haven, so there's bit of a breather before venturing out into night. Though it could be that towards the end horror intensifies, but at that point player might be hooked already. Alternatively strange just becomes the new normal and things are not as scary anymore.

I'm also unsure if the gameplay is going to closer reflect the horror elements or it will remain pretty relaxing to play - the game definitely has a horror game ambience, but so far the horror gameplay mechanics (eg terror) are pretty light. I actually don't mind which way it goes, I can appreciate a relaxing game with horror story elements or a horror game with relaxing gameplay elements.

Re: Void Scrappers people seem to really like it, Liam included. Haven't tried it yet
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