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Steam Next Fest June 2023 is live now with lots of games

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Say goodbye to your free time for the next week? Steam Next Fest June 2023 is live and there's lots and lots of demos to feast your eyes on.

Check out Valve's new trailer for the event:

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For those mainly interested in Native Linux games, there's quite a few interesting looking demos there including:

  • A Void Hope - an atmospheric puzzle platforming adventure that gives off a bit of a Stranger Things vibe.
  • Cyber Knights: Flashpoint - squad tactics heist RPG! In a cyberpunk setting ten years in the making.
  • Paleo Pines - Create a cozy dinosaur sanctuary.
  • Kingdom Eighties - a standalone expansion to the Kingdom series: A singleplayer adventure of micro-strategy and base building, inspired by the neon lights of the eighties.
  • Dreamed Away - a story-driven action-adventure RPG with dark elements set in France in the 90s.
  • Lueur and the Dim Settlers - miniature survival builder perfect for short and relaxing gaming sessions. 

On top of that some of those you may wish to try with Proton that look like they could be great:

  • Lies of P -  thrilling soulslike that takes the story of Pinocchio, turns it on its head, and sets it against the darkly elegant backdrop of the Belle Epoque era.
  • SteamWorld Build - escape a dying planet by building a mining town to dig up vital long-lost technology.
  • Viewfinder - challenge perception, redefine reality, and reshape the world around you with an instant camera.
  • Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew - another stealth strategy game from the Shadow Tactics team.

See the full event here.

Over the week I will hopefully be highlighting a few, depending on time and what I find interesting. If you find anything especially good, be sure to come back and comment away. Don't forget the Forum to point new finds out after the event or any time.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Demo, Event, Misc, Steam
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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24 comments
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Pecisk Jun 19, 2023
Lies of P is excellent on Steam Deck, and I will check rest of them. Having these fests with demos is really great.
CatKiller Jun 19, 2023
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QuoteWhile still playable with a keyboard, Lueur has been designed to be played with a game pad or handheld console. My favorite spot to play is in bed, what's yours?
LOL.

Paleo Pines has piqued my interest, though; I'll check out the demo for that later.

Ugh. You can't change the controls from WASD in Paleo Pines.


Last edited by CatKiller on 19 June 2023 at 10:48 pm UTC
scaine Jun 19, 2023
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Also, big shout out for Defender's Quest 2. Sadly, the demo is Windows only, but the developer did do native for the first, so I have high hopes.


Last edited by scaine on 19 June 2023 at 7:03 pm UTC
Philadelphus Jun 19, 2023
I knew there was a game I was looking forward to which had a demo out at this, but, checking now, it appears no fewer than five games* on my Wishlist have demos to check out.

*Viewfinder, One Lonely Outpost, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Station to Station, and Jumplight Odyssey, for the curious.
Cyril Jun 19, 2023
Quoting: scaineAlso, big shout out for Defender's Quest 2. Sadly, the demo is Windows only, but the developer did do native for the first, so I have high hopes.

Oh! More than 10 years after the first one, which was great! I'll keep an eye on it thanks, and hope for a Linux native too!
Jarmer Jun 19, 2023
Quoting: PhiladelphusI knew there was a game I was looking forward to which had a demo out at this, but, checking now, it appears no fewer than five games* on my Wishlist have demos to check out.

*Viewfinder, One Lonely Outpost, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Station to Station, and Jumplight Odyssey, for the curious.

Similar experience here! Very exciting! My list is:

Sea of Stars, Shadow Gambit, Steamworld, CyberKnights. Mostly I'm super pumped to fire up CyberKnights because the Trese devs are just gold.
Philadelphus Jun 20, 2023
Ok, having tried all five demos, here's a little review. First off, a minor annoyance: all five required me to put PROTON_USE_WINED3D=1 %command% in the launch options, or they'd fail to launch with an error.
  • Jumplight Odyssey: a bit like FTL: Faster Than Light, as you flee from jump point to jump point in front of an encroaching indomitable enemy. Except instead of an 8-crew-max ship you've got a capital ship which can hold dozens of crew members; my ship started with 68 people and I rescued several more during the demo. There's also a bit of ship-design as you can build new rooms in some empty areas of the ship, so there's some long-term upgrade and strategy. I didn't let the enemy catch up with me so I don't know what combat looks like (from the trailer there's hostile boarders, at least!), but I like the feeling of captaining a large ship and keeping watch over a bigger crew than you could get in FTL. I didn't get great FPS from it (~15-20), and there weren't really video options to change, but I'm willing to bet that'll improve as the game develops.

  • Viewfinder: this one was fantastic. It gave me some real Superliminal vibes, as the core mechanic allows you to place photographs in the world which become real, allowing you to walk into them. The trick is all in the perspective – I needed a bridge, and had a photograph of the side of a building, so I rotated it 90° and it turned into a bridge I could use. Later in the demo you get a camera, allowing you to make your own photographs to solve the puzzles you find. There's a nice reverse mechanic you can use at any time which allows you to easily go back to before you do anything (with easy bookmarks for things that significantly affect the world, like putting down a photograph), making it easy to try different solutions to things. Finally, I was going to praise the game's artstyle, when a puzzle late in the demo had me jumping between different pictures with very different artstyles, from watercolor to crayon-drawing to 90's pixel shader, all of which were executed just as competently. And finally, this one had no problem running at 60 FPS the entire time.

  • One Lonely Outpost: I couldn't get this one to run. I tried the latest half-dozen Proton versions, and the best I could get was 6.3-8, where it ended up on a loading screen forever. Otherwise I just got a pure white screen and some sounds that sounded like a logo splash screen. I'm not super-competent at fiddling with launch options, so if anyone finds out (or has some suggestions on) how to run this I'd appreciate it.

  • Station to Station: this one got to what I surmise is the main menu, but was all blurry so that I couldn't make anything out. Clicking around made it sound like I was clicking buttons, but I couldn't figure out how to un-blur it. I'd similarly appreciate if anyone figures out how to make it work.

  • Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew: another standout. The same quality as in the other similar "Shadow Tactics" games, with solid mechanics (the voice acting is stellar as always, too). I enjoy the more fantastic setting, as it allows them to really break out some more crazy powers (for player characters and enemies!), like teleportation and insta-growing bushes. It also looks like instead of a linear campaign there's more of a choose-your-own-mission structure, which sounds fascinating, especially since you get to pick your crew composition each mission. (I saw something about being able to upgrade your crew's abilities, too.) The maps are now individual islands rather than custom maps for a linear campaign, which you can approach from different points. I had FPS issues with this one as well, with it hovering between 15-25 FPS much of the time, but at least it has a lot of video options so I'll fiddle with those and see if I can get it running better. Also the whole quick-saving/quick-loading thing is now a diegetic part of the story, which is a pretty interesting way of doing things, but fits in with the whole fantasy setting.

Edit: OK, Shadow Gambit wins hands-down for sheer amount of demo content; I hadn't finished it when I wrote my comment (had about 90 minutes in), and all told I spent 3.2 hours in the demo, easily longer than the others put together, and past several natural-feeling points for when a demo might end. (And I've got enough experience with the Shadow Tactics formula that, while I'm no speedrunner, I'm also not particularly slow either.)


Last edited by Philadelphus on 20 June 2023 at 7:08 am UTC
Nezchan Jun 20, 2023
Moonstone Island doesn't work on Linux (Steam Play) or Steam Deck as far as I can tell. Pity, it's the main thing I wanted to try.

Kingdom Eighties is basically the same old Kingdom game loop, except you play as the leader of a group of teens on bicycles recruiting kids to do chores for money and fight the monsters. It's a fun reskin of the concept. One gripe, there's no way to quit and you need to hit close from the Steam library page.

Lueur and the Dim Settlers I tried before, but it's part of the Next Fest too. Satisfying gameplay loop, although prone to crashes for me.

Alterium Shift is a pretty serviceable SNES style RPG. Nothing too fancy really, although I hit a bit of a wall since I was given a list of items, but didn't fully remember it. Unfortunately there's no journal to actually remind you of what you're supposed to get, so it's left me guessing.
robredz Jun 20, 2023
Well Rise Of The Triad Ludicrous Edition demo was up, and it makes the game look reasonable, same gameplay, with improvements, what it does highlight is what they managed to do with the Wolfenstein 3D engine back in 1994 jumping flying walls and ceilings with textures and point lights. at last can be played at today's resolutions.
Anza Jun 20, 2023
Quoting: PhiladelphusViewfinder: this one was fantastic. It gave me some real Superliminal vibes, as the core mechanic allows you to place photographs in the world which become real, allowing you to walk into them. The trick is all in the perspective – I needed a bridge, and had a photograph of the side of a building, so I rotated it 90° and it turned into a bridge I could use. Later in the demo you get a camera, allowing you to make your own photographs to solve the puzzles you find. There's a nice reverse mechanic you can use at any time which allows you to easily go back to before you do anything (with easy bookmarks for things that significantly affect the world, like putting down a photograph), making it easy to try different solutions to things. Finally, I was going to praise the game's artstyle, when a puzzle late in the demo had me jumping between different pictures with very different artstyles, from watercolor to crayon-drawing to 90's pixel shader, all of which were executed just as competently. And finally, this one had no problem running at 60 FPS the entire time.

I played it too and I don't have that much to add. For me it was buggy with the default Proton version, horizontal turning had quite lot of resistance. Forcing latest stable Proton fixed the issue.

I played also SteamWorld Build. Quite solid entry into the series. Build houses for workers, build infrastructure to meet their demands. There's also Dungeon Keeper like mining added in (there seems to be enemies as well).


Last edited by Anza on 20 June 2023 at 6:18 pm UTC
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