© 2024 Only By Midnight, All Rights Reserved

Next Fest 2024 Recap

Steam’s spring Next Fest has come and gone, and we had an amazing time watching all the live streams and trying out demos. Next Fest is always the best time to fill out our wishlist (and maybe check out the competition at the same time).

In a way, Next Fest also gives us a chance to take a high-level look at our games in development. What demos draw us in, and what do they have in common? We love games that have stunning visuals, game loops that feel good, and genres that don’t fit neatly into boxes.

When we examine what we like to play, it helps us decide what we should make. Sounds simple, but it’s a great way to narrow down our focus when it seems like we have a thousand different ideas clamoring for our attention.

With all that philosophy out of the way, let’s look at three of our favorite demos from the spring 2024 Steam Next Fest!

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is like a mashup of Frog Detective (we love Frog Detective) and The Case of the Golden Idol, with a dash of Untitled Goose Game. Become a hard-boiled noir detective, make “deducktions,” and solve mysteries, because those are awesome things to do. Oh, and try to lay off the toast.

In the joyful metroidvania Crypt Custodian, you were a very good cat in life. Now that you’re in the afterlife, surely you will get to go to The Palace, where you’ll experience eternal bliss? Well, maybe not. We loved the easy flow of the controls in this game paired with the exciting and sometimes challenging combat. (Also, the art is adorably quirky.)

Intriguing premise? Check. Well-designed mechanics? Check. Charmingly captivating art style? Double check. We loved the unusual setup for News Tower along with its fun management / simulation game loop. Take over your family’s newspaper, send out reporters, and arrange news stories to give your papers the best chance of selling. Cool!

There you have it. Three cool demos from one cool festival. Go forth and wishlist!