This is part 2 with the demos that I tried during Steam’s most recent Game Fest. Part 1 included seven new games that I tried out. This post now will include eight more demos. Just as in the first part, this one has games where I see potential, but none of them would make me want to buy them immediately. Still, a few have made it to my wishlist, so I can see when they get released (or put into Early Access).
Spire of Sorcery – I had been waiting to get to try out this game! Unfortunately, I got stuck in the tutorial and had no idea how to advance further. The game told me reach a corpse on the map and there was no path towards it. I started another game and there, the corpse was sitting in about the same position, but there weren’t mountains all around it as there were in my first game. But it’s a demo of a game that is still in development, so bugs are normal. About the game itself: You get to choose your party of three out of several randomly generated characters. After that, you’re already out there on your adventure. It’s a turn-based game and involves collecting resources on the map, cooking ingredients, alchemy and using spells in order to advance. The latter is done by combining symbols and each of your party members contribute. This system confused me a bit. Mainly when it came to determining which spells do what and how to see if the enemy is closer to dying now. Charlie Oscar are the developers behind Spire of Sorcery and I am already a fan of their game “Gremlins Inc.”, so I still have high expectations for this game despite not really understanding how it works.
The Fermi Paradox – This is listed as a strategy game, but I did not see where strategy comes into play. It’s a story-based game and you get to make decisions based on how many resources (called Synthesis) you have. Some decisions give you resources, others cost some. You also get some by clicking on icons in between story choices. But I remember making a choice that basically resulted in that alien race approaching planet Earth with the intention of killing everybody on there. That had certainly not been my intention! At another time, I didn’t have enough resources to make the decision I would have liked to make. Sure, that is part of the strategy of the game, but if it’s story-based, it also means that it’s something I couldn’t have known would come. So, there was no strategy involved. It was just reacting to what the game was throwing at me. However, the demo consisted of a specific scenario while the real game will start with an empty galaxy instead. Maybe it will be different then. Altogether, it seemed like an interesting concept, but I don’t think it’s a game for me.
Urbek – A city builder game. I don’t remember what made me download this demo. Maybe it was the blocky graphics. It was actually quite fun to play with some puzzle elements. You need to have x fields nearby in order to build a grain silo, for example. People’s homes will automatically upgrade if certain conditions are met. I am not sure I am interested enough in this game to buy it, but as I said, it was actually fun to play!
Kapital: Sparks of Revolution – Another city builder, another game that didn’t actually excite me when I first looked at it. However, just as Urbek, something made me download the demo anyway. In this case, it was also the graphics and the game’s description about “class struggle”. You regularly need to decide which class’s demands to cater to: nobles, bourgeois and workers. I assume that later on in the game, it won’t be as easy as it was in the demo to give all of them a little something and have all of them be relatively happy with you. Altogether, a solid city builder game, I think.
Silicon City – And… yes, another city builder game. Now this is the game I definitely downloaded because of the blocky graphics. Citizens are called “silizens” here… maybe a bit silly? Or because of “Silicon”? I don’t get the pun. But the graphics were too blocky for me and the city map too small. It may just be because I played through the tutorial and later maps may be much bigger. The sandbox map lists 256 x 256 as biggest size, but that one’s not available in the demo. I don’t want to be mean, but my thought process was: Why would I want this game if I have Cities Skylines? Now, if you don’t have that game or don’t have a PC that can run it, then this may be an alternative. But as it stands, this is just not a game for me.
Ecoplanet – And… maybe you can guess it? A city builder! Only without a city. This time, it’s with animals only. So, kind of like Equilinox. And just as I asked with Silicon City and Cities Skylines, why would I need this game if I have Equilinox? The graphics are very similar and so is the gameplay. In the game’s General Discussion forum on Steam, there are only two threads and both are asking if this is just a copy of Equilinox. Since I love that game, I wouldn’t mind a second one, kind of like Equilinox 2.0, since the original game doesn’t get any further development. However, not having the developer answer isn’t a good sign. If players mention that this game is too similar to some other game, please take the time to tell us what exactly will make your game stand out from its spiritual predecessor! Some things from the game’s description: Terrain editing and “E.Corp”, a company that you will have to send some (?) of your animals to, but they will pay you for it. I like the graphics of Equilinox better and found the size differences of my two animals a bit odd here. The rabbit is super tiny compared to the butterflies! For the time being, this is another game that did not end up on my wishlist.
Hotel Magnate – You’re building your own hotel here! The demo was very basic with a lot of restrictions which was apparently on purpose. So, the game is probably much further in development. That’s too bad, actually, because for me, it wasn’t enough yet to help me make the decision whether this is a game I would really want to buy or not. The basis for a nice little hotel-building simulation game is there, I guess, but I would have liked to see more.
Blacksmith Legends – Another simulation game. Here, you are a blacksmith starting your own workshop. I had fun playing the game and would have liked to see and play a bit more. Once you got to hire a hero who can explore the map, fight in dungeons and bring you loot, the demo was over. It was much too short for my taste. However, in this case that wasn’t because I couldn’t see enough about the game, but rather because I wanted to continue playing! I also just saw that a developer announced Blacksmith Legends Prologue to launch on July 7 and they also added a list of changes they made to the game after receiving feedback for their demo. The biggest complaint was the crafting recipe slots where you had to switch out the recipes you wanted to use all the time. I did not mind it too much, but seeing it gone is definitely a plus! Altogether, this game just barely didn’t make it onto my list of favourites, but it certainly made it to my wishlist!
My verdict so far: I was a bit disappointed with Spire of Sorcery after following it for such a long time, but it still looked interesting. Blacksmith Legends is my favourite of these by far!