Steam Next Festival (Oct 2021): More demos

After my last post about Gremlins Inc. – Card Game, I tried out a few more demos: Tavern Master, Inscryption, Who’s Lila? and House Flipper City.

Tavern Master

This is a game where you’re building a tavern – so basically a “city”-builder. Quite obviously, this made me check out the game. I quite liked it, even though I didn’t understand why you had to click on the barrels in order to refill the beverages for your tavern, but apparently, you didn’t have to do that for the food on the menu. And if you do have to refill the ingredients, then I didn’t find where to do so (a post from the developers show that there are ingredient crates that you need to watch). It seemed a bit simple which can be good and bad. And it probably starts out easy and will get more complex later on when your tiny little one-room tavern has grown. But I was making a profit easily and people kept coming in with no complaints about the service or the food and drinks. You only get to try the demo in a very small and limited tavern, though.

One thing I cannot recommend at the time is the German translation. The “simple table” was translated to “einfache Tabelle” which – literally – is correct, but not in context. Table can mean the piece of furniture or a kind of chart in English, but there are two different words for it in German: “Tabelle” is the German word for the chart. “Tisch” would be the piece of furniture. Also, if I’m being addressed in the formal form (“Sie”) in a game, I feel uncomfortable. Unless it makes sense storywise, I expect the informal way of addressing the player (“Du”). It just fits much better in a game. I saw another translation error and switched to English at that point.

I keep calling Tavern Master “Tavern Keeper” in my head, which is another game in development. They do seem to be quite similar as the names already imply. I am not sure where the two games will differ, other than in the graphics and in details. And a sane person would now say that there is no need for both, so one should make the decision which one of these two games will be better and go for that one. Or whichever releases first, right? But eh, I will be following both and if both are great, who’s to say I can’t have both if I want to? I did the same with Project Highrise and Mad Tower Tycoon already.

Anyway, Tavern Master played quite well and it looked like it could be a fun game later on. I’m definitely going to follow its progress!


I had seen it advertised somewhere before MagiWasTaken recommended it to me. It is a neat roguelite card game which is going to be released soon, on October 19. The eyes in the dark reminded me of The Dealer in Hand of Fate. I found it an interesting feature that you need to play an animal and sacrifice it for playing stronger animal cards. In between matches, you travel on a map on the table in front of you and can sometimes choose to sacrifice one card in order to transfer some bonus onto another card in your deck. The sequence that happens when you die was also… let’s say fascinating.

Altogether, I think it’s a really good game! And yet, I am not going to buy it (yet), because I bought Deepest Chamber which I tried during the last Steam Festival. This is also a roguelike card game, but it is currently in Early Access. One such game is enough for the time being, but I’ll keep Inscryption in mind and on my wishlist!

Who’s Lila?

This is a pass for me. I still wanted to mention it, though, because it is something different. You need to drag the facial features of your character in order to react to situations with a fitting emotional expression. The game is described as a “reverse-detective point-and-click adventure”. I did not play the demo far enough to know what the story is actually about. What annoyed me was the time limit that you have in which you need to create the facial reaction. I couldn’t get it to work in time quite often and found it too clunky. Also, the whole clicking and dragging seems like a funny idea in the beginning, but I am sure it gets old quite fast. Still, it’s something I haven’t seen in a game before and it’s a neat concept overall. Arisen – Chronicles of Var’Nagal is similar when it comes to this one mechanic. You have cards with emotions in your hand and can only use one of these whenever you need to react to something happening in the game. But in Who’s Lila?, with the time limit, I guess you can also make mistakes and get reactions that weren’t intended.

House Flipper City

This is extremely similar to The Tenants which has been on my wishlist ever since I first gave it a try during Steam Festival. Since there is also “House Flipper“, I thought both games were made by the same developers, but apparently, these are different ones. About House Flipper City: You take on jobs to renovate apartments, houses, etc. and you spend your money buying places, renovating them and then you can choose between selling them for more money or renting them. I quite liked The Tenants when I tried it, so I’m sure I would enjoy this game as well – if both are done well, of course! I guess I’ll have to look a bit into both games to make a decision which one I’d like to get eventually. I am leaning towards The Tenants, though, because I liked the graphics better and found the UI more intuitive.

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