It's a place all right.

March 21, 2020 (Originally posted on Blogger)

Steam Game Festival Spring 2020 Demo Reviews

So while everything else in the world is going on and I'm mainly just waiting for things to happen in Animal Crossing, I decided to check out some of the trade show type demos that showed up on Steam recently. Some are repeats from last time they did this from the Game Awards, so I found some new ones to look over. Just some unscored impressions here, nothing too in-depth.

Named after I guess something from the Simpsons, this is the latest form of some weird indie tech demo thing you may have seen before where perspective influenced how big objects actually are among other weirdness. It has nothing to do with joining the Navy as far as I can tell. Overall, it's an interesting puzzle concept with some weird twists and such even in the span of the demo, mostly regarding the perspective mechanic, but it felt like a very short demo, so not sure how long the actual game is. I had to crank up "look sensitivity" for it to feel right when looking around, and the movement controls feel a bit physics-y, but as long as this doesn't have precision platforming, it should be okay. I also don't know what "Turn Screen Shake Off" set to "On" means so I left that alone. Something else to note is if you're devoutly against the Epic Store and its tendency to snatch up exclusives, this is one of those exclusives, yet its demo is on Steam, I guess in anticipation of its Steam release all the way in November of this year. Doesn't seem to be one that had its listing on Steam prior to the exclusive deal, though, if that matters to you.

Some kind of puzzle cube involving finding photos that probably tell some kind of story while trying to connect 3D environments on similar edges to have them interact. It's another neat kind of perspective puzzle type thing, this time a bit trickier because there's also multiple angles within each scene that can be matched with things. The demo was about what felt like normal demo length, but I'm not sure exactly how long this mechanic would go on in the full version and hopefully not get old doing so. There's also a hint button for finding what's matchable in a scene if you need it, but what can be matched with what still needs to be figured out. Seems like a simple concept that could also work with phones given how mouse-driven the gameplay can be, plus the simple style graphics.

I wasn't sure what this one really was going into it but some kind of cat dog monster thing and the power of painting between worlds has to get these rainbow splotches to unlock doors. It also seems structured like one of those Metroidvania things but without combat, just puzzle platforming. A neat concept, though it does also feel like a student project in terms of budget, but it's still a very cool game and idea. This game has also already been out for a month now so it should get a bit more attention at least.

Another puzzle game, maybe you're seeing a pattern now of what I get interested in. This time it's a game made of hacking games, specifically a wire game where all the nodes have to be connected and then get to the exit. Then on top of that nodes have to be connected in a certain order, not specifically mentioned but the wire can't be crossed and colors have to be matched. It ends up being very tricky as a result, so if you want to spend a lot of time solving puzzles, you can probably end up doing that with this game. The demo is a handful of puzzles that can take some time with these mechanics.

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