Five great indie game demos from this month’s Steam Next Fest

Gare – Wednesday, June 22, 2022 11:23 AM
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On Steam, summer isn’t just the time for great deals and discounts. It’s also the season for Steam Next Fest, a grand celebration of video games where hundreds of demos are made available for eager and curious gamers to try. As is tradition around here, we sampled the repertoire and picked out five favorites that left a lasting impression on us – so, without any unnecessary stalling, here are our favorite demos from this summer’s Steam Next Fest:

Old Skies

Point & click adventures by Wadjet Eye Games never fail to deliver, and if the demo of Old Skies is any indication of what’s to come in the final version, this one will be yet another tale to remember. Set in a variety of time periods, Old Skies is a fascinating time travel adventure where the process of journeying through time, and even potentially altering the course of history, is shown from a routine, almost business-like perspective. The game’s unique terminology and lore, likeable characters and snappy dialogue, as well as the way it portrays the work of so-called time agents, is beyond fascinating – especially when the narrative begins to introduce all the personal drama and unexpected twists one might come to expect from a Wadjet release. Needless to say, Old Skies has easily become one of my most anticipated titles of… whichever year it will release in.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia

Sometimes, you don’t need to overcomplicate things. Sometimes, you just want 2D Dark Souls. And that’s exactly what The Tarnishing of Juxtia is. A loving homage to From Software’s dark fantasy epic, the game was brought to life with vibrant pixel art and managed to sufficiently satisfy my craving for well-timed dodge rolls, massive greatswords and punishing bosses that take no prisoners. Granted, what I’ve played of Juxtia’s demo didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but it scratched a certain itch, and for that, it’s already earned my respect.

Nine Sols

Hey, you. Yes, you. Do you like parrying and counterattacking with expert precision? Do you, perhaps, enjoy feeling like a total superhero as you take out enemies swiftly and with style? Well, in that case, Nine Sols has you covered. It’s another Soulslike on our list, but it more than deserves to be on it: with its stylish, cartoon-like visuals, satisfying gameplay and intriguing – occasionally really dark – storyline, it immediately grabbed my attention and never once let go until I finished the entirety of the demo version. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a rock-solid 2D action game with fluid combat.


Signalis has a lot of things packed into it. Retro sci-fi aesthetics, Resident Evil’s gameplay basics, Lovecraftian influences, a bit of Ghost in the Shell – the list could go on. However, it all comes together wonderfully, providing an experience that I wish I could’ve, well… experienced for a bit longer. The demo ends painfully soon, leaving you only with a glimpse of things to come and the promise of a narrative full of secrets to uncover, but if you’d like to briefly immerse yourself in a wonderfully atmospheric world teeming with familiar genre elements, give this one a go.


Selaco made me feel like I was playing the first FEAR, and that’s a pretty high compliment. With fast-paced gunplay, the ability to slide on the ground and flip over tables for cover, I was having a ton of fun runnin’ & gunnin` in Selaco, even when its lovingly labyrinthine maps causes me to get lost a couple of times. That, however, is also part of its retro charm, so if you’re looking to try something that plays great while also feeling like a title made in the 90s, give this one a look.

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