My favorite Demos from February 2023’s Steam Nextfest!

I was asked by a few people now which my favorites were and while I gave a short list on Discord, I figured I’d talk about it more here and what my favorite things were. This unfortunately got delayed a bit due to some health stuff, but many still have Demos up so I hope it’s still informative.

Before I start, I want to at least bring up a few things including 5 games that will NOT be listed in the extended part below, but are ones I’m just as excited for:

  1. Any games where I’ve previously played the demo, even if I played the newer ones, I will not be talking about below. This essentially includes Mail Time and Shumi Come Home which are two games I’ve already said I’m quite excited for and that hasn’t changed. They did an adorable collaboration between each other with their demos this round so I still wanted to shout them out regardless.
  2. Similarly, games I played previously that did not have demo updates like Mineko’s Night Market and Townseek! Still very excited for both. Townseek is a tricky one since I don’t believe I mentioned it above like the other games I’ve mentioned so far, but it’s because I actually played the Game Jam version back in 2021. I absolutely loved it and the new Demo with the full release announcement as well. JUST as excited for it, even though I don’t think I’ve spoken about it as much. Again, this is just due to having played the Game Jam version and my very specific rules or we would’ve had that most so much longer for all the games without release dates I haven’t tried yet.
  3. And finally, any sequels. Like I adored Seaberry Keep and have very much been looking forward to the continuation, so I really enjoyed the demo for Chippy’s Escape, but like the above, I don’t really have more to say that I haven’t already. Still shouting it out though.
  4. Any Demos where I didn’t really get to see any gameplay. I am still very much interested in SunnySide, but since the demo was just a Character Creator, it’s hard to say much about it just yet.

So, in short, I’ll only be focusing on games where either I hadn’t heard of them prior to this OR I haven’t gotten to try them before! Despite that, I actually downloaded 88 total Demos, including the ones I mentioned above, so I’m picking a handful of my most favorites, and ones I am most intrigued to see more from, in no particular order.

Steam Nextfest for February 2023 is unfortunately over now, but not all demos go away at the end so if any of these games interest you, definitely try and check to see if they are still available! Each link will go to my Playthrough of the Demo, but in each of the descriptions, you can find a link to the game’s steam page. And if they aren’t available, you can still wishlist them and keep an eye out as they often will rotate demos back in.

  • First up, A Tower Full of Cats! DevCats seems to have really found a groove with the ___ Full of Cats games they’ve been doing and I find it interesting how they have been weaving in a story to go with it. It’s one of the few games where the different poses haven’t really driven me nuts and I really appreciate that there is a hidden counter as well so you know how long you need to click around for. That said, the extra hidden items are a new layer of difficulty and I’m still angry at one particular bolt that decided the best place to be was outside the initial area. Either way, very excited for the game’s full release. The Demo is also still available!
  • Next, Pekoe! This is another one of those games where I’ve been following for a long time and I was so excited to see it finally get a Demo! I did run into a few bugs, but that didn’t make it less fun to play. The tea sets are so pretty. The Demo is also still available!
  • Coming from the same people who made Behind the Frame, another game that I really liked and also made me cry, is The Star Named EOS and while it ended on a rather ominous note that has me a little nervous to see what’s to come, I really want to see the journey unfold and enjoyed everything I got to do in the Demo and I can’t wait for the game’s release. I also hope it’ll end in a less bittersweet way than Behind the Frame did.
  • Arcade Party is very silly, but also really fun and you essentially play through various Mario Party-esque minigames to defeat enemies and it’s just… genuinely a lot of fun and done in a less intense way than other similar games can be. The customization is neat too. The Demo is still available!
  • Sound Hidden Forest is an adorable puzzle game where you have to interact with various things in the overworld in order to mimic back the song the bird is singing. Some are VERY tricky though and even items of the same type can sound slightly different. I have pretty good hearing and even I struggled on a couple. If it ever adds an accessibility mode (Such as adding a floating set of notes or the musical chord when interacting with something), I think that could help it find a lot more people too. The Demo is still available!
  • Moonlight in Garland was maybe one of the biggest surprises for me in the sense of games I didn’t expect to see at all. Something kind of refreshing is turning the usual “moving somewhere new” on its head a bit where instead of going to some idyllic village in the outskirts of nowhere, you’re actually moving to a city which is really neat. I DO WISH WE COULD’VE PICKED UP TRASH IMMEDIATELY THOUGH!!! XP Regardless, I had a lot of fun, even if I kept getting mercilessly lost, and am excited to see how the story goes and hope we can help everyone out despite where we stay. The Demo is still available!
  • In contrast to talking about the game that most surprised me, next up is another game I’ve been waiting on for a long time: Mika and the Witch’s Mountain. I don’t know, there’s something about flying around delivering things to people and helping them out. The Demo is a bit short, but I definitely really enjoyed what I played. I should probably finish Summer in Mara finally before the game releases though…
  • Going into more of a Puzzle focus, I want to bring up two that I’m really excited to see more from: Boxes: Lost Fragments and Puzzle Compound, both which I played along with my husband. We both really enjoy Escape Room and Puzzle Cube-esque games (and genuinely had been saying earlier this year how fun it’d be to have a game where you just open up Puzzle Boxes) and both were genuinely a lot of fun. I think my only critiques I mentioned in the description of my videos and those still stand, but definitely want to play more of both. Both Demos are still available: Boxes: Lost Fragments, Puzzle Compound.
  • Ribby: The Game is a very strange game, but I am very intrigued none the less and need to see how the story unfolds. I will forever be haunted by the photo I missed. On a positive note, I did get a Certificate! The Demo is still available!
  • Our final game on this list, The Empress Quest: Full Moons Saga! I can be really picky with Point & Click games where the cursor can have multiple modes (I find it a bit overwhelming and have trouble keeping track of what I did plus as someone who just loves doing EVERYTHING, having to suddenly click 3-4 times an item versus once gets really painful after a while), I really enjoyed this and I just really hope both Kobi and the Empress can get home safely. The Demo is still available!

I’m going to cut the list off there, but for those who have been wondering, here you go! There’s a few other games I debated adding as well, but I wanted to try and keep the list somewhat short. There were a lot of neat games though and I’m glad I got to try out so many neat things during the recent Steam Nextfest.