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Slender Threads - Arrival
Source: Screen capture

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A Round-Up Of 13 Of The Most Promising Titles Coming To Steam

A personal collection of some of the most promising titles coming to Steam, based on the recent festival.

Tasking myself with a set of previews from the recent Steam Game Festival, I’ve decided to do a tidy little round-up of 13 of the most promising titles coming to Steam.

Yeah, it’s not an imaginative list or title, but I’ve bitten off more than I can chew in writing these up, on top of the current reviews to go through. The list will be updated with the relevant links, but do check out these titles if you missed them.

A Round-Up Of 13 Of The Most Promising Titles Coming to Steam

Foregone

Foregone - Conclusion
Get ready to rumble… Source: Screen capture

Beginning with Foregone, this was the most memorable titles from the festival – a title I’ve heard of before, but never really acknowledged. In a mad flurry of downloading as much as my hard drive could take, Foregone, from Big Blue Bubble, was one I clicked on by chance. 

What was unexpected was a throwback to all that was great from the 90s, only with a modern spin on it. The first thing that came to mind with this action RPG(ish) platformer was Shadow of the Beast, and there could be no more outstanding accolade from such a cherished title.

Granted, SOTB was quite flawed, but Foregone makes up for that by not only being a gorgeous example but allowing for a variety of upgradeable loadouts that change your style of play. Equip anything from a sword to a halberd, plasma rifle to a bow, in this 2D side-scroller.

You Suck At Parking

You Suck At Parking - Park it up
No, *you* suck. Source: Screen capture

For someone who takes pride in their driving ability, I would have to say that I do suck at parking, but not so much in this surprise demo from Happy Volcano.

I’d not heard of the game until now, and the catchy title acted a little bit like clickbait for me. That shouldn’t be a negative term as it’s effectively done its job, right? Anyway, this top-down parking game might be comparable with Micro Machines, or if you go farther back, Super Skidmarks

You have a seemingly endless supply of vehicles, but not so much the time and have to navigate them into a parking space, avoiding all sorts of hazards from a simple jump to magnets. It’s super addictive, easy to pick up, but, here it comes… difficult to master.

Blind Drive 

Blind Drive - Action
Lights? Camera.. action! Source: Screen capture

Fantastic. That’s the summary for Blind Drive. Quite a simple write-up, and perhaps it saves me the time in doing a preview piece as the premise is quite simple, yet so innovative.

You wake to find yourself in a moving vehicle. You can’t see anything other than the dashboard so have to use your hearing to avoid incoming traffic. While you could play with a decent set of speakers, this is one exclusive for headphone usage.

When you have to avoid hazards from the left and right, it seems easy, but not so much in practice. In the end, I closed my eyes to play it. It didn’t help, but still a very unique experience and another title you have to try (especially if the demo is still up).

Tasomachi Behind The Twilight

Tasomachi - Top of the tower
Top of ‘t tower. Source: Screen capture

I saw the screenshots for Tasomachi: Behind The Twilight and fell in love. These were some glorious vistas from Orbital Express and keen to explore them in this, what – point and click?

Going through all these demos, the titles merged into one, and I was soon forgetting what I was playing, but this game was a little special. The reason being? It was in Japanese. Bugger. Fortunately then, I could read an understand enough to get through, but it’s not text-heavy, and anyone could pick up.

It’s essentially a platform game – a little floaty if you ask me, but relatively tight to control as you run through levels collecting lanterns. But the environment has to be seen – it’s stunning. Like the Faroes’ rocky vistas, mixed in with Far Eastern culture, with a hint of Final Fantasy. A beaut!

Potion Craft

Potion Craft - Punters
Potion punters. Source: Screen capture

Despite being a fan of the diverse titles from tinyBuilds‘ catalogue, Potion Craft wasn’t one that truly stood out. Inherit a dilapidated home, previous occupant: a wizard, then concoct potions to sell on to Johnny Public.

However, I love being wrong about games, and I spent a good deal of time in this demo. You collect an array of ingredients, or purchase them, physically mixing them to come up with new potions to sell, based on demand.

There are subtleties such as changing the shape of a bottle, the label and writing a description so you can make it on the fly. If you also doubt whether you’ll be interested in this game from niceplay games, give it a chance as well worth your time.

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield

Never Yield - Roly Poly
If I say ‘roly poly’ is that uncool? Source: Screen capture

Another one I’d never heard of, but a quick silent trailer goaded me into playing. The significance of a silent trailer was not due to having the sound off, but didn’t prepare me for such a catchy score when I put my cans on.

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is an upcoming one from Aerial_Knight and Headup Games that plays out like a rhythm game. These type of games are a mixed bag for me as I like them, I’m just not good at them.

Well, the controls are straightforward, as is the gameplay but, believe it or not; it’s tricky to get the time right. However, it is very fair. Set in Detroit, it has a Sayonara Wild Hearts and Inside flavour. A weird comparison, but hopefully you get it. Definitely check this one out.

Minute of Islands

Minute of Islands
Source: Steam

This title was covered in a Steam wishlist before, but now I’ve played it. From Studio Fizbin, behind the upcoming Say No! More and The Inner World, you play Mo, responsible for keeping everything together.

That’s a broad statement, but when you experience her world, you soon realise that Mo has a lot to deal with, from giants to pain in the arse uncles. 

It resembles a point and click; only it’s closer to a platform game with puzzles. The storytelling is so good though, with a full voiceover, expertly cast and artwork that has to be experienced, as well as the absurdity and grotesque elements in this bittersweet adventure.

Rain On Your Parade

Rain On Your Parade - C is for Chaos
C is for CHAOS! (and cute). Source: Screen capture

This list would not be complete without this game of mischief I would call genius. You play a nameless little tyke of a cloud intent on ruining everybody’s day while still being immensely likeable.

Fly over some 3D environments in your cardboard cut-out of a cloud (which had so be added: you can customise with hats and draw your own little face on), causing mayhem at the expense of others.

From raining on a bride and groom to corroding vehicles with acid rain, Rain On Your Parade from Unbound Creations is sheer brilliance and can’t wait for this to come out.

Fate of Kai

Tale of Kai - Tale
Tail pun in there somewhere… Source: Screen capture

Visual novels aren’t my thing. I’ve said that before, and while Fate of Kai isn’t a visual novel in the typical sense, it is a comic book panel-based game full of the classic ‘choose your own adventure’ path.

Finding a random treasure chest, the protagonist finds themselves shackled to it and has to find a way to remove it. The story is told in images only with a replaceable word for action points.

You flick back and forth pages to try different combinations such as jumping or climbing in a scene, then later altering it, and reaching a new narrative path. Very clever, very worth looking at.

Draft of Darkness

Draft of Darkness - Snake
Jake is NOT a snake. Source: Screen capture

Honestly? Draft of Darkness was a quick download to consume as many new titles as possible. What I hadn’t realised was the time I would spend playing this.

The visuals are on par with a PlayStation One, and the animation of moving through corridors not exactly memorable. However, the gameplay was so entertaining as you crawl through a dungeon-like apartment building looking to escape the nasties inside.

The battles in the game switch to card-based attacks – a style I’ve been getting into more since Neoverse, and here’s it’s just as good. A bit of a niche, but one I want to experience more.

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood - Assemble
ASSEMBLE! Source: Screen capture

This was a no-brainer as Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a combination of Devespresso Games and Headup Games, who worked together on the excellent The Coma series.

Much like its counterpart, it’s the same visual treat, only the horrors and combat has been removed, at least, in the demo. Instead, it’s a variety of fantasy, comedy and puzzles in the retelling of The Wizard of Oz.

I very much liked The Coma 2, but the shift in style in Scarlet Hood was more to my liking – especially when I was able to solve the puzzles. It made me feel brainy.

Narita Boy

Narita Boy - Techno
Techno techno techno. Source: Screen capture

Another Team17 release for 2021, I wasn’t prepared for Narita Boy, or the throwback Team17 logo. Class. While a retro pixel art game was expected, it wasn’t one as well animated or engaging as there.

The story is much more compelling than first imagined as you play the titular hero, armed with the Techno-Sword to retrieve the memories of the Creator. 

Armed with a controller, the controls felt tight, and the intro to all the new perks of the game was great and verifies that this is an action platformer you need to wishlist. Genuinely looking forward to this one as well.

Slender Threads

Slender Threads - Lobby
The start of something sinister. Source: Screen capture

While this list is in no order of priority, it will end with a point and click and we’ve been spoilt for choice. This one, however, has got to be one of the most stunning examples for the genre.

You play an aspiring writer who sells books for a living, but upon arrival at an off the grid town, start hallucinating and what-not, revealing some gruesome scenes, but the worst ones are those in your head – are you that mad?

We all know the logic for point and clicks, and even though it’s a demo, it’s a lot more accessible than most – void of the typical illogical puzzles. But aside from my bias towards great illustrations, the storytelling is fantastic. I would have liked to have heard voice acting, but if it means we get closer to a release date, I’m all for that. An essential one for fellow adventurers.

Honourable Mentions

I missed out on playing a handful of titles due to the 9th of February deadline. Some of the games are still listed as playable, but others have been withdrawn.

Hidden Deep was a game I was hoping to play; an exploration extravaganza as you head into a suboceanic mining facility, infusing a bit of The Thing and Aliens in this Cogwheel Software and Daedalic Entertainment venture coming in 2021.

Hidden Deep - Tunnels
Tunnels. Source: PR

Though I experimented with Distant Kingdoms, I could not get past the tutorial where you have to place three homes. While they could be placed on the screen, they weren’t built. Thinking I’d come back to it, it was then removed from the festival. First impressions were excellent and anticipate spending a looooong time on this one from Orthrus Studios.

So there we have it: 13 of the most promising titles coming to Steam. There are several other titles I missed, mostly point and clicks, that I intend to cover in the next couple of days as still showing as playable. It looks like I missed out on Prim, but if you’re an adventure fan, look out for an upcoming feature?

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