Some Of The Best Titles from Steam Next Fest 2023

A round-up of some noteworthy Steam Next Fest demos you might want to consider downloading and giving a tackle.

Look, there are a ton of games to go through this Steam Next Fest right now. I honestly think that this one is the most feature-packed festival since… well, since I have been covering them. There are so many games to cover that it’s getting to the point where I’ll do a summary of the bulk of them.


What attracted me to this game from Alientrap that I’d previously not heard of were the cell-shade graphics. There you have it; some inside information on how I choose my Steam Next Fest demos. That’s not entirely true, but when pushed for time, let us judge a game by its thumbnail.

Anyway, a brutal summary of Gunhead would be a Wish version of Borderlands. That could be seen as inferior, all I mean is the budget isn’t as big, yet looks like it’s a borderline triple-A as the visuals are excellent. Check out the demo on Steam now, but what can you expect? An FPS rogue-lite where you operate a jetpack. It’s pretty cool.

The Last Faith

The Last Faith demo
Source: Steam

So far, this has been a mash-up of BlasphemousElderand and a little Castlevania. It’s a side-scrolling Souls-like, but more in tune with games before Souls-like existed. We called them hard. It could feature in the recent post – 10 of the best Souls-like games.

Paranormal Investigators

Shit yourself much? Me neither, but when it comes to horror games and especially paranormal or supernatural content, I tend to graffiti my underwear in an unwanted substance. We’re taking a risk with Paranormal Investigators, aren’t we? 

And indeed we did: it didn’t work. It loaded up with the menu, a cutscene of a lorry triggered and immediately ended, and then I was left in an office to do nothing other than see the release date of the game. NEXT!

The Thaumaturge

Now, The Thaumaturge deserves an excellent write-up, but I don’t have the time to be that thorough and to be straight-up: I’d rather be playing it. This is a belter.

Lifting the definitions from the start of the game, thaumaturge derives from Greek, but is loosely a ‘doctor of souls’ – someone who can discover people and places with an insane level of perception.

Erring on excessive with the cutscenes but excelling at storytelling and immersion, you play Wiktor (Victor with a ‘W) from Warsaw. Also, with a ‘W’. At the start of the demo, he has disconnected from his [I forgot the name of the familiar type thing] and seeks out Rasputin for a cure. Put your cock away, you mad monk!

The Thaumaturge
Source: Steam

From an isometric viewpoint, you move Wiktor about looking for clues and observing people and objects to make your conclusions. It’s like psychometry.

The presentation is superb, with some excellent cinematic techniques that only work in gaming. Seriously, The Thaumaturge is one to watch. Well, play. Check it out during the Steam Next Fest, but be advised it’s approximately 20GB or thereabouts.

An Arcade Full of Cats

Cats aren’t the best, but I don’t mind them. If they do invent time machines and come back from a cat-ruling future, I’m screwed. I like this game, though. Does it put me in a good light?

Essentially a hidden object game, I played this with my little girl, and though there were only two scenes, the level of detail and challenge were in epic proportions. It was surprisingly difficult, yet surprisingly good. We never used a single hint, either. This is already on the wishlist. Give it a chance, dog lovers. Cats aren’t so bad, after all.

Between Horizons

Like the excellent sci-fi point and click Lacuna. When I checked out the devs on this one, I realised it was DigiTales Interactive (pop quiz, hotshot: who made Lacuna?).

The initial pop-ups, a.k.a. tutorial, were excessive and annoying, but you can appreciate the visuals and excellent voice acting once past that. If it’s anything like Lacuna (the third time’s the charm), add it to your wishlist and play this demo during the Steam Next Fest.


Enshrouded demo
Source: Steam

A short write-up, but longevity for a demo – Enshrouded is an open-world survival game, not unlike Sengoku Dynasty, only fantasy-based.

After creating a character, you can choose to play privately or online. Eff that, I’m going solo, and I have 8 hours to play about. The first hour or two? Chopping down trees. Yes, it sounds monotonous, but I engorged myself on this one, levelling up my gear, venturing into the shrouded areas and getting that extra element of ‘badass survivor’ mode.

I recommend this one. Like The Thaumaturge, I’d rather play it right now than write some words in the hope that I can encourage you to stay on my site and share my love of games. Oops, did I just publish that?


Easy: like whack-a-mole with your mouse. Your mouse cursor becomes a sword, and you have to click the enemies on the screen before they hurt you. Lots of enemies, lots of extras (in the full game), and lots of fun. Read: addictive.

Echoes of the Living

I’m going to finish up on Echoes of the Living. This is the result of extracting a winning formula, putting it into lab conditions, recreating everything that worked in its predecessors and making it better, faster, and grittier.

That formula may as well be the T-Virus as Echoes of the Living is a clone of the Resident Evil series, and the best ones at that – Resident Evil 2Code: Veronica and so on. Not this first-person nonsense.

Sure, the mechanics are lifted straight out of the 90s and have tragically aged when it comes to movement, but MoonGlint’s game looks and feels sooooo good. It’s like hearing a new album from one of your favourite bands, a new season of your favourite show, or a homage to one of the best survival horror games of all. Yep, this looks like something special and one of the highlights of Steam Next Fest thus far.

Echoes of the Living demo
Source: Screen capture