Another few cold months, another Steam Game Festival to warm our cockles by. I check off my year by them now, curled up hibernating in the dark times, and then awakening for the sweet indie game demos a couple of times a year. Grab yourself the nuts you squirreled away before the winter, and I’ll take you on a magical tour of the highlights of February’s Steam Festival – what to check out, what to get excited about, and what to download and play for yourself!
So it’s no secret here at Finger Guns that Narita Boy has been my most anticipated Indie title for about the last three years, ever since I saw its breathtaking Kickstarter trailer, and heard that incredible music. It’s been pretty quiet for a long time, but suddenly it’s 2021 and there’s a new trailer, a demo on the Steam Festival, and a publisher attached (Team17) and it’s now coming to PS4, Xbox One and Game Pass, Switch and Steam. Wishlist and play the demo on Steam now.
Narita Boy is Ready Player One mixed with Tron, by way of The Dark Crystal. Explore the digital kingdom and save the cyber realm as Narita Boy. Just take a look at that retro-future Superbrothers style and tell me it doesn’t make you swoon! It’s somehow mythological in tone and, coupled with a very memorable synth soundtrack, makes the whole thing seem like an early 80s concept album.
Tasomachi: Behind the Twilight is a gorgeous 3D exploration game that stars a young anime girl called Yukumo, who travels the world in an airship. When her airship suddenly breaks down she becomes stranded in a town with no trace of the people who once lived there. It’s up to you to uncover the mystery and repair your airship once again. Featuring beautiful music from Ujico, this is one of the most beautiful-looking indie projects at the festival. You can wishlist and play the demo now on Steam.
With heavy inspiration drawn from Night in the Woods (and who wouldn’t be inspired by that classic?) Beacon Pines is a creepy storybook adventure starring Luka, a young buck, as he tries to survive being a teenager and whatever strange happenings are going on. Presented as a living storybook, with some beautiful vignette art and cute Anthros, you must find the words to complete the story and change the fate of the town, and chuck a few pigs around while you’re at it. You can wishlist it now and play a demo on Steam.
The world of the top-down pixelart Souls-like is getting a little more crowded, and that’s something we welcome. Unsouled is an action RPG where, you guessed it, you absorb the souls of the dead to get stronger. Combined with brutal and challenging combat, this is one for those who like it tough but fair. What’s also cool is that this is being designed and created by a one man developer in Korea. Give it a wishlist on Steam and play the demo if you’re quick.
The Longest Road on Earth
I’m serious. Anthros make the best foils for exploring human emotion and stories. The Longest Road on Earth is a life-sim trying to capture the small but meaningful moments of life in video game format. There’s no way to fail, it’s an audiovisual experience told through environmental storytelling. Not every game needs to be about epic battles and peril, instead, sometimes it’s nice to just experience an interactive story for a welcome change of pace. If this sounds up your street, give it a wishlist on Steam.
No Place For Bravery
No Place For Bravery is a pixelart soulslike, employing a deep parry-based combat system that is likened to 2D Sekiro. You play as Thorn, a competent grizzled warrior and father who sets out on a perilous and brutal journey across a wartorn world to find his lost daughter, while also caring for his disabled son. It’s got vibes of the recent God of War reboot, and Lone Wolf and Cub, and we’re here for it. Coming from Ysbryd Games (who published Va11 Ha11a) No Place For Bravery can be wishlisted on Steam, and is also coming to Switch this year.
Ever seen those Youtube videos where modders pit one group of units against another in a way you never can within the confines of the game itself? Despot’s Game is the pixelart dystopian sci-fi version of Totally Accurate Battle Simulator – pit your chosen squad of puny naked humans against the enemy force assigned in that room of the dungeon, earn job classes, weapons and roles, and then sacrifice them. You are a despot after all. The graphics look fantastic, and we are really interested in the way this genre is going. Wishlist and play the demo on Steam.
Shmups have to do something a little different to stand out in a genre that hit it’s peak decades ago. And that’s exactly what Squadron 51 looks to do. Filled with 50s B-movie aesthetics, this is a horizontal shoot em up that’s also presented completely in glorious black and white, with plenty of 50s voiceover announcers and real-world filmed assets. It’s original in a genre where that’s hard to come by. You can check out a demo and wishlist it now on Steam, and it’s also coming to Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.
Last one for anthros, I promise. Until next time. Timberborn is Age of Empires with beavers. The apocalypse has happened, the humans are all dead and beavers were the only survivors. Now the beavers are sentient, and it’s time to build the beaver civilisation! Terraform with your teeth, build dams with your lumperpunk race. It’s a fantastic idea, what would a beaver civilisation look like? You can sink your teeth into it in Early Access this spring, and there’s a demo this weekend if your rig is up to it.
So that’s our list of indie games from the Steam Game Festival you should have on your radar. Think we’ve missed one? Want to disagree with our list? Hit the comments section and sound off.
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