Normally, we focus on handheld games here on LadiesGamers. But as so many games nowadays take the route from Steam to Switch we couldn’t resist taking a peek!
All demo codes provided with thanks to The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Steam Summer Games Festival
When I was younger I used to love going to festivals. My favourite being Pukelpop in 2007 which was a festival in Belgium featuring music from pretty much all music genres. From dance to death metal. It was music heaven for me. It was also the only time in my life I somehow stayed awake for 72 hours! Something you really shouldn’t try at home. Anyway I’m old now so I prefer festivals from the comfort of my chair. Which is better for my back than sleeping on a grassy field.
Speaking of festivals.The Steam Summer Games Festival is upon us so you know what that means? Hide your wallets, or find them, because big sales are a coming. The festival is also and opportunity for developers and publishers to showcase their upcoming games. The Quantum Astrophysicist Guild (who we’ll just call Quantum) provided eight demos of games which will feature in the festival. So for today’s early impressions article I’m going to provide a quick summary of each game and as a bit of added fun I’ve come up with a music stage that these games could theoretically headline. While all of these were demoed on PC, research has suggested that many of these titles are planning Switch releases in the future. So always keep coming back to the Ladies Gamers stage to check for full reviews of these titles.
Dance Stage #Funtime
A pretty simple arcade twin stick shooter with neon retro aesthetics. Looks rather similar to Geometry Wars. The demo showcased a mode where you just take out waves and waves of enemy shapes. Upon destruction everything explodes like a firework and has its own sound making for quite the musical arcade title. The background soundtrack is incredible for this game and the main standout feature. It also changes each time you restart rather than relying on just a single tune. When you get a game over you’re given the chance to upgrade your ship with the points you’ve accumulated. There’s also a mode that you can unlock in the demo where you have a wrecking ball attached to your ship which was enjoyable. I mean they are not wrong about the #. This game is a fun time.
Techno Stage: Break Point
This one is ever so similar to #Funtime. This time you fly around in a Asteroids-like spaceship that uses axes and knives as weapons – which is a little odd. Still, the arcade style game play is fun making for another score-attack good time. What stood out most in this demo was the intro has you fly the spaceship hitting pixels which in turn form the opening credits of the game before morphing into the main game. Certainly a good first impression but the style between this and #Funtime is too similar. Since this game focuses more on melee combat one wonders why they decided to go for a spaceship design.
Metal Stage: Kur
An old school first person shooter game where you play a female protagonist. This titles aims to bring back the feel of the old shooter classics like Doom and Quake. The graphics certainly pull that off with the rough around the edges design. You run around basically shooting aliens which explode into satisfying pixels. What makes Kur stand out from the crowd is the use of a mechanized boot. This allows you to jump higher, jump off walls and of course kick enemies. It was a little tricky to get used to but it was a lot of fun to play around with. The demo lets you explore a couple of levels which are loaded with plenty of enemies. Ammo for the weapons seemed quite stringent, and I often had to resort to kicking enemies with my boot instead. The rocking soundtrack was fun and there were lots of secrets to discover in each level.
Folk Stage: The Ambassador
A top down game with retro graphics. In this game you move from level to level taking down all the enemies with your weapons and magic. The game features a stop time mechanic which allows you to get the upper hand over enemies when things get a bit frantic as well as slow down fast hazards. Some of the game’s tougher enemies require some thought to defeat. You can’t just spam the attack you have to wait for the right moment to strike. The demo gives you a taste of various levels across a variety of environments. When you get to the end of each level the game gives you an upgrade: weapon, magic, or armour. Then at the end you fight a boss which requires you to make good use of the stop time mechanic to accomplish. Overall, a fun taste of the final product.
Indie Stage: Deleveled
A clever little puzzle game about getting two orange pixels to the goal. The hook here is that they start as mirror images to each other and you control both at the same time. It they fall from a height and collide with a white line they sort of bounce off each other. So there’s a lot of physics to consider. Your brain will get a rewarding workout with this one. The demo gives you a decent number of puzzles to work your way through. The graphics are simple, the music is good, and the challenges are very satisfying.
Otter Stage: Space Otter Charlie
This game features otters so automatically it qualifies for amazing. I’ll let Melissa take it from here; I’m afraid I had to steal this one away! For those of you have seen James’ brilliant otter article you may have already realized that we love otters. So I was definitely up for playing Space Otter Charlie (SOC). SOC has a great introduction story: with humans leaving the rapidly heating Earth but leaving all the animals behind. Well otters are having none of this and create their own spaceship in order to find a new home. Your crew are running out of fuel and Charlie is sent out to a space-station to get more. The controls are really interesting and you move around the levels as though you’re in zero-G. You come across enemy bots and some small puzzles as you progress before meeting what will be the big bad of the title. Charlie and the other otters are really cute and there’s some adorable otter noises when they speak. I think SOC is lining up to be a casual, easy going otter. I personally love that the developers added some real life otter facts in the loading screens it’s just a shame it loads quicker than you can read them!
Chill Out Stage: Sail Forth
Possibly my favourite demo of the bunch. A relaxing game about sailing your boat around. You can’t beat a game where you can sail around in your own boat with your cuddly crew. The choice is yours with this title, you can take things, easy customize your ship, do some fishing and just sail to islands meeting new friends. But if you want, you can totally take on pirates and forts in ship on ship battles. The controls felt straight forward and I was impressed by the amount of choice on offer with this lovely ship adventure.
Pop Stage: Freshly Frosted
A fun little puzzle game where you create a conveyor belt path in the correct order to make donuts. Trust me, It’s more fun than it sounds. Everything starts off fairly straight forward: just guide the donuts through each stage of production. As the demo progresses new mechanics are added like splitting the pathway and requiring you to create different types of donuts using multiple paths. The music is as delicious as the donuts on screen and satisfyingly speeds up when you solve the solution to each puzzle. Simple and charming. Well worth a look for puzzle fans.
All these games will be shown off at this years Steam Summer Festival between the 16th and 22th of June. All the demos didn’t appear to require high tech gaming PCs to play. Here’s hoping they all find there way onto the Switch someday.