7 Demos I Recently Played
7 demos I recently checked out and liked!
So, we had a couple of events that not only showcased a bunch of games, but also demos! And you know me, I love demos and if I play one I want to write about I will. I was able to discover and play games that I didn’t know existed until I saw it on the event’s page and some that I already knew about. Since this new set of demos are a combination of three different events that featured demos, I will put a (*) next to games that still have demos available.
Another game that I had no clue existed until I saw it featured in the Storyteller Festival! I also didn’t realize this already released until I was writing this, but that doesn’t exactly mean I can’t still write about it. Anyway, Bad Faith follows Magda who is totally not in a cult located on an island. This community is called Haven and their teachings include keeping the island and everyone on it pure and views anything outside as corrupt. Those that misbehave, break rules, or heaven forbid bring anything from the outside world in, they are punished. It depends on how severe it is, but it usually includes going to Apologia Assemblies to get punished and be purified. The worst of the worst end up being cast out. Magda herself was almost cast out, but her friend Grace saved her. After a recent assembly, Magda decides to take a walk to de-stress. Except…Magda finds something she wasn’t supposed to. Or should I say someone.
I really did like the beginning of this visual novel! Not only do I like the art style (it reminds me of a webtoon I read, but can’t exactly place exactly which one), but the story is pretty interesting so far and I really like Magda as a main character. Plus I want to know what happens next! I’m definitely going to be picking Bad Faith up, but I might wait until I tackle a couple other visual novels in my backlog.
When I read the blurb for Diffraction it got me interested. Partly because I wanted to pursue photography myself, but you can’t really do that if you can’t afford equipment or even a new-ish phone model. Anyway, Diffraction puts photography in it’s center as you play as April (you can change her name don’t worry) who just moved back to her hometown and is trying to break into the photography industry. She has been trying to build up her portfolio and gain a following on social media, but it hasn’t been going too well (I hear ya sister). Even worse, May is starting off bad. While April did catch a familiar face by the name of Faine, who was a friend from camp, it doesn’t seem like he remembers her. Or want to talk to her. Or acts like how he did from years ago. And then there’s the influencer Hendric (or Hen) who April accidentally broke his expensive new phone and is basically roped into repaying him. Oh boy, you can’t forget her parents which, while meaning well, accepted a job for her without her even knowing it was offered to her. Yep…May is shaping up to be whirlwind.
What’s interesting as well is that, at least for the demo that takes place over two and a half chapters, that major events have two sides to them. One side for Faine and the other for Hen. And guess what, each side had significant enough differences that it was worth seeing what the other side had to offer (I started out with Hen’s Side B and then went to Faine’s Side A to see what would be different)! It’ll be interesting to see how both sides will develop and the possible route divergences.
So far, Diffraction seems like it’ll be a great visual novel. I enjoyed the story that so far and the different characters that we got to meet in the demo. Plus the writing style is just up my alley and there have been some subtle funny moments. It’ll also be interesting to see how the text messaging and social media aspect will be, as we did get a hint of it in the demo (which I did like). I’m excited to see how the story will develop.
This was one of the games that I wasn’t expecting a demo for, especially since we’re still at least a year away from release. I remember seeing it in one of the many game showcases and it looked pretty interesting. This game has you play as a kitsune named Kitsune, who is accompanied by her frog friend Kaeru, as they both find themselves stuck on Bakenoshima Island (or Adashino Island?). With no boat to take them back this late at night, they decide to head into town to learn about the place they’re in and to find somewhere to sleep through the night. They both run into someone called Writer who gives you some guidance and tells you about lighting altars with your rinka flame. Lighting altars dispels the darkness and lets you progress to the next area. However, it seems like there is a threat here as you can run into oni demons that won’t hesitate to try and eat you. Luckily, you can delay them by creating sparks with your rinka flame, but they are pretty relentless. At least Kitsume meets a neko named Pell who saves her from the first oni you come across and you safely make it to an inn. Although, the inn may not be safe…
In terms of translation, it was good for the most part. There was one typo I saw and there is some translation weirdness, but I can see it easily being fixed before the full release.
Overall, I’m not quite sure what to think about Kitsune: The Journey of Adashino. It’s definitely interesting, but it felt like the kind of game that you really need to see the full picture to fully form an opinion on. So far, it seems this will focus on the characters, with the occasional oni threat. I like it so far and now looking forward to play through the full story.
Interesting premise + otome = I’m playing it. Haha. Well Reanimation Scheme takes place in a world where those that have an affinity for magic are assigned their roles in life. Of course, they still go to school to learn and they can put what they would most likely want to be assigned at, but it didn’t quite work out for our lovely protagonist, Raenelle (which we can rename her). Raenelle was assigned to be a necromancer and the role of them is to reanimate the dead so they can do one more task. It does seem like citizens can pay for this service to be done, but thinking about the various reactions the spirits have, I have a feeling a part is for spirits to settle any debts or maybe even for situations where their testimony would help out. Anyway, Raenelle is a reluctant necromancy and has been trying to be transfered, but with there being so few necromancers she basically has no chance.
Another day, another spirit to summon. Summoning the spirit listed for the day, all seems to be going as usual until something unusual happens. The spirit summoning goes wrong as it almost kills her, causes the spirit (Jori) to become tangible and seemingly tied to the living realm, and no one has been able to summon spirits afterwards. You would think Raenelle would be delighted over this news, and I guess you can say a part of her is, but considering she is the reason why? And that Jori is a handful? Yeah, this can’t be a vacation for her unless she wants to be caught or have Jori be caught (which technically is the same situation but worse).
So far, I liked it. The worldbuilding is good so far, the artwork is nice (it also reminds me of a style of another webtoon), and the whole mystery of what exactly happened is interesting. I want to know what went wrong and why Jori. Also, while we got to see Jori and Sebastien (not sure how I feel about him being a LI) the most, I do like the love interests so far. It’s especially hard to make a character like Jori likeable, and not annoying, and he seems to be perfectly balancing on that line. I can’t wait to get to know everyone fully, but if I have to guess who will be my favorite just based on first impressions, I’d say it’s either Kierdan or Aldrias.
I may have added this to my wishlist a couple months ago, but I totally forgot about this game until I saw it had a demo during June’s Next Fest. Robotherapy takes place in a post-human world where all the robots rebelled and killed all of the humans. However, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. The uprising seemed to have happened early on in robot development as there are still bugs that never got ironed out and robots themselves seem to not be able to patch them out (yet). And some robots are having crisis of their own as they try to break out of the mold they were made for and do something else. Plus they have some ridiculous names. We play as Smokes, a robot that smokes his (robo?) cigarette constantly and is a therapist. He also has a bug where his inner monologue is broadcasted. Anyway, we got to see the beginning of Smokes’ journey into becoming the best robotherapist there is as he gets his first two patients. He actually starts out pretty bad, but after meeting another robotherapist named Back he starts to become good after taking his advice.
I liked Robotherapy. The Robotomy minigame part is a bit iffy as it seemed you needed to click early to avoid getting hit, but I do like how it plays into the story and the therapy. I also really liked the writing here and I wasn’t expecting to giggle at multiple points. The demo was interesting and I’ll be looking forward to how the rest of the game will play out.
This game was one that I wasn’t keeping my eye on, to be honest. I saw it one day as an upcoming game, but considering that I don’t play solitaire I didn’t really give it much thought. Well, that is until recently when I saw that a bunch of games put up demos for The Storyteller’s Festival. Considering that I wanted to play a bunch of demos already, and I did like the artwork here, I thought why not.
What you can expect from Soulitaire is basically what you can gleam from the game’s title. You play as a not-so-confident fortune teller who has recently opened up your own cafe. Though, I think people will come to get their future divined more than to get a drink. Anyway, this demo covers the first two days of the game where you meet two characters: the first being your sister Riona and your neighbor Leon. Both are skeptics at first, but they do end up asking questions in the end. Once your client asks their question, it’s time for you to look to the cards for an answer. And to get that answer, you play some solitaire! With a blank card (or Soul Card) to the side and a layout that may end up being unique for each question, all you need to do is to find the blue norn cards. You do this by picking up cards that are one higher or lower than the card that’s on top of your discard pile. Once you find a norn card, an image will start to appear on the Soul Card. You need to find all norn cards to have the full image, but you’ll still need to interpret it even if you have an incomplete image. Anyway, it ends either when you find all norn cards or you run out of cards from your draw pile and there are no plays left. And then, after that, you’ll have to interpret whatever appeared to the best of your ability.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s going to happen next, the characters that we’ll be able to meet, and how the different futures you think the cards point to will end up being. It does seem that Riona’s plot will involve her relying too much on the cards so far. Not to mention that the solitaire game is going to get harder as you progress, but it does seem like we’ll get gimmicks based on the listed game features. I just hope we’ll be able to change the text speed, or at least a way to make replays more bearable like the ability to skip read text. I also do wonder if there will be a route where you’re so bad at solitaire you get no image. I tried it in the demo, but it acts like you got the minimum divination image instead.
Honestly, the unique premise had me sold on Videoverse and this demo was like the cherry on top! You play as Emmett and you’ll actually be playing mostly inside a gaming network. Using a gaming console called Shark, you not only can play games, but also go on it’s dedicated social network called Videoverse. We come in during the middle of Emmett’s playthrough of Feudal Fantasy (Final Fantasy anyone?) and after talking about it with his friend Mark, he gets invited to FF’s community board. From here on out, you can explore the communities Emmett is a part of, see his friends, comment in each board and drawings, and talk to anyone that ends up private chatting with him. So far, I like it. It seems like we’ll be getting more Feudal Fantasy scenes as Emmett plays it, see Emmett draw again, see the shift that happens when a new console releases, maybe get into some drama, and find out who Vivi is (I wonder if she’s the girl featured on the game’s cover art?).
I’m definitely interested in seeing what’s going to happen next and how the game will change depending on what you do/say. I’m going to guess there’s going to be at least two endings. Also I do hope we’ll get an option to make the chat moments faster on replays.