10 More Demos I Recently Played


Why did I pick 10 as a number


I’m back with 10 more demos I played and had the urge to write about! Some of these were part of the Next Fest, but there are also some that weren’t. I did also notice some of the Next Fest demos were still up, so that’s good too. I do recommend checking these out if any of them interest you (and hope the demos are still up). Well, let’s get into it!

Deep Under

I’m always on the lookout for visual novels and Deep Under seemed like an interesting one just based on the screenshots. Luckily, my habit of picking games just based on screenshots is fine when it’s just a demo! Anyway, in Deep Under you play as Alex and his life hasn’t been going the way he envisioned. Not only did his mom disappear years ago, but he’s pretty much stuck in his hometown working as a barista while his friends are off to an out-of-town college. Even if he was able to afford to, he also has his Grandmother that he needs to stay and take care of. The day the game starts on is one where his old friends are coming to visit as their college is on a break. The plan for today is to go on a hike and rest on a spot that has a nice view. You’ll also get to meet two new people, who became friends with your friends, who’ll accompany you guys. Though, it looks like Alex is the only one that cares about safety as they not only are going off of the hiking trail, but the plan is to climb a cliff…without the proper gear. And they make you out to be the crazy one for being cautious. All seems normal and everyone gets talking until everything turns for the worse at the end of the prologue (which this demo covers). What was that thing? What’s been going on in this area? Will you and Ashley make it out of this alive?

Deep Under turned out to be interesting. I seriously felt for Alex as I was learning more about him and why he never followed his friends. I did also like the other characters, even though they didn’t last that long in the story. I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next (especially the context of the screenshots past the prologue) and for the mysterious to be solved.

Also I must express my want for either a setting where you can set the skip function to read or unread, or have the skip function only skip the text you read. Please. I have only encountered one other visual novel that have the skip function skip everything and it only encouraged me to not play it again to see the other endings/other outcomes of your choices.

Daemon Masquerade

This one is a short demo that has you play through the game’s first chapter. Here, all you know is that you’re a kid in this program where you’re known as Subject Lambda. A woman named Dr. Elena Dao is in charge of looking over you. She basically just gives you things to do to test your intellect and abilities. It starts with a super easy jigsaw puzzle, answering questions after reading a book, and ends with you solving a thief case. It all seems really easy, but it isn’t until the end of the chapter where the supernatural aspect comes in. Something that you weren’t supposed to see and angers Dr. Elena.

It’s a bit hard to determine how the rest of the game will be, especially when you look up what the game’s previous demo was. You can also gather that the difficulty of the cases will increase the further you get into the game. Nonetheless, this game is interesting and I’ll probably end up picking this up once it releases.

Touchstarved

If there’s going to be a demo for an otome visual novel, I’m going to play the demo. In Touchstarved, you play as a character that is cursed. Your hands have been cursed since you were born and if someone touches your hands their mind gets twisted. We don’t get a ton of detail on it, but we do see the curse take affect at the beginning of the game so you can imagine that it happened to those that were affected previously. Anyway, after naming yourself and picking out your origin story out of three options, you’re ready to dive right in. You’re on your way to Eridia so you can go to Senobium hoping they’ll have the knowledge to cure your curse. However, it doesn’t go as planned as monsters known as Soulless attack the caravan you were traveling on. Everyone was killed, but by some miracle you were saved from the brink of death. This gives you the chance to not only find a cure, but to meet all of the LIs. All the Lis are great and it seems that each of them have their own answer to your curse predicament.

It’ll be interesting to see how the origins will affect the story or choices, how each route will go, and if there will be a section where you’ll get more information on your character’s backstory. I picked The Unnamed (oracle) origin and I’m just interested in what happened at the temple. There was one line that specifically referenced the origin, during your meeting with Ais, that gave me cult vibes. I do also wonder if it’ll play a part in what ending you get in the LI routes.

Kind Words 2

One game I did not expect to have a sequel announced was Kind Words. Kind Words is basically a game where you write letters, whether it was for someone to answer, you answering a letter, or just throwing something out there. When I was playing, the community was sweet and kind. When I saw Kind Words 2 being announced, I was happy and a little bit cautious. What was shown in the announcement trailer looked and sounded like a great idea, but at the same time it kind of felt like it was doing too much.

Luckily, Kind Words 2 got a demo! The demo basically only has a few things available that you can do, all on one street that I’m assuming is the one you’ll always start at (considering it’s the one with your house). After a quick talk with our deer Ella, you’ll be able to change your appearance before going into the meat of the game. Some will be familiar and others will be new. You can go into the bookstore where you can ask for recommendations, answer recommendation requests, and check your inbox (if you sent an ask of course). Out on the street, you’ll be able to send little airplane notes (which you’ll notice are flying in the air), name cats, describe a cat based on its name, and make conversation with someone on the street (it’ll be delayed since it can’t be in real time, but still). You can click to read the airplanes flying past you and listen into conversations, but trying to can be a bit annoying. Especially eavesdropping as the prompt can end quickly. Luckily, there’s also a bench which will let you easily read airplane notes and listen into conversations.

Though, I do wonder how you’re supposed to end conversations. Like, does it end after you ignore the prompt for a couple days (only counting the days you login)?

Kind Words 2 is basically Kind Words but with more to it. This demo definitely made me more confident in the full game. There’s more to it, and it looks like everything will have their own little place in this virtual town, but it somehow has the feeling like it didn’t get bigger. Like it’s an old game you’re coming back to after years. I don’t know, that’s the best I could describe the feeling.

Witchhand

This one wasn’t participating in Steam Next Fest, but I did see it in New & Trending. It having “witch” in the title drew me in and the screenshots reminded me of Cultist Simulator. When I went to check out the steam page, I saw that there was a demo available and I might have downloaded it without reading the store page. Sounds bad considering my habit, but hey it’s a demo and I was right! If you played Cultist Simulator, Witchhand is pretty similar. It just has different theming, different goal, and of course you play as a witch. There are three different witches you can play as. The demo only lets you play as a Celestial Witch, but it seems like each witch has their own gimmick based on the store page description. In Witchhand, everything is shown as cards on a table (with this table simulating a grassy plain). Your character is a card, your resources are cards, and places are cards. Some cards can let you do actions if you put your Witch card on it and any other resources you might need. Like an Explore card only needs you Witch and will reveal three random cards that are in its draw pile, there are spells you can cast if you have the needed resources, and there are even towns you can create to have passive resource gains. There are also monsters that can pop up while exploring, familiars you can summon that have a variety of strengths, and you’ll get requests that will give you a reward if you complete them. However, there’s also the Witching Hour which will have all the enemies attack you if there are still any on the table (so better get those defeated before it’s too late).

I liked Witchhand. It’s a slow starting game that feels pretty relaxing. The start is slow as your cards are just going into a circle, but eventually you’ll be able to break out of that cycle little by little. If you wanted Cultist Simulator to be more calm, to not be so…confusing and mysterious, and have witches, it seems Witchhand is that game.

Rusty’s Retirement

I don’t usually play (or like) idle games, but I made an exception for this demo! I actually learned about Rusty’s Retirement when the Steam page was first set up, was interested in it, wished it’ll get a demo later down the line, and then completely forgot about it. Didn’t help that I didn’t add it to my wishlist at the time. However, I was reminded of it when I saw that it was participating in Steam NextFest.

Rusty’s Retirement is meant to be running when you’re doing other things and basically acts like a second taskbar. Except instead of listing all the programs you have pinned or opened, it’s a farm that’s managed by robots. Starting out, you just have one robot man (Rusty?), the main storage building, a biofuel converter, a single farm plot, and a couple seeds. All you really need to do is to plant the seeds and the robot will take care of watering them and later harvesting them. However, you can’t just plant one type of seed as the robots do need fuel…Biofuel. And Biofuel can only be made when you put in three different crops in the converter. So, really, all you need to do is to plant the seeds, check in to see if you need to plant any more, and continue doing whatever you’re doing. As you continue idling your farm, you also get unlocks and accumulate money. More seeds are unlocked based on how many certain crops you harvested and you can build more plots, buildings, or robots. Just make sure you have enough money for seeds. The robots you can buy will specialize in a certain task (like harvesting or watering) and will do that task in it’s zone which can be pretty helpful. There are also special character buildings which can add more to your farm. There’s one that will let you upgrade your robots so they can run faster or be more efficient; as well as one that will let you put down decorations. The demo only had the first couple houses available, but it does look like you’ll be able to automate planting seeds as well, which will certainly help as the farm expands.

I didn’t have much issues with Rusty’s Retirement. I just had to stop myself from expecting things to move faster and I had a habit of not really doing anything that involved my computer while I had it running. The latter was mainly so I can be on top of needing to plant more seeds since I was going for 100%-ing the demo’s achievements. Though, one aspet I hope gets implemented is being able to move your buildings or stations without demolishing them. Especially when you get to the point where you have your robots upgraded. It’s even worse that you don’t get even a partial refund, which would have softened the blow. You also can’t demolish the character buildings so you’ll be stuck with where you initially placed them. Which is devastating when you realize later down the line there’s a better spot you could have placed it on.

Threads of You: Beyond the Bay

I randomly saw this one had a demo out and got a bit surprised that I already had it wishlisted. Well, I’m not going to complain especially when it means trying out an otome game. After writing your character’s name in the sand (which is such a cute idea), creating my cutie character, and not realizing there was multiple pages per customization tab, it was time to jump in.

After your recent year in college, you’re going to visit your parents and hometown after getting homesick. As you’re driving through the scenic route that, bleh, you got the idea from a “WikWok” video (already not relatable for me), your car breaks down. Of course, the one time you’re on a road you’re unfamiliar with is when your car breaks down. Luckily, a car does drive by before it got dark and stopped. Not just that, but it looks like your luck storage is being used as it’s the sheriff of a nearby town named Brine Bay. He has some good news and bad news though. Bad news, the repairs your car needs is going to take a while so you’re going to be stuck in Brine Bay paying for a hostel room and having to get a job during your little vacation. Good news, the sheriff (Jean) does set some stuff up for you and it gives you enough time to meet all the LIs, get to know them, and possibly even date them.

There were a good handful of choices and I do quite like how they’re done so far. There’s choices that are more about your character’s backstory or your body like how tall you are. We don’t know if these will be referenced later down the road, but it’s good to flesh out your character. There’s also the usual dialogue choices that sometimes doubles as a regular choice. Dialogue to pick what you’ll say and it looks like these have a Love Catch (I’m just going to borrow this term from Otomate’s otome games) aspect to them. There were definitely some rude choices and there was at least one choice that gave you a new scene and an alternate version of a scene, which was the only time I picked a rude option hoping it would make LI happy (it did). It also looks like at the end of each day you have a choice of calling one of the LIs and talk to them (with it being fully voiced on the LI’s side). The phone your character has does also have a text messaging app, but it wasn’t available in the demo.

So yeah, I liked Threads of You and I’m for sure going to keep an eye on this one. I still need more time with the guys to really form my opinions on them, but so far it looks like either Chris or Vince will be my favorite. It’ll be interesting to see what the game has in store, when the routes will start, and what’ll happen once your car is fixed.

Mouthwashing

Well, this one was surreal. Mouthwashing takes place on a space freighter, known as Tulpar, meant to transport massive shipments. However, what should have been a routine, little bit over a year, the delivery took a turn for the worst. As they were getting closer to being halfway there, the freighter crashed. Good news: the emergency systems saved everyone. Bad news: the Captain (Curly) is severely maimed, the freighter is drifting away from their route and into uncharted space, resources are steadily decreasing, and of course the cockpit was where the damage originated. Not to mention what ended up being their cargo. The character you play as, Jimmy, takes the role as Captain to deal with this situation as well as…whatever is going on with that causes some weird scenes to play out.

I like Mouthwashing so far. It’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the game has in store. How long will the crew survive? How long will Curly survive? Will they, or one of them, resort to cannibalism? What’s going on with the surreal scenes you experience through Jimmy? What actually happened on the day of the crash? If Curly was attacked what was the reason and the end goal? I do have suspicion on who the culprit might be, but at the same time it could be a red herring since it’s too obvious. Though, I don’t think Curly purposefully crashed the freighter like Jimmy is saying. Either way, we’ll see in the full release.

Unicorn Overlord

Not gonna lie, I was mainly drawn to this game because of the title. I love unicorns, what else is there to say? But, the artwork and the developers being Vanillaware did keep me interested. I’m so glad this game got a demo. Unicorn Overlord has a great start as we see the start of a war that will last for the whole game. We start in the Kingdom of Cornia where Queen Ilenia is setting out to protect her kingdom. It turns out that there has been a rebellion where many of her generals and lords suddenly turned traitor, including General Valmore who is leading the attack on his own kingdom. Ilenia isn’t one to flee even knowing Valmore’s goal is to kill her, but she doesn’t just have an obligation to her kingdom. She has a son, Alain, who she wants to protect as well. Ilenia entrusts Josef, one of her last remaining loyal knights, with taking him somewhere safe, protecting him, and raising him. She also trusts him with a family heirloom to give to Alain when he’s older. Perhaps Alain will grow up to be an excellent fighter and leader to turn the tides, but for know Ilenia sets out with her other remaining loyal knights to distract Valmore long enough for Josef and Alain to escape. Sadly, Valmore’s rebellion was too great for Ilenia and the other kingdoms in Feurith fell despite their efforts. Also, Valmore changes his name to Galerius.

10 years pass and Alain has grown up on an island that has yet to be met with Galerius forces. There, he trained under the guidance of Josef and became acquainted with some of the townspeople. We learn that a Liberation Army has been formed by Josef and Alain was raised with the same values his late mother had. However, Alain is going to be thrusted into the war a bit earlier than he expected as Valmore forces land on the island. And thus, starts the best bet for Galerius to be beaten.

Well, it’s finally time to go into the gameplay. Unicorn Overlord is kind of like Fire Emblem, but with it’s own twists (well, at least to me who don’t play many tactical RPGs). Aside from the cutscenes, you’ll be playing on an overworld map (which will also be host to more dialogue that will happen). You can explore the overworld map outside of battle to go to forts, towns, and the next story point, but in battle time passes in real time so make sure to pause time as you’re making choices before the enemy reaches you. From your command posts you can summon your units that you can control, however this is where the twist comes in. A unit isn’t just one character/fighter, but a set of characters/fighters set in a formation. You start out with not many unit sets or being able to set many characters in a unit, but the idea is to build your unit’s formation with the various skills different classes have in mind. The reason being because it’s an auto battler once your unit is close enough to an enemy unit. Every unit fights based on their skills and formation using their active and passive skills and points. Active skills are just attacks and the order of these happen based on initiative, or the speed value each combatant has. Passive skills are triggered based on certain conditions that skill has like when an enemy attacks or when an ally takes damage. Each combatant has points determining how many skills of each they can do and combat ends when all action points are spent whether or not the whole unit is downed. The winner is whoever took the least damage and is pushed to an immobile state where you can then attack to execute a First Strike. This can also happen to you so it’s best to be careful. You do get a prediction of what’ll happen before going into the auto-battler and switch units if one is close enough.

Each battle does have a defeat and victory condition as well as a time limit. This usually is preventing your command post from being taken over and taking over your enemy’s command post. To do this, you’ll be defeating enemy units, liberating facilities so you can have a base to summon units to (and stop your enemies from sending reinforcements) and have their own effects. There is also a stamina system that basically limits how much a unit can do before they need to rest or else they’ll be in a vulnerable position. Granted, resting outside of a facility is still dangerous, but it’ll be more dangerous without stamina. There is a lot more, but for sense of brevity I’ll leave it here.

Unicorn Overlord’s demo is a long one, which is good to really get a feel for the game and try out different unit formations. Also, your demo progress will transfer to the main game. Personally, I didn’t play all the way through the demo, as I do generally like starting over anyway and I don’t really know when I’ll get Unicorn Overlord, but I did enjoy the demo. The story is interesting, I liked how the fact that Valmore/Galerius success was vastly helped by a spell was revealed early on, I liked the writing and voice acting so far, I love how everything looks, and I do like the gameplay (though whether or not I’m good is yet to be seen). I also honestly love that unicorns do have a significance in the game and in the world’s lore rather than just being a cute word in the title.

Heart Cage

This one isn’t a demo on Steam, but on Itchio. This is a demo I have been procrastinating on as I did learn about this game when the Kickstarter was still ongoing, planned to play the demo to maybe see whether or not to contribute, and then time just slipped through my fingers. Well, better late than never. Heart Cage’s main menu has a song that I was not expecting and going to start the game brings you to a really unexpected beginning. You do get an option to enable NSFW scenes and if you did like me, you’ll get a scene that is definitely a “how the heck did I end up here” before we go back 4 months into the past to see what led Orli (the main character’s canon name) to that situation.

Orli is a detective, one of the best in her agency, and after solving a bunch of cases she’s ready to take her much needed vacation. However, her boss approaches her with another case. Since he already took the commission and since he’s busy and your the only one in the office, you get put on the case. Well, not until you’re promised most of the commission, vacation time immediately after, and that there are already accommodations for you since you’ll have to be there for a minimum of 4 months. The details of the commission is really vague, but you’ll be moving to Usodar Town to investigate the strange happenings there. At first, it seems fine aside from some weird people you end up running into (mainly being the LIs) and your boss ignoring your texts, but then one day it starts. A rock gets thrown into Orli’s window, signed by the very letter that was on the commission, telling her to go outside. Where she spots a murder scene, which is eerily similar to how her parents were murdered, and what she does in response depends on the choice you pick. Well, we now have a serial killer mystery to solve. The demo ends right before you would choose what LI route to go down.

I really liked Heart Cage so far. The three main yandere LIs are red flags that set off my alarms with almost every encounter and each had their own “woah back off” moment(s), but hey that’s what I came here for. It helps that each do have their own way of getting you to go “Okay this guy is charming”. Enox has the least charm-ness to him, especially when your scent just arouses him, but there was one moment where he was so sweet. It’ll be interesting to see how the relationships progress in each route and see the mystery unfold. There also seems to be some supernatural elements or at least what seems like supernatural elements. I do also wonder if the side characters that also got routes, thanks to Kickstarter stretch goals, are going to be Yanderes too or have their own problems.

Well, that’s 10 more demos I tried out! I’m glad I spent a lot of time playing demos, so I know I will indeed like these games, but man I got a bit behind on other things. Like games I wanted to already be started on. Oh well. Onwards to March and waiting patiently for these games to release.

RipWitch

♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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