The 10 Most Promising Demos We Played At The Upcoming Festival

June 2022’s Next Fest came to a close and had hundreds of demos across all genres for gamers to try out. This recurring event is a fun way for Steam to allow players to experience and wishlist titles while indie developers get excited about their upcoming releases.

Related: The Best and Longest Video Game Demos

It is quite a difficult task to even beat all these demos, so we took the time to reproduce them for you. Although there are so many amazing Next Fest projects, here is a collection of the most promising demos from different genres and developers.


10 lamb cult

  • Planned release date: August 11, 2022

Cult Of The Lamb puts you in the shoes of a lamb that was going to be sent to the slaughterhouse for cult purposes. Fortunately, you are saved by “He Who Waits” as long as you spread his name across the land and, ironically, make your own cult.

Shadowy dealings with unknown entities aside, this game seamlessly blends cuteness with creepiness. The hack-and-slash fighting elements are very smooth and satisfying, with fun minigames and camp building gameplay. You gain more followers to grow your cult and wreak havoc on a world that tried to wipe out your kind.

The full release will expand the cult building elements and give you a larger procedurally generated world to explore and gain maximum power. Who needs the lamb of God when you are the lamb-god?

9 Arcane Waters

  • Expected Release Date: Q4 2022

If you are looking for an open world pixel adventure that brings the best elements of MMORPGs to a universe of pirates and skeletons, Arcane Waters will call to you like a siren. You can play with other players, create, farm, find treasures and fight against creatures.

Even the demo version already has excellent online gameplay implemented, with fun but simple enough ship battle gameplay along with land fighting. There is already a growing market and guild section worth checking out as well, with over 6,000 players on the servers.

Related: Ranking the Best MMORPGs of All Time

It’s exciting to see how much more expansive this game will be when it fully launches. Plus, it’s Steam Deck compatible and you can pet cats.

8 Eyes in the Dark

  • Planned release date: July 15, 2022

Eyes In The Dark is a period piece that takes a lot of inspiration from silent movies and then throws it all into a flashy, themed world. It’s really impressive that they were able to create such an attractive space while keeping everything black and white.

It’s a fun side-scrolling roguelike that lets you explore a huge mansion to save your grandfather, with some interesting use of the flashlight to reveal the world around you. The pocket watch also justifies the ability to reset if you die. More zones and tweaks to build your character will be available at launch.

7 ghost song

  • Expected Release Date: Q4 2022

Metroidvania is a very popular genre that many Next Fest demos took on, but Ghost Song really stands out for its world building. The art style and soundtrack do an impressive job of creating this tense and sinister world.

Everything about this game makes you feel alone and lost, with so many ways to explore the forgotten world of Lorian. The combat system is pretty easy to figure out, with tons of horrible beings trying to attack you. There are a lot of pieces to the story that haven’t been fully revealed yet, so it will be interesting to get more answers from the full game.

6 hard west 2

  • Expected Release Date: Q4 2022

While it can be easy to feel like this is Red Dead Redemption 2 turned isometric, Hard West 2 actually does an excellent job of setting itself apart with the supernatural weirdness of the Wild West. The demo pulls no punches, putting you in control of Gin Carter and his gang as you take on the devil.

Related: The Best Video Game Sequels Of The Generation (According To Metacritic)

That premise alone is enough to build excitement, but the gameplay actually feels enjoyable. Combat is done using weapons and turn-based movement, but outside of battles, you can freely explore the world with some RPG elements and group banter. With RNG-based encounters, tons of side quests, and some deckbuilding to improve your party’s stats, the full game is definitely one to look out for.

5 failed

  • Planned release date: TBA for summer 2022

Glitched starts out like any other adventure RPG with some quirky dialogue. Then your demo crashes on purpose and the entire premise is turned on its head. Suddenly you are in control of an NPC who knows you as a player.

This was one of the longest demos, with each choice impacting how the character can act and how the world responds. It uses an “essence” system to change traits and guide your player, and you can pause to talk to them one-on-one. Exploration is encouraged due to the hidden story elements and the presence of Rewardo, who gifts you with a few gifts as you progress.

Your choices really feel important, all the characters are engaging, and your demo save can carry over to the full game. It really does feel like it fits into the pantheon of great story-driven RPGs.

4 ground zero

  • Expected release date: TBA

Terra Nil is a simple game to get into, but that’s really the beauty. You can relax for hours with this game, and the demo version already feels like a full title.

Terra Nil’s goal is to bring a wasteland back to life, which makes sense considering he brands himself a backwards city-builder. It’s really beautiful with a premise that immediately justifies diving in. The full release will have even more biomes, animals, regions, and a sandbox mode.

3 monster road trip

  • Expected release date: Estimated October 2022 to April 2023

Monster Roadtrip is the third game in the Monster Prom series. While the previous entries were more about dating, this basically allows you to go on a fun roadtrip with your friends. You can play the story solo or hit the road in co-op.

There are still dating elements to be introduced in the full game, but the biggest draw is just how fun the possibilities are. You have to manage your resources as you go from stop to stop, so it’s not simply a visual novel. Engaging characters, a great art style, and a gripping narrative make this a game worth waiting for.

two There is no light

  • Planned release date: September 2022

There Is No Light is a Hunger Games-style narrative that doesn’t shy away from being truly bleak. If you’re into Soulslike games, you might be interested in seeing that style translated into a top-down pixel game. The combat is really nice in this game, where you can play however you want and still get punished for failing.

Related: The Best Soulslike Games For Gamers On A Budget

It’s also an RPG at its core, so you have to make impactful decisions as the story progresses. Plus, the world is big, sinister, and just begs to be explored. The full release will have even more enemies and nuances to its karma system that are sure to make the game a welcome addition to anyone’s library.

  • Planned release date: September 15, 2022

Metal: Hellsinger is a raucously paced and chaotic FPS that is truly one of the most exciting titles this year. Instead of just shooting like crazy, you need to time your attacks to deal more damage with the timing. The gameplay expertly mixes shooter and rhythm elements and does a great job of pumping you up as you make your way through the depths of hell.

There are several well-designed enemies, a wide variety of weapons for different styles, and the metal music that serves as an anthem is epic. With features from the likes of Jinjer, Lamb of God, and System of a Down, you really can’t go wrong. We’ll see what other clues and deeper story levels are brewing by the time this comes out.

Next: The Best RPGs For The Steam Deck

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