Steam's "Fest" events are a way to get more eyes on upcoming titles; today, we're going to be looking at the Steam Next Fest that is currently running, June 10th to the 17th. Next Fest is not beholden to a specific genre, and neither should you! Get out there, try as much as you can, and see if anything is to your liking. In this article I'll be reviewing a variety of demos, and maybe some will find their way onto your Wishlist - and mine! - in the near future.

Remember you have until Monday (June 17th) to play what you can!

These are presented in alphabetical order. Know that some of these titles did not come from Next Fest itself, but the surrounding events such as Summer Game Fest, the Xbox Showcase, etc. I've included them anyway, as they are demos currently available on Steam!


Release Date: "2024"
Developed by: Trialforge Studio
Published by: Tate Multimedia

In the action soulslike Deathbound , you play as...several people, in point of fact. The main creative selling point is that you are controlling multiple souls inhabiting the same body, and can swap between them on the fly to utilize their various strengths and/or perform synchronized combos. The idea is very cool, even if getting used to it adds another layer of difficulty to an already-challenging game.

Healing (that doesn't come with strings attached) is in short supply with Deathbound, so you must rely on Life Steal to heal a percentage of the damage you deal to the characters (or "Essences") you're not currently running as. if anyone falls the game is over, and your available stamina is directly tied to your currently remaining health. With all of these weighing on you together, it can feel pretty rough when the Essence you're most comfortable using gets smacked around a bit. You're encouraged to swap often, but I only liked two of the four characters you start the demo with, making it tough for me to find a groove.

That being said, there appears to be someone for everyone here, with a sword-and-board knight, a strong spear-user, a mage of some kind, and a backstabbing rogue. Others will join the team, as well, each with their own personalities that may synergize better (or worse) depending on their individual ideals. It's not enough to simply pick the four you like the most: you need them to work well together, both in form and faith, so-as-to maximize your synchronization bonuses. This is a really novel concept for a soulslike, adding a layer of party management not normally found outside of deeper RPGs.

There is, however, some weird decisions being made that I didn't care for. You can rebind your keys (when it's not glitching), but you can't rebind the mouse; I ended up having to rely on the really strange default setup of Left Click = Light Attack, C = Heavy Attack, Right Click = Action 3, and Left Ctrl = Action 4. It leaves your combat skills all over the place, and with each Essence having a different moveset, you're forced to remember the differences in the middle of combat. It's not intuitive, which again adds unnecessary difficulty; the monsters can be hard enough as it is, being dark creatures in a dark and confusing environment. Oh, and while we're talking about Keyboard + Mouse controls...maybe let me click on things with the mouse in the game's menu? Switching to the Arrow keys and Enter/Space to confirm/deny is kind of annoying.

I think there's something here that is really cool and interesting, but it needs some ironing out of the kinks to make it work. I'll check back in later - I even Wishlisted it despite my concerns - but at the current moment I struggle to attest that I will purchase the game based on the demo.

Enotria: The Last Song

Release Date: September 18th, 2024
Developed by: Jyamma Games
Published by: Jyamma Games

Enotria: The Last Song is an action adventure soulslike with Italian flavor: you take on the role of the Maskless One, a puppet who can assume the roles of other characters...provided you can acquire their mask. Your purpose is not immediately apparent, though you appear to be guided by a mysterious force. You'll have to travel through the beautiful locations and determine your own destiny, it would seem.

Right out of the gate, Enotria wants you to use a controller (it'll be a theme throughout this piece, despite my lack of one beyond a Steam Deck). Keyboard + Mouse is a possibility, but I do not advise it: for whatever reason, you cannot rebind the keys, and some of the chosen bindings are suspect at best. For one thing, the Alt button is not for dodging; Shift, Space, even Ctrl are better options for it. Alt is small and awkwardly placed on the keyboard, especially for a command so important in a soulslike as the dodge button. This was extremely annoying, as my brain is accustomed to it being placed in a more optimal location and I defaulted to hitting the wrong key several times. It's one of the reasons I quit on the demo part of the way through.

My other complaint, and mayhap the incident with the Alt key clouded my judgement, but the enemies feel rather cheap at times. It's one thing to place an enemy around a blind corner to punish you for reaching for some loot; it's another thing entirely for that enemy to get a powerful combo in before knocking you into a stream, killing you outright. I can hear the "git gud" alarm bells ringing for some, and maybe my Elden Ring prowess doesn't carry over as much as I'd like, but something is amiss. Whilst fighting that same enemy - a basic farmer, for crying out loud - I attempted to knock him into the water myself, only he landed on a tiny outcropping that shouldn't be there. This created a new problem: he could hit me (by clipping his weapon through the terrain), while my attacks would miss him. I could've walked away but I demanded petty vengeance, and this eventually led to me falling onto the outcropping and getting stuck.

This kind of carried over as I progressed - at least, until I pulled the rip-chord and bailed. My attacks were very slow and overly-weighty, while their attacks were faster. A few times I landed some hits and got an enemy stunned for a finishing blow, only for my character to do a light attack instead and mess up the kill. They rely on the same button, forcing you to pause your aggression for the indicator to properly appear.

All of this comes together to sour my opinion on what should be a really cool premise for a game. The ability to wear the appearance of your enemies, take on their mask powers, and mix them together is very interesting; it's just such a shame that they tripped over the little things. Maybe if the game ran on my Steam Deck, I'd be singing its praises; as it is, I'll research if the problems hold up post-release, and wait for a sale to try again.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn

Release Date: July 18th, 2024
Developed by: A44 Games
Published by: Kepler Interactive

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is an action-adventure with soulslike elements set in a world where a conflict of gunpowder and magic is coming to a head. Undead endlessly flow from a doorway, and it's up to you - playing as the sapper military woman Nor - to stem the tide and kill the gods that continue to mettle in the affairs of men.

The game appears to have many inspirations behind it. The over-the-shoulder viewpoint and layout of the environments reminds one of the modern God of War games, with combat being a mix of that series and a soulslike (namely Bloodborne, so I'm told; only played Elden Ring myself). There also seems to be a touch of Ghost of Tsushima, as well, including the rescue of hamlets from baddies to gain ground back from the Mongols I mean undead. All of those are great games, so a combination thereof should hopefully be a hit, right?

I like Flintlock quite a bit, so don't take me the wrong way, but there are a couple things that feel off or weird about it. Enemies feel faster than Nor is, which is problematic - if I shoot a skeleton to stop its spear-attack, it seems to recover before I can get a decent combo going on it. The reverse might be true as well, where dodging doesn't do enough when an enemy seeks to dunk on you. To be fair, this is alleviated a short way into the game when you acquire a "double dodge", which involves using gunpowder to essentially blow you out of the way, and this is very cool. Platforming through this game is also a full-on blast (pun intended), powder-jumping across gaps and whatnot. It's the combat where things feel...I don't know, floaty? And that could be a problem with a naturally-difficult genre such as a soulslike.

Flintlock takes inspiration from Elden Ring and the like with its Reputation system, and yet has improved upon them to create a very neat feature. You purchase character upgrades and equipment with Reputation, much like souls or runes, and when you die you lose the Reputation where you fell. So far so standard, but it's the multiplier system that makes it interesting. Doing well in combat - killing enemies, performing stylish combos, etc. - boosts your Reputation multiplier, and stores the currently earned loot for future depositing. If you take a hit, however, you'll lose the multiplier and a chunk of the banked Reputation, creating a risk/reward system. You are encouraged to hold off depositing the Reputation to get a good multiplier going, but don't necessarily want to lose a large percentage should you make a mistake. A skilled individual such as myself could theoretically gain a ton of extra Reputation this way, while players who aren't as good can just deposit their earnings and keep up at their own pace.

My niggle with the combat might improve over the course of playing, or perhaps was a consequence of the demo build itself. Beyond that, though, I really enjoyed my time with Flintlock - it's a shame, then, that it was cut short by a crash, because I had the gall to look around while rift-jumping. I set the graphics to Performance, too, so that's a touch concerning. Assuming such things are cleaned up, I can still recommend the game, and it will remain on my Wishlist nevertheless. It has a ton of potential to be great...let's just hope it doesn't trip and explode along the way.

Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale

Release Date: "Coming soon"
Developed by: Grimware Games, LLC
Published by: Grimware Games, LLC

Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale is a side-scrolling platformer where you play as the titular Ghost Knight, a seemingly nameless (and voiceless) figure. You'll hop, dash, and climb your way through the grim-but-in-a-cute-way environments on a quest to stop the mad king's obsessive desire for immortality.

Visually the game looks very nice, with an appealing aesthetic that reminds me of a well made platformer from the PlayStation 2 or something. That is not a bash on the game at all - the PS2 was an amazing system - I just mean the cartoony look has a classic feel to it. The music has a similar fun vibe, as well. Unfortunately, this pleasant wrapping covers over a game that just did not work for me.

Which brings me to the gameplay. I'll be honest, Ghost Knight was more difficult than I anticipated. Perhaps my platforming skills are rusty, but a number of jumps seemed tight, and with the various undead constantly appearing to get in your way, it can feel hectic just trying to reach the next spot. I struggled mightily for a while before I eventually gave up, which is a bad look but ultimately the truth. The core of my frustration stems from a gameplay decision I cannot abide: that being the checkpoints which cost ectoplasm to activate.

You see, ectoplasm is used to heal you, but you need it to open the checkpoints so you're not dumped all the way back to the beginning every single time you fail. This creates a very aggravating situation where you might not realize there's a checkpoint soon, spend your ectoplasm to heal, then come to the checkpoint with empty pockets. Falling into the toxic water or a pit for an instant Game Over just further illuminates how annoying this system can be. Ghost Knight has a soulslike feature of allowing you to recover your ectoplasm if you can get back to where you died, but that's never a given, plus you're only returned half of what you accumulated. It poisons what could've been a charming experience.

In the end, I did not have fun with Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale. Could it be a situation where the game just isn't for me? That's a fair question. That it is supposedly being developed by a single person is frankly amazing, considering how well it looks, but there are some things about it which just turned me off and made me bail early. Rather disappointing outcome, all told.


Release Date: "2024"
Developed by: PlaySide
Published by: PlaySide

KILL KNIGHT is an isometric twin-stick arcade shooter, pushing you to defeat a seemingly endless swarm of demons as you descend through Hell. Along the way, you'll...kill demons, more demons, and yet-more demons; there isn't much in the way of a story here. Go in, shoot 'em up, and grab the high score!

Let me start by saying that I suck at KILL KNIGHT. I believe my highest score was lasting 91 seconds into a run on the medium difficulty; for context, the highest scores were 5+ minutes on the next difficulty up. Granted I don't have a lot of practice, to be sure, and I was using a keyboard and mouse when the game really wants you to use a controller, but still. Games where you must remain constantly on high alert are not my forte.

As for the actual gameplay, you are initially equipped with a dash, a set of pistols, a sword, and a heavy weapon. You can earn others by completing challenges in your runs: I managed to unlock a pistol variant that fired a slower spread of shots like a mini-shotgun. Anyway, pistols are your main attack, heavy weapons have limited ammo, and your sword is primarily to refill said ammo. On top of this, you have a couple other systems to consider: Active Triggers, Kill Power, and Wrath.

Active Triggers, for those not in the know, are when you properly time your reloads to activate some kind of bonus: for example, when your pistols are out, hitting the sword button at the correct time triggers a special swing that drops more ammo. Kill Power is gained from absorbing blood gems that litter the ground after an enemy dies, so gather enough to increase your power level. This ups pistol damage and movespeed, if I recall correctly. Wrath, meanwhile, is from using a different button to absorb the blood gems, as well as being effective in combat; once your Wrath meter is full, you can fire a Wrath attack that deals huge damage and causes health pickups to drop.

Got all that? It feels like a lot to keep track of when demons are up in your personal space every single second of the game, with no time to breathe. My lack of a controller presumably contributed to this, and as such I don't recommend you follow my example. There are some games where it suggests a controller but you can get away without one; Lost Castle 2 is one of them (see below). KILL KNIGHT is probably not.

Lastly, I want to touch on the presentation. Not the graphics, per se, but the game's decision to have a lot of flashing lights, glitch effects, and spikes of sound. These are highly distracting, in my opinion, and while the game does warn you (as does the trailer), why they needed to be so prevalent in the menus and whatnot is beyond me. It's rather off-putting, and when I'm already struggling with the game, getting a headache from it doesn't help raise my enjoyment. This is a "hardcore", edgy game through-and-through, and maybe that's why they decided to do that, but you'll have to be okay with it if you want to buy the game.

Lost Castle 2

Release Date: "To be announced"
Developed by: Hunter Studio
Published by: Hunter Studio

I have to assume Lost Castle 2 is a sequel to Lost Castle, a game I've never played. Either-way, it is a 2D Beat-'em-Up roguelike, where you are a novice adventurer looking for Adventure and Treasure found in and around a mysterious castle. FYI: the game capitalized them, not me. Breaching the castle is only part of the story, of course, as you first need to get there; via upgrades at camp, new gear you find along the way, and perhaps with the aid of a few friends, you'll improve your customizable character and find the fortune you seek.

Right off the bat, I fell in love with the cute chibi-like visuals: they're fun and colorful and have a different appeal versus a more serious or violent title. You're fighting monsters, of course, but when they die they just kinda fall over and poof away; while I wouldn't call it a "game for casuals", it still had a light-heartedness which I found charming.

Gameplay-wise, you'll hack, slash, and/or button-mash your way through enemies with an impressive arsenal of available weapons at your (potential) disposal. Gear found as rewards is randomly generated, but with so many options you're encouraged to experiment and find the loadout that's right for you. I ended up enjoying a one-handed drill-spear + shield combo, which had a kind of shield-bash maneuver that could disrupt enemies. I later traded out for a two-handed greatsword with way more damage, but ended up dying immediately afterward as I had gotten complacent with the previous loadout's defensive abilities.

When you're not smacking your enemies with a sword/hammer/drill/etc., you can throw boxes or barrels at them, which I found endlessly hilarious and surprisingly effective. I barely ever swung at the second area's boss: I just chucked bombs at it in-between dodging, then did it some more with explosive barrels that fell from the sky. There are even some upgrades and treasures built around this mechanic, so you can become a chucking fool should you wish!

Speaking of treasure, it can provide you all sorts of passive bonuses, usually aligned with one of three elemental runes - collect enough treasure for a particular rune type, and you'll become even more amazing. It was all quite fun, although being offered samurai armor right out of the gate helped a lot. Remember this, developers: I have a weakness for samurai stuff, so if you want your game to succeed, include it! I ended up dismantling all-other armors I stumbled upon because I wanted to remain cosplaying as a samurai, and I don't regret it because I was having a good time anyway.

All-in-all, I really liked Lost Castle 2: what's there currently is enjoyable and puts a smile on my face. If I understand their store page, the game is due to come out in Early Access eventually, but is not currently available to purchase in any capacity. Kind of a bummer - I can't even pull a Never Mourn and buy it early to support them - but I definitely threw it on my Wishlist!

Metal Slug Tactics

Release Date: "Q4 2024"
Developed by: Leikir Studio
Published by:  Dotemu, Gamera Games

Metal Slug Tactics is an arcade-y strategy game with roguelike elements, presumably set in the same universe as the other Metal Slug games (citation needed). Take control of up to three members of the Peregrine Falcons at a time (out of nine total) as you seek to bring down the Rebel Army before it can rise up and become an even bigger threat.

Metal Slug Tactics reminds me greatly of the game Into The Breach, which is a positive thing. While the enemies don't always telegraph what they'll do like ITB, it has a similar feel in combat, moving around the grid using each unit's abilities to subdue threats while minimizing damage to yourself. It almost copies the mission structure outright, wherein you enter one of the four main locations, do a few missions (with a side objective for potential bonuses), and improve your team before the boss arrives. It has the same three-person limit for your team, and much like the different mech setups, each character in MST has different unlockable loadouts to change how they function in battle.

Of course, it's not an exact clone of Into The Breach, giving itself room to breathe and be different. You're encouraged to move your characters around the battlefield - often as far as you can - to accumulate Dodge points for reducing damage, as well as Adrenaline for using special abilities. Standing still is a death-sentence, so it's important to be aggressive, accept that you might get hurt now and then, and be smart with your actions. Sometimes this could be annoying, like when a mini-boss was firing artillery that automatically followed a teammate wherever they moved, but with clever positioning the shelling could do minimal damage to them while hurting other enemy units simultaneously.

Another major difference is "Synchronization", whereby you can trigger an ally's help as a free action: by lining up your characters on the grid so they can target the same enemy, attacking with one will cause the other to fire at them as well. These bonus shots are important for quelling the opposing forces in an efficient manner, as they outnumber you significantly and often have just slightly more health than a single bullet will manage. My strategy was to accumulate "Killing Spree" bonus damage on Fio by having her participate in multiple Sync attacks before she went, then have her gun down the boss with her assault rifle for absurd damage each turn.

I enjoyed my time with Metal Slug Tactics, despite having played none of the other games in this universe. The arcade-y nature is fun, although a "true" campaign with a fully-fledged story might've been preferred in this instance to the roguelike "play it over and over" setup. I might just be too picky on that front! My last complaint is that the demo was kinda glitchy at times, but hopefully that'll be ironed out in time.


Release Date: "Q4 2024"
Developed by: Mac n Cheese Games
Published by: Mac n Cheese Games

In Munch, you play as the "Chaosborne", a demon summoned by some metal-heads to restore the gods of Rock & Roll in this action roguelike. You'll eat them (and your enemies) to grow in power, and eventually evolve in various ways depending on what you have consumed. By reaching higher stages of evolution your attacks will change accordingly, with new abilities as well to account for your additional limbs or other benefits.

There...isn't much to say about it, unfortunately: the game is very straightforward, and despite the interesting base idea, the game is somewhat lacking in its presentation. The environments are big and mostly empty, the enemy variety is small, and the demo is short. There was only one branch available for evolution with two of the three available ends, so in my limited playtime I went down the same path both times. I'm not entirely sure how you influence your evolution; I believe it is based on which upgrades you pick, but the options provided were both random and not necessarily equivalent in strength. With a full evolution tree you would have more to see and movesets to experience, but the demo left me wanting more (in a sense of disappointment, rather than "ooh I want to keep eating").

Ultimately, I think there's a lot of meat left on the bone with Munch: it could stand to cook a little more, add some sides, a little more would go a long way. The game doesn't release until later this year, so I don't know about its price, but as it stands right now I don't think it would be worth the cost. Neat little experience, sure, with an interesting core flavor...but a full meal it is not.

Tactical Breach Wizards

Release Date: August 22, 2024
Developed by: Suspicious Developments
Published by: Suspicious Developments

With Tactical Breach Wizards, just about everything you need to know is right there in the name: you have magical abilities, which you use to enter into areas one's enemies would rather you didn't. This all takes place in a fictional world with Traffic Warlocks, the Druid Mafia, and other silly combinations of magic-and-normalcy. It's up to you to unravel a mystery, breach the veil of conspiracy, and take down some baddies via defenestration (that means "throw them out a window").

Being a turn-based game, planning and strategy are paramount. Using a Seer's abilities to look (one second) into the future comes in handy when you're a tactical breacher: you can use the "Foresee" ability to determine if your actions are adequate on a given turn, and either accept the outcome or Rewind repeatedly until you get something more to your liking. Objectives generally amount to subduing all hostiles, closing all reinforcement doors, and/or unsealing the next room - you're graded based on how efficiently you achieve these goals, although that seemed more for one's own pleasure than anything of substance. What you could do in a given room is complete optional requirements - like, say, defeat everyone in a single turn, or knock three people out windows simultaneously - to boost that character's Confidence. What is Confidence good for? Absolutely nothin'...except unlocking more "daring" outfits.

And it's right there where you can glean the tone of the game, alongside the aforementioned silly occupation juxtaposition. The game is, in a word, sassy: everybody has a quip (you can even choose how to quip in conversation quite often), and it knows very well what it is. The game blasts you with zingers and jokes, despite the supposed seriousness of the mystery at-hand, because none of it is real and that's okay. TBW is even fine with dismissing certain logistics in the name of being a video game; for example, why can you not use Predictive Shot when you're already in line with an enemy? Because that wouldn't be very predictive, now would it? This level of hyper self-awareness isn't for everyone, but I found the whole thing rather humorous. The demo even goes out of its way with a final scene to explain away its existence, and why the content suddenly comes to a stop.

All-in-all, Tactical Breach Wizards could be a fun little experience. With an 8-10 hour story (the developer's estimation, not mine), it won't last you forever, but that's not a terrible thing: it means the novelty and humor of the whole thing won't wear out their welcome. Come in, get in some laughs, wrack your brain for a few minutes trying to be a perfectionist with the missions, and get out. How apropos, no?

Wild Bastards

Release Date: September 12th, 2024
Developed by: Blue Manchu
Published by: Maximum Entertainment

Wild Bastards is an FPS roguelike with a sci-fi western flavor, wherein the titular Wild Bastards reunite on a mysterious spaceship known as the Drifter, which is presumably taking them to a serene place known as "the Homestead". Along the way, they'll gun down anyone who stands in their way, from common gunhands to turret-barrels and beyond. The aesthetic is certainly different looking, kind of old-school arcade-y which is amusing and adds to the charm.

Wild Bastards' campaign progresses in a three-step process, I would say: a sector map lets you decide which planet you'll venture to next, the planet map has you try to accumulate as many goodies as you can before you beam back to the Drifter, and then there are individual combat maps (known as Showdowns) where the actual gunplay comes in. It took me a minute to figure out how it all worked, but once it did, it came together into a really fun experience. The sector map reminds me of the game FTL: Faster Than Light, which the planet map double-downs on with a "you have so many turns before the big bad arrives and things get tougher" situation.

On the planet map, you can have a few pairs of Bastards that beam down together - or not, if they become scattered - and you can move around the board a set distance each turn. You'll try to grab info discs to learn about your enemies, Aces which level up one of your characters, and Helixes which unlock more Bastards. Or when in doubt, just load up on "cram", their word for money. Everyone has a unique loadout for combat, with various weapons and special abilities for each character. They're fun and keep things different, even if they seemingly will never expand their individual repertoire much. You can swap between the chosen pair on the fly in combat, too, to spice things up: the robot Casino fires a shotgun, for instance, so pairing him with Smokey - who shoots farther with a flaming finger-gun - can balance the team out.

The Bastards all have distinct personalities which are enjoyable to listen to, and they may sync up well with each other...or clash, wherein a disadvantage might pop up that adds a twist to the proceedings. My only little niggle from the short demo is how the game earns its M rating. There isn't much in the way of blood or gore, really, given the funky visuals, so it all comes down to the dialogue. There is a frankly goofy amount of swearing at times, and some other words/phrases not aimed at younger audiences. I love me a goddamn swear when it's fucking earned, but shit, this feels a might excessive.

I hope that's not their attempt to be edgy or humorous, because there's something here that could be really fun and worth playing. If you can get past that, I definitely can recommend the game! Wild Bastards put a smile on my face, and I'm eager to play more of it come September.

Wizard of Legend 2

Release Date: "To be announced"
Developed by: Dead Mage
Published by: Humble Games

In Wizard of Legend 2, you are an aspiring magic-user seeking to become, well, a wizard of legend. In order to accomplish this feat, you must undergo a series of trials in an action roguelike setting, traversing the environment on your way to the next wave of enemies. You'll be able to mix-and-match a seemingly huge number of abilities across the elements, tailoring your build to better suit your particular playstyle. All the while, the goofy NPCs will watch and commentate on your prowess...or lack thereof, should you fail. You can even co-op with up to four players this go-around, assuming you have friends (sigh).

I'll be upfront: I own the first Wizard of Legend, but I did not like it at all. If you know anything about me, I rather enjoy roguelikes, and the power to customize your moveset with a variety of cool unlockable powers should have sold me on the premise...but something about it wasn't clicking for me. I struggled the entire time; I didn't much care for the pixel graphics or top-down viewpoint, either, which certainly didn't help. Thankfully for me at least, both of those things are going away, as Wizard of Legend 2 has an isometric viewpoint and a more modern cartoony aesthetic. Maybe by the third game it'll be in full 3D with hyper-realistic graphics! (Let's hope not.)

It is here where the plot twist occurs, as, despite everything seemingly lining up for me to like Wizard of Legend 2, I still don't enjoy it as much as I was hoping. The core gameplay is okay: I found a build I preferred of the starting choices - dashing into the enemy with air-punches before my earth-kick sent them flying, followed with a paralyzing lightning-spear to the face - but something is still missing. Perhaps the incomplete nature of the game is the problem? I'm not sure. A couple design choices are odd: for example, giving robe colors different passives sounds fine, but it means I'll be stuck with the ugly yellow color for an eternity so I can have +75 Health. You can freely change up your loadout, but not the way your wizard looks? Not necessarily a big deal, but still disappointing.

For a different example, you need a special resource to buy new Arcana cards that unlock different moves: one is rewarded for defeating a boss, but you're only allowed to choose from a small subset of choices each time. The inventory only changes after you make a purchase, so if you don't like your options, it'll feel like the effort of defeating that boss was a waste. Also, it appeared that sometimes a move rotates out, so choosing between two has an added level of stress. "If I pick A, B might not be there for a long while; what if I end up wanting B instead?" Lastly, you only have a brief description to go off of when making your selection: for my first choice I went with a Fire Whip thinking it would be cool and effective, but it wasn't as fun compared to the Lightning Spear I was already using from the start.

Maybe these are small complaints in the grand scheme of things, but the little inklings of "wrongness" added together and I just wasn't liking Wizard of Legend 2 that much. Rather bummed about it, to be honest.

Conclusion/Final Rankings

Now that you've read through all of the reviews - or if you're just looking for a "TL;DR" - I'll conclude with reordering the games based how much I enjoyed them. Any that found their way onto my Wishlist will be noted with an asterisk as well!

  1. Wild Bastards*
  2. Lost Castle 2*
  3. Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn*
  4. Tactical Breach Wizards
  5. Deathbound*
  6. Metal Slug Tactics
  7. Wizard of Legend 2
  8. Enotria: The Last Song
  10. Munch
  11. Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale

There is definitely a cutoff point between some of them, where the ones above are clearly superior to the ones below (at least, in my opinion). The top three deserve their own category, followed by the middle of the pack from 4-7, with the last four being the ones I was down on. Might not be fair to Enotria, to be honest, but them's the breaks. That's not to say the games near the bottom are bad games; they're either not for me, or just need more time in the oven before I can give a recommendation.

And there you have it! Don't forget you have until next Monday (the 17th of June) to play whatever demos tickle your fancy, at least until the next Fest event.

What do you think of these games? Discover any good gems in this month's Steam Next Fest? Find anything worth buying? Let us know in the comments below!