Dem Oh! Round Up Feature Art

Dem-OH! February Round-up

The first round-up of the year and we have some INCREDIBLE teasers thanks to February’s #SteamNext Fest continuing to push demo culture out and spread the word about evermore of these unique and daring indie titles.

First things first, however – last year’s numbers. I slowed down the demo train a fair amount in 2023 for a number of reasons and I’m likely to keep a similarly less-focused pace this year, as I get back into some game development of my own. Still, I managed a respectable total count (for unique demos played) of:


Not so bad I don’t think, though it doesn’t quite hit the ‘one a day’ mark I’d like to make my base goal going forward.

Anyway, on with the new!

Stand-Out Demos

(in recording order)

Children of the Sun Demo on Steam

Kill them all in a single shot. Using your limited coverage of the area – and at a fixed distance – can you take out all the enemies with a single bullet? Not all in a line, like. Hitting a enemy allows you to instantly re-shoot in another direction and with some sneaky Wanted-like bullet-bending it’s possible to make some insane marks. This bizarre game ends up feeling more like a first-person pathing puzzle than it does a shooter but damn if it doesn’t make you feel cool as hell bouncing from skull to skull to explosive car tank and onwards through a bunker of crazed cultists. With the addition of even more abilities that are re-filled by completing small tasks mid-shot, such as targeting weak spots, Children of the Sun becomes a fascinating blend of creative problem solving and sniper skilll execution whose game feel expertly tempts you into aiming for faster routes to compete in the leaderboards


What would you do if you only had a few seconds to live? If the answer is shotgun a soda, blast a robots face off, and dask-kick another terminator-esque machine into a pit of acid in order to send your livestream chat into a hype frenzy then MULLET MAD JACK is for you. With the audience fanfare rewarding precious extra seconds on this dystopian futuristic (but also somehow retro) planet, every moment counts. In this visualy spectacular FPS each individual movement, shot, and reaction could mean the difference between saving the girl and being sent to the bottom of the roguelite tower to start all over again. Can you handle the pressure?


I play a LOT of card games. I love love love deck-builders, Trading Card Games, trick-taking, poker, and everything else – there’s just no feeling in the world like a full grip of cardboard rectangles. It seems many other people feel the same way, too, when it comes to video game versions anway, what with the unexpected continuation of the rise of the digital deck-builder. But by now I’ve seen it all and many titles are starting to feel tired and repetitive. However, instead of trying to explore new avenues outwards, DICEOMANCER goes deeper. Aren’t you sick of half of your starting deck saying ‘deal 3 damage’. Here almost every card is completely unique and interesting. Of couse this does mean the game is also a lot more complex, requiring the player to balance normal deck-building with a TCG-esque coloured mana system and the intricate delicacy of building towards a viable strategy with all sorts of insane card abilities and dice mechanics. Of course dice being used in order to add some randomness to the amount of damage you deal, etc. is also nothing new. But once again, this game is unlike anything you’ve played before, allowing dice to not only be manipulated but manipulate all of the numbers around them, including max health, gold, and ability cooldowns – anywhere there’s a number on the screen, actually. If you’re a fan of the genre you simply can’t miss out on this one, especially so if you’re a veteran looking for something to really sink your teeth into. There’s just so much freedom!

Crypt Custodian Demo on Steam

Initially baited by the wonderful look of the game, I was taken by complete surprise to find not only a fun action-fueled top-down metroidvania but a truly heartfelt narrative that almost had me in tears from just the few NPC interactions in the demo alone. Punished into cleaning up the afterlife for all eternity, fighting through dungeons, unlocking abilities, and solving puzzles is all just part of the job. But getting to know the other characters sentenced to the same unfair punishment by the judge (a giant, cute frog) from what little they say and the collectible images scattered throughout messy limbo was unexpectedly melancholy in a lovely sort of way. Interesting puzzles, challenging combat, a sleuth of upgrades and collectibles to gather, as well as a good few tugs on the old heartstirngs – Crypt Custodian truly has it all.


Astronomics Demo on Steam

Breachway Demo on Steam

Dem-OH! Dashes (#NextFest)

NOTE: Ratings are basically representative of how much I enjoyed the demo and the likelihood that I’ll come back to the title in the future (or even would liked to have continued playing it right then), with regards to gameplay, quality, and (of course) personal preference to genre, etc. A zero represents that the game is too non-functional to really get a feel for it. It is essentially a non-rating.

No. 1

  1. FROGGONIT (3)
  2. Pepper Grinder (4)
  3. Weird mister Bogot (2)
  4. Summer Sprint (1)
  5. Tangled Crisis (2)
  6. IT Startup: Tech Fodder (3)
  7. Children of the Sun (5)
  9. Helskate (4)
  10. Ereban: Shadow Legacy (3)
  11. Hollowbody (4)
  12. Chasmal Fear (2)
  13. Clicker Arena (2)

No. 2

  1. Miniatures (2)
  2. Cryptmaster (4)
  4. Mouthwashing (4)
  5. Rotwood (4)
  6. Parallel Experiment (4)
  7. In Sink (4)
  8. Heart Attack (2)
  9. Demonsomnia (1)
  10. Harold Halibut (2)
  11. Crypt Custodian (5)
  12. Hirocato – The Delivery Hero (2)
  13. Tales of Kenzera™: ZAU (3)
  14. Astronomics (3)
  15. Pacific Drive (3)