February Feature Art

Dem-OH! March Round-up

25% through the year already, huh? And already we’ve had so many great games! Elden Ring has taken the world by storm and absorbed more demographics than anyone could have ever expected, Tunic mushed every puzzle-lovers brain and became a quick GOTY contender, and that’s without even considering Horizon: Forbidden West, Dying Light 2, Shadow Warrior 3, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and so, so much more! Well, the quality of the demos this month have also been fantastic, many of them bulking out my wishlist more than I can probably handle!

What a phenomenal start to gaming in 2022.

Of course outside of the hobby things are still bad in Ukraine but we’ve been doing what we can to send support, with HumbleBundle‘s ‘Stand with Ukraine‘ package earning more than $20 MILLION USD for humanitarian relief charities and many other creators individually contributing to collections and efforts.

Things like that make me proud to be a part of this wonderful community!

Stand-Out Demos of the Month

Tinykin Demo on Steam

I think it’s safe to say the ‘collect-a-thon’ 3D platformer sub-genre is mostly a thing of the past, sadly. So when this gem popped out of nowhere and swept me away on terribly cute adventure filled with charming ant people and all sorts of exploration puzzles to discover, I was immediately thrashed with nostalgia in the best way possible. See, it’s not just a clone of some favourite old franchise but an entirely new, modern take on the gameplay style. It won me over immediately but then worked hard to keep my love after the inital throwback of emotion. I can’t wait to get lost in some more of the sprawling miniature worlds it offers.

Dome Romantik Demo on Steam

This game couldn’t be simpler honestly. It’s a 2D ‘mining roguelike’ with a swift gameplay loop. Dig down for resources, bring them back up to upgrade your base and abilities, and fight off monsters with a laser beam attached to the roof. But I’m telling you now that this one will sap away hours of your life in the blink of an eye, and you’ll beg for more. The ever-lengthening dash to go deeper for fresh materials and the tense, slow haul back up with them is a masterful design that will have you sweating bullets as the next enemy wave meter drips away, each tick a stab at your heart. Is it better to optimise your defences or your gathering efficiency? Should I ditch these new goodies and go handle business or can I tank a few hits in exchange for an upgrade? There’s not a milisecond of downtime in Dome Romantik and I loved it. The elegant design shows nothing more than needed, doesn’t bog the player down with unimportant nonsense or tag on unnecessary bits of game. You couldn’t lose a single piece of it; it’s the leanest (and maybe meanest) roguelike around.

Cursed to Golf Demo on Steam

YES! IT’S SO FUN! I’ve had this game on my wishlist since I first saw the announcement trailer at some event last summer (I can’t remeber which!) and I’m incredibly happy to announce it’s everything I’d hoped for and more! Not only did Liam Edwards, the gadme director of Cursed to Golf, give a perfectly alluring overview of how the game works and their inspirations behind the project but it also just looked the part. The mix of highly skill-based roguelike gameplay with a 2D golf game that is inherently simple to play is a match made in heaven but blended with the bright and comical, yet wonderfully retro, art style and a bouncing soundtrack – you’ve got yourself a hole-in-one. I’m already bursting to get in another round and only hope they manage to add a head-to-head mode for those boss tracks so I can show off the skills I acquire fighting my way to Golf Ascension.

Mirror Forge Demo on Steam

I hated this entire experience, which I guess makes it a damn good horror game! Being first-person alone makes scaring a lot easier but even then some games just don’t get the balance right. Not for that deep, internal fear anyway. The good stuff. Whilst there does exist the odd jump-scare throughout the demo, this title does a fantastic job of making your own brain work against you by providing all the dark atmosphere and horrible ideas needed to stir yourself up into a frenzy. I mean, even the jump-scares aren’t classic screamers that just blow up in your face, they are well-placed, timed, and puppeted in order to get the best reaction possible for the least amount of work. It’s a horror-design gem and shouldn’t be underestimated, or you might just find yourself throwing out all of the mirrors in your apartment. Building around the concept of a Silent Hill-esque purgatory is always a fantastic choice if you want to create an evolving and ever-disturbing world, and Mirror Forge runs with those concepts, resulting in something that is likely to terrify you all the way through and perhaps even linger inside you long after you leave it behind. Between this and Mortuary Assistant coming later this Spring, horror fans are in for a treat in 2022.

Conan Chop Chop Demo on Steam

What originally started as an April Fool’s joke may just be the next Castle Crashers and take the co-op world by storm. This isn’t your usual multiplayer hack-and-slasher chop-and-chopper. Armed with dodge rolls, parries, and “trillions of item combos”, players can take any route they want to overcoming the massive boss battles and hordes of baddies across the different biomes. Being a roguelite means every run is full of surprises and compromises but in the end it all comes down to mastering your characters, building out their skill trees to take advantage of your playstyle, and becoming the ultimate heroes – TOGETHER!

Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles Demo on Steam

This might just be the game I’m most excited about right now. The deck-building genre has become completely oversaturated (not to complain because I love them) but board games have so much more to offer. Astrea is a dice-builder; something I had yet to see in a videogame. The randomness of the dice makes each turn stomach-tightening but with more than enough mitigation strategies to never seem unfair, the strategy of choosing new dice and upgrading faces really shines through. That’s cool and all but what makes this game really special is how they’ve built on top of those foundational mechanics – topping it off with a perfectly tight and simple push-and-pull system based around ‘corruption’ and ‘purification’. Heal yourself and hurt enemies with purification and vice versa for corruption. However, pinging yourself for damage may just be in your favour as it procs special character abilities. Oh man does it make you feel smart to heal/hurt/heal/hurt yourself in order to keep triggering these awesome effects. With an interesting narrative, six unique characters to choose from, classic roguelike tropes, and an art-style that will blow you away, this magnificent blend of dice-chucking and puzzle solving has rolled to the top of my wishlist.


Die After Sunset Demo on Steam

Check out the Preview here!

“Well, after playing the latest Early Access build, I can safely say we’re on the right track although there’s still a long road ahead”

IXION Demo on Steam

Check out the Preview here!

“I’m sure fans of the genre are going to enjoy getting to grips with this one. It may not be the most intricate, or anywhere near the most colourful in its class, but what it does offer is a real journey into the unknown.”


WW2 RebuilderDemo on Steam

Esse ProxyDemo on Steam

DIVEDemo on Steam

Lorn’s Lure: PrologueDemo on Steam

Dem-OH! Dashes

A slow roll at the beginning of this month, as I took a few streams off to travel and recover from a particularly nasty booster-shot reaction, but we’re starting to pick the pace back up as we move into the juicy game-filled center of Spring. Although we didn’t play as many live demos as usual, we did manage to find some real winners that are packing out my 2022 gaming schedule faster than you can believe!

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. Grid Force – Mask Of The Goddess (3)
  2. Overbowed (3)
  3. Undergrave (3)
  4. The Wandering Village (4)
  5. Tinykin (5)
  6. Bio-Gun (2)
  7. A Little To The Left (3)
  8. The SCALING (0)
  9. ShapeGrid (2)

No. 2

  1. Madshot (4)
  2. Kick Bastards (4)
  3. Prose & Codes (3)
  4. Swords And Their Boy (1)
  5. Paquerette Down the Bunburrows (3)
  6. Elsie (2)
  7. The Scorchfarer (3)

No. 3

  1. Heir Obscure (1)
  2. REAVER (3)
  3. TEN – Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds (4)
  4. Signum Perfectum (2)
  6. Eggroll (2)
  7. Dome Romantik (5)
  8. First Time in Paris (3)

No. 4

  1. Cursed to Golf (5)
  2. Never Out Of Time (3)
  3. Wild Dogs (3)
  4. TombStar (4)
  5. Salaryman Shi (3)
  6. Scorpion Overdrive (2)
  7. Nora’s AdventurEscape (2)
  8. Manacircle (4)
  9. Mirror Forge (5)

No. 5

  1. Tricky Typing (2)
  2. Welcome to Empyreum (4)
  3. Conan Chop Chop (4)
  4. Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles (5)
  5. Devil Spire (2)
  6. MindSweeper (2)
  7. Hack and Slime (2)