Here Are 8 Steam Next Fest Demos We Tried So We Could Tell You About Them!

Here Are 8 Steam Next Fest Demos We Tried So We Could Tell You About Them!

We cover mostly Xbox games on LifeIsXbox (what’s in a name?) but that doesn’t mean other platforms don’t get their fair share of attention from us. A few times per year, Steam has an event celebrating upcoming game demos called Steam Next Fest and we’re diving into some of those demos below to see what the future has to bring.

The Spell Brigade

Platforms: PC only (for now)
Release Date: 2024

The demo lets you pick one of the 4 different characters and play a survivors-like with a focus on co-op and friendly fire. I didn’t have anyone to play the game with but had a great time just testing it out on my own. The demo is pretty forgiving and ends after defeating the first boss, but I already liked what is here.

It looks great, the abilities are fun and the demo itself is pretty forgiving, letting me respawn after I didn’t pay attention one too many times. I played it with an Xbox controller and other than moving around and selecting upgrades, it requires minimal input, so I don’t see any issues with this coming to consoles eventually.

I’m definitely front-row to check out the full release!

2 back-to-back playthroughs of the demo


Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5
Release Date: 20 August 2024

I LOVED the Dustborn trailer shown during the Xbox Showcase so I was very excited to play the demo on Steam. Only… it was really not what I expected. The trailer showed us a rag-tag group if young adults being pulled over by the police and using their superpowers to get away.

The demo gives us a few short moments from different chapters of the game, starting with a brief exploration of a garage where you need to free someone. Then a road-side stop by the police where you need to prove you’re in a band by playing a rhythm game that felt inaccurate in its triggers (but I did like the interface) and then there was a combat (!!?) section where I had to fight off waves of robots with my bat. But the combat was boring, unresponsive and felt unnecessary. And then the demo crashed during the fight scene.

The entire time, I was thinking that this was the opposite of what I was expecting from the game (a Telltales/Road 96-like narrative choices adventure) and why the developers chose these scenes to start the demo with. I hope things turn around for the full release, but August 20 is nearing and I don’t expect big changes…

(no video because the demo crashed on me and so did the recording)


Platforms: PC, Consoles TBD
Release Date: Q2 2025

3D mascot platformers are among my favourite genre of games and I followed the developer long before the started this game and have seen updates throughout the years. I was sooo eggcited to finally play this colleggtathon demo with a paper & cardboard aesthetic.

There is only one playable level in the demo, but it was a nice showcase of the kind of platforming & collecting you’ll do in the full game, with gears etc to interact with that change the world so you can keep exploring. The voice-acting was also on point and the level design was fantastic. I really had a lot of fun with the demo and my only gripe was that there wasn’t a continuous savefile for it so when I beat it I couldn’t go back for missed items but had to start over from the start.

Here’s my demo playthrough for those who want to see it in action.

Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island

Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Q3 2024

As a huge fan of Polygon Treehouse’s previous title Röki, I had this one high on my list of demos to check out. It’s an exploration/adventure in which you get shipwrecked on an island full of ancient Greek gods, but all with a whimsical twist on the persona you’d expect from them.

The demo showed us how me move around on the island, how we can use the special tablet to communicate with the gods + keep track of our quests and also how much fun it is to explore and find various things. From fruits to trade for fast-travel keys, to seagulls to feed and crates with decorative items for the lighthouse we claimed as our own.

I have a feeling the full game will provide hours of entertainment and I can’t wait to continue exploring!

Necro Story

Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: September 2024

Necro Story is a light-hearted RPG from a small Belgian team and from the dev that brought us Healer’s Quest. He mostly worked on the game in his spare time while he was the game director for Outcast A New Beginning (also Belgian!) and now switched back to full-time working on this funny take on auto-battling and monster-collecting.

You play as a powerful and (kind of) evil necromancer who has to save the world against his will and with the aid of a ghost called Vivi. The artstyle is nice, the combat is pretty addictive and the urge to “catch them all” is always lurking while you roam the world and encounter new monsters and demons.

I also liked how the demo was full of hidden secrets that reward you with new items to equip. I always love games that reward exploration & experimentation.

Good news if you’re planning on checking out the demo: the save file transfers progress over to the full game!


Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 18 July 2024

This Dutch indiegame has been on my radar for years, ever since first spotting it during #PitchYaGame on Twitter. Imagine my shock when I learned it’s coming out very soon (in july) and on all platforms! To celebrate, they released their first ever demo for Steam Next Fest and it offers around 20-30 minutes of gameplay.

We discover how the game starts, with a SCHiM (shadow) of a young child and how he stays with him all his life until tragedy strikes and the schim gets separated from its owner. You then have to hop from shadow to shadow to find him again and help other schim along the way. It’s a 3D platformer on paper, but feels more like a puzzle/exploration game in how you have to learn patterns and find the best path to the end of the level or optional collectables along the way.

I can’t wait for the full game to arrive on Xbox and to get all achievements for it!

What The Car?

Platforms: Steam & Apple Arcade
Release Date: 9 September 2024 (PC)

I loved What The Golf? and was really looking forward to playing this next game by Triband but sadly it launched on Apple Arcade and I had no access to that platform. But now the whacky car-game is coming to Steam as well in September and the demo already gave us a ton of levels to test out.

You can play as a car with legs, a pirate car that shoots cannons to move around, a glass car that shatters at the slightest touch and many more weird situations in a weird word, often for the sake of being weird. But it’s fun an I can’t get enough of it.

Aero GPX

Platforms: Steam
Release Date: 06 August 2024

Thomas: The first I saw of Aero GPX was on Twitter (formerly X) where its developer talked about the early development process. I’d played games like Wipeout or F-Zero before with a passing interest. Great fun to return to every now and then, but never for more than a couple sessions at a time.

The Aero GPX demo lets you play five races and about eight or ten vehicles in either Grand Prix, single race, time trial or practice. The artstyle is beautifully simplistic, giving a retro feel that still looks clean and polished today. And simple is good, as everything that whizzes by almost 2000kmph won’t be seen in any meaningful detail to begin with.

I’ve only stuck with the first vehicle on the roster since it had balanced stats, yet all of them look very unique and have wildly different stat allocations. The track variety is also on point, with a city; space; sea: desert and volcano course that all promote different way of racing. You can also do tricks while in the air to gain a speed boost when landing. Besides flexing on the other racers, you’ll look hella cool doing so.

Furthermore the controls feel nice and responsive and are completely remappable. There’s also a number of accessibility options which I didn’t need but did want to mention. I can’t wait for when Aero GPX takes off from the early access start line on August 6th. I need me some more tracks to slam into the walls of at mach 3. is the largest Belgian Xbox-centered website, your reading time is greatly appreciated! Please consider sharing this preview with your friends on social media, that means a lot for us! If you are Dutch-speaking also consider joining our Dutch exclusive Facebook group Xbox Gamers Belgium. Feel free to use quotes for PR purposes.

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