Steam Next Fest 2022: 6 New Games to Keep an Eye On

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Steam Next Fest 2022 runs from October 3rd – October 10th this year. This is the week where developers and studios from all over the world get a chance to livestream their upcoming products, provide demos for potential customers, and engage with the community. There are hundreds of titles being showcased right now, but here are the six I’ll be keeping an eye on ahead of their official releases. These are not ranked in any particular order, and there is zero analysis to be found here, just my thoughts pouring onto the page.

Manor Lord

Steam Next Fest 2022 - Manor Lord

Image courtesy of Steam/Slavic Magic/Hooded Horse

Developer/Publisher:
Slavic Magic/Hooded Horse

What is it?
A mix of Mount and Blade: Warband, Total War, and the Sims, this is a passion project by a solo developer who promises everything from tactical battles to diplomacy to multiple regions worth of economic interactions, in-depth city building, and more!

Why am I Titilated?
I have a theory that Resource Management/City Builders are fun in general due to the psychological feeling of accomplishment and control when you see the progress you’ve achieved. As the feudal lord of the various manors under your control, you’ll be able to see your people thrive or suffer under your command with zero lasting impact on yourself…basically, you’re god. There’s a lot being promised in this particular title, and the launch date is still TBA, but it can’t hurt to add this to the wishlist.

Cosmoteer: Starship Architect & Commander

Steam Next Fest 2022 - Cosmoteer Starship Architect and Commander

Image courtesy of Steam/Walternate Realities

Developer/Publisher:
Walternate Realities/Walternate Realities

What is it?
Explore space, take jobs, kick pirate ass, and optimize your ship design in this wordy title of a game. On the battle map, your ship will rely on your positioning and tactics to eliminate threats, whereas upon zooming in, your actual crew will be working tirelessly to reload and recharge your weapons and engines. Yes, you can actually see them. That’s a pretty cool concept.

Why am I Titilated?
What really drew my eye was the promise of mods. Mods are alterations you can download to put your own preferences on a gameplay experience. Typically they are fan-made and can get quite elaborate. This game, as is, seems more rudimentary than I’d like, but an active modding community could change that, given the setting of outer space.

I must mention that a very similar product called “Starsector” already exists that I feel will far surpass what this one will offer at launch (and possibly in perpetuity), but Starsector isn’t available on Steam and is therefore ineligible for this article.

Against the Storm

Steam Next Fest 2022 - Against the Storm

Image courtesy of Steam/Eremite Games/Hooded Horse

Developer/Publisher:
Eremite Games/Hooded Horse

What is it?
Apparently, this is already out on Epic Games, but it’s still in “Early Access” until the Steam launch, presumably. It’s another city builder (lots of that going around at Steam Next Fest 2022) where you control one settlement at a time and are tasked with building up production in various biomes under orders from your Queen.

The Capital says give me 10 heads of broccoli, and you go get that broccoli; only their demands won’t always be so straightforward. Do what is asked, figure out how to make chicken stew out of chicken shit, or die trying.

Why am I Titilated?
Every new settlement being randomly generated, along with scrambling the accompanying map modifiers/buildings you have access to, screams hours of entertainment for me. The fact that it’s already been under development on another platform reassures me that the mechanics will be relatively balanced and the overall experience relatively polished compared to most other titles at this event. Also, the art style is so freaking cute…

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Homicidal All-Stars

Steam Next Fest 2022 - Homicidal All-Stars

Image courtesy of Steam/Artificer/Good Shepherd Entertainment

Developer/Publisher:
Artificer/Good Shepherd Entertainment

What is it?
Futuristic gladiators fight for people’s amusement, similar to the classic film “The Running Man” with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Engage with your fans, earn sponsorships, learn new skills, and most importantly, don’t get your head blown off.

Why am I Titilated?
To be honest, this kind of “super hardcore” title and tone would have put me off as cringe if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s trying to be a sports game mixed with tactical combat. I find combining sports aspects with other genres to be challenging but intriguing if done right. BloodBowl II, for example, still holds a place in my heart to this day, and solely off of that, Artificer has caught my attention.

I’ll just have to avoid their marketing materials at all cost.

Dredge

Steam Next Fest 2022 - Dredge

Image courtesy of Steam/Black Salt Games/Team17

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Developer/Publisher:
Black Salt Games/Team17

What is it?
You’re a fisherperson (it’s 2022, everyone, we don’t assume), and you slowly explore a world that turns into HP Lovecraft’s wettest dream when the sun goes down. Upgrade your boat, haul in that catch, and keep your sanity amidst the tantalizing allure of the dark gods.

Why am I Titilated?
The demo didn’t provide much in terms of insight into skill and research progression, but it hinted enough at a larger mystery to uncover that it certainly warrants consideration. The art style is creepy and charming (look at that sunset!), and if you couldn’t tell, I love games that unleash you into a sandbox world. Survival games are also much less stressful when you’re puttering around on a tug boat.

Floodland

Steam Next Fest 2022 - Floodland

Image courtesy of Steam/Vile Monarch/Ravenscourt

Developer/Publisher:
Vile Monarch/Ravenscourt

What is it?
Global warming has turned the world into a swamp, and you’re not only trying to build a functioning settlement, but you’re also trying to rebuild law and order. Sure we’ve lost our smartphones in the flood, but have we lost our societal values along the way?

Why am I Titilated?
Honestly, this one is a bit of a crap shoot for me. The post-apocalypse survival base-building gameplay loop has a lot of contenders so just having this game set in Florida isn’t enough of a hook in a vacuum. However, what’s keeping me interested is the art direction (which looks stunning); the way the developers are implying that this will be a game of several shorter playthroughs on different maps as opposed to one long save that you keep coming back to, and the concept of having a “Law Tree” where you develop your faction’s judicial and governmental systems along with its tech.

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If any other games at Steam Next Fest piqued your interest and are worthy of a wishlist, give us a shout in the comments!

You can keep up with Steam Next Fest 2022 here.

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About the Author

Flint Pickleback
Just some guy who plays video games to disconnect from the world. Wine is often involved, which thoroughly enhances the experience. I'm playing these games on an MSI GS75 Stealth, with 16GB DDR4, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, and a Nvidia 2070-Max Q Graphics Card. Please send pitches to "[email protected]" with "[email protected]" cced.