Home » 8 neat games from Steam Next Fest – June 2024 | Scout Summary

8 neat games from Steam Next Fest – June 2024 | Scout Summary

Three games from Steam Next Fest - June 2024.

Every few months, Valve hosts the Steam Next Fest; a week-long celebration of new titles (mostly indie) that allows devs to release timed-demos to drum up interest for their upcoming projects.

This Steam Next Fest, which took place from June 10-17, featured quite a few interesting titles. However, I spent time with eight in particular that really captured my interest and look to provide a fun experience when their full editions release in the (hopefully!) not to distant future.

Steam Next Fest – June 2024 highlights

1.) Golf Tour (Cocodog Games) – Zany mini golf fun

There are quite a number of golf/minigolf games out there, but Golf Tour seems to be trying to make a name for itself with its whimsical atmosphere. Rather than playing as a real pro golfer or some colourful character, you control the golf ball itself throughout a variety of wacky courses.

Your golf ball can be customised with a lot of funny cosmetics and will react to your plays as you smack, whack and roll it to each hole. Here, you get 12 swings to get the ball in the hole, otherwise the match is forcibly concluded.

golf tour demo steam next fest

The courses of Golf Tour have the scale of a real-life environment, but with the added puzzle-like and hazard-filled design of a minigolf course. It’s quite the interesting and looks like it will be a particularly fun game to play along with friends. Golf Tour can be wishlisted on Steam right now and is “coming soon.”

2.) Just Crow Things (Unbound Creations) – A crow game with a title

2019’s Untitled Goose Game by House House taught us just how fun it was to play as a mischievous goose, bent on wreaking havoc on the human world. In a similar vein, Just Crow Things offers just as chaotic of an experience with an equally dastardly species of bird.

The game leans into the intelligence that crows possess and allows you to take control of one who wants to help its “animule fwends,” even at the expense of creating misery and collateral damage for the “hoomans” that share the same space. Just by that most poetic verbiage expressed in the previous sentence, terms pulled straight from the game itself, you should know this title does not take itself seriously and is the pinnacle of ‘dumb fun.’

As you complete missions handed out by the various animals in each level, you’ll often have to create some kind of carnage, whether it be dropping poo bombs on unfortunate flightless beings below, stealing knickknacks, or just straight up setting fire to a flower shop with the use of a flamethrower; there’s a lot of fun messes to get into in Just Crow Things.

just crow things steam next fest demo

The many objects and buildings throughout each of the game’s environments are gleefully destructible, creating a visual symphony of disarray and (wholesome!) disfigurement. Indeed, just like Untitled Goose Game, the cutesy, innocent art style of Just Crow Things allows this to be on the complete cartoony side of the spectrum, safe for all ages.

Though, should you end handing the reigns over to a younger gamer, you should definitely explain that making cars explode with fireball poo is not something that should ever be attempted outside of the confines of this game.

Just Crow Things can be wishlisted now on Steam and has a “TBA” release date.

3.) Old School Rally (Frozen Lake Games) – Stuck in the past and in the mud—all in the best way

A modern title that seeks to emulate the look-and-feel of a game of the past is not a new concept at all. That said, a lot of such games in recent years have opted to go for a marriage between the two; possessing an art style that respects the limitations of past games to best emulate their aesthetic, but with some modern effects sprinkled in for some visual flare. Think of the growing number of so-called “HD-2D” titles, for instance.

Old School Rally goes in the exact opposite direction and instead stays faithful to the grungy, almost paper and plastic-like appearance of early 3D games. And, you know what? It’s more charming as a result. This title almost looks like it launched in 1996, yet here it is tearing up the course in 2024.

The game features a variety of tracks set across real-world rally locales, in addition to unbadged yet very recognisable car models such as classic rally legends from Subaru and Lancia. Old School Rally strips the concept of a rally game down to the minimum and seeks to provide a straightforward, arcade-style off-road racing experience.

old school rally demo steam next fest

What makes Old School Rally most impressive is that it’s being developed by just one person. There’s a lot of passion put into this project, from its art direction to tight handling and scale of tracks and environments.

The car models also have a lot of love put into them, as alluded to earlier with the fact that race fans will definitely recognise them despite having to legally go by different names. That said, there’s even a simple damage model present that allows for dents and bumps to form after an impact.

Old School Rally understands the niche its trying to fill and looks like it will do an amazing job at just that. It can be wishlisted on Steam right now and has a release window of sometime in 2024.

4.) Parking Garage Rally Circuit (Walaber Entertainment) – Better tip the valet

Similar to our last title, Parking Garage Rally Circuits stays true to the classic aesthetics of early 3D games from the 90s.

Not only does it describe itself as both looking and feeling like a Sega Saturn game, but it even has different display modes that mock the look and graphical limitations of a genuine retro console, straight up to a full-fledged PC port with widescreen support and high framerates.

Regardless of which visual style is selected however, the game’s crude background textures and simple polygonal look of the environments and vehicles remain intact, and it’s better for it. Again, the charm levels are up to a 10, and better still, the game is super fun.

parking garage rally circuit demo steam next fest

The obscenely long title does encompass exactly what the gameplay is all about. You’re invited to skillfully maneuver your way through the tight corners of parking garages across a variety of scenes.

As you come out of the apex of a corner, your car will boost forward, which you must then carefully manage to not collide with other objects or cars. Success here comes from finding the optimal racing line of each course, shaving seconds off your time, and streaming past your opponents.

Parking Garage Rally Circuit is a super arcadey racer through and through. Its rather unique concept helps it to stand out amongst the sea of other racing games; even setting it firmly apart from the similar, but still very different aforementioned Old School Rally.

Parking Garage Rally Circuit can be wishlisted now on Steam, and will be drifting into libraries later in 2024.

5.) Pixel Car Racing: Blocky Crash (HapGames) – Bits and bobs

Pixel Car Racing: Blocky Crash is an isometric racer that has the party trick of featuring vehicles made out of individual blocks. As you race around the tracks and bump with other drivers and hazards, blocks will fall off bit by bit. This creates a lot of visual chaos which scratches that cathartic itch that comes with seeing bits and bobs fly around everywhere.

This is yet another simple concept on its own that’s been spun on its head in a unique way to provide a standout experience. The car handling and course design is on the simpler side, but each track is filled with jumps, boost pads, and items to help up the ante of the action.

With the overall goal being to make it to end of each race (literally) in one piece, the gameplay loop is very fun and makes each race challenging in its own right.

pixel car racing blocky crash demo steam next fest

Like any good cartoony arcade racer, there’s a variety of colourful vehicles to unlock as you play, and this one doesn’t cheap out with odd ball designs, such as being able to pilot a tractor or snowmobile in the same race as a formula one car.

Pixel Car Racing can be wishlisted now on Steam and will blast its way to the storefront rather soon on July 22.

6.) Rapid Soccer (VDimension) – Goalie goals

Rapid Soccer reminds me a lot of those tabletop soccer games where you have to spin a group of players around to ‘kick’ the ball in the opposing goal. While Rapid Soccer does give you full control over all the players like most similar games, its bobblehead/toy-like aesthetics do help to add to its unique profile.

Even the way the player models run and bob around is very cartoony, and makes the whole affair feel like lighthearted, simple fun. And, that’s exactly what this little indie is all about. Unlike the yearly rendition of EA Sports FC (formerly FIFA,) Rapid Soccer isn’t all about super-accurate stats and motion-captured player models.

rapid soccer steam next fest best demos

The controls and mechanics are simple, and all one has to do is ‘get good’ at blocking, stealing and scoring. Of course, this is all easier said than done as the AI can put up a bit of a challenge. But, you can also go head-to-head with other players both online and locally.

While this doesn’t have the polish and prestige as a more robust title, Rapid Soccer does at least offer a nice, pickup-and-play style of experience. This should give it a worthy spot in any library of a sports fan, or even someone who’s just looking for something low-effort to get into.

Rapid Soccer can be wishlisted now on Steam and will be kicking its way to a full release “soon.”

7.) Screw Drivers (Creactstudios) – Build your own wheels

While Pixel Car Racing has you bashing cars to bits, Screw Drivers invites players to build new vehicular creations and let them loose across a handful of open maps.

There are various challenges to undertake and new parts to unlock as one creates and partakes in different races. The game’s building system is relatively simple, though the more engineering-inclined of the playerbase will surely be able to fully exploit all of the mechanics.

Unsurprisingly, but still great to see, is that Steam Workshop compatibility is present and fully integrated, thus allowing players to quickly scoop up community-made vehicles and add them to their garage.

screw drivers steam next fest demo

Screw Drivers‘ building system even allows for the creation of more than just road vehicles, as I tried even a few aircraft.

That said, the control system is a bit rough around the edges. It’s not the easiest driving model to get used to, but considering that the game is in Early Access, here’s hoping that this and more parts of its current crude state are ironed out over time.

While it’s not the most polished demo I played during this Steam Next Fest, I can see the promise behind it. If the devs follow through with their vision, this could very well be a quirky new indie racer that ends up carving out its own niche.

Screw Drivers is currently out now as a free, Early Access title.

8.) Tricky Madness (Nathan Dearth) – Mountain madness

All it took was one clip of Tricky Madness that I saw on Twitter/X for me to be reminded of the former greats like EA’s SSX and Nintendo’s 1080. That’s exactly the vibe that solo developer Nathan Dearth is going for with Tricky Madness, which seeks to capture the same high-octane, visually robust atmosphere that those arcade snowboarding titles were known for.

Flashy tricks highlighted by colorful visual flares, challenging track designs and varied environments are all present here in Tricky Madness, albeit with the clear limitations of this being a solo project.

tricky madness demo steam next fest

In its current state, it’s still a relatively simplistic version of the games it’s inspired by. Particularly with the trick animations of the riders; they’re still rather stiff and robotic-looking.

Yet, it’s still early days for this up-and-coming title. This first public demo at least did its job at getting the game out there in the hands of the community, which hopefully resulted in a decent scoop of feedback that Dearth can use to carve out a truly decent arcade snowboarding title.

Tricky Madness is still a ways away from release, with a current window of Q4 2025. Though, like all of the other titles before it, you can wishlist it now on Steam and keep an eye on its progress.

All of these new games made a great impression on me, even more so considering they’re being developed by either small teams or just a one-man-band.

I love how Steam Next Fest continues to put a spotlight on new projects, which there seems to be a torrent of every few weeks. It’s hard to keep up, but here’s hoping each of these games find a decent-sized audience, as well as all the others that were featured in the event.

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