5 demos to try in the Steam Fest October 2021

Steam Fest, the unique combination of sale event and indie spotlight with demos, ends in just a couple of days on 7th October which makes picking and choosing between the claimed hundreds of demos difficult.

While I haven’t played all the demos I have tried out a fair amount and have brought you my top five picks. While top five and one honourable mention so it’s six in total. We’ll explain later.

Before we jump into that a reminder that the Steam Fest October 2021 ends soon and its main page here which has a lot of great recommendations for demos too.

Click on the names of the games to be taken to their Steam pages to download the demos.

Forgive Me Father

The Steam blurb: Forgive Me Father is a dark retro horror FPS set in a comic book style world inspired by the novels of H.P. Lovecraft. As the only one with full senses, you begin a journey in search for answers and relief. How long can you last?

Starting things off strong with a so-called “boomer shooter” AKA a retro FPS. In Forgive Me Father you’re handed a single action revolver and sent into a city filled to the brim with townsfolk driven mad by a plague. Use the revolver, new weapons and your faith to survive. Good luck!

On top of the shooting you’d expect for a retro FPS this game also has a madness metre to tie into its Lovecraft inspiration. This metre is earned by killing enemies and can be burned to activate items with a lamp providing light and a cross healing you the two shown off in the demo.

Gameplay is nice and fast and the game’s look is fantastic. There’s a lot of great ideas here like a zombie holding a second head which it attacks you with. If you score a headshot it doesn’t die but simply replaces its head and keeps on coming,


The Steam blurb: A fast-paced low-poly 3D rail shooter heavily inspired by classics of the early 90’s. Join protagonist Kyuu as she fights to free the worlds of the Sanzaru Star System, overrun by the intergalactic terrorist organization known as Zodiac.

We don’t use explanative on this site so just imagine a very strong swear word here followed by “this game is difficult”.

Maybe it’s because I never played the original Star Fox that is the obvious inspiration here (my apologies as I was negative two years old at the time) but this game is punishing. It looks fantastic, the controls are nice and tight and I’ll never say no to a shoot ’em up, but oh boy did I die a lot in this short slice of the game.

The Steam blurb: Shotgun rush a pigdemon, fry two imps with a charge from the upgraded staff and use freezing blast to stop three shotgun skellys in their tracks. That’s just 5 secs of PWII – a sequel to an fps retro shooter now featuring 8-SIDED SPRITES! VERTICALITY! AUTOSAVES! QUICKSAVES!! MANUAL SAVES!!!

You know that famous picture of Jeremy Clarkson having his face pushed back when testing the open cockpit Ariel Atom? This picture? That’s what Project Warlock II is like. If you like travelling at Mach 1, shooting sprite enemies with big guns and reliving the glory early days of FPS games then this one is for you.

The only real complaint is the non-linear maps which can be a nuisance if you miss the tiny green button you need to press to open a door and progress.

Terror of Hemasaurus

The Steam blurb: A retro city smash ’em up with satisfying destruction physics. Play as a Giant Monster unleashing terror upon mankind in this modern arcade experience with the action turned up to eleven.

My favourite demo from this edition of Steam Fest. A modern take on Rampage, Terror of Hemasaurus is concentrated fun which lets you live our your kaiju fantasies.

Punch a building until it falls over. Each civilians to restore health. Kick a car like a soccer ball across the map. Go nuts all while enjoying satisfying, chunky pixels and some tongue in cheek writing which makes you the good guy while decimating entire towns and ending the bloodlines of countless people.

At the beginning of the demo this game can feel a bit stifling as it’s strictly 2D and it feels as though you should be able to interact with the fore- and backgrounds, but you get used to it very quickly.


The Steam blurb: Inscryption is an inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie. Darker still are the secrets inscrybed upon the cards…

While Terror of Hemasaurus may have the best demo, Inscryption is the better game. I’d go so far as to say that Inscryption outclasses every game on this list by a huge margin. The bastard love child of Slay the Spire and Hand of Fate, Inscryption is a deck builder with some of the best presentation we’ve ever seen in a game.

Publisher Devolver Digital commented on the reveal trailer above writing “Cannot explain how good this game is, y’all” and we have to agree. Thankfully where words fail free demos exist and we’re once again thankful for the Steam Fest.

The sheer atmosphere and fun of the simple 4X3 card grid here has to be played. Stop reading and play it now. Actually read our honourable mention below and then go play it.

Honourable mention: Arthurian Legends

The Steam blurb: Arthurian Legends is a medieval first person action game set in the land of Albion during a time of myth and legend. Battle hordes of Saxons, demonic beasts, the undead and worse in thy quest to save Albion from The Masters of the Old Religion.

Arthurian Legends isn’t an honourable mention because of a lack of quality, it’s purely because this game launched during the Steam Fest on 4th October. Steam Fest is supposed to be a spotlight on games coming out in the future, which is why this one is only technically part of the list.

After the other ultra fast retro shooters on this list Arthurian Legends gave me a welcome change of pace with slower, more technical combat that utilises melee and an inventory system.

There’s tons of small details that made me smile, such as the ability to kick severed heads around and a old school UI that replaces your cursor with something matching the look of the game. When was the last time your mouse cursor was a medieval knight’s gauntlet?

This is the only game here that I also have to give a massive technical warning. After finishing a certain part of the demo I had one of the worst system crashes I’ve seen for a while. My PC was completely locked up and I couldn’t even access task manager to kill the software.

Eventually I had to do the old “hold down the physical power button until until it switches off” AKA the PC equivalent of smothering it with a pillow. Proceed with caution.


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