Demos I Liked:
This game solves a problem that plagues every other action game: that players initially shun the parry because it's too hard to pull off. GRIME's answer is making you start without weapons, able to defeat enemies only by parrying, linking upgrades to kills-by-parry, and making the first two upgrades you can get passive abilities that increase armor after failing a parry and restore stamina if you pull it off, simultaneusly giving you a safety net and a greater incentive to use it regularly.
This is what happens when you take a fighting game's mechanics and completely change the context. The result is a game that asks you to fight as elegantly as possible without the fear of losing, but doesn't really push you to improve unless you care about how you look or the score. I found it an enjoyable time and liked the procedurally generated vaporwave enviroements, but I find the lack of context normally provided by the phisicality of an animal or a machine in the enemies' likeness hurts the player's ability to time dodges without rote memorization.
I was pleasantly reminded of Half Life 2 and Dishonored, althought the art lacks Viktor Antonov's unique flair and the gameplay is closer to Half Life 1 without the platforming
Relaxing but stimulating city builder. The gameplay is made pleasantly more complex by having three distinct phases of Reclamation, in which the wasteland is turned into fertile land; Terraforming, in which the structures put down in the previous phase are modified or destroyed to shape different biomes; and Recicling in which all structures are destroyed to accumulate raw material that must be carried to a specific spot via waterway; with each needing good planning in the previous one to pull off successfully.
A very good-looking programming puzzle game; or, to paraphrase genre popularizer Zach Barth's own book, Zach-like. the node-coding interface is a tad clunky, and the dialogus in the demo didn't make for good characterization like in Opus Magnum, but it's got spectacle and it's a good game to play if you want to learn Assembler coding
Another Zach-like with good aesthetics. This one I like better in theory, and the interface is easier to use, but all the wires can get confusing (though this can contribute to the challenge). The dialogues, like in Alan's Automatons, feel like filler, although they manage to convey a hint of personality.
I was expecting a lot from this game and I wasn't disappointed: the rpg elements are up to par with the Bethesda Fallouts, and the combat is much more varied, balanced and satisfying than theirs. I unfortunately cannot make a first-hand comparison to the Black-Isle Fallouts, but I felt the wasteland was suitably hostile and the story has an edge I rarely saw elsewhere. Great work so far, and a masterclass in solo developement. I hope to achieve something like this in my own future.
A bit too much for kids, but a solid adventure game, whose photograpfhy framing almost completely removes moon logic from puzzles while adding a healthy does of guesswork. A shame most things you do are fetch quest rather than jury-rigged solutions to strange problems, but I think it's a good trade overall.
<<Drifting: Weight of Feathers>>
The emphasis on the sexy protagonist might make you think of the infamous Haydee, but this game is closer to Tomb Raider or Bayonetta: the main attraction is the action, and the fanservice is just bonus, as well as significantly more restrained than the trailer would suggest. Speaking of the action, it has steep learning curve, but it's solid and not too hard once you have adjusted, with the sole exception of climbing vertical walls, which for some reason glitches into a horizontal wallrun if you look directly upwards, but can be fixed by grappling.
Demos i disliked:
This was one of my most anticipated game of the whole event: it looks gorgeous and promises free and rewarding exploration. But it fails to deliver those promises. Although I don't mean to imply a lack of originality, the end result is "Breath fo the Wild, but worse and without the combat"; maybe the riding, climbing, and gliding by themselves could make for a satisfying gameplay, but the climbing glitches out on uneven surfaces, and the riding has neither the wide, free sapce it needs to make it liberating, nor the crative obstacle placement to make it stimulating. Unfortunately, this is the latest of a series of game sthat thought they could coast on travel alone, without any danger or challenge, and wound up boring.
The Fermi Paradox
I came looking for a strategy game in the style of King of Dragon Pass, but on a galactic scale. I left disappointed by a lack of individual characterization for each species and ways to meaningfully "build up", as even having species advance through the technological ages only resets their resource conter and changes their portrait.
The Lost and the Wicked
Too concerned with being edgy, not enough with refining gameplay. You can't act like the gameworld being the protagonist's subconcious is a deep and troubling reveal whe you constantly broadcast it from the start, and yu can't make enemies just warp outside te level because you can't be asked to program decent pathfinding.