I played 11 Demos, and I've decided to write about my impressions on each, divided between those I liked, felta ambivalently towards, and disliked. If you also played some demos or have something else to say on the games I tried, I'd like to see your comments.
Demos I liked
I always liked the idea of a roadtrip, I even tried playing Elite: Dangerous like one. This game seems to deliver on that fantasy: even though at it's heart it is a series of branching choices, not unlike an rpg-book, in practice each scene has several choices within itself and is paced cinematically to compose an engaging vignette in itself. Play this to compose and live your own roadtrip movie about escaping a banana republic just before the estabilishment violently squashes a progressive candidate who's about to win the elections.
Where the previous game evolves the classic rpg-book as a cinematic experience, this one uses the format of videogames to enrich it with greater freedom thanks to tracking of statistics and the ability to choose a dialogue options and a class at the start, making it, essentially, a text-based full blown RPG. If you've played the Sorcery! series, like me, you'll feel right at home.
What if you took a tactical turn based rpg and scaled it up until it resembled an RTS? Then put in a sci-fi story and production lines like in Factorio? You'd get Cantata, which solves my biggest gripe about RTSs, that is how taxing it is to micromanage all one's units and building in real time, by making the game turn-based and limiting thaìe amount of actions one can take per turn with a Fallout-esque action point system. While this makes it a slog to make a big army cross large distances, this also means that winning is about rationing the action economy rather than your click/minute rating.
Speaking of strategy games, this one is rather more fast paced. Besides the peculiar look and a campaign tha meìade me think about Rock of Ages, this game is all about getting results quicker than your opponent: be precise at the minigame to kill the opposing units quicker, put your units on the ink spots to be able to make more next turn, and make sure not to let your spawn point be consumed by the fire thaat will spread across the field after 5 turns. I'd say even someone who hates turn based game for their slowness might enjoy this one.
Whle I'm sure the developers woud like me to marvel at the authentic '50s sci-fi movie aesthetic, what I actually like about this game are the health bar and multiple live which make it actually feasible to play, and the Ace Combat style chatter betweeen the other members of the Squadron which gives greater context and some trace of story and pacing to each mission (shame it's all in portuguese, but it has subtitles).
I do have to say though, I don't care for the section where you have to navigate around obstacles like it's a bullet hell shmup, but thankfully yhey're not too hard or frequent
Demos that left me in doubt
Why do games about being a giant monster seem to be so hard to make fun? In theory smashing villages as a giant should be cathartic fun, and facing one of your kin in one on one battle should be epic. In practice fighting the cannon towers that defend the villages is samey and, thanks to cunky animations, hard for the wrong reasons, and the one other giant you fight in the demo is too fast and unpredictable: impossible to hit at a distance because he dodges all over the place the second you start aiming, and too quick to block and attack to damage in melee because it's animation don't have any wind-up or wind-down.
Honestly, I'm only giving this game the benefit of the doubt because maybe I gìjust need to get good and there could be more to be done with this premise in the finished product.
Crowns and Pawns Kingdom of Deceit
I have little to say: I don't care for the aestheitc and this is a pretty basic andventure game
What if Portal, but with less clear visuals, and we try to make a "your chocies matter" game but we also mock the player for wanting their choices to matter?
This could very well be a great puzzle game, but it tired me almost instantly
It's pretty clear the devs want me to be awed and overwhelmd byt the caleidoscopes of throbbing and gyrating abstract architecture I'm smashing through, and I am. There's just one problem: I can't see the hoops I'm supposed to collect over all the visual noise.
Demos I disliked
So on the nose it's practically a pair of glasses, so dark I can't see where I'm going and got stuck after a minute. This Limbo clone is late to the party and poorly made.
There's a great deal of subtlety that goes in fighting games and souls-likes that this game doesn't understand: like that each attack should be able to be selected individually rather than havig one big combo of every possible move, or that attacks shoul be clearly telegraphed and that it should be easy to undertand when they connect in order to make parrying and dodging actually manageable, or that the first enemies the player encounter should be slow and predictable in order to get the player used to the mechanics. This game is cryptic and full of hassles for the sake of being hard, and doesn't even have a story to drag you along. Being a roguelike it should be vaired, but in practice is just a linear series of fights and inventory management.