Narrowing down the best games of Steam Next Fest is a huge challenge. Hundreds of demos have been released to promote a vast spectrum of new and exciting titles, and we’ve been absolutely spoiled with games to look forward to already this summer, making it pretty hard to know the best place to look for which games are worth keeping an eye on.
Whether you’re looking for a wholesome world restoration game, or on the hunt for some hair-raising horror, Steam Next Fest has shared the spotlight on titles to satisfy almost every player. But if you’re not sure which upcoming games are worth keeping an eye on we’ve narrowed down what we would consider to be the best games of Steam Next Fest from June 2023.
Sea of Stars
Set to arrive in August 2023, Sea of Stars is a highly anticipated turn-based RPG with a charming pixelated art style. During this adventure, you’ll take on fantastical beasties across several landscapes as two Children of the Solstice. Adopting a modern approach to classic RPGs in terms of environment, interaction, and combat, it’s worth keeping an eye on if you’re looking for a modern dose of nostalgia.
The world of Sea of Stars is brimming with life too. Dozens of unique characters and their coinciding story arcs help bring the journey together. In classic RPG fashion, the connections you make along the journey will be filled with twists and turns to navigate alongside the adventure itself, packaged in an interactive environment begging to be explored.
Viewfinder offers an enthralling take on puzzle games, making you look for creative uses of the environment around you to progress through different levels and landscapes with nothing but an instant camera to help you. Offering an approachable experience for anyone who just wants to solve some mind-bending puzzles for a few hours, there’s a lot to love about this game even before its full release.
Viewfinder hosts what seems like a Portal-like approach to puzzle solving, meaning it's essential to think outside of the box, or in this case outside of the camera, in order to find your next path. Each colorful and unique environment you find yourself exploring will have you constantly questioning the next best step.
In this chaotic arcade-style game, you’re challenged to run around and steal food from innocent bystanders as a menacing Possum in a low poly world, but it’s not that simple. Across the map, patrolling dogs are attempting to keep the peace and prevent any unruly characters from disturbing them, so you’ll need to act fast and be prepared to run the second you get spotted.
In addition, local co-op allows a friend to join as the coveted ‘Raccoon’ who follows the same intent as the titular Possum. Together, you must navigate the map to consume as much as possible, hide in bushes, and eventually consume the King’s personal cheese pizza. While you’re at it, you might as well steal the crown too if your finicky paws are feeling brave enough.
Station to Station
If you want to implement a more relaxing, minimalist game into your library, then don’t turn a blind eye to Station to Station. Even if trains aren’t typically your forte, the voxel-art landscapes you’ll need to connect via a network of trains will bring this game to life and captivate you for hours, even through its short but sweet demo.
For fans of world-building or community management sims, Station to Station offers a relaxing take on the genre where you don’t have to keep tight track of materials or citizens while you construct by giving the option to play through a strategic version of the game to rack up a high score rather than only offering management-oriented mode.
To the Grave
For fans of horror, To the Grave presents a chilling journey through a mysterious village you’ve broken into, but rather than focusing exclusively on spooks and scares, this puzzle-based horror game comes with an edge of humor. Depending on how you approach different situations, you may walk away unscathed, or be a victim of absurd ways of death.
While you explore the haunting village you’ve broken into, you’re also going to confront a mass of monsters, ghosts, and ghouls, but instead of being your traditional bone-chilling encounters, these creatures will predominantly be your source of giggles through their humorous approach to spooking you while you progress through the suspenseful story explaining how you ended up there
Wildmender takes the barren wasteland of the desert and challenges you to create a blooming garden from a tiny spring. Throughout this charming survival game, you will need to explore, forage, and craft tools to collect plants to bring back to your spring, while carving out streams and waterways to keep your land thriving.
However, growing your garden and restoring life to a once desolate location isn’t your only concern. Wraiths seek to corrupt the peace you’re bringing to the desert, so alongside the wholesome side of foraging and survival, you will need to learn the best ways to protect yourself against enemy forces, putting an enthralling twist on what initially appears like a solely wholesome game
Kara Phillips is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to TechRadar.
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Kara is an Evergreen writer at TechRadar Gaming. With a degree in Journalism and a passion for the weird and wonderful, she's spent the last few years as a freelance video game journalist, with bylines at NintendoLife, Attack of the Fanboy, Prima Games, and sister publication, GamesRadar+. Outside of gaming, you'll find her re-watching Gilmore Girls or trying to cram yet another collectible onto a shelf that desperately needs some organizing.