Crazy action and slow paced relaxation: New Next Fest June demos

img credit: valve

From June 19 to June 26 during the Next Fest many game developers present demo versions of soon to be released titles to the public. You can also watch many devs stream gameplay and give feedback and share ideas to them over the steam stream. Today we present you the 3 demos we played so far and share some impressions and our opinion on them.

Crazy Cars

Crazy Cars is an action racing game with combat mechanics. Players can choose between 2 cars with different weapons and use special abilities and ultimates. You can also boost your car and jump to avoid being hit.

The game offers video settings but after clicking on the save button the window settings and resolution the game doesn’t keep the changes. The multiplayer works pretty well, the server I created only kicked me out once and runs pretty smoothly. For my friend the graphics we made worse by an orange overlay (probably a graphics driver bug). I myself do like the simple polygon look of the game and the level and model design andwere able to play normally. One thing that wasn’t easy to get used to was the controls of the game: while you jump and are in the air the W and S keys are used to rotate the car.

So far there aren’t many options to customize but the developer, Abdulrahman Albar, has promised customizable weapons and multiple gamemodes to be added for the full release. We are excited to see how the game will progress.

Ready, Steady, Ship!

Ready, Steady, Ship! is a coop logic puzzle game where you need to construct conveyor belts to transport packages around a factory.

In the demo version you get to play 5 stages with 3 small levels each. This took my friend and myself around 1 hour to complete and we had some good laughs experimenting with the game mechanics. Over time the game shows you the different types of conveyor belts: there are the blue ones, that are the same as the normal gray ones but you’re able to tow and push them around and the gray industrial ones, that first need to be rotated with a rotation machine to be used in your desired direction. The conveyor belts are controlled by big levers that can be used to stop or start them and also by gates over the conveyor belt or even over walking paths that need to be opened over pressure plates, similar to buttons in Human: Fall Flat.

There are also a machine to produce empty boxes and one to fill them with packaging peanuts which can be quite tricky to get running if you need to coordinate the flow of the boxes at the same time. Later on you also get introduced to the shredder, a big destructive machine that doesn’t even stop for little lowpoly characters 😉 . The shredder basically allows the player to fix broken conveyor belt parts by returning a new one when given a broken one. This is only needed if you fail to fix the parts while they’re alterting you with a little icon to repair them or if you enter a level with already broken parts.

What I really enjoyed about the game is the simple but really well done lowpoly characters and environments. The cutscenes at the beginning of the game are also a nice addition.

We’re excited to see this game released or to playtest again in future stages and I also enjoyed some devlogs of the developers of the game on youtube that spoil some exciting future features. I think this idea mixes games like Overcooked and Satisfactory into a slow paced enjoyable game that can be played to relax or together with younger gamers to introduce them to video games.

Smells Like Burnt Rubber

Smells Like Burnt Rubber is an arcade racing game that features customizable cars, different maps and gamemodes and AI drivers. You can play in local or online multiplayer mode.

In the demo you can choose between 4 cars and 1 motorcycle from the Sport Cars pack. You can also select one of 3 maps and drive them clockwise or counterclockwise. Maps either have an asphalt or dirt appearance but for both you get slowed down if you go off track. Your progress on the race track is tracked with checkpoints. The different gamemodes include a “Single Race”, that as the name suggest takes you around a map for a certain amount of laps. The “Grand Prix” mode features multiple races on multiple maps. During the race you can pick up power ups similar to games like Mario Kart that can be used to have an advantage over your opponents. There is also a boost feature that needs to be refilled and is really helpful on corner exits.

I really enjoyed the ranking system of the game: the better you perform the more fame you earn after a race. In the demo the max amount of fame is capped at 100 and the more you get the more appearance (like lights for your cars or wheels) and also performance mods are unlocked for your cars. Another thing I like is the simple polygon style of the environment and cars. There’s also a nice soundtrack ingame. I tried the multiplayer mode with a friend and it run very good. I highly recommend playing the tutorial before jumping into competitive action. Really excited to see where the development of the game ends up as it already has a very solid base. I also enjoyed watching some devlogs on the developers youtube channel.

Feel free to leave your favourite demo in the comments and suggest some games we should review as well. Thanks for reading!

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