Steam Next Fests Promising Upcoming Horror Games

Steam’s Next Fest is upon us once again! Next Fest gives developers of all sizes a platform to showcase their upcoming releases. With over 1,300 demos on display, there’s a lot to process, and you might be thinking to yourself, ” There’s no way these are all created equally.” And you’d be right! Luckily for you, I’ve waded cheeks-deep through a Fest of content to find and present 10 of the more exciting Horror titles in the showcase.


Odd Meter

Indika, developed by Odd Meter, is shaping up to be an incredibly compelling title.

Players step into the habit of a young nun named Indika as she makes her way across a twisted vision of 19th-century Russia. In the demo, Indika is tasked with guiding a frost-bitten convict through a devastated industrial village. Along the way, they’ll have to do some platforming and puzzle-solving that take advantage of the game’s unnerving aesthetics and the psychology and convictions of its conflicted protagonist.

The art and sound design are exceptional. While the character models and monster designs look great, special attention has been paid to the architecture and set dressing. From the subtle prayers of Indika to the explosive line delivery of the Devil, the vocal performances are similarly outstanding. The anachronistic soundtrack and pixel art hud paired with the arthouse film presentation, make clear that we’re in for something different.

The demo was a grotesque experience, rich with dark humor, horror, style, and character. It’s truly impressive what Odd Meter was able to get across with a 25-minute slice. Fans can look forward to sinking their teeth into the full story when it is released later this year.

Crow Country

SFB Games

Crow Country is the best PSX survival horror game that the PlayStation 1 never got. On display is a wonderfully spooky world to explore, densely packed with details and secrets. Gunplay is tense, ammo is sparse, and horrific monsters abound. The enthralling atmosphere had me digging through trash cans, reading each memo, and collecting every document so I could learn just a little bit more. Crow Country is a charming and refined title that stands out among throngs of retro homages. Striking the perfect balance between nostalgia and originality, it can be summed up simply as: excellent.


Wrong Organ

Mouthwashing is a story-driven, psychological horror about a transport ship and its crew who become marooned in space. The demo introduces players to the staff, giving broad brush strokes of each character’s motivations and dispositions. The preview is presented cinematically and toys with its chronology, instilling a sense of desperation and madness, using body horror as punctuation. The low poly, cel-shaded art is reminiscent of the apex of PSX graphics. It’s a carefully crafted experience that bleeds atmosphere and style and leaves a wonderfully minty taste in the mouth. God may not be watching this crew, but he should add their story to his wishlist.

Death Relives

Nyctophile Studios

Get out of the car, kid; Xipe Totecs got your mom! To cut to the chase, Death Relives is a lot of fun. It’s a breath of fresh air in the FPS horror genre that draws on Mesoamerican history and lore to create a thrilling game of hide and seek.

The Aztek god of agriculture (Xipe) has drawn our hero and his mother into a remote mansion, presumably to munch upon her sweetmeats. To save Mummy, our hero Adrain will need more than cojones and a shotgun named Xizoltic to get her back. He’ll need stealth, sacrificial skins, and a seed from the gods to confront Xipe Totec; “Our Lord the Flayed One”. The gameplay is reminiscent of “Outlast” but adds depth to the decision-making and many other improvements that increase agency.

Death Relives looks great, too; the environments are beautifully modeled, and Xipe Totec and the undead priests are well-designed and beautifully animated. The arbitrary jumpscares feel out of place, but overall, Death Relives belongs on any horror fan’s Wishlist.


Crystal Bat Studio

Surveillance is a psychological horror game set from the perspective of security cameras. Players monitor a location, switching cameras to hunt for and report aberrations. Should something appear, disappear, move, or become corrupted, it’s up to us to send in the correct report and rectify the scene. Should too many anomalies accrue or wrong reports be filed, it’s game over. It’s a genuinely spooky game that’s both rewarding and frustrating. I failed a lot, but it never felt unfair, and I kept coming back for more. Surveillance is simply done right.

Winter Survival

Drago Entertainment  

Winter Survival pits players against humanity’s most ancient foe – winter. There’s incredible depth to Winter Survival, which shouldn’t be surprising as it comes from a studio best known for “Gas Station Simulator.” Our character awakens in a frozen remote wilderness, sick, alone, and with dwindling supplies. Aside from the need for food and shelter, our hero will need to defend himself against roaming packs of wolves or a tenacious grizzly bear. There’s a lot more to manage here. Everything from sanity to stench must be accounted for, all while exploring an inhospitable landscape.

Combat is slow and methodical. Impaling wolves requires watching their behaviors and minding your stamina as you brace your spear. The wolf pack works together to outflank you, taking advantage of your retreats and advances in a bid to rip out our hero’s delicious throat meat. It’s a grueling game by design, meant for masochists and your weird uncle Terry who lives in the woods. Should hard copies ever make their way into hardware stores or hunting lodges, this will surely become the best-selling game of all time.

Welcome to ParadiZe

Eko Software

Where some see apocalypse, others see opportunity, ParadiZe is firmly in the latter camp. Welcome to ParadiZe, which is an isometric base-building game with hack-and-slash action and crafting. Zombies that fall in combat can be fitted with mind-control helmets, granting them new lives as your indentured servants. These “Zombots” will fight by your side, pick up loot, take on menial tasks around camp, or be fitted with saddles and ridden like horses.

Graphically, the game looks very polished. Everything is bright, bloody, and full of character. ParadiZe is a welcome departure from the clichés of zombie media, replacing dourness with its brand of oddball charm. The controls feel tight and easy to pick up; occasionally, though, there was trouble locking onto enemies, but lucky for me, I had some undead backup. If you like zombies and light-hearted fun, Welcome to ParadiZe is worth looking into.

Normal Fishing

The Bworg

Like the lake on which it’s set, Normal Fishing is much deeper than it appears. It’s also much darker. It’s much, much darker. On the surface, it’s an irreverent pixel-art fishing game with a quirky sense of humor and fun mechanics. However, once the demo takes you a little deeper, you’ll find a genuinely unsettling game – that’s still a lot of fun. It’s tempting to yammer on about Normal Fishing, but the demo is free and best experienced firsthand.

Echos of the Living


Echos of the Living is a love letter to the early days of survival horror. Tank controls and zombies reunite to drag players kicking and screaming back to the late 90’s. Echos applies a modern coat of paint to the original Resident Evil formula. Fans of classic survival horror, let down by the action-oriented Resident Evil remakes, will feel at home again with Echos of the Living. Combat, movement, and puzzles feel true to form, and the environments feel just as lived in and packed with detail. Only with horror could something so filled with blood and gore be the product of so much love.


Trialforge Studio

Deathbound is a souls-like RPG set in a world caught somewhere between sci-fi and medieval fantasy during a kingdom’s war against the Church of Death. The key gameplay hook is that our party of heroes exists in one body. These heroic “essences” can be swapped into the lead role at any time.

Essences are the souls of fallen heroes that can be collected throughout the game, each possessing a unique skill set and personality. Essences are arranged on a grid. Clashing personalities of adjacent heroes may lead to debuffs, while aligned ones can sync together for special attacks. It’s a unique system that could make for some interesting approaches to storytelling and problem-solving.The demo is pre-alpha, making it rather early to judge, but it does show some promise. For the most part, combat feels fluid, intuitive, and brutal. The lock-on system is pretty good, and swapping essences was smooth and made for dynamic battles. Currently, the menus feel cumbersome, and there’s a lack of mouse support, which is frustrating for a PC game, but again, it’s early. There are still a lot of games left to develop, but Deathbound is one to keep your eyes on.



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