Round Up: Four PC Game Demos

I’ve been playing more demos, most of these I found via PAX’s online event, except one which I found while checking out other games by a maker who made another one I’m looking forward to.  Weee!

The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante

This interestingly titled game has you following the life of one Sir Brante (you pick his first name) from literally the moment of his birth until the end of his days.  Though it labels itself as a narrative RPG, it is really more like an interactive choose your own adventure with more choices and those choices affect your “stats” and which events/options you may get later.

This hefty demo lets you play through the first two major sections of the game, Brante as a child and as an adolescent. It has a lot of reading, but it also has meaningful choices that can have major effects on the story as it progresses.

For some reason, despite the screenshots on the store page, I didn’t expect it to be so much reading. Not that I mind reading, it just wasn’t what I expected when I started.

There are some interesting characters and there seems to be some interesting stuff going on in Brante’s world. The artwork is well done and fits the feeling of the story’s setting.

I do think the game could use some better instructions on how to understand the options. It took me a while to finally get the basic idea that when looking at choices, that some are showing stat buffs you get and others are indicating minimal conditions you must have met to have that choice as an option.

Overall, I honestly can’t say that I had “fun” playing it, and yet I kept playing through the entire demo because the story itself was just compelling enough to keep me going, to make me wonder what would happen, and to see if my choices played out the way I wanted them too.

So yeah… it’s on my wishlist even though I can’t really point to one thing that says “OMG, go get this!” 😅

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Ghost on the Shore

This is a walking simulator/exploration game in which a woman named Riley who is on a stranded, deserted island with a Josh, a ghost, whose memories are fuzzy. As you explore the island and find remnants of whoever used to live there, Josh’s memories begin to return.

I was a little hesitant on this one after the last walking simulator demo I played (i.e. The Fabled Wood which was a disappointment), but the idea of the ghost and how your conversations with him will shape the results of the game were hard to resist.

The demo gives you a good enough feel for the controls and some early hints of the people who lived here, but not much on who Josh is or how he died. As she explores, Riley makes entries in a journal that you’ll want to read to get far more than just what’s on the main screen. The controls were pretty easy to learn and it reminds you of them. The demo had a few minor bugs, but still, I liked it and the story pulled me in enough that I have it wishlisted.

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Unto the End

I saw a video of this during one of the gaming events and it sounded interesting. A fighter-platformer where hack and slashing your way through enemies is not always the best way to go, rather you will want to improve, observe, and use your wits to succeed.

This one was an interesting game with seemingly no story other than the main character moving towards home (or at least I presume). Unfortunately, I found the controls difficult to remember, had a lot of confusion about what to do in some areas, found a lot of places way too dark to see to make decisions, and the combat was so exceedingly difficult I didn’t finish the demo. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t the sort of thing I enjoy myself.

Despite that, the art is absolutely beautiful and if you like fairly intelligent enemies to fight, who change their behavior when alone versus groups, this one seems pretty promising. As of this post, the demo is still available if you want to try it yourself.

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Coffee Talk

I’ve heard lots of good things about Coffee Talk and I thoroughly enjoyed the demo for the same company’s upcoming When the Past Was Around. So I ended up getting all their demos to try.

With Coffee Talk, you are a barista/coffee bar owner who opens at night instead of mornings in a Seattle (of course) where humans live alongside various supernatural beings. One really interesting aspect of this game is that you need to listen to your customers’ problems, but you help them not by giving the right verbal answers, but in making them the right drinks.

In just the opening bit, there was already the intriguing story of an elf and a succubus who are in love but both of their species disapprove of their relationship. You also have a regular who is a writer who decides to write a novel, that she’s already sold but hasn’t actually written LOL

The graphics are very 90’s style, but lovely and soothing. The music is great, and the drink prep is easy enough to follow and is low-pressure so you can just enjoy the game and your customers’ stories (and attempting latte art LOL). Suffice to say, I also wishlisted it, though this one is out now if you want it.

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