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  • Writer's pictureNate and Julie

Summer Game Fest 2024: 4 demos from PC Gaming Show you need to play now

A collage of key arts from the games featured in the article. Top left: A man strangling another man on the floor in Rise of the Golden Idol. Top right: A yellow car with explosion behind it from Fumes. Bottom left: A farmhouse scene from Sumerian Six. Bottom right: a red haired boy fighting and doing 5 damage to a monster in Last Moon. On the right is the VGG splash logo and key art for the 10th anniversary PC Gaming Show.

Back in the day, young gamers around the world all wanted the same two things. 1) To go to E3 to be able to try the hottest new games shown at the expo's big showcases, and 2) to be held within Funky Kong's loving embrace. Okay, so that second thing might just be me, but now that you're thinking about it, you kinda want it too, don't you?


Gamers would salivate listening to games media folks discuss how it felt to go hands-on with games on the show floor, explaining the kinds of details no single trailer could ever communicate. That idea of seeing a game that spoke to you so clearly and then being able to go hands-on with it immediately afterward? THE DREAM.


Well, thanks to the power of the modern era of summer games showcases and easier digital distribution... that dream is now a reality. Inside this piece are four special games that were showcased during the PC Gaming Show 2024 (10th anniversary edition!) whose demos you need to play immediately.


THE RISE OF THE GOLDEN IDOL



Developer: Color Gray Games

Genre: Evidence collecting and validation based detective game


When I say this trailer had me hootin' and hollering, I'm not lying. When I say that the demo being available immediately after the show was dangerous, I meant it. I had so much to do and I dropped everything to hop into the grimy world that the Golden Idol leaves in its wake.


This follow-up to our 2022 GOTY nominee, Case of the Golden Idol, takes the series into the modern era and replaces the haughtiness of British nobility with the depravity of the drugs, sex, and disco of the '70s. The demo allows you to check out the prologue and entire first chapter of The Rise of the Golden Idol, giving you a quick look at the big changes to the formula, which include more interconnected detective work across smaller scenarios, easier collection of phrases for your database, and a major user interface change that has the "validation" screen replaced with smaller windows that you can pop in and out over the top of each case's frozen murder scene.


If you love Case of the Golden Idol, run to play this. If you don't know what Golden Idol is, also run to play this. This demo shows the team is evolving the series in all the right ways and we're here for it.


LAST MOON



Developer: Sköll Studio

Genre: Action adventure RPG Zelda Souls


I’m already picturing the best case scenario for when I get my hands on Last Moon. I’m settled in for the freedom of the weekend, tucked into the couch together with my partner and my dog — but since cable TV (and by extension, Saturday morning cartoons) don’t really exist anymore, I’ll be cozied up with a cartoony RPG, inspired by the ’90s classics.


Last Moon is about a Lunar Knight tasked with battling the corrupted creatures brought on by the destruction of the Moon and restoring peace to the world that exists on top of a giant. It’s got both solo and multiplayer options, and playing its local 2-player co-op brought us right back to that feeling that you’d get as a kid playing some vibrant, world-saving adventure and fighting evil side-by-side with your friends, siblings, or cousins.


You make your way through Last Moon’s beautiful and saturated world — inspired by the likes of 2D Zeldas, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana — by slashing through clusters of monsters, minibosses, and titans. You dodge traps and obstacles, and solve mini puzzles requiring both players to progress. You pick up treasure, find and equip runes to adapt your fighting, and level up each character separately. The game also has some more soulslike elements. The enemies are beefier and a little harder to finish off than in your traditional Zelda, and campfires serve as checkpoints that allow you to equip your weapons and runes and shift the time between night and day to discover secrets.


Last Moon comes from a tiny studio in France, and after multiple years of impressive work, it’s set to release in 2025. From what we’ve seen, it’s definitely going to be worth picking up to play either alone or together.


FUMES



Developer: FUMES team

Genre: Chaotic vehicular combat


I miss vehicular combat. Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby, Cel Damage. I miss high-octane driving with a machine gun latched to the hood of my car. Mad Max tried to give it back to us a few years ago, and that game failed to get the audience it deserved. But FUMES is here to carry the torch, and if the trailer above endears you to its brand of chaos, the demo is available for you immediately today.


In FUMES, you drive through an endless procedurally generated world, blasting enemy drivers, gathering scrap, and using it to upgrade your car bit by bit. Once you finish enough tasks in the vast world, you summon giant enemy boss vehicles that'll test your limits. The core game loop seems incredibly satisfying from the small taste we're given here, and the potential of where the game can go from here to early access, to launch is inspiring.


Any game that gives me the vibes that driving through Motocross Madness' infamous Stunt mode did is an A+ in my book.


SUMERIAN SIX



Developer: Artificer

Genre: Weird science WW2 tactics


After the shocking and painful closure of Mimimi Games, one of the last true torchbearers of the real-time stealth tactics genre, it'd be easy to say the genre was set for a long, long nap. But the team at Artificer, inspired by Mimimi Games and tentpoles of the genre like Commandos and Behind Enemy Lines, is picking up that torch and running with it.


In this weird science meets WW2 adventure, you will take control of a group of scientists looking to take down a group of Nazis who've harnessed a mystical energy source to gain a major advantage in the ongoing conflict. Your crew isn't going in empty-handed though, as their own wits and scientific ability manifest in special abilities, like the power to turn into a giant bear or to entangle yourself with a soldier to hide within them.


The real-time tactics genre is one I've admired from afar for so many years. Going back to my '90s baby gamer days, I've basically been waiting for the one game to suck me in and fully convert me. Artificer's cheeky narrative, its heist-like approach to raiding Nazi bases, and the unpredictable nature of its abilities make it a great candidate, that's for sure.

 

Hopefully one of these demos calls out to you, too. But even if not, we encourage you to check out the hundreds of demos available during Steam Next Fest, June 10-17, to find one that does. Having the opportunity to play all of these games immediately after seeing them at these shows is so exciting, and indie devs around the world are waiting to hear what you think.


To wrap up VGG's coverage of Summer Game Fest, we’ll be livestreaming the Ubisoft Forward and handing out our Best of Show awards on Monday, June 10. Join us on Twitch! Want more news and game recommendations from this week of reveals? See more of our Summer Game Fest coverage.


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