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What we've been playing

Steam Next Fest Special!

25th of February, 2021

Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we've found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time we've been picking over a few more of the games available in the Steam Next Fest.

If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We've Been Playing, here's our archive.

Scathe, PC

Scathe trailer.

Remember when FPS games were called Doomlikes? Scathe is a Doomlike - and then some. You get dropped into horrible caverns filled with awful beasts, you have a gun that you don't need to reload, and there's a score counter boldly placed on the UI. Keep the combo going.

Inevitably, it's brilliant: lovely gunplay and hideous monsters enlivened by a dash move that encourages you to gib with a bit of extra speed. You know, like Doom!

Best thing about this, though? There is a button just for wiping the gore off your face. That's cool. That's Doom - and then some.

Legendary Hoplite, PC

Legendary Hoplite trailer.

Legendary Hoplite drops you into Ancient Greece for a sort of tactics, action, puzzley thing. It's going to be great, I suspect, even if the current demo does take a while to make that point.

You patrol the bottom of the screen while enemies come from the top. Skeletons. Armoured skeletons. Wolves. You manage a stamina meter while you move about and chuck spears at them. But as things evolve you can also spend mana on buying troop units to block some of the lanes for a limited time. And then there are special moves. And pretty soon you're managing mana and stamina while hell rains down from above.

What it wants to be like, I think, is a sort of classical Plants vs Zombies, with a bit of Diablo thrown in as you do a glissando of troops and skills when things get tough. I do think it's going to work. I also think the current demo is just a little slow in proving that.

Magic of Spring, PC

Magic of Spring.

Magic of Spring is a sweet ecological fable about the forces of the seasons at war. Summer is damaging Spring and so you head into the world to set things straight.

It's a card battler at heart, but it's a card battler in which your cards come from nature. As you walk about the world, you conjure new cards from the things around you - trees, rocks, walls - and you then play these cards as you battle enemies, dealing from ordered and unordered decks, maintaining enough heat to play cards, and slowly whittling down your rival's health.

It's a ponderous sort of game, but it has a truly lovely atmosphere - a melancholy song for the earth and the things that come together to make the environment.

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