Steam Next Fest - February 2024

Posted on February 13, 2024 by Aywren

While Next Fest is packing it up for this month, I wanted to share some of the demos I tried, since a number of them still seem to be active! I didn’t download too many of them, and most of what I did were on the cozy gaming side of things.

Spirit City


Spirit City is a cozy, atmospheric focus tool. You can set up a to-do list, set focus timers, listen to lo-fi music and just let your avatar chill while you get things done. I was impressed by the number of options it had in terms of atmosphere customization – and there seems to be more coming in the full version.

If you’re looking for a digital focus tool, this is a demo to look into!



This idle clicker is similar to Chillquarium (which I enjoy) but with the focus of collecting frogs. There are some differences – such as going into Frog Mode, where you can control the frog to attempt to eat gold flies (which gives extra income).

While the demo was limited, I could see there will be lots of frogs to collect over different tank biomes, so this one went on my Wishlist for the future!



I noticed a number of blogger folks played around with Summerhouse. I was drawn in by its lovely art style, myself.

It’s basically a chill builder sandbox where you just piece together pixel parts to make a house… or a neighborhood of houses and shops. Whatever floats your boat. That’s really all there is to it – even the game page notes there’s no challenges or goals, you just build and enjoy.



I knew about this game before NextFest, and have been keeping my eye on it. Basically, it’s a room furnishing game where you either decorate based on objectives or just in a sandbox of your own making. I felt the game played well and the art style is pleasing, but the one thing that keeps this from my Wishlist is just how tiny the furnishing icons are in the menu.

It’s very hard to see what furniture is there as I’m browsing through – and this is a HUGE part of the game’s playability, because you’re going to be using this menu all the time to select the items you need to decorate. But if this doesn’t bother you, check it out. You might enjoy it!

Minami Lane


This is a small-scale cozy management game where you place shops, houses, and locations (like parks) along a street in order to attract people – who then live there, visit, and shop. It seems pretty straightforward on first attempt, where you first place buildings or make tweaks, then let the day play out to see how visitors feel about the changes you make.

I could see this one either pulling someone in for a chunk of time… or feeling redundant for others. I do think it’s very cute and that it has promise, though.

Kind Words 2


This is the demo that really shines for me, and is one that I’m logging back into throughout the day to check. I am a fan of the first Kind Words game, so I was very curious how they could improve on the original.

This time, instead of just getting letters and writing back to people, there’s the concept of having an interactive chat. You make an avatar who can explore the shops and a section of a street (there looks like there will be more locations on launch). Other avatars – who are real people – appear, and you can send small chat messages back and forth over time. The idea is to anonymously encourage other folks, and I feel like this format works really well!

I’m very, very excited in seeing how this game develops at launch!

*|* {February} *|* {2024} *|* {Steam Gaming} *|*