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Top 10 Turn-Based RPGs You Must Try During The Steam Next Fest Of June 2024

Written by Marcello TBL

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Top 10 PC RPGs to Try During Steam Next Fest June 2024

Try Out These PC Demos and thank me later…

Actually, I’m on vacation, and it’s my first one in 7 long years. I’m writing this article from my laptop in a charming seaside apartment we’ve rented for the 10 days we’re here. This laptop will also be my companion as I dive into some demos from the Steam Next Fest, running until the 17th of June.

The popular gaming platform has become a hub of festivals, which I don’t mind at all. During these events, there’s always something new to try or a great deal to snag. However, the Next Fest stands out as the ultimate festival—packed with announcements and demos of both AAA and indie titles.

For those who frequently visit our site or Valve’s portal, you know that the Next Fest offers a vast array of new titles to try, and it’s easy to miss out on a game you’ve been eagerly anticipating because many of these demos are only available during the festival.

So, as usual, I’m here to give a rundown of some of the most interesting PC titles I’ll be trying out, and maybe you should too.

Grifford Academy

Let’s start with an RPG that I’m eagerly anticipating and has made its demo available regardless of the Steam Next Fest. The demo for Grifford Academy has been available since the beginning of the month and will be the first one I try out. But what is Grifford Academy?

Grifford Academy RPG

Grifford Academy, developed and published by LandShark Games, an indie studio formed by veterans who worked on games like Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter, and more, is an RPG set in the mystical realm of Caldria. Scheduled for release in 2024, this story-rich game invites players to shape the personalities of a group of ragtag friends through their decisions.

As Erika, Viva, and Cap, players will engage in turn-based combat inspired by the classics of the genre. They will equip their party, honing their skills and battling dark forces to rescue lost friends. With that Stranger Things vibe, well-looking UI design, and inspired graphic style, I can easily recommend trying Grifford Academy.

Metal Slug Tactics

Practically all the old-timers like me know the franchise, and when it was announced in 2021, it was a delightful surprise. After all this time, and after a delay in the release date in 2023, we finally have the chance to try out this tactical game that stays true to the pixelated graphics of the arcade.

MEtal Slug Tactics

Metal Slug Tactics merges the beloved METAL SLUG arcade action with roguelite tactical gameplay. Players lead their squad through tactics battles, utilizing iconic characters, powerful special attacks, and the “SYNC” mechanic for massive damage. Players gain experience, unlock new weapons and perks, and adapt to ever-changing challenges. I surely love the nostalgic pixel art graphics, and I’m curious to know what the final game will be.

Kriegsfront Tactics

Mechs always generate a lot of excitement, and the first thought always goes to Front Mission, a standout in the genre. Kriegsfront Tactics does a great job of capturing this vibe, offering a stylish tactical RPG.

Kriegsfront Tactics

Kriegsfront Tactics is a procedural turn-based mecha tactics RPG set in an alternate 1970s era, where players take on the role of a commander leading a mecha squad behind enemy lines in Southeast Asia. Developed and published by Toge Productions, the game combines elements from classic tactical strategy RPGs, roguelites, and features a unique low-poly retro visual style. Players are tasked with managing their squad, resources, and mechs while completing missions and making tough moral decisions to survive each day on the front lines.

The game emphasizes metal-crunching cinematic combat, where the mayhem and destruction of mecha battles unfold vividly. Players can customize their mechs by altering livery, salvaging or swapping parts, and equipping various weapons to suit different combat scenarios. As happens in Front Mission, pilots are a thing, as each character brings unique skills, traits, and backstories to the squad. The version you can try during the Steam Next Fest is a brand-new demo that differs from the prologue that was already there, so get on your mech and give it a try.

Lost In the Open

In Lost In The Open, the player must protect the king after he miraculously survives an ambush. I don’t know if the king deserved to be eliminated or not, but I think Lost In The Open deserves to be tried.

Lost In The Open RPG

Talking about the game Lost In The Open is a roguelite, low-fantasy tactical RPG developed and published by Black Voyage Games, slated for release sometime in 2024. The game centers around Nrvesk, the tyrannical ruler of Ruedome (so, yes, he probably deserves to die). As the king, you must navigate through dangerous terrain and hostile encounters while trying to survive and evade capture. The gameplay focuses on strategic recruitment, tactical combat, and resource management, emphasizing the need to protect your vulnerable and powerful king at all costs.

Combat in Lost In The Open is designed to be challenging and dynamic, with enemies that use teamwork to outmaneuver and trap players. The king’s survival is paramount, and players must position their units effectively to create strong frontlines and protect their flanks. Each encounter offers narrative choices that impact the game, such as deciding whether to engage in combat, accept bribes, or help strangers. The game allows for deep customization and upgrades, enabling players to enhance their troops’ weapons, armor, and abilities through gold and experience gained from battles.

Dark Pact

The next game can be defined as a fantasy Into the Breach. In fact, Dark Pact, the tactical turn-based strategy game developed and published by Crimson Gaze, set for release in Q3 2024, emphasizes creativity and strategic manipulation over mere number crunching. Players follow the story of Liesel, a powerful but notorious sorceress, who seizes an opportunity to redeem herself when a dragon awakens, plunging the kingdom into chaos. Gameplay revolves around using the environment and clever combos to defeat enemies, focusing heavily on manipulating enemy positioning for strategic advantage.

Dark Pact RPG

In Dark Pact, positioning is crucial as players can knock enemies into each other for extra damage or push them off cliffs for instant kills. The game features high stakes, as the death of any party member results in restarting the level, though characters can take some damage before being defeated. I never heard of the game so far, and I think it’s a nice addition for the genre.

Hidden Pass

Hidden Pass successfully completed a Kickstarter Campaign, and now it’s available to play. It is a captivating fusion of Tactical Turn-Based RPG and Strategy, where players take on the role of a Wanderer, an explorer, and a tactician navigating the perilous Elyrium Belt in a quest for the elusive and potent Elyrium crystals.

Hidden Pass Gameplay

The game’s unique combat system unfolds across three layers, requiring strategic maneuvering of both ground and flying units. Magic, derived from Elyrium, serves as both a powerful ally and a potential peril, as overuse drives units mad. Players can switch out fallen units mid-battle from their customizable base, the Wanderer’s Tower, which also serves as a mobile fortress for producing Elyrium-fueled automatons and upgrading gear.

The gameplay balances resource management, combat, and exploration, emphasizing strategy and tactical decision-making, and is set to be released sometime in 2024.

Space Order Mine

Space Order Mine is a turn-based strategy roguelite from Technologie XC, merging reverse minesweeper mechanics with intricate inventory management. Players mine for energy, indicated by numbered cells, and strategically place a variety of items within their ship, each with unique effects influenced by their placement.

Space Order Mine

This more-than-a-minesweeper involves methodical planning, as enemy turns are only triggered during mining, allowing players to carefully consider their next move. With over 100 items to discover and three distinct zones to explore, the game offers endless replayability and strategic experimentation. Something a little bit different from the usual games, so give it a try.

Swordhaven: Iron Conspiracy

Here’s another substantial cRPG to try for all the fans of Baldur’s Gate and similar games, taking us to the lands of Nova Drakonia. Swordhaven: Iron Conspiracy is an immersive party-based RPG that draws inspiration from classic CRPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale.

Swordhaven Iron Cospiracy cRPG

It offers a rich, nonlinear world where players embark on unique character-driven quests. As a lone adventurer, players receive a mysterious artifact from a dying man, leading them into a grand conspiracy that endangers the world.

The game features a flexible combat system that allows for both turn-based and real-time with pause (RTwP) modes, as well as a classless role-playing system where stat combinations unlock unique gameplay experiences and dialogue options. With a highly customizable user interface, players can explore a variety of locales, including villages, temples, crypts, and dungeons. Each is filled with unique NPCs and multi-solution quests that promise dozens of hours. Nova Drakonia could surely become your new place to be.

Demonschool

Tried multiple times during various events, Demonschool never fails to make an appearance, and by now, you probably know it very well. This pixelated Persona-Like Tactics RPG challenges players to battle supernatural foes and manage university life on a mysterious island. The game features a unique tactical system where movement equals action, allowing players to plan and execute combos for maximum effect.

Demonschool RPG

The narrative blends light horror with a rich storyline populated by 15 characters whose relationships can be developed through gameplay. Players can explore the island, uncover its secrets, and plan their school schedule to enhance their team’s skills. It’s a mix that creates expectations, and I can’t wait to play it in its full form in September 2024.

Rune Coliseum

The last of the 10 demos to try during the Steam Next Fest is also one of the titles I had never seen or heard of until now. it’s called Rune Coliseum and is an engaging deck-building roguelite developed and published by Rafale Software, set for release in July 2024. Players step into the role of an ancient gladiator, navigating a unique semi-real-time combat system that allows for multiple actions in a single turn, blending strategic depth with impressive fluid animations.

Rune Coliseum Roguelite RPG

The game features a variety of gladiators, each with unique skills, and offers extensive customization through equipment and magic runes, enabling players to develop their own fighting styles. Multiple game modes, including Challenge, Medals, Roadmap, and Tournament modes, add to the replayability. The multiplayer mode pits players against each other in intense deathmatch eliminations, where strategic manipulation both on and off the field is key to becoming the champion. A nice discovery for a game you must absolutely try.

Now I’m getting ready to go to the beach, but let me know what you think of the mentioned RPGs and which ones you’ll be trying. Reach out to me on X and on our Discord server. Wish you the best. Ciao

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Marcello TBL

Italian Dad in love with Turn-Based RPGs and Indie Games. In 2018 he started Turn Based Lovers and now he can't live without it.