Demo round-up from gamescom 2020
Gamescom 2020 is underway, and everything is different this year. Well, maybe not everything. What's true once again is that there are many incredible adventure games on display, only this time it's happening entirely online. With the world facing quarantines, social distancing and negative travel advisories, there was no way a physical event attracting hundreds of thousands of gamers from across the world was going to happen. But in the online space, the Indie Arena Booth has managed to get enough people together to not just fill its own distinct section but the whole show floor. In an isometric multi-user online environment not unlike the old Ultima, some 200-ish indie games have set up virtual booths anyone can visit from now through Sunday. Besides offering trailers and screenshots, a good number of these have demos hosted via Steam, GOG, and itch.io, and if you're lucky you may even be able to spot the developers and have a quick chat.
While anyone is welcome to register and stroll around for themselves (registration required), we've done some advanced scouting, so here are the adventure game demos we found if you want to skip the lines and get straight to playing. Most if not all will only be available until August 30th, so it's now or never, though we'll be providing additional round-up coverage after the event.
(We'll be adding more demos to the list as they become available, so stay tuned!)
Aethernaut is a first-person puzzle game set in a claustrophobic steampunk world. You must solve puzzle rooms using light, sensors, portals and time travel to gather the aether vials and access the core of the Construct. You are guided by Doctor Louis Cornell who explains how the Construct came to be abandoned and why you were chosen to help save it. Soon, however, unsettling voices start creeping into your mind, warning you against the doctor and pleading for your help.
Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken were once legendary detective partners, but time had passed them by. Sonny is a burnt-out, alcoholic ex-cop, who spends his days in an abandoned hotel, while Marty hides behind the facade of a star detective, but slowly he’s losing himself. Now they’re back together again on a case bigger and much more dangerous than anything they’ve ever encountered before.
Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse
Cooper “Coop” McCarthy is on a quest just to keep his head down and make it to graduation without having to deal with an apocalypse. Sorry Coop, you’re about to have a real rough year. He’s joined by Sawyer Allen, an aspiring investigative journalist with a know-it-all streak that just might save the day, and Hugo “Chowder” Malone, a consummate “gentleman” with a love for novelty swords and leaving comments on YouTube videos.
Gamedec is a single-player non-combat cyberpunk isometric RPG. You are a game detective who solves crimes inside virtual worlds. Use your wits to gather info from your witnesses and suspects, get to the bottom of deceptive schemes, save lives, and investigate the extraordinary relationships between virtual worlds and their inhabitants. The game continually adapts to your choices and never judges – you are the sum of your choices.
A noir adventure spanning time and space. When a love triangle between cosmic beings becomes a bitter confrontation, you'll witness a gunshot fired by a jealous god—otherwise known as The Big Bang. Jump into the expanding universe and search for a way to destroy creation and save your love.
Ghost on the Shore
Ghost on the Shore is a story exploration game where you play as Riley. Craving adventure, she escapes her abusive father to sail a rickety boat across the high seas. When one night a storm forces her to drop anchor at the deserted Rogue Islands, she encounters the ghost of Josh, dead for as long as he can remember. He gets trapped inside Riley’s head and is unable to let go until she helps him remember his life. And death. To make it out without losing her mind, Riley will have to uncover the darkest secrets of the islands.
Nara is a student growbot on her first day of captaincy training on board a space station. Before she can learn more about her new home's ecosystem of alien flowers and strange creatures, an attack by an unknown force infests the station with large and quickly growing crystals. Communication is cut off, and so she ventures out of her room in search of her captain. Along the way, she must make new friends, fix the station's strange machinery, and discover the origins of the crystalline force spreading throughout the station.
Hazel Sky is a heartfelt adventure about a young engineer facing his destiny and his desires. Sent to an island far from home in the flying city of Gideon, Shane must pass the trials and return as an engineer or face banishment. Connected via radio, Shane and fellow trainee engineer, Erin strike up an illicit friendship. A friendship that will change the way Shane sees the world. The Trials are the ultimate test that every engineer must take before taking the honored role. For Shane, the trials are his destiny, but destiny and desire rarely align and, in a world divided between honored engineers and reviled artists, Shane finds himself torn. The trials, events in Gideon, and an unlikely romance tell the bittersweet story of love, ambition, and a society on the brink of something new.
As a private detective who specializes in analyzing digital footprints, you’ve been hired to investigate the apparent suicide of the titular character. Her father is convinced that foul play was involved in her untimely death. Now it’s up to you to piece together the series of unfortunate events that led to her demise. Access her database and browse her files by typing different search terms. These will give you access to video clips, audio files, notes, and news articles. Share these with the client and your colleagues to dig even deeper.
A Juggler's Tale
An atmospheric 3D side-scroller set in a puppet theater play. The string puppet Abby flees from her captors into freedom and adventure: a world of beauty and wonder but also danger! She finds herself in a war-torn, medieval fairy tale, surrounded by ravaged, starving citizens and hunted by the relentless cut-throat, Tonda. Who can she trust? Can she avoid the traps and betrayal? Despite dangling from her threads, Abby learns that she can still influence her destiny, if only by winning over the audience.
Lamentum is a pixel art survival-horror game set in New England in the mid-nineteenth century. To solve the dark secret at the heart of Grau Hill Mansion, you will have to immerse yourself in a nightmare world full of terrible creatures. Choose well in whom to trust, every decision you make may alter the course of the story. Will you survive?
The Last Cube
Venture through six unique areas of the cube-world and overcome three-dimensional brain-teasers in this puzzle adventure game. You, the Last Cube, were awakened for a purpose—save this peculiar world from collapsing by solving puzzle tracks left by your ancestors.
Lucifer Within Us
Lucifer Within Us asks you to solve non-linear, story-rich mysteries with your wits, making observations and deductions in a world of daemonic possession and invasive soul-scanning technology. Question your suspects. Watch their movements and testimonies closely, as the reconstruction may be based on lies. Use contradictions and clues to form your own hypothesis. Who is lying and why? Who is possessed? You must decide what is the truth for yourself, based on the evidence presented.
This completely nonlinear detective game lets you take over a murder case as the infamous mindcop, a grumpy police investigator with the ability to surf people's brainwaves to acquire otherwise hidden information. To do this, you must complete a Tetris-style puzzle game. Some suspects' minds are easy to access but others might be more resistant. To solve the case and find the killer, you can move freely and visit any house in the neighborhood and question, mindsurf or even arrest anyone you meet. All of this will cost you time, which is the game's main resource and it is limited! Players are forced to make their own decisions and deductions and follow their own personal trail.
A sci-fi archaeological post-apocalyptic adventure. In the 25th century, great humankind achievements, such as the pyramids or Humphrey Bogart’s movies, are completely forgotten. Henry and his nerdy team of archaeologists have been working hard for years on the ground, digging for treasures with the extremely rare hallmark “Made in China” and watching weird Indiana Jones documentaries. Until some dog-looking-god comes to ruin everything.
Nine Noir Lives
Welcome to Meow Meow Furrington. Capital city of cats, cartels, and crime. A city that will just as soon claw your eyes out as lick your face. Explore the hangouts and high points of this feline furtopia. Discover characters both kooky and dangerous. Solve the mystery of a murder that threatens to spill into the city like an overturned saucer of milk and ignite a war between the powerful Montameeuw and Catulet families.
Observer: System Redux
You are Dan, a member of a special corporate-funded police unit called Observers. Having received a cryptic message from his estranged son, the hero delves into the seedy underbelly of the city, where only horror and madness await. As an Observer, you will need to use your augmentations to gather information, interrogate and hack into the twisted minds of criminals and victims alike. Explore the boundaries of humanity and face the consequences of stepping beyond our limits. The System Redux version includes enhanced visuals, expanded gameplay and all-new story content.
Omno is a single-player adventure that that will take you through lush forests, across a sun-blasted desert, over a frigid tundra, and where the power of a lost civilisation will even carry you to the clouds. On the way you will meet strange creatures, encounter many surprises and maybe make a friend.
Team up in this espionage-themed cooperative adventure challenging you and a friend to complete dangerous missions across the globe in a high-tech near-future world. As an exclusive team of two, you and your partner will become agent and hacker, working together to infiltrate, investigate, and eradicate the forces threatening the free world. Work in tandem from two different points of view with only your voice to link you. Teamwork is crucial, and communication is key!
Paradise Island, a world outside reality. There’s been a murder that only "investigation freak" Lady Love Dies can solve. Gather evidence and interrogate suspects in this open world adventure. You can accuse anyone, but you’ll have to prove your case in trial to convict. It’s up to you to decide who’s guilty.
Play as a top physicist stranded on an eerie, derelict moon base. Find your way around the enigmatic, terraformed biomes by bending gravity and magnetism to your will in order to solve physical puzzles. Will you rush straight ahead and try to reach safety, or will you take your time to gather clues and unravel the intrigues of 22nd century orbital politics? Buried in the eternal darkness of the lunar craters lies a secret that might cost your daughter her life – and possibly change the fate of humanity forever. Are you ready to face the ultimate consequences of your research?
It's been several years since Harley Leger left New Bretagne and headed west, hoping to leave the past behind and make her way as a freelance writer. After arriving in the sleepy border town of Rosewater, a seemingly trivial assignment for the local paper leads to the hunt for a missing man's fortune—and the story of the century. Harley and her ragtag posse embark on a harrowing journey across Western Vespuccia, facing bandits, rebels, ruthless oil barons, and many more obstacles on their quest for fame and riches.
You must explore the mind of a man trapped inside his own self-created hell consisting of white, austere rooms that continually change to reflect his fragile psyche. You can keep him from going insane by making the right choices and performing the correct actions, but if you fail, his world falls apart figuratively but also literally: it will shatter, leaving you in a white space unable to proceed.
A Space for the Unbound
Follow two high school sweethearts, Atma and Raya, on a journey of self-discovery at the end of their high school years in rural Indonesia. When a mysteriously supernatural power is suddenly unleashed threatening their existence, they must explore and investigate their town to uncover hidden secrets, face the end of the world, and perhaps learn more about each other.
In a distant, post-apocalyptic future, what remains of the population of mankind lives in an enclosed citadel called Domed City Providence, created to survive the harsh outside environment. In this, mankind's final refuge, Randolph Carter, a member of a notorious hacker-for-hire group called ODIN, accidentally stumbles across the terrifying truth, a truth that might tear apart his own sanity and lead him to question his very existence.
Unbound: Worlds Apart
Explore beautiful, hand-crafted 2D worlds by conjuring different magic portals. Each portal gives you unique abilities to solve puzzles, outsmart abominable creatures, and unravel mysteries.
Welcome to Elk
A narrative game based on tales of real stories told by real people with minigames that are deeply connected to the game and story. You play as Frigg, a young carpenter traveling to Elk for an apprenticeship. She is used to an outgoing and hectic lifestyle in the city. How will she handle the isolated life on Elk with only few young people around her and no internet?
When the Past Was Around
Like many young people in their early twenties, Edda is lost. Not literally, but she has lost her way in the journey to achieve her dreams and lost her way in the journey to find love. Then she meets a mysterious man – part owl, part human – who helps rekindle her passion and introduces her to love, but will also teach her about heartbreak. Players will need to interact with the environment and solve puzzles in a series of surreal vignettes to help Edda find her way, unraveling the secrets between her and her lover, the secrets which she used to know.