I've been playing a lot of demos & prologues lately, so I wanted to share which ones have caught my attention. I recommend giving all of them a try (please note that I can no longer find the WPWA demo, so it might not be available anymore).
TRIGGER WARNING: One of these games references suicide.
When The Past Was Around
"When the Past was Around is an adventure point-and-click puzzle game about love, moving on, letting go, and the joy and pain of everything in between."
Release Date: Coming Soon 2020
Developer: Mojiken Studio
Publisher: Toge Productions
Available for: PC (Windows & Mac)
My Thoughts: The first aspect of the WPWA prologue that impressed me was the music. The simple but beautiful tune evolves as you progress to new stages, and other instruments gradually accompany the piano. I found myself wanting to listen to it even after I had finished the demo, and I debated replaying it just so I could hear the music again. The artistic style of WPWA, like the music, is simple but beautiful. Additional features are added as you solve more and more puzzles, which adds progressively more incentive to the game. I also found myself delighted by some of the puzzles. While none of them are particularly difficult, they are creatively constructed and satisfying to complete. The story interests me, but obviously I can't offer much information about it given that I haven't played the full game. I couldn't find the demo as I wrote this post, so it's possible that it's no longer available. However, the full game will launch soon (no precise release date yet), at which time you will be able to enjoy WPWA's beauty in its entirety.
1. Steam, "When The Past Was Around," https://store.steampowered.com/app/1164050/When_The_Past_Was_Around/.
"Jessika committed suicide, and it’s up to you to find out why she did what she did by prying into her digital past. What at first seems to be a job like any other quickly develops into a dark drama with twists and turns."
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Developer: TriTrie Games
Publisher: Assemble Entertainment
Available for: PC (unsure of others)
My Thoughts: I love Jessika's vibe - the sense of mystery, the freedom to click on any file, the ability to type any keyword - and I'm very excited to see what the full game will bring to the table. The sleek and modern aesthetic allows for the focus to remain on the characters and story. While I can't judge either of them based on the demo alone, I anticipate that they will be the strongest and most interesting aspects of the game. And, of course, I'm eager to learn what happened to Jessika (I theorize that her supposed suicide is actually a homicide carried out by either her dad or her sibling, but that's just a guess). I can't wait for August 25 so I can finally see what happens next!
1. Steam, "Jessika," https://store.steampowered.com/app/1251980/Jessika/.
"Coffee Talk is a coffee brewing and heart-to-heart talking simulator about listening to fantasy-inspired modern peoples’ problems, and helping them by serving up a warm drink or two."
Release Date: January 29, 2020
Developer: Toge Productions
Publisher: Toge Productions
Available for: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
Coffee Talk isn't brand new, but that doesn't make it any less desirable! I featured this game in my "4 Indie Games I'm Lusting After" post, and my feelings haven't changed since then. After playing the demo, I want it even more than I did before. Within the first minutes of the demo, the cafe started to feel comfortable and familiar. The process of making drinks isn't stressful like I initially feared it would be, and all of the characters have interesting personalities and stories. I'm excited to follow up with the characters featured in the demo and learn how their stories end. The demo was a much more relaxing experience than I thought it would be, so I recommend it. I wish you the best of luck with latte art - mine was pretty darn bad.
1. Steam, "Coffee Talk," https://store.steampowered.com/app/914800/Coffee_Talk/.