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Steam Next Fest demo: This indie game is Terraria x Diablo

If top-down Terraria sounds intriguing to you, the Steam Next Fest demo for Core Keeper is pretty great

Fishing with pals in Core Keeper

Steam Next Fest is upon us, with a massive pile of free game demos. There are far more games here than anyone could reasonably play in the week the event is active, so I’m doing the only thing I can do – checking out cool-looking things at random, and reporting back when one of those things plays well, too.

Turn Terraria from a side view to a top-down perspective, and you’ll understand the basic vibe of Core Keeper. This is a crafting and survival game in the post-Minecraft tradition, but one that takes place entirely underground, and which gives you a series of bosses to hunt down in order to pursue an overarching objective.

Loading up Core Keeper for the first time, its punchy effects make a strong first impression. Knocking down blocks makes up the vast majority of a game like this, and they all come down with a satisfying pop – a small thing, but it’s the kind of detail that gives Core Keeper an immediate feeling of quality.

The combat works well too. It’s not as immediate as a traditional ARPG in the Diablo school, but the top-down perspective and procedurally generated, underground setting gives it a similar flavour. It’s also fully playable in co-op with up to eight players.

You can check the demo out for yourself on Steam, or take a quick peek at the trailer below.

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Core Keeper launches into Steam Early Access on March 8. For more indie games to check out in the meantime, you can follow that link.