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Incredible and overlooked soulslike gets a huge sequel you can try now

Elden Ring meets grimdark fantasy in Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter's challenging demo that offers intense combat and gorgeous 2D art.

Tails of Iron 2 Steam Next Fest demo: A rodent hero from Steam soulslike game Tails of Iron 2

Rats are often overlooked as ugly pests, but they’re smart, determined, and in Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter, capable of soulslike combat. This sequel to the beloved Tails of Iron has the rats taking on armies of bats, with the flying foes adding a new level of difficulty to the already tough fights. Think Elden Ring, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne, but with a supremely stylish rodential twist.

Tails of Iron: Whiskers of Winter combines RPG mechanics with a 2D side scrolling aesthetic and brutal soulslike game combat. In this sequel, legions of bats have returned to ravage the keep of Winter’s Edge, where you, young Arlo, heir to the keep, are trying to live in peace. I played the demo on Steam, which recommends a controller (and so do I.) Even the first fights here gave me a run for my money, and I’m a soulslike regular.

The animations are surprisingly weighty for a 2D game, and your weapon loses sharpness with each hit, so you’re encouraged to end fights as quickly as possible or put some distance between you and your foes so you can use a whetstone. Like Estus, the healing drink Arlo uses takes time to consume, so this isn’t a game where you can just mash buttons – you need to think about your combat strategy.

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The frigid northern realm of Whiskers of Winter is gorgeously presented, and the narrator breathes life into the ratfolk I met in the keep before its downfall. There are clear Game of Thrones influences, from the name, to the setting, even to the premise of Arlo himself, a bastard Prince given to a Warden of the Wastes to raise as his own, and it all works well in the demo.

There’s different gear to choose from — I opted for the bone armor because it looks cool and was lighter than the iron — and you can upgrade your weapons and other gear, too. You do this back at the keep, which you’ll have to rebuild after the bats attack. It’s very much like upgrading Monteriggioni in Assassin’s Creed 2.

The first game, Tails of Iron, has a ‘very positive’ rating on Steam after more than 8,000 user reviews. It’s also one of the few games where critical and public consensus match perfectly, with an 81 and 8.1 on Metacritic, respectively.

If you want to see if you can take down the huge beasts in Whiskers of Winter yourself, you can get the Steam Next Fest demo right here.

Once you’ve given it a go, there are loads of other RPGs you can play. Or, you could try some of the other best Steam Next Fest demos available right now.

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