As this month’s Steam Next Fest rolls on, a demo that’s worth your time is Beneath Oresa (opens in new tab), a roguelike deckbuilding game that adds some nice positional twists to the standard formula—as well as a heck of a lot of stylish animation. I rarely recommend games in this genre, which has exploded in popularity since Slay the Spire (opens in new tab), but I think that Beneath Oresa might have what it takes to join Monster Train alongside Slay the Spire as a great.
One of the reasons I think so? It has style. Your character whips, sprints, and turns around the 3D environments of the battlefield as you play cards. The swordsman you pilot in the demo goes into slo-mo superhero moments between strikes, the camera slowing as you play sequences of cards to make them look like a series of chained attacks.
Beyond that, the heavy-lined science fantasy art bleeds cool, with technological twists embedded on your characters’ armor as they dive into the ruins of the past looking for loot. The enemies in the demo first level are weird mutants—or maybe demons—armed with clubs, swords, lightning pistols, and alchemical-looking grenades.
Spending a few runs with the demo, I learned that rather than simply copy what had come before it Beneath Oresa was trying to do interesting new things. Card upgrades could go one of two ways, and your deck really emphasized the value of keeping things small rather than bloating with high-power cards. It shows promise, though it’s just a demo and missing lots of quality of life stuff—like tooltips for keywords and abilities.
You can find Beneath Oresa on Steam. (opens in new tab) It’s the debut title of indie studio Broken Spear.