The Steam Next Fest is back, and with it is a bunch of incredible upcoming games to try out on the Steam Deck! There are so many fantastic ones we have seen so far, and we are getting through playing them all to see which ones are worthy of your time on the handheld. So, here are the first eight of the ones we have played so far that seem like perfect fits for the Deck:

Bore Blasters (3/8)

Steam Next Fest demo Bore Blasters on Steam Deck

One of the first Next Fest demos I tried was Bore Blasters, a procedurally generated mining game where you drive a helicopter down and shoot blocks to mine and get as many gems as you can. These turn into currency where you can upgrade your chopper, and through the level, you will get temporary upgrades with a giant one underneath that unlocks more options. It's a small concept with a ton of replayability, and I can't recommend it enough.

Not only is it extremely fun to play, it runs exceptionally well on the Steam Deck! Playing at 60 FPS without any limits gets you around a 5.5W battery drain for a whopping 10+ hours of gameplay! While there are some minor stutters here and there, the game succeeds in being addicting and a great experience on the Deck!

Ultros (2/13)


Calling Ultros a psychedelic Metroidvania isn't doing it enough justice. Psychadelic is definitely one way to describe it, and it definitely feels like an acid trip while playing. Out of nowhere, you wake up inside a cosmic Uterus that holds an evil entity called ULTROS. Now, it is up to you to break the cycle in this meaningful yet glorious adventure.

Like Songs of Conquest, Ultros can run very well on the Steam Deck and utilize a framerate adjustment in-game as you play to maximize the battery life of your Deck. While you are running around, you will be at 60 FPS, but once you stand still, the framerate will drop to 40 FPS. This keeps the game anywhere between a 5.5W to 8W battery drain. While it is nice to have, Ultros is a bit more noticeable when the rate drops down. It isn't terrible by any means, but I can definitely tell. Otherwise, the game runs exceptionally well on the Steam Deck!

Planetiles (2024)


Planetiles is a nice little puzzle game where you need to place tiles, which take the form of land, and try to piece them together to get the maximum amount of points. On each level, you will place an island and try to connect the different land types to complete your missions. And, with different abilities, you will try to make tiles of 3x3, gain new perks, and more to get the highest score and level up!

I really enjoyed this one and found myself continually coming back to it, especially on the Steam Deck. Without any limits, Planetiles is able to handle 90 FPS on the OLED and 60 FPS on the LCD with ease. 90 FPS will drain closer to 20W, but setting a 60 FPS limit will bring this down to around 12W battery drain. If the demo is anything like what the final release will be, I have a very good feeling about playing this on the Deck.

Ancient Weapon Holly (3/7)


Ancient Weapon Holly is an interesting, almost puzzle-like defend-the-base game. Players spawn from an ancient monument and are placed in a grid-like environment made of blocks. These blocks can be destroyed by both the player and enemies, and you have to use that to your advantage to protect your monument and defeat the incoming enemies, as well as destroy their gates to stop them from spawning. You can also earn upgrade points to spend to increase your abilities at the monument.

The game has full controller support, and simple controls work well on the Steam Deck. The demo offers no graphical settings besides resolution, and on the Steam Deck, at least, the resolution is locked to 1280x720, so you will have black bars along the top and bottom of your screen. I found that the game can hold 60 FPS at 15W TDP, and most of the time with a 12W TDP Limit. The game isn’t terribly fast-paced and is still very playable at 30 FPS, so if that’s your preference, a 6W TDP limit should work just fine.

Be My Horde (2/29)


Be My Horde is a small game about killing enemies and resurrecting them to kill more enemies. It's a simple yet effective core loop that ends up being a ton of fun, even if the demo is quite short. You can go around and kill, with each enemy giving you currency, and then upgrade yourself three times to survive longer. That's about all the demo has to offer so far, but it was enough to get me excited for the early access release.

As for Steam Deck performance, there are no issues here. It runs quite well and sticks around 13W - 14W battery drain at 60 FPS. It has controller support, too, so no issues there!



BIOMORPH is an interesting Metroidvania. I didn’t find the combat too interesting; it’s mostly button-mashing, and there doesn’t seem to be much room for combos, etc. It doesn’t quite have the fluidity of other games in the genre I’ve played. But its unique selling point comes from the fact that you can morph into previously defeated enemies, allowing you to gain their abilities. This opens up additional combat strategies and ways to solve puzzles that will hopefully be well utilized in the full game.

In the demo, at least, V-Sync causes frame-pacing issues, so it’s best to disable it. The game does support 1280x800 as a resolution but has no other graphics options. I found the game holds 60 FPS most of the time with just a 6W TDP Limit. There were a couple of areas where it dipped due to heavy single-thread CPU load, but even a high TDP limit didn’t eliminate the dip completely. Controls work just fine on the Deck, with the game having full controller support.

KinnikuNeko: Super Muscle Cat (Coming Soon)


KinnikuNeko isn't a game I would normally set time aside to play, but with my wife being such a fan of cats, I felt like I had to give it a shot. I am glad I did because this 2D platformer made me laugh way more than I expected. As a muscular cat who can transform into an actual cat, you are on a mission to save the world from aliens. And yes, it is definitely crazy with a lot of anime-influence littered about.

While it can feel a bit loose with the controls at times, the game runs flawlessly on the Steam Deck. It does have controller support and hits around 6W - 7W battery drain. This means the game will run for about 8-10 hours, depending on the device you have, and that is wonderful!

Awaken - Astral Blade (Q2 2024)


I’m not usually big into Metroidvanias, but AWAKEN - Astral Blade is just beautiful to me. The combat is smooth, the visuals are vibrant and lovely to look at, and there’s even a “story” difficulty setting if you’re really bad at combat like me, which is pretty rare for Metroidvanias. I don’t own an OLED Steam Deck yet, but this game makes me want to see how it looks on one.

The game runs great on the Deck. There are no graphics options besides resolution, but it supports the Deck’s native 1280x800 resolution, it has full controller support for the game and all the menus, and it can run at 60 FPS with a 12W TDP Limit. You do get the occasional drops when you chain together a big combo, but the drops are present regardless of the TDP Limit. If you want to save some battery life, you can drop down to 40 FPS and have either a 5W or 6W TDP Limit, depending on whether you can tolerate the same drops when using combos or not.

And those are the first batch of games we have found! We have tested over 25 games so far, and while some are able to run, not all of them are great Steam Deck experiences. Each one of these has a ton of potential to not only be great games but also run fantastically on the portable platform. Stay tuned, though; we will have some more recommendations coming in the next couple of days!

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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