We Tried These 8 Narrative Game Demos From LudoNarraCon 2024

If you love games with great narratives, LudoNarraCon is an event you can’t miss. Hosted by indie games label Fellow Traveller, LudoNarraCon is an annual digital festival that happens entirely on Steam!

This year’s event includes an official selection of 50+ narrative games, 17 panels and fireside chats, 40 playable demos, and a massive story-rich games sale. If you’re stuck on where to begin, we managed to try 8 of these game demos recently — here’s our quick review!

1. My Lovely Empress (GameChanger Studio)

From the developers of My Lovely Daughter and My Lovely Wife, GameChanger Studio continues their dark exploration of human resurrection with an addictive new management sim. While the previous games had you play as a humble alchemist, My Lovely Empress puts you in the giant shoes of the Emperor of the Crimson Empire; a setting heavily inspired by Asian mythology.

The game is a management sim, but it is also a choice-based visual novel. Each choice you make impacts your relationships with neighboring rulers, trust within internal factions, and even population control. All of that would be enough to keep us glued to our chairs, but it wouldn’t be a “My Lovely” game without a deliciously twisted moral dilemma. What are you willing to sacrifice to resurrect your one true love? Turns out, quite a lot.

Wishlist the game now on Steam

2. Cryptmaster (Akupara Games)

CRYPTMASTER is a game we find difficult to describe until you’ve tried it yourself. The game is a bizarre dungeon crawler where words control everything. Its base gameplay might remind you of the word-puzzle typing games you used to play as a child, but its eerie atmosphere and bone-chilling art style will make you think otherwise.

There are plenty of things that stand out about this demo, from the seemingly limitless dialogue to anything you type into the game, to its real-time combat system which requires you to manually type attack commands. The game even includes a voice option where you can yell into a mic instead of type — we just can’t promise what your neighbours will think.

Wishlist the game now on Steam

3. Moses & Plato – Last Train to Clawville (The Wild Gentlemen)

Fresh off the hype from Death Trick: Double Blind, we’re excited to jump into another detective game with a time mechanic. In this game, you play as detectives Moses and Plato who are tasked with protecting an ambassador on a peace mission — but when the ambassador is killed en route, you turn out to be the main suspect!

The demo introduces our fantastically furry cast of characters, with incredible voice acting and witty writing to boot. I always appreciate a murder mystery on a time crunch, and the game makes me want to get down to business immediately. If you’re a fan of mystery games, make sure to sink your teeth into this lengthy demo.

Wishlist the game now on Steam

4. Times & Galaxy (Copychaser Games)

Oh look, a game about my job! Times & Galaxy is the solar system’s most trusted holopaper, and you’re their first robo reporter. You start the game as a lowly intern, but if you can get the scoop, write great stories, and impress your colleagues, maybe you’ll get to keep your job!

Although we already love the game’s cute exterior and catchy theme song, what lies underneath is a surprisingly complex gameplay system. Each dialogue choice you make leads you closer or further away from the big scoop; the more diligent you are, the better the headline! Also, did we mention the theme song is really catchy?

Wishlist the game now on Steam

5. Fishbowl (imissmyfriends.studio)

Bring out the tissues for this one. Fishbowl is a slice of life, coming of age story told through the lens of 21-year-old Alo, who got her first job in a new city and is living by herself while grieving her grandma’s death. Video call loved ones, work from home, rediscover childhood memories, do care tasks and get to know yourself better, one day at a time.

The demo is a short but emotionally charged preview into her story, heavily inspired by the global isolation during the pandemic and the studio’s Indian upbringing. We already love what we’ve seen of its Unpacking-esque puzzles and To The Moon-like storytelling. For fans of those kinds of games, this is one to watch.

Wishlist the game now on Steam

6. Afterlove EP (Pikselnesia)

You still have those tissues, right? Not only is Afterlove EP one of our most anticipated titles of the year, it is also a meaningful one for us. The game is the final story from the late creator of Coffee Talk and What Comes After, following young musician Rama as he struggles to move on with life after the death of his girlfriend, Cinta.

The demo is a fairly lengthy preview of what’s to come, including an adorable comic book-esque art style, fun rhythm game mechanics, and an already-heartbreaking story. The most outstanding part of the demo was Cinta’s voice acting, a powerful metaphor for the persistence of grief. Needless to say, we’re very excited for the final game.

Wishlist the game now on Steam

7. Tavern Talk (Gentle Troll Entertainment)

Speaking of Coffee Talk, this next game was inspired by it! Tavern Talk is a cozy visual novel about running a tavern in a Dungeons & Dragons inspired fantasy world. Although the Coffee Talk inspirations are clear, the developers of Tavern Talk have really made it their own with new mechanics, vibrant character writing, and a gorgeous art style.

We especially loved the drink-making (or more accurately, potion-brewing) mechanic that uses familiar stats like Dexterity, Strength, and Defense to create drinks. There’s also a fun mechanic where rumours you pick up from customers can be converted into quests for your tavern. Also, there’s a dragon named Andu (like Undo!) How could we not love this?

Wishlist the game now on Steam

8. DOLOS: Your Best Future (Playing Paradigms)

Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic in recent months, and this game explores that in a really interesting way. DOLOS is a narrative management simulator where you decide humanity’s future — will you help create the efficient society of tomorrow, or preserve the dreams and hopes of everyone in Gauetia?

Based on the demo, its main gameplay seems to consist of retraining an AI system by assigning the right candidates to manipulate the system. The game already gives us strong Papers, Please vibes but with a modern-day UI that will give you corporate work flashbacks.

Wishlist the game now on Steam

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