Drift downstream in Naiad’s Steam Next Fest demo

Drift downstream in Naiad's Steam Next Fest demo

As I might have mentioned once or twice, one of my joys in life is dipping and drifting around rivers and ponds, lochs and seas. I am delighted to see some of the gentle pleasure and wonder of that captured in Naiad, an upcoming game about a water spirit adventuring downstream. It has a free demo in the Steam Next Fest, and it’s quite lovely. I believe it to be what the youth call ‘wholesome’.

Just me drifting around one level from the Next Fest demo.

It’s a game to play with and explore at your own pace. You can go fast if you want. You can swim at full speed through the whole thing, gun it to the waterfall connecting you to the next level. I don’t know why you would, but you can. I’m here to take it slow, drift around, swim circles and watch my gathered shoal of fish follow me, take in the scenery, find secret spots, and maybe complete a few tasks.

Each level in the demo has optional objectives. You can lead lost ducklings to their dad, sing to help plants grow, bring butterflies to flowers, and help or antagonize a few humans. Completing these tasks rewards you with a stanza of a poem, the full poem being revealed across each chapter. It’s nice to have these here if I want to do them, or not if I don’t. I am, admittedly, 90% here for swimming about with colorful fish following me—especially with the comforting knowledge that there isn’t a dead sheep upstream.

Download the Naiad demo fromSteam. The solo developer, HiWarp plans to release the full game by the end of September.

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