I can’t stop telling this necromancer to eat everything I find in one of Steam Next Fest’s best demos


I’m freshly dead and being bugged by a necromancer, but I can’t help but repeatedly stand among the skulls and debris and say the same thing over and over again. Horny. Horny. Horny. Horny. In a game where I’m required to type my way through a scraggly noir dungeon, I’m suddenly adopting the comedic intelligence of a teenage boy. Without thinking, my fingers skate across my keyboard to pen a real banger: Poop. The necromancer emerges, cloaking my entire screen and proceeds to monologue about my choice of language. Just the reaction my silly little goblin brain wanted.

Cryptmaster has easily been one of my favourite demos from this week’s Steam Next Fest. It’s a dungeon crawler where I command a party of four who’ve forgotten just about everything. But thanks to the power of the alphabet, I can slowly help each member regain memories of who they were and what they were good at, like one party member who can stab people or another who can yell real loud.

Cryptmaster

(Image credit: Akupara Games)

All of this fumbling around and figuring stuff out is guided by a necromancer who, after having to hear me say “horny” four times in a row, is already very sick of my shit. He remembers a hell of a lot more than my party does though, and this knowledge comes in handy for the various puzzles I encounter throughout the demo.

Walking up to chests or boxes will present a mysterious object. I can tell the necromancer to do certain things with it: look at it, describe it, smell it, remember something related to it. I can also tell him to eat it. Which I do. Every time. The first object, a metal helmet. The necromancer complains that he’ll break his teeth if he does. The second object, a rat, bites him as he attempts to scoff it down. Did either of these clues help me guess what the object was? Of course not! Is making a necromancer eat metal and vermin very funny to me? Yes. 

Cryptmaster

(Image credit: Akupara Games)

The open-endedness of it all kept me humoured far more than I expected, and pushed me to be a little more creative than I really had to be. I still did my best to guess what each chest held, however, as figuring objects out does have its benefit. Letters from the mysterious object will go towards figuring out an ability each party member has. Correctly guessing “helmet” gives my fighter Joro the letters “H_T”. After typing “hit,” I was granted the ability to smack things.



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By asm3a