LudoNarraCon 2024 Demos: Top Picks From Over 50 Game Exhibitors!

LudoNarraCon 2024 - Top Picks Feattured Image

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” – Andy Warhol

LudoNarracon 2024

LudoNarraCon 2024 (LNC) is a FREE digital convention hosted on Steam, with a focus on celebrating narrative and storytelling in video games and the talented and dedicated people who make such titles. You can read an in-depth overview of this year’s event here!

Part of the fun of LudoNarraCon involves developers exhibiting their games and making playable demos available for the duration of the event. This year there are over 50 narrative-focused games being exhibited and the following is a list of our top picks of the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos, with mini-reviews!

Top Picks from LudoNarraCon 2024 Demos

Tom the Postgirl

Tom the Postgirl - Key Art

Developer: Oopsie Daisies
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Available on: Steam
Engine: Unity

Tom the Postgirl is one of the most intriguing of the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos. It is uniquely stylised with a limited colour palette of (mostly) black, white and red and uses a somewhat childlike cartoon art style with a crayon texture for the linework. All of which somehow match the sinister tone of the game whilst simultaneously belying it. The music is jaunty and creepy, fitting the game well, and the various eerie sound effects are most unsettling.

In the demo, Postgirl Tom explores a small map, peeping through the windows of her customers and can choose to either peek at the contents of their parcels or simply deliver them with varying and often dire consequences and some very trippy, surreal moments. An ominous, and threatening overarching narrative is hinted at, with this teaser ending on an intriguing cliffhanger. Tom the Postgirl certainly seems set to be a brilliantly bizarre gaming experience and fans of more unusual narrative games will want to wishlist this one!

Pine: A Story of Loss

Pine: A Story of Loss - Key Art

Developer: Made-Up Games
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Switch
Available on: Steam, Epic, eShop
Engine: Unity

The demo for Pine: A Story of Loss is a delightful and moving experience made of simple interactions making up several days in the life of the protagonist, such as fetching water, drying hay, or chopping wood. These are repetitive in nature, indicating tangibly the mundane nature of the tasks and his overall existence but also emphasising the emotional impact of the memories that are interspersed throughout. The memories, triggered by seemingly little or insignificant things, are made more prominent by the small mini-games that feature within them including hidden objects, jigsaw puzzles and rhythm games. The controls are a little cumbersome and feel designed for touch screens rather than keyboard and mouse but this is not too problematic given the casual gameplay style.

The art style is pleasant, with a textured, collage-style background while the characters and interactable objects have a more illustrative, cartoon style. Memories are depicted in a slightly warmer colour palette than the bulk of the game to drive home the positive connotations. The music is gently emotive, mellow and unintrusive, adding to the atmosphere without dominating it. Similarly, the sounds of birds chirping or twigs breaking add to the overall immersion and world-building in a subtle way.

Pine: A Story of Loss seems set to be a casual but heartwarming experience, a great addition to the LudoNarraCon 2024 demo lineup and definitely one to look forward to.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami - Key Art

Developer: Happy Broccoli Games
Released: 23rd May 2024
Price: £8.99
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Switch
Available on: Steam, eShop
Engine: Unity

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami draws on detective noir tropes in a fun and self-aware way. From its mysterious, jazzy soundtrack to the protagonist’s gruff smoker’s voice reeling off cliché -laden dialogue and the monochromatic sepia scenes that act as a backdrop during sections of monologuing exposition, the game casually fixes itself within the genre. There is an additional element of comedy, however, that creates an interesting juxtaposition between the overdramatic and the silly, for example, the titular duck detective having a bread addiction.

The puzzle-based gameplay is demonstrated well within this wonderfully silly inclusion in the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos, which shows it it to be fun, laid-back, and satisfying. Players must investigate their surroundings and talk to various NPC in order to find clues and make ‘deducktions’. The visuals suit this perfectly, featuring cartoon-style artwork in somewhat muted colour palettes with warm, atmospheric lighting and no harsh linework, additionally, the flat characters resemble cardboard cut-outs or stickers which is a fun and unique touch.

This demo provides a great snapshot of the game to come, with an intriguing narrative premise, enjoyable gameplay and suitably stylised visuals, all fitting well in this humourous take on the detective noir genre. It is definitely one to look forward to!

Follow the Meaning

Follow the Meaning - Key Art

Developer: HiKing Mind Studio
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Available on: Steam,
Engine: Unknown

Follow the Meaning is a curious puzzle game that appears to have themes of mental health, societal division, and religion. It follows Detective Paul Trilby as he investigates some untoward goings on at the local hospital. As a classic point-and-click game, it boasts fun inventory-based puzzles as well as visual conundrums and logical problems. The gameplay is quite straightforward but mostly satisfying, allowing the player to explore confined areas and interact with people and objects.

The soundtrack consists of piano and strings that produce emotive and lightly melancholy tracks to serve as a musical backdrop to the experience. The hand-drawn art style is aesthetically pleasing, and cute in it’s illustrative cartoon style, but hints at the darker and more surreal aspects of the game with muted colour palettes and surreal imagery and incidents. The dialogue can feel somewhat stilted in places, with some odd syntax and phrasing but this does not detract from the overall meaning or impact of this LudoNarraCon 2024 demo which is well worth checking out!

Citizen Sleeper

Citizen Sleeper - Key Art

Developer:Jump Over The Age
Released: 5th May 2022
Price: £16.75
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Xbox, Switch
Available On: Steam, eShop, Microsoft, GOG, Epic, Humble Games
Engine: Unity

In this sci-fi TTRPG/narrative adventure hybrid, the half-derelict space sprawl of Erlin’s Eye, battered by the aftermath of ‘The Collapse’ will become your home, ripe with opportunities, mysteries and dangers. Your choices and consequences will have tangible, often permanent effects. Citizen Sleeper is an adventure that captivates players with its lore and characters and keeps them engaged thanks to its experimental, well-designed gameplay system. It’s not quite perfect, but it’s certainly far above average! A great inclusion in the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos!

A full review of this game is available here!


Fishbowl - Key Art

Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PS5
Available on: Steam, PlayStation
Engine: Unknown

Fishbowl is a charming RPG that focuses on themes of grief, loss, and loneliness. Players can explore and interact with almost everything while solving casual puzzles and playing mini-games such as rhythm-based challenges. From the demo, the game seems to be unpunishing and is fairly laid-back in terms of gameplay, in contrast to its heavier subject matter which is relayed through meaningful, believable dialogue, surreal dream sequences and revisited memories.

The music ranges from jovial and upbeat to disconcerting, ethereal drones and reflects the different scenes well. The pixel art is delightful, whether using the vibrant pastel shades of the bulk of the game, or the monochromatic palette of the abstract dream sections. This is a gem among the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos, it uses its short playtime to great effect, illustrating the different facets of the experience and engaging the player in the varied characters and emotive, relatable narrative. Fishbowl is one to watch!

The Mermaid Mask

The Mermaid Mask - Key Art

Developer: SFB Games
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Available on: Steam
Engine: Unity

The Mermaid Mask is an engaging and intriguing addition to the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos. It plays a bit like a point-and-click murder mystery, set aboard a submarine in which players can interact with most things, inspecting some with a great level of detail. It is set in a number of rooms that can be navigated between using a grid. The game allows players to fully explore each area without feeling repetitive or slow, creating a nice pace and lots of interest. There are also small puzzles to complete, such as using shapes to match a combination lock number which was very fun and quite satisfying.

Each room is represented by a mostly static image. Animation is minimal but includes things such as pulsating lights. The art style is quite painterly, soft with visible brush strokes, it uses a cool colour palette with lots of complimentary contrast and atmospheric lighting, The characters are depicted in a more cartoon-like style using thick black linework. The music is perfectly suited to the narrative and theme of the game, ominous and mysterious with an element of drama, it uses strings as well as nautical sounds such as whale noises. The dialogue is believable and entertaining, with an element of humour that is delivered brilliantly by the quality voice acting of characters that are fun and distinct.

Overall, this is a great introduction to the full game and certainly confirms that The Mermaid Mask is one to look forward to!

Nirvana Noir

Nirvana Noir - Key Art

Developer: Feral Cat Den
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X|S
Available on: Steam, Microsoft
Engine: Unreal

This sequel to Genesis Noir is as brilliantly bizarre as its predecessor. It follows the protagonist ‘no man’ who has made the difficult and important choice to live two lives in very different parallel realities. This demo features a scene from each life in which the player must explore, talk to various NPCs and solve mysteries.

The contrasting visuals vary between the two lives, ranging from vibrant, colourful and filled with paint splatter, to monochromatic and more sedate with sparkly star-like textures. However, both aesthetics maintain the same surreal and almost abstract overall look. The music includes mysterious, ethereal, twinkling tracks as well as funky, bluesy numbers that are more upbeat, there is a nice mix of sounds that help to bring the experience to life.

The more interactive elements include mini-games such as puzzles and word games which are very satisfying. The variety is good and helps maintain the player’s interest. Generally speaking, it was a lot of fun and another awesome contribution to the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos!

Mexico, 1921. A Deep Slumber.

Mexico 1921 A Deep Slumber - Key Art

Developer: Mácula Interactive
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows
Available on: Steam
Engine: Unity

Mexico, 1921. A Deep Slumber demonstrates its poignancy and impact in its LudoNarraCon 2024 Demo. It portrays hard-hitting themes such as politics, corruption, conspiracy and murder in a textured, almost gritty, 3D art style that uses a cool and muted colour palette. This is teamed with an ominous, piano-dominated soundtrack that really fits the game’s style and subject matter. There are some issues with sound balance, however, as the dialogue is often hard to hear over the ambient background noises. This is a shame as the voice acting is done very well and helps give a sense of the characters and their situations.

The demo starts in 1928 with a detective who is investigating a presidential murder. He interrogates a journalist and the player is then transported to 1921 to relieve the subject’s memories as he embarks on his own investigation. The player must talk to various characters, investigate the area and take photos in order to complete a section of his journal and eventually write the article that lands him in front of the detective. The photography is a highlight as it requires adjustment of zoom, exposure and focus, setting it apart from similar mechanics in other titles.

There is an understandably dark and serious tone to the game, with frequent swearing, references to torture, and lots of historical and political context within its complex narrative. It is a great taster of the game to come and is absolutely worth checking out.

Great God Grove

Great God Grove - Key Art

Developer: LimboLane
Released: TBA
Price: TBA
Platforms: Windows
Available on: Steam
Engine: Unity

Great God Grove is a strange and dreamlike adventure in which players must take on the role of ‘godpoke’ after the king abandons his job as messenger and turns traitor! Set in a bizarre grove full of eclectic, weird and wonderful characters the game sees its player exploring, conversing and using a newly acquired device to suck up and deliver both objects and dialogue! Every 33 years, a rift opens and must be shut by the gods of the grove but with the king causing disarray it is up to the new godpoke to save the day!

The aesthetic perfectly matches the gameplay and narrative with a mix of 2D, 3D and even FMV visuals, all vibrant, saturated and highly colourful with an air of surrealism. This teamed with jovial upbeat music and curious bubbly, beeping noises in the places of voice acting creates a unique overall vibe.

Great God Grove is an unusual addition to the LudoNarraCon 2024 demos and stands out in a wonderful way. Reminiscent of LimboLane’s previous title Smile for Me it appears to have a lot to offer and the full game is surely one to look forward to!


As always, there are some fantastic, narrative-focused games from a range of genres on show during this year’s LudoNarraCon event with some wonderful demos to try out! Be sure to take a look at some of them in between all the fascinating panels and fireside chats!

If you’d like to see Indie Hive’s’ top picks from previous years, take a look at these articles:
LudoNarracon2021: Top 10 Picks from over 30 Free Game Demos! – LudoNarraCon 2022: Top 10 Picks from over 30 Free Game Demos!LudoNarraCon 2023: Top Picks From Over 40 Game Exhibitors!

Did you like this article? Consider supporting Indie Hive through Patreon! Patrons receive an early access article on Sundays!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply