It’s nothing new to see games in early access these days. Once one started the trend of Alpha/Beta/EAing their games for essentially a preorder price they all did. What is rare to see is an Early access game that has as much polish and working game mechanics as Book of Demons.
Book of Demons is a hack/slash, ARPG which boasts an impressive amount of customisation to your own requirements. I have sat down for a fair amount of time to see if it’s worth picking up and if you should hop on to help provide valuable feedback for this Early Access or to avoid at all costs… So far… Help them out with all the feedback. It’s fun and could be a winner guys.
The art style is charming and simplistic so it should be available to anyone with a machine, even if it’s a potato. The papercraft universe the appear to be building on keeps it simple but the animations and spell effects provide enough to show promise.
On first log in you are met with a classic dungeon crawler ARPG setting (evil, plague, desolate towns blah blah) and a dungeon in the background. You click on it and you see that there is a progress bar (TO HELL) and you will see 2 key points (The cook and the Antipope) I assumed these as “Act” bosses and I was not wrong. Each time you play the game it’s split into a session on which YOU determine the length. You only have a quick 30 minutes? that’s fine. Set it to medium and it’ll give you enough content that will fill out a 30 minute slot, along with providing you some progress towards your next act boss. The more you choose to do, the more rewards, gold and progress. Simple!
The combat is taught to you on your first few levels and it couldn’t be any simpler to start with. You click, you attack, it dies… This combat does evolve from a simplistic clickfest to actually using your keyboard for abilities and focusing or you’ll die. Death in the game is treated with classic dungeon crawler Hardcore (Daredevil) or normal mode. I opted for the balls of steel approach and was clenching rectally a few times…
As you progress you will earn cards. These cards act as spells, artifact or items and can be equipped to your action bar.
- A consumable does not cost any mana but does spend a charge (replenished through RNGesus drops or via the fortuneteller)
- A spell costs mana and will perform the function outline on the card (charge/bladestorms/mighty blow etc)
- Artifact cards are essentially equipment cards and reserve mana but provided you have a card slot and the mana available will be active at all time
You start with only 3 slots available but can increase them through Deckard Ca…I mean…the Sage… *wink wink*
Each time you level up you only have 2 options. Health, or Mana. Whatever you didn’t choose is thrown into a “cauldron” and the barmaid back in town will keep it safe until you pay to get it. This will stack up but the cost will not until you purchase it. So the idea behind this is buy only when you need a big boost but there is the risk of dying and losing it all. (For Daredevils this is vital to balance!) Through your travels, you will be lucky and obtain +1 health/mana as a drop from bookshelves/chests and bosses.
The bosses appear to all have clearly outline abilities and when you reach the “Cook” it appears all mechanics taught to you through the act are used in one massive boss fight. This led to an interesting boss fight with actual mechanics.
Due to this game being in Early access, all of the above is subject to change but hopefully in great ways. I did not experience many issues in this early access game other than…screenshots. Unfortunately, I only can show you black images, so all above images are from stock images sadly.
If any of the above didn’t sway you…it has a free demo. Literally, decide for yourself, but if you won’t be displeased.
You can find more information about The Book of Demons Here via Steam.