In the history of gaming, platformers hold a position of significant importance, laying a foundation for the medium to evolve and grow into the giant we continue to love today. While there have been periods where the genre had seemingly gone out of style, the formula has seen its fair share of modern contemporaries that continue to deliver heaps of entertainment, and Demon Turf from Playtonic Games and Fabraz is but the latest addition.
Slotting players into the shoes of young demon Beebz, it is through you that she sets off on her goal to become the Demon Queen. To do so is no easy task, but through some classic platforming and combat, you can help Beebz complete her mission and show the other demons who is the real boss.
At its core, Demon Turf understands the merits of platformers and looks to provide players with a platform for success. Controls are tight and responsive, and there is a surprising depth to Beebz’s moveset that allows for the game to challenge players in different ways.
Double-jumping and spinning at various junctures can result in different heights, so depending on your need, you are going to change up your approach. If there was not enough, Beebz will pick up further tools and techniques that will accentuate the platforming experience and add more layers to an already satisfying element.
It is obvious that Demon Turf knows its audience well, and for veterans of the genre, there is much to love about this particular part of the game. However, when the situation calls for combat, the game encounters a striking stumble.
You would think that Beebz, despite her relatively young age of 1,000 years, could hold her own in a fight, but that is hardly the case. Instead of destroying her enemies with hellfire, she is only about to fire ineffective bolts. Rather than damaging the foes, they function more like small pushes, as you try to manoeuvre them into stage hazards that do the real damage.
It is a bizarre design choice, especially as it takes away the enjoyment of combat from the player by relying on environmental aids. Even though combat only occurs occasionally, it is still enough to break up the momentum in any given stage in Demon Turf.
Should you make it past the opposition or a particularly hard platforming section, you want to make sure that your progress is not lost. On this end, Fabraz has implemented a refreshing checkpoint system that is entirely player-controlled.
With a limited number of flags at your disposal, you get to decide where to place your own checkpoints, or to bravely complete a stage without the use of any. With the game putting a strong focus on completion at a fast pace for bragging rights, you might actually not end up using any, but it is nice to have that option.
The flags are also a great help when navigating the larger stages in Demon Turf, which can end up confusing players on their route ahead. Certain stages are straightforward enough, but some that require a little more finesse can lead to frustration if you are not doing things in sequence as the game requires, it just flies in the face of a smooth platformer in action.
If you are able to look past its missteps here and there, Demon Turf is an enticing package full of touches that will impress veterans and newcomers alike. Each level comes packed with collectables to find, finishing levels unlock a remixed version that gives you more reason to jump back in, and there is even a golfing mini-game to boot.
Demon Turf also boasts a distinct art style that is conspicuously different from modern games, meshing 2D characters within a 3D space that harkens back to an older time in gaming, and it works splendidly. While it is a visual attraction, the sensational music also helps to tie everything up in a neat little bow fit for a Demon Queen.
With excellent platforming roots with visuals and music to match, Demon Turf is well worth its place amongst its more illustrious forebears. While the combat and level design can falter at times, the main meat of the experience is well worth taking a spin, who knows, you might just be the queenmaker Beebz is looking for.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Looking fantastic and playing really well when it comes to platforming, Demon Turf is only let down by some curious combat and level design that mars the overall experience.
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Story - 7/10
Presentation - 8/10
Value - 7/10