17/01/2019

⚔️๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿ“• Review: Book Of Demons "A love letter to classic Hack & Slash games" ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ‘ฟ⚔️ #GameDev @ThingTrunk

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The ARPG genre is one that is filled to the brim with numerous titles to choose from, making standing out from the pack very, very difficult.
Book of Demons manages to feel different through its tight, streamlined gameplay and unique visual approach but it ultimately remained a game that I appreciated more than enjoyed.

Set in ‘The Paperverse’, Book of Demons is the first in what appears to be a planned septology of games by Polish developer Thing Trunk. This initial instalment focuses on the story told in the titular Book of Demons, opening with a really nice and humorous introduction as to the history of the game world.
As the name would suggest, the Paperverse is entirely made from folded paper, giving a fun feel and light-hearted approach to the gameplay, gameplay which consists of two main segments, the town and the dungeons below the dark, ominous manor on the outskirts (this reminded me of the setup of Darkest Dungeons, although Book of Demons, whilst in-depth, is far more gentle with the player).
In the town, you can talk to a handful of characters that assist with filling you in on in-game lore and your ever-growing bestiary as well as healing and charging up your earned cards, this is another unique aspect of the gameplay, the entire loot and magic system is card-based.
During your excursions into the dungeons, you collect cards which can have active or passive effects and can be used depending on how much mana your character has available (each level-up you choose whether to raise your hit points or mana, creating a balancing act between the two).
Movement through the various procedurally-generated levels are based on paths, your character is locked to a path as he traverses the corridors and is able to interact with items and attack enemies as long as they are in range of the light that is cast around your character, whilst this removes a lot of the sense of control and freedom, it really does pick up the pace of gameplay, the whole game seems designed with swiftness and accessibility in mind.
The combat is handled (as is most of the game, although there are keyboard shortcuts) by the mouse, with your character slowly auto-attacking enemies in his sphere of influence but with the ability to click or click and hold on the enemies to attack more furiously, this quickly becomes a requirement as you delve deeper and find more numerous opponents with differing attacks such as ranged, armoured or explosively poisonous, meaning that it can get intense quite quickly, especially when a boss makes an appearance in the thick of things!

Book of Demons will really appeal to a lot of people with its in-depth card-based system, and high level of unlockables such as characters, bonuses and high-cost items. It really is fun working your way through, unlocking avatars and seeing how far you can push, building up the bonus cauldron (which empties when you die, making it a risk/reward deal) and also has a roguelike mode for those who really relish a challenge.
Personally, like my previous review of Hero of the Kingdom 3, I know that I will be in the minority here as that too was a game that was well-received by its fans for its approach but as well as the game is designed, I never got fully sucked into it and it felt like something that would be more at home on a tablet device than a PC due to its design.
The fact that you can (neatly) choose the length of your dungeon from a few minutes up to an hour and although the layout of each one is randomised, the gameplay became repetitive for me and with a relatively straightforward story and only the promise of more loot before me, I know this isn’t a game that will suck up large amounts of my time, as it was designed to.

Summary
If you are a fan of Diablo styled loot-based games, and like the thought of a more streamlined approach which you can either session on or dip in and out of, Book of Demons is definitely worth looking into and thanks to its intuitiveness, it also makes a great springboard into the genre but I’ll admit that it didn’t quite get it’s claws into me, although I can see that it’s a well-designed title with a sense of humour about itself.
Right, I’m off to raise my sword and do some skeleton recycling.
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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