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Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island

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Book Of Demons

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 14 - 2018

Paper Diablo anyone?

Thing Trunk’s Book of Demons has been in Early Access for some time, but has now been released into the big, wide world as a full release. Book of Demons is an isometric action RPG with a couple of unique twists, but it is also set in the Paperverse. Yep, you guessed it, it is a universe made of paper. So, as the first game of seven from the developer’s Return 2 Games series, does Book of Demons bode well for this paper-folding future? Or should it be put out for recycling like yesterday’s newspaper?

bods1 (Copy)

Well, I am not going to leave you hanging like a paper crane. Book of Demons is a really interesting take on the Diablo formula with tweaks that will make the game just as easy to enjoy for the more casual gamers and those who are time poor, as the more hardcore players.

Players begin by choosing their hero for the upcoming adventure, although customisation options are limited to only the name. Still, the player can choose between the usual heroic classes of warrior, rogue or mage. They are then introduced to the static town scene, which acts as the hub for the player. Here, over the course of their adventure, various villagers can be found and interacted with. However, it is the big cathedral in the background that the player will find all of the action.

Book of Demons plays very much like a simple Diablo clone, in that the player will head into the dungeon and then slowly make their way further and further down into the depths in order to vanquish the Archdemon. Along the way, the player will fight many monsters and find lots of loot to improve their hero for the upcoming battle. Book of Demons is very self-aware and able to have a laugh, quite often offering a tongue in cheek view of its world. I think if the game had been serious, it would not have worked nearly as well as it does with a sense of humour.

bods2 (Copy)

Anyway, the moment to moment gameplay in Book of Demons has some quirks that change the experience. For starters, the levels of the dungeon have set paths that the player is stuck on. Clicking to move the character will see them move along the path until the there is a junction or the path changes direction. This means that the player will have to click on items against the walls to investigate them, all while their hero stays on the path. It also means that monsters are able to block the route forward and ranged enemies will see the player rapidly moving their character back and along a different route before being peppered with arrows. Or rushing forward to face the danger head on. I guess it depends on what type of player you are, and how high the difficulty is set.

Book of Demons gives plenty of choice to tailor the game specifically to diff3erent players. There are a variety of different difficulty levels, from a  relatively casual offering, to the more hardcore mode that brings in perma-death. But, and I think this is the first time I have seen this, Book of Demons also introduces something they call Flexiscope, which allows the player to tweak how long they will spend on a given dungeon level. For those short on time, or playing during a lunch break, a dungeon can be set to last around five minutes, while for a longer session, it could last 30 minutes or more. Obviously, this is only a rough length and will still come down to the player, and the bigger a dungeon, the more monsters and more loot that the player will be able to collect.

Completing a level will simply mean finding the exit, although players are advised to try and kill all of the monsters and find all of the treasure. Small icons will show what else is still to find in a given dungeon, so the player is never really left wondering when it is time to go. Once the player has worked through a whole bunch of levels, made their way to hell and defeated the Archdemon, which will take a good few hours, then they will unlock a freeplay mode.

bods3 (Copy)

But before that, the player will have to fight their way through a variety of different enemies, from skeletons to demons. The combat system is fairly simple, with just clicking on the enemy to attack. Some enemies may have armour which will mean the p[layer has to click on a shield to break it before they will take damage, and other little interactions may require clicking stars on the screen to shake off being stunned.

Rather than having some cumbersome skill tree to work through as the player progresses, Book of Demons works with cards that represent different items, abilities and skills. From special attacks for the warrior, and spells for the mage, to items like health potions, the player will have to assign the necessary card to a slot in order to use it. In the early game, slots and cards are limited, but as the player progresses and makes more gold, they will be able to not only find or buy more cards, or even upgrade the cards they have to make them more powerful, but they will also be able to purchase more slots for cards. This gets very expensive quickly, but the benefits are obvious.

Most of the management side of things takes place back in the village, where the strange cast of characters will do their best to help the hero, for a price. There is a healer, a fortune teller, a barmaid and a wise old man to guide the player and offer ser4vices, all while dishing out little bits of information or digs at one another.

In case you haven’t worked it out yet, the Paperverse in which Book of Demons is set is entirely made out of paper. By which I mean, characters look like they have been cut out of paper and then folded slightly to stand up. It’s a great visual style that really works for the game, giving it a playful look that really seems to be taking the mickey at times. I am really intrigued to see where the developers are going to go with their next games, but if they keep this visual style, I will be happy.

bods4 (Copy)

Book of Demons is not a game for the serious ARPG players. The core gameplay can be a little uninvolved and if playing longer dungeons, it can get repetitive. However, there is something quite charming about the game, and it really can appeal to a wide range of gamers thanks to variable length levels and difficulty. This is classic Diablo with more than a few twists. Great fun and worth checking out for the more adventurous ARPG players.




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