General game information
Game name: Book of Demons
Release date: 28 Jul, 2016
Price: $19.99 (25% less if purchased before August 4, bringing the price down to $14.99)
Available on: Steam
Genre: Isometric deck building hack and slash action RPG
Developer: Thing Trunk
Book of Demons is an isometric deck building hack and slash action RPG with many interesting mechanics that manage to turn what should be a run of the mill Diablo clone into something quite unique.
Players start the game in a town which sits atop a dungeon full of hellspawn, and must brave its depths in order to progress. The current Early Access version only has the Warrior class available to play, but the menu promises at least two more character types (a Rogue and a Mage) Once the player has selected a character, they can talk to different villagers (all fully voiced, and beautifully rendered in the same paper-cut style that permeates the whole game) The villagers will offer their help, and send the player on a quest to the nearby dungeon.
Once players head to the dungeon, the game diverges from traditional Diablo mechanics in several ways. Players can choose the amount of time that they intend to spend battling hellish fiends beneath the earth (at the beginning, the options are limited, but as gamers progress, more lengthy sessions can be an option) I think that’s a welcome addition to the genre, and the algorithm used by the developers worked well for me (their expected dungeon completion times and mine were almost the same)
The second big departure from classic action RPG games is that players don’t move freely on the map. Rather, the main character can move on a path, and may attack anything that comes near (attacks are automatic, but clicking on enemies will deal with them faster) It’s a mechanic that feels similar to Square Enix’s GO games (Hitman GO, for example) though it’s used on a different manner here. This movement system makes sense if we consider that the entirety of the game seems to be set on a paper-cut theater, so characters would be moving along set paths.
As players progress, they will find loot cards, which can be equipped once the main character has the amount of mana that they require. Leveling up will offer a choice between spending points in health or mana (and health can be replenished using potions and health fountains) Gamers can find unidentified cards, which can be identified for a price once players complete the dungeon and get back to town.
Every dungeon has its boss, and some are quite creative, requiring thought, rather than brute force.
Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of the game, and it’s incredibly polished for an Early Access release.