Review – Book of Demons
Book of Demons is an action-RPG developed by Thing Trunk and available now on PC (coming soon to Xbox One) that crosses things up by spicing up the genre-standard hack-and-slash combat with a card-collecting, deck-building mechanic.
Players will delve deep into the dungeons below the Old Cathedral, first as the Warrior to learn the ropes before unlocking the Rogue and Mage classes – each having their own unique cards to put into play. Book of Demons uses cards as a sort of inventory system, with each card representing the items, skills, and spells available to the player. Given a limited ‘hand’ of cards available to them, players will need to think carefully about what they bring with them into the dungeon’s depths.
It’s even possible to upgrade your favourite cards, should you collect the proper rune while on a dungeon crawl, but think carefully before spending those runes as a more powerful card variant drop could be around the next corner – maybe even a Legendary…
The procedurally generated dungeons offer extended replay value, and the game uses a ‘Flexiscope’ (flexible scope) system to let gamers tailor their dungeon crawl to the time available to them. Have only a few minutes to play? Setting the length of the dungeon levels to minimum allows the player to blast through without taking hours to do it. If there’s hours to spare, put the Flexiscope settings to the max and suddenly there’s an epic-length adventure awaiting.
Even the typically simple ‘point and click’ mechanic gets a twist in Book of Demons, with combat requiring players to prioritize enemies on the fly. Shielded enemies, for example, require you to click and hold on the shield, directing attacks towards destroying it before eliminating them. Add in the need to queue up special attacks via your cards and suddenly a simple looking combat loop becomes much more complicated.
If it all sounds a bit much, relax – there are multiple settings for how difficult your quest will be, from casual mode that beginners can embrace all the way to a roguelike mode with permadeath that challenges even veteran demon slayers.