Release date: 2020
Version played: Xbox Series X in 2021
A twin-stick shooter, dungeon crawler, rougelite inspired by 8-bit games of the past, Demon’s Tier+ was developed by COWCAT and Diabolical Mind, and published by COWCAT in 2020. Taking control of one of over six unique heroes, players must delve into a multi-level dungeon, defeating foes and completing various objectives in order to collect materials to upgrade their gear and progress deeper. Death means losing your collection and starting again, but you can choose to escape unharmed if you have certain supplies. But beware the Reaper, who will begin to chase and attack the hero if they spend too long on any floor.
+ great cast of unique characters, all of which (initially) play differently. The between-level upgrade system is great, wherein you can choose to upgrade any character into any type of specialist as required. Some special pickups are available which will increase stats further, and every character has a unique ability to help them survive longer, heal themselves near death, or turn into an unstoppable killing machine
+ the game has an adorable, old school 8-bit style, and each character is animated with smooth movements and differently themed attack projectiles. There is also a fun CRT filter to use, which I got a kick out of for one or two plays, but I otherwise stuck to the default
+ simple but effective 8-bit audio, with funky crackles for explosions and a fun background music track for each level. I admit I eventually took to turning the sound off entirely just to play the game, but it was fine at first
+ is there any game that is not improved with cute anime girls?
– by virtue of the game’s inspirations and intentions, it does get repetitive. As the format remains the same throughout, there is no real change to how you should play the game. I personally like the mindless grind when I’ve got a good podcast on
– I was put off by a few funky control decisions. Opening chests, using abilities and open the radial menu are all done with controller face buttons, but attacking is done with the right stick. This meant that to perform one of the former actions, you had to stop attacking. So far as I’m aware, neither trigger was mapped to anything, and there was no option to change buttons
– hopefully it was just me, but I lost full progress once, and hours of progress at least three other times, forcing me to restart. If I wasn’t such a sucker for twin-stick shooters, you bet I’d have dropped this then and there
> there is in-game seizure warning, so let me honestly say that it might be a concern. When bosses take damage they flash white, and at the point you are launching attacks like a machine gun, it can get a bit intense
Should you play this game: This was by no means perfect, but it was cheap and I found myself having fun more often than I was frustrated. The characters all make you play in a different way, and the thrill of clearing a tough floor never gets old.