Thing Trunk’s Return 2 Games (R2G) initiative is aimed at paying homage to some of the greatest games from the 90s with their own take on modern classics. Book of Demons, the first such title, is quite obviously a riff on Blizzard’s classic Diablo. But it’s not just a click to loot and kill fest that the Lord of Terror so deeply loved - it’s something unique and engaging all on its own.
Book of Demons can best be described as an Action RPG with its own unique twists. Being that its art style is essentially a 2D pop-up book in presentation, you can’t stray from the main path in dungeons, but you don’t need to. There are plenty of paths to travel, secret rooms, and monsters to slay along the way. It’s meant to be casual, but addictive, and don’t let the word casual fool you... this isn’t Cookie Clicker. This almost like a real-time Card Hunters set in a faux Diablo universe.
In short, it’s kind of brilliant.
You see, you don’t loot gear in Book of Demons - you loot cards. Those cards can then be slotted into your hotkey bar to be used as skills, potions, spells, and passive buffs. It’s a very cool way of making your character unique and there are three classes - warrior, mage, and ranger - that you can customize to your liking through this system.
There’s a main story to follow, and new features unlock as you progress. But the story’s really just a sort of throwaway, a way to poke at Diablo while giving you a reason to keep going ever-deeper into the dungeon.
The real star of Book of Demons may be twofold - its free Streamer DLC update which allows a streamer’s audience through Twitch or Mixer to interact and play with them. We’ve seen similar modes in other games before, but this one is a riot as the interaction is a lot more involved. The second, and best feature, is the Flexiscope. This is basically a lightcore “Create Your Own Dungeon” option that lets you decide how in-depth and involved each dungeon run is. Want to play just 10 minutes? Cool. Want to go for an hour and reap the rewards? No problem.
Book of Demons is designed from the ground up to be an accessible, lighter take on the classic ARPG. And it manages to do so without being dumbed down, or too simplistic that it’s not fun. In short, it aimed to pay homage to Diablo but instead has gracefully made its own impact on a crowded genre. If you’re looking for something light but fun as heck to play this Holiday Season, it’s only $20 on Steam right now. It makes me anxious to see what comes from the studio next in the R2G series.
- Play the way you want with Flexiscope
- Delightful card-based combat
- Great art style
- Forgettable story