Demeo: PC Edition by Resolution Games is a port of the award-winning VR tabletop RPG that supports up to four players. The game is cross-platform with the VR edition and pits your party against the current three modules, with two more planned for release by the end of 2022. Players choose from five classes: hunter, sorcerer, assassin, guardian, and bard.
The game’s three adventures include The Black Sarcophagus, Realm of the Rat King, and Roots of Evil. I had the chance to play through two with friends and one by myself. I am impressed with the atmosphere, gameplay, content, and replay value. But Demeo: PC Edition does have a few minor bugs left to polish out.
Demeo is a turn-based tabletop dungeon crawler where players have two actions each turn. The gameplay loop is simple but addictive. It reminds me of playing games like HeroQuest. The goal of a module is for the party to fight their way through the first two levels by killing a key holder that appears in a random location on each floor and then unlocking the stairs to the next level. The party faces the final boss and its minions on the third level.
Most of our Demeo: PC Edition Preview remains true. The music, effects, and gameplay create a fun experience. The game shines with a party of four, and it is the best way to experience the dangers of the 5th world.
The music can become somewhat repetitive, but it is not noticeable while chatting back and forth with friends, planning your tactics to overcome enemies. The music and card plays are also broken up a bit by the occasional humorous comment made by the characters. Using some cards like the hunter’s healing potion made the entire group chuckle.
Each of Demeo’s classes brings something unique to the party. Our group found it challenging to choose which one was left behind for each run. I have played Demeo in VR, and for me, the bard was a new class. So it was my go-to during the review. While at first, I found it a bit boring since each turn, one action was taken up by casting courage to buff an ally. The challenge ramped up once I started stacking the effect over multiple turns to provide one damage resistance, one extra damage, and a chance to panic enemies.
While playing the bard, I had to manage stacking my buff and refreshing it on party members before it dropped completely. Each class has a special ability to manage. For example, the guardian regularly refreshes their five personal armor points to help mitigate damage.
Our party completed The Black Sarcophagus on our second attempt. But we have not been successful yet in finishing the other two modules. Each adventure module has a unique tileset, and it is important to take note of new cards that can be found in chests or purchased in between floors. For example, The Realm of the Rat King is a sewer, and by the second floor, the distance players can see is extremely limited unless you have an active torch.
It was nice to see earlier issues I noticed with the VR version have been resolved. Not all enemies will rush towards you as you begin to explore a level, though it may seem that way since some randomly generated areas can have several open sightlines. The difficulty also scales now depending on how many players are in your party. But be aware losing out on what four different classes bring to the group for abilities and cards can get you killed quickly.
Demeo's replay value is high. Each time you start a level, the key holder and stairs are in different locations. Combine that with your random card draws, and each session can vary. I have played some games that took only an hour, while others lasted till the early AM. Your account also ranks up with each session, allowing you to unlock small cosmetics like dice.
Your party keeps going until everyone is dead or dying. When a character is reduced to zero health, they will die in three turns and revive only after the floor is complete. Another character can get them back up by spending one action to move and heal the dying character three health.
The more often a character gets knocked down to zero, the quicker they will die. Once everyone is dead, the session ends. Your party will need to restart the adventure module. It can make some sessions difficult depending on the dungeon layout and luck of the card draw.
The PC edition does currently have some bugs. When using the in-game voice chat, we had to make sure everyone’s mic was working at the start of the dungeon. Occasionally one of us would need to change our mic input in the audio settings and then swap it back again to get everything working.
During one multiplayer session, the dice would rarely glitch and not show the correct result when rolled. One of our players also had the dice freeze after he rolled it off the table, and from then on it auto-rolled whenever he attacked.
I did have one instance where I had to shut the game down in the task manager. Everyone else was already in the waiting room with their characters selected. When I clicked the ready button, the screen locked on the character select, but I could still hear everything in the background as the others moved to start the dungeon. We had to restart the module. No other game crashes happened during a playthrough once a module was underway.
These bugs are mostly minor issues that need a bit of polish. But for me, the most tedious aspect of gameplay was moving my character to attack or activate items. Trying to attack from the right square was frustrating compared to playing Demeo in VR. The highlighted square I was attacking from would change at the last moment as I dropped my character in place. Sometimes the model would simply move next to my target instead of attacking.
Demeo: PC Edition is a great game if you want to relax with a small group of friends and play a turn-based virtual tabletop RPG. While the graphics are stylized, they fit the atmosphere. The music, sound effects, and voiceover create an engaging and fun experience. We laughed at critical moments when a key attack would miss, only for then the character to spin and hit an ally. When an excellently placed spell or lucky bomb took our multiple enemies, we sighed with relief. In the early morning, we played just one more turn to try and finish the module. Priced at $29.99 this early access game is well worth it and there is more content on the way.
Full Disclosure: Copy provided for review by publisher