Roguelikes aren’t a game genre I know very much about, the indie feel and usual 8-bit graphics are adorable and work for me but it’s the gameplay I can’t get into, I mean working so hard just to lose EVERYTHING and have to start fresh? No thanks. However, because this site is an exercise in communism, we all have to share the load, so here I am settling in to play what is arguably the most punishing roguelike since Binding of Isaac…yay.
Brought to us by Cowcat & EastasiaSoft, Demons Tier+ is a shooter looter style of Roguelike which sees your chosen protagonist run around randomly generated dungeons hefting swords, arrows or magic at whatever pixelated foes come your way. Heading down into the maze of traps and demons you goal is to stop the machinations of King Thosgar, who I would love to tell you more about but honestly, I never actually saw him! This title is nails from the get go and I found myself struggling to gain any traction. Before you think it, yes, I was bad, no bones about it, I sucked when it came to avoiding projectiles and fighting back. However, the game is still going out of its way to be punishing. Damage comes in spades and upgrades are like gold dust, I mean you literally spend gold at the end of each section to give yourself some miniscule buffs to make the following sections easier. Unfortunately, you die? They’re gone. You choose to peace out and leave? They’re gone! This game is built to be finished in one sitting and if you can’t manage that then I’m sorry to say you probably won’t be having a good time here.
Tier is both the title and a description of the in-game events, you and your band of merry followers who are all seemingly named after their career choices, like Knight, Berserk, Archer and Witch, descended into a newly opened pit in a small village to find riches and glory, so far so fantasy. So, you quest, down level by level with procedurally generated dungeons rammed with beasties and explosive barrels to make things nice and taxing, which if you know me at all, is not my jam. I’m a fan of living out a power fantasy. However, because I am a well rounded and stable video games journalist, I persisted… until I got 3 levels in and was killed by one bat with a grudge and lost everything I had worked so hard for. When you die your tiny character leaves behind a tiny grave stone with some exp and items for you to retrieve but good luck managing to find it in the freshly generated maze!
Overall this game, is not something I’d play if I didn’t have a review to write. In fact, it’s only by the grace of this written content that I persisted as far as I have. It’s just not a game for me and I feel like even to the most hardcore Roguelike fans, there’s nothing particularly new or exciting here to keep you entertained. The story is alright and the characters fun, even if the women on the team all look like they have installed car airbags in their chests. Really though there are just other games that have come before and done it all better. If you have an addiction to tricky dungeon crawling then by all means pick this up, but don’t expect it to turn you onto a new genre!
I’m giving Demon’s Tier+ 6/10