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Demon Turf is a Charming Platformer with a Ton of Replay Value

Demon Turf Review

Despite me never being particularly good at platformers, I have always enjoyed playing them. Though, that never stopped me from freaking out when I mess up a jump or miss a landing. When I first began playing Demon Turf I got frustrated quite often as I would fall off of obstacles continually, but as I played I discovered new ways to time the various move combos to help myself more efficiently pass through obstacles and defeat enemies and it quickly became more fun than frustrating, even with my poor abilities. I have not yet completed the game so this article will be more of a first impression than a full review, but I have spent quite a few hours with the game and the more I play, the more I want to keep playing. 

Even though I still have many levels to beat to complete the game, I can already see the vast amount of replayability Demon Turf provides. The first and most obvious example of this is that once you beat the boss in an area after completing all the levels, every single level (besides the boss fight) changes to be almost completely new. The maps remain the same but the obstacles and platforms change significantly to include new skills you've picked up and to provide a different experience while jumping around the same area. These new levels offer a new battery to collect as well as lots of sweets to fill up your bank with. And don't worry, there is also a terminal you can go to if you want to switch back to the original levels so you can grab any sweets you may have missed or if you want to try and get a faster time in order to beat the trophy time and get a trophy in-game for the level. There is also a leaderboard for the fastest times for each level, so if competition is your thing, there is plenty of opportunities to get your name on a list with the multitude of levels in Demon Turf. You can track your progress in the menu where it shows you which levels you've completed and how many items you were able to get when completing them and whether or not you've gotten the time trophy. If platforming is not enough for you, there are also other fun activities to keep you busy throughout Forktown. There's a photo challenge that gives you prompts for photos to take that you can exchange for sweets, as well as some demon soccer golf which involves kicking and pulling a ball through a maze to a goal post, an arcade room that you have to help bring back to life, and more. You can also use the photo mode to just take pictures on your own of the dark yet fun demon world as you explore.

Demon Turf Gameplay

Demon Turf gives the player plenty of tools to help you succeed in the game while also maintaining a good level of difficulty. One of my favorite tools was the item finder. When you press down on L3, a purple arrow made of smoke appears above your head that points towards the nearest sweet, or whatever item is most crucial for you to grab for that portion of the level. For example in the first area, Apocodesert, one of the levels requires you to find five keys in order to open up the next obstacle. The L3 item finder will point towards keys instead of sweets until you've found them all to help you complete the mission before returning back to helping you find your sweets. This makes it significantly easier to collect all items in your first playthrough, especially if you save one flag to place at the end in case you miss something. If you're at the end and realize you've missed something, placing a flag allows you to use the item finder and teleport or platform to previous sections of the map and find it before jumping back to your flag to officially complete the level. Speaking of flags, you are given three flags to place at any point throughout the level that act as checkpoints that you can teleport between and jump to whenever you please. It is entirely up to you where you place them which makes them extremely useful and helps add to the strategy of each level. If I struggled really hard to get through an obstacle, I'd make sure to place one after I'm safely to the other side so I don't have to worry about trying to get through it again in that run. If three flags aren't enough there is also a mod that gives you an additional flag, but it takes up a good chunk of your mod space so use it wisely. While we're talking about mods, here's how to get them. The sweets you've collected while playing, which come in the form of cakes and lollipops, work as currency in the game, as you collect more sweets you can use them to unlock extremely useful mods and other features to help you as you fight your way to ruling all demons. You only have six mod spots and each mod takes up 1-4 spaces so you must mix and match carefully to get the boost you need to best complete each level. 

As someone who is not ready to speedrun platformers, I experienced a couple recurring issues during my time with Demon Turf. These two issues I had occured when obstacles were either too close to the wall or not quite pressed up against it. With the too close to the wall I'd find myself trying to jump up to the next obstacle but end up completing a wall jump that would end with me launching myself off in the wrong direction due to how dismounting wall jumps works. The second issue was when a platform would have a small gap between itself and the wall and if I was in the double jump bat form or spin form I would get stuck in that gap unable to jump anymore or move over the edge of the platform onto the stand and continue forward. If there was a platform beneath it I was able to maneuver and save myself a few times, but more often than not I ended up having to drop off into the void and reload at wherever my last flag sat. I want to emphasize that these issues may be more easily avoidable if you are more skilled in platformers than I am, and I did find myself finding more ways to avoid/save myself as new abilities unlocked and my skills improved as I played the game more and more. So I wouldn't say either of these are deal-breakers, but just something to be aware of to try and avoid to prevent a few frustrating restarts.

Demon Turf Story

Gameplay aside, there is also a simple yet effective story motivating you as you jump through the various demon turfs. Your character, Beebz, is a one thousand-year-old demon who plans on defeating the king of demons. In order to do this, you must first beat the leaders of all the various turfs in the demon world. New areas are unlocked once a boss is defeated and in order to defeat the boss of an area, you must first beat all the levels and collect the batteries there. Batteries are the key to progressing and you receive one at the end of every level. There isn't much voice acting aside from pivotal plot moments, but the acting fits the characters and emotions well adding to the enjoyment as you play.

The score and sound design are also extremely fitting for the story and gameplay. One of my personal favorite sound design elements was collectible lollipops that let out small screams as you get close to them. I know that sounds morbid but something about a clearly cartoon lollipop with brown shoes screaming and running away I just found humorous. The game is full of small moments of humor that keep the tone light. Every NPC you pass you can talk with as well and they will say a variety of dialogues depending on what type of demon they are and what area you find them in. The look of the game also helps to create Demon Turf's unique aesthetic. The mixture of 2D illustrations and 3D environments works with the score, sound design, and fun characters to create a humor-filled world with a very distinct style. 

There is plenty to do in the world of Demon Turf which leads to a game that not only has the option of replayability but is a game that makes you actually want to replay as you continue to hone your skills with Beebz. For any fan of platformers, I would definitely recommend picking up this game, and if you are newer to platformers but think you'd like them, I would also recommend it. There is a lot of variety in your abilities that may take some getting used to, but once you have the controls down, the game becomes just the right amount of difficulty that you want in a platformer. Demon Turf is out now on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A game code was provided by the publisher for review.

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