For #8 this year, we turn to an indie game whose mission was to create an action RPG that anyone could enjoy.
Book of Demons presents itself as a minimalist ARPG, complete with a papercraft aesthetic. Taking obvious cues from Diablo, the game does everything it can to streamline the experience down to its basic elements.
The only real choice you have to make is deciding what gear/cards to equip onto your character. The game allows players to decide how long a single quest should be, which is perfect for quick sprints or marathon sessions.
Each of the three classes behaves differently and gets access to different powers to add more replayability. In terms of difficulty, the game can go from being super easy, to rogue-like punishing depending on the difficulty you pick at the start. This is another example of a game with a solid core gameplay loop that keeps the player entertained.
With that said, the reason why it doesn’t rank higher is that it may be a little too streamlined in some areas. For players wanting greater control over their character and progression, Book of Demons doesn’t go that far. Given how rigid the card system is, if you don’t get card X, then there’s nothing you can do if you run into something that requires it.
Fighting enemies can become annoying depending on what cards you have and the procedurally generated floors. I’m not a fan of the fixed paths for character movement, as they too often lead to trouble with ranged enemies or getting surrounded. This is further compounded by the fog of war and the general lack of range when it comes to clicking on enemies to deny special attacks.
Still, the game hints at the developer continuing this kind of design with other genres, and Book of Demons is a great start for that foundation.
Up next at #7 we dive into an open-world survival game