Demon Turf is a new 3D platformer from Playtonic Friends and developer Fabraz. It has a lot of things about it that will remind you of platformers from the past and it also has a very unique looking visual style to go along with it. Is this one worth checking out or is it just a pale imitation of other platforming greats?
Demon Turf puts you in the shoes of a young almost 1,000-year-old demon called Beebz who is out to become the queen of the demon world. I know young and 1,000 don’t really go together but demons clearly have different life cycles then us mere mortals. You’ll have to go around the demon world and kick the butts of other demons to help Beebz fulfill her dream. It’s all kind of silly and while there are other characters to talk to, they usually don’t have much to say. I mostly enjoyed getting to know Beebz and her companion Midgi who helps to provide you with information on your journey. Beebz has some layers to her as she can be feisty and combative when she needs to.
One of the most striking things about Demon Turf is the visual style. The game is a 3D platformer but the character sprites are actually 2D. Think of something like Paper Mario but you can freely rotate the camera around how you want to. I really dug it and it’s the visual style that first put this game on my radar when I first saw it. When you start playing you’ll be in a hub world and can pick to go to different areas with levels from there. Each area has batteries that you have to obtain in order to take on the boss in that area and claim that turf for your own. Replayability is encouraged as once you take over an area things change in it making it so you can jump back in and collect more batteries.
When navigating the levels Beebz has a range of moves at her disposal. She can jump, double jump, wall jump, spin, glide and more. The feel of the jumping feels a little off and it did cause me to misjudge some jumps at times. For the most part though I thought it played well and learning how to combine and make use of Beebz’s full moveset is necessary in order to make it through some of these courses. Speaking of misjudging jumps this is a good time to talk about Demon Turf’s unique checkpoint system. There are no set checkpoints in the levels as instead the game lets you place them. You start levels with three of them and it’s up to you to place them down when you feel like it. This sounds like it may be a good idea but when you don’t exactly know how long a level is it can be a bit messy in execution. You might end up using all three of them long before the level ends. Other times you may end up not using them at all. I would’ve preferred if the developer just put the checkpoints in themselves as they know the levels better than us.
When you reach the end of a world you’ll enter that boss fight I mentioned. I generally really enjoyed these and you usually have to use a new ability that you acquire before it in order to beat it. Collectibles are another big part of any platformer and Demon Turf has them to give. There are cakes to collect and sweets to collect in each world. Cakes allow you to buy mods for Beebz that can enhance certain moves. You get six slots and each mod uses a different amount of them so you have to test them out and pick and choose the ones that feel good to you. Sweets can be used to obtain new dyes to customize Beebz’s look.
Fans of 3D platformers would do well not to overlook Demon Turf this year. The game’s visual style is unique and one of the best things about it but the platforming is equally as enjoyable. There is a lot to do in this game and while I do have some issues with the controls and checkpoint system, I still really enjoyed my time with it. Beebz desires to become the Demon Queen and I don’t think you’ll regret helping her get there.
*Demon Turf is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
- Fun 3D platforming adventure with lots of variety
- The 2D/3D art style is unique and stylish
- Lots of collectibles to find, mini-games to play, and reasons to replay levels
- Controls can make you misjudge jumps at times
- Not a fan of placing your own checkpoints
- Combat is the weakest gameplay element