Devils & Demons Review
Devils & Demons is a PC port of a mobile strategy role playing game (SRPG) with 2D isometric graphics developed by HandyGames. It features a straightforward story and setting, as well as simple game play. As the title may suggest the plot of the game revolves around the world being invaded by a demonic realm. The player sets out as a single member of The Order whose sole purpose as an organization is to stop it. As the game progresses the player finds more character’s to use in the hexagonal grid based battles.
For an SRPG Devils & Demons has very basic mechanics. There are no stats or equipment which influence combat instead of the player’s characters abilities have a set damage ranges and effects. In addition the heroes themselves do not level up, and instead the player levels up and makes upgrades available for their characters. Every hero has three abilities and several passive traits such as health and mana which are unlocked improved by these upgrades. Devils & Demons has gold as its only resource, mainly used for upgrading characters, which is primarily earned by finishing battles. Other than leveling up the player level and investing gold in the characters there are no other means of progression or ways to influence the heroes abilities or stats.
One of the game’s strongest points is its visuals. While not being upgraded to HD for the PC version causes the art to look blurry on closer inspection at the normal zoom level it looks well done and consistent. The backgrounds especially contribute to this with plenty of little details and a very consistent perspective for the isometric angle. All of the heroes and enemies have also have uniform designs and plenty of minor details. The enemies even have several appearances for the same units to keep them from looking identical to each other. In motion the game uses hybrid animation which works fine, but does limit the range of movement the characters can engage in since every unit has a single sprite and therefore pose. The music fits the game and is not repetitive, but is nothing extraordinary.
The main area where Devils & Demons stumbles is in its simplistic nature. Originally being a mobile game it’s designed to be easy to pick up and play, and it is. The flip side to this is that there is very little room for strategy and the player is often left with no option but to grind levels and gold to make their characters strong enough for the next story encounter. Another odd design choice is that gold can be used to instantly revive the player’s defeated heroes at full health and mana. Even if the player’s entire party is wiped out the option to use gold to revive them is available. This seems to even more so encouraging grinding to get me resources since the player can brute force missions they are under leveled for by having enough gold. Since gold is also used to strengthen heroes though doing so is counter productive to advancing through the game. The need to grind is made worse by the repetitive missions, even though there are several types with different objectives at the end of the day they all boil down to clearing some number of enemies off the map. Add to that a fairly small pool of enemy types such as warriors, archers, and mages and the repetition sets in fast. Of course the role playing game genre is repetitious by nature so this may not necessarily be a bad thing if the core game play is appealing.
Devils & Demons at the end of the day is an average game. While the art and visual design is nice the story and game play are nothing special. For those looking for an engaging SRPG Devils & Demons most likely will not scratch that itch. The game will only appeal to those looking for a simple straightforward RPG to go through to motions with. For that purpose Devils & Demons is not a bad choice, but it neither excels or fails at being a decent RPG. Being ported to the PC largely feels like an afterthought however as it is clearly designed from the ground up to be a mobile game, and it still feels like one.