Demon Turf Review

Demon Turf

Review

Demon Turf Review

November 3, 2021

By: James Bentley

More Info About This Game
Developer
Fabraz
Publisher
Playtonic Friends
Release Date
November 4, 2021 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
 
 

Platformers are infamously hard games to get right. They need to be challenging enough to be replayable without artificially injecting difficulty. You have to feel some sense of ownership over your greatest triumphs without feeling like you're being handheld. This is a fine balance that only the bravest try. Luckily, Demon Turf is a courageous and glorious attempt to reinvigorate the genre. 

Demon Turf puts you in the tiny shoes of young demon Beebz, who wants to take over the demon turfs to become demon queen. For the most part, the story plays a small role in the game itself. It keeps you moving along and lets you meet new characters but it's mostly there to serve the gameplay. It's a story built for those who just want to get in there and start playing. 

Demon Turf

Luckily, the controls are great. It takes from a great number of fantastic platformers adding a little bit of so many great games. Beebz can move, jump, and even double jump initially but they can also spin in a similar fashion to Super Mario. Then, if you just jump while spinning, it feels fairly similar to the Cappy mechanics from Mario Odyssey. Demon Turf feels like a game built by a speedrunner. Taking all those extra mechanics makes Beebz feel just as viable on the air as on the ground. 

 
 

It takes mechanics like wall jumps and those micro-movements between moves and makes them part of the building blocks of how you move. You consistently feel like you're cheating your exploration a little by using those mechanics but that is exactly what Demon Turf wants you to do. I've never really been a speedrunner. I've always enjoyed the practice and appreciate the dedication but it's never been my thing. Demon Turf made me consider it. That feeling of growth you get within the first hour alone made me want to retry old levels again. It made me feel like I was skilled in a genre with such a high skill ceiling. 

It helps that it's pretty great to look at. Everything has this cutesy hell aesthetic and the whole game has this great 2D effect to it. Although it's a 3D platformer, characters look like they're made out of paper, and moving the camera only further cements that. You may be able to compare it to the likes of Paper Mario but it's more expansive than that, feeling more like Mache Mario.  Its music is also great, feeling inspired by video games, hip hop, and something very synth-centric. Combine the soundtrack of Hideki Naganuma with Friday Night Funkin and you have a pretty good interpretation. It's also very willing to get a little weird in the right levels. 

Demon Turf

The level design, for the most part, is pretty excellent. Some levels are big and expansive, others are small and tricky. It tasks you with learning new ways to exploit the game and then mastering them by the time you move onwards. You may constantly try the same thing over and over until you work out the right timing. In this way, Demon Turf can occasionally slow itself down. There are five central areas to take down to finish the game but you have to beat each area twice to get to the final boss. After defeating an area, you essentially get to take it down new game + style with similar levels and atmospheres. This is mandatory to finish the game and really slows it down. I'm glad these extra missions exist but they would operate much better on a voluntary basis. 

These levels are slowed down for a reason. Demon Turf has a fairly intentional design to the way it ramps up the difficulty. Each turf has a handful of missions you must finish and then you are met with that area's boss. You have to use what you've learned (alongside a brand new mechanic for each boss) to take them down and move forward. The whole game, up until the last turf has a certain flow to it. Then, you must slow all that down to take on missions in previous areas all over again. That constant drip-feed of powers and mechanics is thrown out the window, pushing that playtime way up. 

Outside of this, the game is really well-paced with more difficult areas and challenges approaching you at a steady speed. You are also well equipped with great powers and interesting mechanics throughout. Not every level is quite as consistent as the last but they often make up for it in big finales. 

 
 

Demon Turf

Demon Turf - Final Thoughts

Demon Turf, with its solid mechanics, great look, and interesting level design feels perfect for speedrunners. Even if a little bit of artificially inflated playtime and some less strong levels get in the way, it's just a lot of fun. 


TechRaptor reviewed Demon Turf on PlayStation 5 with a code provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Review Summary

Review Summary

8.0
Demon Turf is a great feeling platformer with some interesting level design, even if its a little inconsistent and a little too long

Pros

  • Great controls
  • Unique visuals and music
  • Some really good levels

Cons

  • Some inconsistency
  • A little too long

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