Demeo: PC Edition is a dungeon-crawling roguelike where you move around your champion, pick up cards from chests, and have to try and tactically work with your team, or alone, to overcome odds that are definitely stacked against you. Previously released for VR, the game is now out for flatscreen gaming, and with a PlayStation port in our near future.
Demeo: PC Edition is all about the gameplay loop. As a digital board game with character pieces and cards to play, and with the need to scale down to standalone VR headsets, the graphics aren’t meant to be life-altering. You’re basically just moving pieces around on a board, with some effective animations to illustrate your moves alongside. The sound design also gets the job done, but again, this isn’t meant to be like a typical video game.
The experience transcends those more humble elements, though. The card systems that Demeo is built around helps to keep the game feeling reactive, and there’s a simple satisfaction of knowing you’ve managed to play your cards right, moving cautiously through the world and working with your companions to overcome the monsters and traps thrown at you – this is especially satisfying when chatting and collaborating with friends. It’s a pure pleasure, one that’s not masked by anything at all, and it works wonders for keeping you wanting to just play one more turn, just one more level, just one more run.
You have some over-arching progression the more you play, but even on your first run, you’ll come across a wealth of different cards, monsters, and potential room layouts that’ll have you wondering just how many configurations there are in Demeo: PC Edition.
The thing is that Demeo – the original release – is one of the best VR games out there. Despite it not being an FPS or a game where you interact with a virtual world a huge amount, the feeling of being in a tabletop RPG dungeon-crawler seeps into everything you do, and it’s a genuine joy to play. Having played a fair bit of the VR version, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have mixed feelings about the idea of a flatscreen version that abstracts this interactivity. It’s not that I was worried the game would be any less satisfying, just that I’d end up missing the more tactile elements of moving the figures around with my hands, and actually rolling dice.
To a degree, my worries were well-founded, and the loss of the more tactile elements hurt my personal experience, but ultimately, Demeo is still a truly fantastic game. If you’ve not touched the VR version, you’re not going to miss it in the slightest. As such, I can’t hold any of that against the PC Edition, and neither should you.
Demeo: PC Edition is an easy game to recommend to anybody who’s been looking for a new social game to pick up with their friends, or who fancies jumping into random lobbies and partying up with strangers. The gameplay at those times almost feels secondary to just chatting with people, and in my experience, the people playing Demeo are a damn sight better than the normal denizens of online gaming.