This really isn't your average dungeon crawler adventure game, this takes it up to another level!
What is Book of Demons?
It's very difficult to explain but here we go.
It's a mix of hack and slash, deck building dungeon crawler game, it is not turn based so the cards are used whenever you want they serve as items and equipment, movement is done in a linear way as you can see in the screenshots on its store page, you can move along the path since you're basically a story, a cardboard with limited movements, not really to take anything from the game because using your cursor you can reach out to any object out of your reach.
You start by the evil church and make your way down till the bottoms of hell, it's a really long way down also and there are layers that starts with catacombs and ends with hell, it is all beautifully randomly generated to the point of perfection.
This isn't just a game, it's a launcher in a sense ..when you open the game you start at the archive in which you find 7 book pedestals, only one of them has something on it and it's the book of demons, the developer's vision is to add a book on each game and this will act as some sort of a launcher which is something I really admire, I am looking forward for the next game to see how connected they are with that method, very interesting.
Rewards. The game has its own built-in achievements and reward system whenever you get one you are greeted by an in-game message as well as the steam popup, it grants you XP and when you level up in it you unlock new avatars and hero titles, it is so vast and currently there are 202 achievements so expect this game to last you a while, this sort of justifies the game's price for me.
The game has a very interesting "Choose your adventure" Flexiscope which basically allows you to choose how big is the next run going to be, from very small going about 7 minutes to 5 levels more to get very big which can be around 34 minute, so every run you can choose how big it is and see how long it will take and the rewards, this was designed for people who have little time in them for a quickie and I really admire this seriously brilliant concept though for me I have nothing else to do so I kept going with the biggest path hah.
You use the cursor to point at which monster you'd like to attack, you can hold for auto attack or click faster to speed it up, monsters all have hearts displayed on top of them.
Some monsters have shields and you need to point the cursor and attack it first to break it, some monsters have poison/fire/ice hearts which launches AOE status effects once killed so sometimes you gotta keep your distance.
You'll find a lot of cards which gives you special abilities that are quite helpful, the two types are passive and active, the passive cards will take up a certain amount of your maximum mana when equipped since they provide helpful buffs but at a cost, the active ones are either potions of various types or abilities and there are a lot of those, it's a huge library.
When you get poisoned you have a small window to click on the HP bar when it glows to kill the poison, when you get stunned you have to click on the circling stars to recover from a bash, the game is very active in the combat it is not just a dull auto clicker, hell you can even click on monsters who are currently casting a spell to intercept it, you have to remain active and careful in combat and it's very thrilling.
Bosses have phases, goes to next phase when their HP reaches 0, the weak ones have 3 and the stronger ones can have up to 9, each phase they act differently and have different ways to kill them and there are a lot of mini bosses in the game scattered all over to keep it interesting.
Leveling up makes you choose between HP+ or MP+ whatever you pick the opposite will get added to the cauldron which you can spend money on to extract its rewards to upgrade yourself in the town even further.
The dungeons are randomly generated to perfection that you wouldn't feel like you played this level before, there's loot all over and all you need to do is attack it from, there are chests, HP/MP fountains ..secrets ...and more.
The town is where you want to go to power yourself up, you can upgrade your cards, heal yourself, buy more potions, unlock more card slots, and upgrade your max HP+MP, it is also where you would want to go to talk to the townsfolk to get more information about the story and such.
Levels have indicators on top to show you what you're missing, so you can make sure to get everything in a level before leaving, once you complete it by killing everything and looting it all you can instantly click an icon to move to the next one without having to reach the stairs which is really convenient.
There are 3 characters, the warrior , the archer and the mage, each are played very differently.
The warrior is the tank with melee attacks, though since you're limited in walking paths in this game there isn't really melee so you can basically attack anyone in your vision which simplifies things, he has different set of spells that are all brute attacks and charges.
The Archer can attack from a long distance and has a bunch of different spells , lower HP and mana but more damage, can equip special arrows and attack at different methods.
The Mage uses range elemental attacks, can block paths with spells and summon monsters to fight for him, teleport and much MUCH more range of really unique spells.
All characters are played differently and have different strategies and cards, and have their own voice lines.
This game essentially feels like a very wholesome and intriguing diablo tribute, I can tell that they are fans of the game by the amount of references and certain similarities to it (also they pointed that out) they carefully designed this game to make it as comfortable and polished as possible and let me tell you with absolute certainty...they accomplished that, they just did.
There are three difficulty levels, casual, normal and roguelike, the first two are very similar except the casual being much less punishing you can switch between it and casual whenever you want, normal is the one you'd want to start with, roguelike makes all card drops random rather than a set and limits the amount of healing fountains and you cannot change the difficulty after, it also adds perma-death if you died without having any gold left, generally when you die you leave your tombstone behind with gold+loot, you can go back and reclaim it but in roguelike if you died again while having no gold enough to revive yourself it is game over for good.
Each quest can be played multiple times with increased difficulty that adds more rewards and makes it much harder.
Endless mode: after you beat the game you unlock freeplay, which you can ascend down after hell for as long as you can with 4 unlockable difficulty levels, Standard -> Hard -> Nightmare -> Massacre. Each adding much more difficulty modifiers that cranks it up and you can really challenge yourself with it, I love how it carries on with the end game story and makes things more interesting.