Demon Turf: Neon Splash Review (Switch eShop)
When Demon Turf launched in late 2021, it made a positive impression on us thanks to its solid platform gameplay, retro aesthetic, and focus on speedrunning. The game fell short of true greatness due to its less than stellar combat mechanics, which frankly knocked the overall experience down a few pegs. In a nice surprise, publisher PlayTonic Friends has released a spin-off called Demon Turf: Neon Splash; Think of it like standalone DLC if you will!
Unlike the main game, Demon Turf: Neon Splash doesn’t have a hub area (although there is an optional “playground” where you can hang out and practice your moves). It makes a lot more sense to simply take the player through a series of linear levels, each trickier than the one before; Make no mistake, some of the later levels can be fiendishly difficult. There are 10 normal levels in total, with an additional 10 remix levels that are even more brutal in their design.
The good news is that the levels themselves aren’t so tricky that you’ll ever get completely stuck. Their design reminded us a lot of the secret levels in Super Mario Sunshine; Certainly less open than the main game, with an almost nonsensical approach to the overall aesthetic and layout, but it helps focus more on what the game does best: complicated platforming.
Beebz has all of her moves from the main game, including double and triple jumps, a hover ability, a roll ability, and more. Stringing these moves together is paramount to completing the levels as quickly as possible, and the game encourages this by including trophies based on your completion time. When you first start a level you’ll get a glimpse of the time it takes to reach the gold trophy and wonder how on earth you’re ever going to pull off such a ridiculous feat, but you will be surprised how quickly you learn the layout and save precious seconds.
Crucially, Demon Turf: Neon Splash completely does away with the main game’s poor combat. Developer Fabraz should really be commended for realizing that this aspect just wasn’t up to par; Removing it entirely allows the game to focus on far superior platforming mechanics, making this spin-off title a frankly better experience than the main game. Despite the limited number of levels, the experience here is more than worth the low entrance fee.
From a visual point of view, the game maintains the same overall style as its predecessor, but the colors have been brightened significantly and the resolution was much needed in handheld mode. A nice touch is that Beebz leaves a trail of neon paint on the floor. So if you need to restart for whatever reason, you have a clear view of which path you took previously. Other quality of life improvements include unlimited use of the manual checkpoint system – which is more than welcome – as well as the ability to capture clips of your speedrun accomplishments so you can show yourself off to complete strangers on the internet – yay!
Ultimately, Demon Turf: Neon Splash is a much better game than its predecessor thanks to the complete removal of overwhelming combat. Not only that, the experience feels more focused and streamlined without the need for a hub world or mandatory collectibles. This is Demon Turf at its best, and we sincerely hope to see more of it in a true sequel later.
https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/demon-turf-neon-splash Demon Turf: Neon Splash Review (Switch eShop)