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Not so MMO: Demeo PC Edition Review

Demo: PC Edition by Resolution Games is a port of the award-winning VR tabletop role-playing game that supports up to four players. The game is cross-platform with the VR edition and pits your party against the current three modules, with two more planned for late 2022. Players choose from five classes: Hunter, Wizard, Assassin, Guardian, and Bard.

The game’s three adventures include The Black Sarcophagus, Realm of the Rat King, and Roots of Evil. I had the opportunity to play through two with friends and one on my own. I’m impressed with the atmosphere, gameplay, content and replay value. but Demo: PC Edition still has a few minor bugs to polish out.

Demeo is a turn-based tabletop dungeon crawler where players have two actions each turn. The gameplay loop is simple but addictive. It reminds me of games like HeroQuest. The goal of a module is for the party to fight their way through the first two floors by killing a keyholder that appears in a random location on each floor, then unlocking the stairway to the next floor. The party faces the final boss and his minions on the third floor.

Most of our Demo: PC Edition Preview remains true. The music, effects and gameplay make for an entertaining experience. The game shines with a party of four and is the best way to experience the dangers of the 5th world.

The music can get a little repetitive, but it’s imperceptible as you chat back and forth with friends and plan your tactics to defeat enemies. The music and card games are also broken up a bit by the occasional humorous commentary from the characters. Using some cards like Hunter’s Health Potion got the whole party laughing.

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Each of Demeo’s classes bring something unique to the party. Our group found it difficult to decide which to leave behind for each run. I played Demeo in VR, and Bard was a new class for me. So it was my goal during the review. While I found it a bit boring at first, since each turn it has taken an action by casting Courage to buff an ally. The challenge increased as I started stacking the effect over multiple turns to provide damage resistance, bonus damage, and a chance to panic enemies.

While playing the Bard, I had to manage to stack my buff and refresh it on party members before it completely fell off. Each class has a special ability to manage. For example, the Guardian periodically refreshes their five points of personal armor to mitigate damage.

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Our group finished the Black Sarcophagus on our second try. But we haven’t managed to complete the other two modules yet. Each adventure module has a unique tile set, and it’s important to pay attention to new maps that can be found in chests or purchased between floors. For example, The Realm of the Rat King is a sewer, and on the second floor, player sight range is extremely limited unless you have an active torch.

It was nice to see that previous issues I noticed with the VR version have been fixed. Not all enemies will come your way when you start exploring a level, although it may seem so, since some randomly generated areas can have multiple open lines of sight. Difficulty now also scales based on how many players are in your party. But be aware that losing the abilities and cards that bring four different classes to the party can kill you quickly.

The replay value of Demeo is high. Each time you start a level, the key holder and the stairs are in different locations. Combine that with your random card draws and each session may vary. I’ve played some games that only lasted an hour while others lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Your account will also rank higher with each session, allowing you to unlock small cosmetics like dice.

Your party goes on until everyone is dead or dying. If a character is reduced to zero health, they will die in three turns and will only revive after the ground is complete. Another character can raise them back up by spending an action to move the dying character and heal three health.

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The more times a character is knocked down to zero, the faster he dies. Once everyone is dead, the session ends. Your party will need to restart the adventure module. This can make some sessions difficult depending on dungeon layout and card drawing luck.

The PC edition currently has some bugs. When using in-game voice chat, we had to make sure that all microphones were working at the start of the dungeon. Occasionally one of us had to change our microphone input in the audio settings and then swap it back again to get everything working.

During a multiplayer session, the dice would rarely fail and not show the correct result when rolled. One of our players also froze the dice after he rolled them off the table and from then on they were automatically rolled whenever he attacked.

I had an instance where I had to end the game in the task manager. Everyone else was already in the waiting room with their chosen characters. When I clicked the “Ready” button, the screen got stuck on character select, but I could still hear everything in the background as the others moved to start the dungeon. We had to restart the module. No other game crashes occurred during a playthrough after a module was in progress.

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These bugs are mostly minor issues that need a little polishing. But for me the most boring aspect of the gameplay was moving my character to attack or activate items. Trying to attack from the right field was frustrating compared to playing Demeo in VR. The highlighted square I was attacking from changed at the last moment as I dropped my character in place. Sometimes the model would just move next to my target instead of attacking.

Demo: PC Edition is a great game if you want to relax with a small group of friends and play a turn-based virtual tabletop RPG. While the graphics are stylized, they fit the atmosphere. The music, sound effects and voiceover make for an immersive and entertaining experience. We laughed at critical moments where a key attack missed, only for the character to spin and hit an ally. When a well-placed spell or lucky bomb caught our numerous enemies, we breathed a sigh of relief. In the early morning we only played one more round to try to finish the module. Priced at $29.99, this Early Access game is well worth the money and there’s more content on the way.

Full Disclosure: Copy provided for publisher’s review

https://www.mmorpg.com/reviews/not-so-mmo-demeo-pc-edition-review-2000124744 Not so MMO: Demeo PC Edition Review

Fry Electronics Team

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