Demeo Battles is Fun, But Difficult To Master

Play your cards right, and watch for the lava!

Demeo Battles is Fun, But Difficult To Master
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo / Unsplash

I avoid multiplayer games owing to concerns about behavior online. When Resolution Games, the developers of Demeo Battles reached out to me, however, and asked if I could cover their game, I figured that it couldn't hurt. One night of testing the game and seeing how it would all go would help me form an honest opinion. 

Demeo Battles is fun, but I do find it a little janky. It took a while to understand the controls and what lamps not to hit during a multiplayer battle, even with the tutorial. As a result, I was struggling with them and my friend J, who agreed to test out the code with me, warned me about hitting certain objects after I hit one. That was a strong "Now you tell me" moment, I say while laughing with hindsight. At the time while I was amused, I did feel really dumb.  

Source: Demeo Battles press kit

One player on a rival team was sympathetic. She and her teammate beat us before we could do as much as reconvene. 

"Don't worry!" she told us cheerily on the group chat. "By day two, you'll be an expert!" 

I'll find out once I play the game again if that statement is true. For now, I do feel sorely beaten. My ego also isn't addicted to this game in the same way that other roguelikes and battle games have taken me. 

Demeo Battles is a game series centered around PVP turn-based combat within different arenas. You can play in VR or from numerous game devices, including a PC. It is the second installment from Resolution Games, with the first simply being called Demeo.

How To Play

You have several options with Demeo Battles. You can go into single or multiplayer mode, and for the latter, you can join a game randomly or play against the computer. So far I have only played multiplayer mode since the developers encouraged playing with friends to get a better measure of the game. 

Source: Demeo Battles press kit

The game is a turn-based strategy battle, where you go against a team or an opponent within an arena that starts changing. You can purchase cards with different potions or weapons, as well as NPCs like goblins and ice elementals that will protect you and your teammate. Treasure chests will hold bonus cards, including healing and reviving potions.  

You can use your mouse and the WASD keys to adjust your viewing angle for the boards. I found this aspect of the controls to be a bit wonky because the arena board is much larger within the space of the monitor. 

The Floor is Lava

No really, it is, and I found this part of multiplayer mode the worst aspect of the game. The longer that you take to make your move, the more squares become hot lava and you can't stay on them for more than a few turns. If you want to cautiously evaluate the arena and figure out how to take down your opponents, the hot squares injure you. My friend J theorized that this little feature made sure that battles would not last long when you have a finite amount of healing potions assigned randomly. 

Source: Demeo Battles press kit

The feature reminded me of the numerous sabotages in Spelunky, a game that killed me frequently. It's one more obstacle that motivates you to improve, but also forces a person to make decisions quickly. As a result, there's no time to make a strategy or to err on the side of caution. It annoys me because I'm still learning the game. 

It is worth playing Demeo Battles if you have a few friends willing to dive into the arena with you. I am going to need some practice to understand the arena, as well as how to use the cards from the treasure chests. It helps to have NPCs behind your back, and wolves to summon. With that said, it also helps to have a game that doesn't turn the floor into lava.

This preview was created with a press code provided by the developer


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