Demon Turf (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 21.01.2022

Review for Demon Turf on Nintendo Switch

In the realm of platformers, collectathons aren't exactly "a dime a dozen" kind of deal, but the subgenre has received a sort of resurgence due to remakes the likes of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, or modern homages such as Yooka-Laylee. Small indie dev Fabraz, with Playtonic's publishing division behind it, decided to add one more pebble to the collectathon pile. A look at Demon Turf's unique and quirky style, as well as the fact that Playtonic (the creator of Yooka-Laylee) is behind it, makes it an easy pick for those who like these sort of games. Sadly, while not bad, this is more like an occasion of wasted potential.

Aiight, here's the deal. Spunky demon girl Beebz won't take a Chill Pill. She wants to prove to the King of Hell that she is all that and a bag of chips. So, she sets up on a grand journey, to show him who's da boss and have him eat her shorts. Before all that, though, she must collect some fly bling, which will help her unlock new cool levels to explore. Yeah, in case you haven't figured that out, Demon Turf is very '90s-flavoured, with hip-hop sounding tunes bopping along the action (scratches and all), baggy clothes, and main characters whose facial expressions range from "Sup bro?" to "Whatever… with "Talk to the hand" being a nice alternative.

Screenshot for Demon Turf on Nintendo Switch

Cringy? Not this is one of the elements that give it its unique character, with the art style being the second half of the equation. Taking a page from Paper Mario, this uses 2D sprites moving in a fully three-dimensional world, with characters being comprised of a multitude of frames in order to give a full, 360 view of them, pretty much like in Doom-era first person games. This got style. Sadly, being stylish doesn't mean that the final outcome is pretty. In all honesty, there are plenty of vistas that are downright ugly, especially in those levels where everything is drenched in a single colour, blending everything together, and not letting the various details stand out. It's sad, really, because with a little bit better art direction, this would be a real looker.

Gameplay-wise Demon Turf is Collectathon 3D Platformer 101. Probably way too much, to the point that there's nothing special to say about it. You explore various hub worlds, trying to find the necessary key-items that will unlock more worlds to explore, along with resources that can upgrade the heroine's arsenal of abilities. Oh, and while at it, one can collect all sorts of "needless" stuff, just for the sake of it. Extra fluff. It's a collectathon, so it's not really about the reward, but about the actual process of collecting. Which begs the question: is this any fun?

Screenshot for Demon Turf on Nintendo Switch

The short answer to whether this is enjoyable is: yes. The bulk of the game revolves around finding a way to go from A to B, with the whole thing having a slight puzzle approach, in the sense that you frequently have to think how to make a leap. More specifically, aside from the standard jump and double jump moves, this cute demon girl can also glide, as well as make glide/jump combos to pull of different kinds of leaps. It will take some time to get comfortable with doing a jump-double-dump-glide, or a jump-glide-jump (with a little bit of wall-jumping thrown in as well), which all behave differently, but you'll soon get the hang of it.

Screenshot for Demon Turf on Nintendo Switch

Unfortunately, fun as this can be, more often than not it can annoy. For starters, whether because the main character has somewhat slippery feet, or because it's hard to judge distances with a 2D sprite moving in a 3D world, combined with the heavy on verticality and endless pits level design, there's plenty of aggravating falling down. An interesting mechanic here is that one can set custom checkpoints, but this creates more problems than it solves, for the simple reason that it's hard to pick the right spot to set a checkpoint flag. The most common mistakes in regard to checkpoints will be, A: setting one way too soon, and, B: forgetting to set one, and losing tons of progress.

At the end of the day, Demon Turf is… okay. It scratches that collectathon itch, and the platforming is a pleasant deal despite the many shortcomings on offer… but it's just ok. There's nothing unique here to talk about, and most importantly, nothing that well executed. Sub-genre "superfans" can try it out, after lowering their expectations a couple of notches. The rest can safely try something else, or just go straight to the classics.

Screenshot for Demon Turf on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Demon Turf scratches the collectathon itch, but very mildly. Apart from its somewhat unique, quirky art style and setting, this is mostly a mediocre-to-good 3D platformer, with nothing really special about it, and plenty of small (and thankfully not game-breaking) flaws that decrease the fun factor quite a bit. Try it out only if really, really thirsty for a game of its kind.

Developer

Fabraz

Publisher

Playtonic Friends

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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