Demon Turf is an exciting 3D platformer from developer Fabraz and publisher Playtonic Friends. Fabraz has been incredibly busy making Demon Turf available on the 4th November 2021 on PC (Steam, Epic Store, and GOG), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Switch. From the moment I saw the trailer, I knew I wanted to review Demon Turf. It looked like a mad scientist had crossed Mario 64 with Jet Set Radio. These are two of my favourites, so I couldn’t wait to see the result and jumped at the opportunity to try the Steam version. So does it live up to my lofty expectations? Find out below in my Demon Turf review.
Demon Turf – Can Beebz capture the Demon King’s crown?
Our heroine Beebz is a 1000-year-old demon who wants to become the Demon Queen. To do so, she must conquer four Turfs, overthrowing their gangs and defeating their leaders before facing the Demon King himself. Each Turf is a world with a distinct theme and featuring individual challenges. Beebz is joined on her quest by her friend Midgi, a duck/unicorn hybrid who wears a barrel full of water. Yes, really.
The four Turfs each contain seven levels and end with a boss fight. Once you’ve beaten a Turf, you’ll unlock the next world plus another set of seven new levels with a different graphical look. Every level has many hidden sweets to collect, which are used as in-game currency. Your home Turf of Forktown offers side-quests to collect more sweets and is the place to visit to spend your hard-earned cash. You’ll find game-enhancing character mods and cosmetic dyes to give Beebz a cool new look. If you find a level too difficult, then visit the Revolutionist Army who will complete it for you in exchange for some sweets.
Do you have a favourite platform game? Comment below and let us know. When you’ve finished reading about Demon Turf, why not check out my Coffee Noir review here?
Demon Turf is all about combining moves and making you feel like an awesome platforming genius. Beebz has a vast action set with the usual jumps, wall jumps, and a spinning movement that lets you glide for short periods. Mixing these moves up enables you to traverse the levels in different ways and reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Do you need to land somewhere accurately? Try a double jump followed by a spin. Need to cover a large expanse? Jump, spin, and jump again for a super long jump.
I used an Xbox controller to play. The controls felt great, and I had Beebz jumping around and landing where I wanted her to in no time. I did fail quite often, but it always felt like my lack of skill rather than an unfair game. In a unique twist, you can choose where to place checkpoints throughout a level to make those risky jumps less painful.
Enemies are on the prowl too. Quick or charged punches push baddies around but never directly damage them. Push them over a ledge so they fall out of play or bash them against an environmental hazard to beat them.
So what’s the point of all this leaping and punching? You’ll need to gain control of the four Turfs, Apocadesert, Armadagedon, New Neo City, and Peak Plateau. After completing an initial tutorial level, you can explore a mini-hub area and find the other six levels. You can tackle these in any order. Beat all levels, and you’ll face the Turf’s gang leader in a boss fight. If that isn’t enough, defeating the boss unlocks seven new levels with a different graphical style, and grants access to the next Turf. Your final challenge is to defeat the Demon King himself.
Graphics & Audio
Demon Turf features an unusual but excellent mix of 3D environments and 2D characters. These characters are well-drawn and animated in a cell-shaded style. Environmental effects like fog and water add atmosphere to the levels.
I played with the resolution set to 4K, and the action was always smooth and responsive. I saw no slow-down or glitches. The usual graphical tweaks are available so that Demon Turf can run on a range of systems, and every option clearly describes what it does and its impact on performance. There’s even a colour blind mode and the ability to remap controls. Fabraz put a lot of effort into making the game configurable and player-friendly.
The soundtrack is excellent, with the record scratches and beats sounding similar in style to Jet Set Radio. I found myself humming the tunes even when not playing. The main characters are well voice acted, and the sound effects are just right and unintrusive.
You’ll be playing Demon Turf for a very long time. It is packed with things to do, and it’ll take around 15-20 hours to beat. If you’re a completionist, you’ll need to set aside 30-50 hours to achieve absolutely everything. There are enough levels, boss fights, and side quests to keep even the keenest gamer busy.
Speedrunners will be particularly happy, with time goals to beat for each level and options like automatically restarting the level if you fail. The large default move set and optional mods allow for experimentation. Achieve a good time, and you’ll appear on the level’s leaderboard.
Forktown has a bunch of side quests to complete, including soccer golf, photography missions, and arcade cartridges to find. I stumbled across a shop selling pets that can accompany Beebz on her adventures and a set of Arena Challenges with another 25 levels whilst walking around Forktown to take some screenshots for this review.
Demon Turf is an incredibly accomplished 3D platform game with a unique art style. The level of polish and attention to detail that Fabraz has lavished on their game is commendable. The platforming is fluid, and pulling off a long move combo feels fantastic. Enemies could be a little smarter to liven up the combat, but this does not detract from the game. Little touches like quick load times, short death sequences, the ability to skip dialogue and title screens make for a game that gets you into the action as soon as possible and keeps you engaged.
As far as presentation is concerned, Demon Turf delivers graphically and audibly. The art and music complement each other well, and the variety of levels and moves provide a fun but challenging experience.
I had a fantastic time playing Demon Turf, and it’s worthy of the Thumb Culture Platinum Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.