Demonschool PAX East Impression
Based on aesthetics alone, Necrosoft Games’ Demonschool is an immediate draw. Its hyper-saturated, neon-inspired colors draw inspiration from 1970s Italian horror movies, with the 1977 film Suspiria being cited as one. The 2D and 3D art style looks unique and is visually stunning as big gory monsters take up the screen. While the aesthetics are the main draw, its tactics combat could be a perfect beginning for newcomers to the genre, especially paired with its school-life mechanics.
Demonschool begins as Faye, who comes from a long line of demon hunters, hears of demon activity that hasn’t occurred since before she was born. Faye and her friends are tasked with uncovering the mystery of why demons have suddenly returned. When Faye does encounter demons, players are thrown onto a grid-based battlefield. Players attack demons by moving directly into an enemy on the battlefield. Characters move diagonally on the board but can move one space left or right to better position themselves. What also makes Demonschool’s tactics unique are its streamlined movement and ability to rewind moves to figure out the optimal strategy.
The initial phase of combat is called the planning phase where players can map out their moves and combo them together with the right positioning of characters. There are action points that are used up when a character is moved or attacks, and if there are enough action points, a character can move twice in a turn. Once the player is ready to begin, the characters will perform their assigned commands in a quick action-packed sequence that is satisfying to watch play out.
While the demo did not have much of the school-life aspects in the game, players will be able to form better relationships with fifteen other characters, as well as some romances as well. The dialogue between the characters features fun, comedic banter that is a good change of pace considering the spooky story and art style.
Demonschool is in development for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. The game does not yet have a release date.