When Demon Turf launched at the tail end of 2021, it left a positive impression on us thanks to its solid platforming gameplay, retro aesthetic, and focus on speedrunning. The game fell short of true greatness due to its less-than-stellar combat mechanics, which frankly brought the whole experience down a few pegs. In a lovely surprise, publisher PlayTonic Friends has shadow-dropped a spin-off called Demon Turf: Neon Splash; think of it like stand-alone DLC, if you will!
Unlike the main game, Demon Turf: Neon Splash doesn’t feature any kind of hub area (though it does feature an optional “Playground” for you to hang out in and practice your moves). It’s far more content simply guiding the player through a series of linear levels, each more tricky than the last; make no mistake, some of the later levels can be fiendishly difficult. There are 10 normal levels in total, with an additional 10 remix levels that are even more brutal in their design.
The good news is that the levels themselves aren’t so tricky that you’re ever going to find yourself completely stuck. Their design reminded us a lot of the secret levels in Super Mario Sunshine; less open than the main game, certainly, with an almost nonsensical approach to the overall aesthetic and layout, but it helps to put a firmer focus on what the game does best: intricate platforming.
Beebz has all of her moves from the main game, including double and triple jumps, a hover ability, a rolling ability, and more. Stringing these moves together is paramount in completing the levels in the fastest way possible, and the game encourages this by including trophies based on your completion time. When you first start a level, you’ll catch a glimpse of the time required to achieve the gold trophy and wonder how on earth you’re ever going to manage such a ridiculous feat, but you’d be surprised at how quickly you learn the layout and shave those precious seconds off your time.
Crucially, Demon Turf: Neon Splash does away with the main game’s poor combat completely. Developer Fabraz should really be commended for recognising that this aspect simply wasn’t up to scratch; removing it entirely lets the game focus on the far superior platforming mechanics, making this spin-off title a frankly better experience than the main game. Despite the limited numbers of levels, the experience here is more than worth the low price of admission.
From a visual perspective, the game retains the same overall style as its predecessor, but the colours have brightened up significantly and the resolution has been given a much needed boost in handheld mode. A nice touch is that Beebz will leave behind a trail of neon paint on the ground, so when you need to restart for whatever reason you’ll have a clear view of which path you’ve taken before. Other quality of life improvements include unlimited use of the manual checkpoint system - which is more than welcome - alongside the ability to record clips of your speed running feats, so you can show off to total strangers on the internet - yay!
Ultimately, Demon Turf: Neon Splash is a much better game than its predecessor thanks to the complete removal of the underwhelming combat. Not only that, but the experience feels more focused and streamlined without the requirement of a hub world or mandatory collectibles. This is Demon Turf at its best, and we sincerely hope to see more of the same in a true sequel later down the line.
It's great seeing new IPs succeed!
Looking at the trailer alone, you just knew it would be good. Thanks for the review. Sounds my kinda thang (again).
It actually appears decently priced at time of writing as well.
Never a bad thing to have good games just show up out of nowhere and not have to go through the agony of anticipation that lasts so long you’re bored with the game before it even comes out. And for $5? Hallelujah.
wow, good review for an affordable game.
I have trouble resisting platformers with good art, so this is a definite buy for me.
My backlog is already so huge, I don't play many indies, and I'm not sure how I feel about a 3D platformer in the style of Paper Mario.
That said, I'd be lying if I told you NitroRad's video didn't make Demon Turf sound incredibly compelling. His video also showcased a lot of really cool locales I never saw in the trailers. I thought the game was just pink and purple monochrome.
This looks good. I think I will try it at only $5.
Absolutely love this developer's work, they really have a solid grasp of good platforming design! I hope this does well enough that they can justify more DLCs; I know Slime-San had a few and those were excellent.
They should also get rid of the checkpoints gimmick, it wasn't an interesting mechanic in such a linear levels. I didn't beat the original, but maybe this one is more fun.
Sorry guys, but I think its trash! Super floaty controls, terrible graphics. This is definitely not a 3D Mario. Its not "A hat in time" either (that game is also floaty, but very playable. Lots of fun and good looking). All those 3D platformers seem to have 1 problem that Mario doesn't have: They can't handle walls! You either start wall-running all the time (A hat in time) or start wall-jumping all the time when near a wall. Super annoying. I also hate it that when you roll into a crystal by using Snake wheel (Demon turf: Neon splash) you always have a big recoil (that sends you of platforms). Terrible.
I'll be getting this one but might try the original first.
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