New features, added to old-school adventure gaming, creates a fresh and entertaining experience. Book of Demons borrows gameplay mechanics from the original Diablo, even down to the pools that regenerate health, but tosses in deck building with cards that add to skill sets. There's one playable character to start (the warrior), but the mage and rogue are unlocked once you reach level 5. The Flexiscope is also a unique,wonderful element, which allows players to customize their game experience, setting game time lengths to maximize sessions, with each time period attached to what can be earned hacking and slashing through the dungeon. For example, a small experience is eight minutes, and provides some rewards, 3% of the experience needed to level up the character and some gold. Increase the game time and the rewards go up as well.
The visuals are excellent. Book of Demons uses a two-dimensional paper pop-up art style in the city, which creates a bit of eye candy. Violence may be a key component, but the game doesn't dwell on bloodshed or bodies laying about, because monsters crumble and then disappear when killed. Perhaps where the game falters a bit is that players are kept to one path and aren't allowed to roam freely around the level maps. And while the game play is randomly generated, this is a game that relies on the wash, rinse, repeat format with little variety in the core elements. There are different kinds of levels, but the goal's always the same -- get from one end to the other and kill anything that comes at you. Book of Demons is certainly pleasing, and the throwback gameplay is welcomed. With the range of difficulty levels, the use of cards to built a character's skill sets, and the charming visual elements, this should serve as a nice intro to the dungeon crawling genre or provide a retro challenge to those hunting for a very good hack 'n slash adventure.