“Super Turbo Demon Busters!” is a rogue-like following HeroCraft’s mobile app “Dead Shell”, with the developer making some changes to shift from the free-to-play to a full game. There are, however, some features that would have been best left in.
The game keeps the roguish gameplay: raid generated maps between the main path and optional exploration by clicking on rooms to pick up supplies and fight enemies, looking for an exit or die trying. Every four levels (and loot crates you can collect) you’ll pick up cards for weapons, enemy demons, areas to explore, and marines (each with a unique skill set).
There are also quests that’ll reward you with loot crates and credits but these have exceptionally precise conditions. You can also send a cargo ship out for supplies. It needs to be upgraded one level before you can launch it but blowing credits on it will get you more supplies in fewer turns.
The main objective is to get to the end before the virus takes over the party, indicated by the human heart in the top-left corner. Good news is that the virus is slowly turning marines into zombies, but if you botch up too many times they’ll quickly become the demons. There are random events that can break up the bone grind, including hazards, discovering a crap ton of crates or massacre, or finding an exoframe with infinite armor piercing rounds. The exoframe is a nice rare event. However, it falls short as it doesn’t add additional protection, having normal damage done to the marine.
To power up marines you can either hope to find duplicate cards or buy attribute upgrades. Finding duplicates will level them up, giving them more health and increased melee damage. The attributes, health, weapon damage, and special double ups (another chance to use it immediately), uses a credit upgrade system, each one increasing in stat and price as you buy them. This is expected as it is a rogue game, but “Dead Shell” had a simplified, and maybe cheaper, EXP system which you only had to pay for every level up with all attributes (and price) increasing.
The more staggering change is how you can’t check demons skills before entering a facility, which can be a problem for the marine you picked for that map. You can check what their skills are but only in battle. Sure after one fight you figure out how to take them out and reequip weapons, but the problem with that is if it’s not a weapon that isn’t the marine’s preferred load out you’ll only get its base attack, and later on the demons will act more like sponges. So, “hopefully”, you’ll have credits to blow.
As for the look and feel of the game. Well, “Super Turbo Demon Busters!” takes inspiration from the “Doom” and “Alien” franchises, though there isn’t anything as intense. All the maps’ corridors look the same with just a different color to set them apart. The unique designs for these areas are only seen on their loot cards and the battle background. The art, however, does capture the inspiration of things going very wrong in space, with blood smeared against the metal floors and something horrible waiting in the shadows.
The character sprites, both demons and marines, are sort of chibi. These demons may not look particularly scary, but they look the part of popular hell spawns in space. The marines wear Doom Guy and Crash inspired armor (though Sniper seems to be a Ghost), with their body portraits showing some variant designs and colors based on their class so you can tell who specializes with plasma guns and which one is the chainsaw wielding medic.
As for the music aspects of the game, the intro will get you hyped for action but the rest of the soundtrack is restrained in comparison. The tracks do attempt the style of Doom’s back in the 90s, though, and it does the job of getting you into the groove without rushing your actions (though speed running is an option). There’s no voice acting but the text dialogue fills the job with some dark comedy, giving us the tropes we’d expected from a Doom satire as well as unexpected chat from the demons.
In overall, “Super Turbo Demon Busters!” is a fun game to kill time with. Sure, it’s expected to be hard like any good rogue-like. However, some departures from the original “Dead Shell” have made the game needlessly difficult by forcing you to pay more credits between seven (eight if you decide to beat the game) and taking away the ability to double check demon skills outside of battle. Despite its setbacks, it’s still an enjoyable experience. Even if the demons will be sure to show you a “good time”.
+ A rogue-like inspired by Doom and ALIEN that pokes fun at some of the tropes
+ Play through and collect marine, weapon, and demon cards to add variety to your session
– Costly upgrade system over the more convenient level promotion from previous game
– You may end up fighting uphill battles by the moment you enter a map
– Poor exframe engineering
Replay value: 4/5
”Super Turbo Demon Busters!” may not have the conveniences from its predecessor, but there sure is some entertainment to be had here with no doubt! Because ”Super Turbo Demon Busters!” is a good rogue-like/Doom-satire to lose track of time with when you want to go blasting away demons methodically. So even if you end up fighting cybered up monsters who can tear your medic apart, you will still have a blast while doing so.
Title: Super Turbo Demon Busters!
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Release date: 2017-12-08
Difficulty: Normal to Hard
Spent time: 9+ hours
Average grade internationally: 60.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI16/Teen
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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