App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
This will probably be a short review. There isn't a whole lot to say about a game like, Demeo, after all. It is an extremely straightforward dungeon-crawler game. It looks nice, has some decent variety, and a few interesting mechanics, but it is conceptually about as simple and flat as you can get. As a result, it's a kind of experience that can fall apart pretty quickly once you've played a dungeon or two.
Knights in the round table
Demeo models itself after a sort of classic Dungeon & Dragons dungeon-crawling experience. You build a party of adventurers, enter a location, and kill monsters, gather loot, and try to kill a big boss at the end.
There are some wrinkles to this, like a card system that replaces any sense of leveling up or experience, and a simplifed combat system that relies on standardized damage dealing through dice rolls that simply determine whether you hit, miss, or critical hit what you are aiming at. Demeo otherwise fully embraces the tabletop spirit it's inspired by, going even so far as to make the game environments appear as complicated dioramas built within a table and having all characters and creatures presented as miniature figurines.
Although Demeo has five different campaigns to choose from, all of them play out basically the same way. The environments may look different, and you can mix and match up to four of the seven available party members, but otherwise your core mission and your methods for completing them are essentially unchanged. You kill stuff until you find a key (or a boss if on the last stage), and then you find an exit (or kill the boss if you're on the last stage).
As you complete campaigns you may fill a meter that unlocks new rewards over time, but this meter fills awfully slowly and the rewards it gives are hardly noticeable. I can imagine there being some novelty from Demeo's multiplayer, but there doesn't seem to be a good or practical way to play it unless you somehow know three other people that own and want to play with you.
Engrossing till it's not
I know I sound pretty sour on Demeo, but I will say I was engrossed in the game on my first couple playthroughs. There is something satisfying about working your party dynamics to make things click such that you can tear through enemies with relative ease. The only problem is that once I figured out how to do that effectively, continuing to play felt a little tedious.
This is a game that also looks quite nice, though I wouldn't say it feels like it's pushing the limits of my iPad outside of how warm my device gets while playing. As for controls, they're fine, but occasionally have some wonky behaviors when trying to select characters and move them to specific spaces, which--unfortunately--can have pretty dire consequences as there is no movement confirm button or undo action you can take.
The bottom line
All in all, Demeo is a decent dungeon-crawler that I doesn't seem to do much to justify its cost given its lack of variety and relative competition on the App Store. Still, if you insist on checking it out, you could get some decent mileage out of it, particularly if you find people to play with.