Demon’s Crystals is a frantic arcade twin stick shooter where you & up to 4 players (local only) take on the roles of the Urican demons blasting their way to peace across countless levels.
There isn’t much of a story. One day three mysterious monsters arrive turning the peaceful inhabitants into violent creatures. The three monsters took the crystals that the demons drew their power from forcing them to hunt the monsters down & get their crystals back.
Developed by Byte4Games and published by BadLand Indie, Demon’s Crystals bright & vibrant colours is the first thing that you’ll notice. The second is just how easy it is to pick up & play. Controlling one of the 4 demons (the only difference between them is how they look) is super simple. Move with the left stick & shoot with the right in any direction.
Each level has numerous power-ups to help you blast your way through the countless hordes that comes at you. To beat a level, you either have to kill a certain number of enemies or collect a certain number of crystals. There is little variety here but each level is short enough that it never becomes frustrating. At the end of the set of levels there is also a huge boss to defeat that breaks things up.
There’s so much going on at times, (bullet hell as it is often called) that the screen can become quite cluttered resulting in some unnecessary deaths. Mostly by stumbling over a trap or two. There is no standing still in this game, you have to be constantly on the move!
Things get easier as you level up, small changes to health & power make the difference later in the game. A level cap of 90 stops you becoming too over-powered. It is very simple to level up (just keep killing).
The main game portion doesn’t have much longevity & the only reason to replay is to level up fully & beat it on the tougher difficulties.
There is a survival mode where you try & last as long as you possibly can & a number of multiplayer modes. These are mostly competitive modes where you have to kill the most enemies. Other modes include collecting the most crystals or just killing each other. Being local only it’s got limited enjoyment but with 4 players it can be quite fun & frantic.
The music doesn’t add much to the overall experience. It fits the frantic game-play but you’re not going to remember it afterwards.
There is fun to be had in Demon’s Crystals & for the achievement/trophy hunter it’s a reasonable completion. Don’t expect too much from an arcade twin stick shooter & you won’t be disappointed. Perhaps some actual variety between the characters, online play & wider enemy types would have pushed Demon’s Crystals to a higher score.
The Final Score - 6/10