Late last year I reviewed the 3D platformer Demon Turf. I enjoyed the game quite a bit as it did a good job focusing on what I enjoy most about games from the genre. It was a genuinely good indie 3D platformer which is a welcome sight. As the original game only come out late last year, I was genuinely surprised when I saw that another game in the series was released last week. As I really enjoyed the original game, I was interested in checking out the sequel. Demon Turf: Neon Splash is a great continuation of the Demon Turf franchise focusing on the best elements of the original game even if it is on the shorter side.
Demon Turf: Neon Splash continues the adventure of Beebz and her friends. One day the gang discovers a strange painting. When they approach it they are sucked inside. To return to their world Beebz must use her platforming skills to complete challenges and find a way home.
In a lot of ways Demon Turf: Neon Splash is similar to the original Demon Turf. It honestly feels like more of an expansion/DLC than a totally new game. The platforming for the most part hasn’t changed much. You have your typical jump, double jump, wall jump, and hover ability. You also have access to Beebz’ special abilities from the very start of the game which will help you in your journey.
The overworld from the original game has been cut from Demon Turf: Neon Splash. Instead the game is basically a set of levels. Your objective for each level is to reach the end which will unlock the next level. In addition to just completing the levels though, there are a few other things to accomplish in each level. Like the original game there are sweets to collect which you can use to purchase upgrades. Each level also has a hidden record which unlocks a remix level. These remix levels are basically twisted variants of the original levels that are considerably harder as they have more obstacles that you have to overcome. Finally each level has a number of times that you can beat to earn trophies.
Basically if you have played the original Demon Turf or any other 3D platformers, you should already have a good idea of what to expect from Demon Turf: Neon Splash. The game streamlines some of the mechanics from the original game. It basically still feels like the same game though, where it is mostly more levels than a drastic change to the original game.
The one area where the game differs from your typical 3D platformer is that it lets you place your own checkpoints (with some limitations). This remains mostly the same as the original game. The one difference is that you only have access to one place-able checkpoint for each level. This is offset by the fact that you can place it as many times as you want. This allows you to create a new checkpoint each time you complete a difficult section of a level.
I actually think this was an improvement over the original game. I liked having multiple checkpoints as it made it easier to find missed collectibles. This was easily made up for by the fact that you can place a checkpoint whenever you want. No longer do you have to worry about wasting one of your checkpoints and then having to complete a long section without making a mistake because you have no checkpoints left. This does make the game easier as you can keep placing checkpoints whenever you complete a difficult section. The amount of frustration it eliminates though is worth it in my opinion.
Like the original game, I thought the platforming of Demon Turf: Neon Splash was really good. Probably my favorite element of the original game was the platforming, and this holds true for the sequel as well. I think the platforming works for a couple of reasons.
First I thought the level design was quite good. The original game did take some time to get going as it introduced new mechanics. As you progressed in the game you unlocked additional abilities which were then added into your repertoire. This gave the level designer(s) more options for later levels which they took advantage of. Some of the best levels in the original game were towards the later parts of the game.
I am not going to directly compare the levels of the two games, but Demon Turf: Neon Splash gets right into things much quicker. Since you have access to all of your abilities from the beginning of the game, the levels can throw everything at you right away. The game still ratchets up the difficulty as you progress, but the game starts much quicker than the original game. I would say that almost all of the levels in Demon Turf: Neon Splash would be in the top half of levels from the original game.
The other thing that I liked about the platforming was the general feel of the controls. The controls for the first game were quite good, and the same holds true for the sequel. The game has streamlined some mechanics and cut others (more on this soon). For the most part the controls are precise since they give you a lot of control as you can adjust in the air if your jump is initially off. When you fail/die, it is generally your fault. I will say that the sequel does feel faster than the original though as you move, jump, etc quicker than the first game. This took some time to get used to leading to some deaths as I felt the character moved too fast. I ultimately had to adjust some of the sensitivity settings to make the movement feel right. If you want a good 3D platformer, you will get it from Demon Turf: Neon Splash.
While not a prevalent element of Demon Turf: Neon Splash, the game even introduces some small 2D platforming sections. At points in some of the levels you will reach a point where the camera locks into place. The visual design doesn’t change, but the camera stays fixed where you can only really move left and right. Outside of the change in perspective, this doesn’t really change the gameplay all that much, but I thought it was a nice change of pace.
Those who played the original game will probably think that I have been ignoring a key element of the game. The original game featured a sort of combat as well as some puzzles that you had to solve periodically. The combat has been completely eliminated from the game, and the puzzles have been severely cut back. While I didn’t hate the combat, I think it was a good idea to cut it from the sequel as it was one of the weakest elements of the original game. For the sequel the developer seemed to focus solely on the platforming. This was probably a good decision as that was always the game’s greatest strength.
As for the setting and story, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. The story is really basic as you basically get trapped in a painting and have to find a way out. The graphical style is similar to the original. The characters are in 2D while the environments are in 3D. Demon Turf: Neon Splash is more colorful than the original which I liked. I did have to turn off one of the graphical effects though as it was kind of distracting.
I generally enjoyed Demon Turf: Neon Splash. Really the only significant issue I had with the game is just that it feels like more of a DLC/expansion than a standalone sequel. There are a few tweaks to the formula, but in many ways it just feels like more levels for the original game. The levels are quite good, but if you were expecting a full sequel, you may be disappointed.
As the game only retails for $5, I assumed that Demon Turf: Neon Splash would be considerably shorter than the original game. It definitely is shorter than the original game. I don’t know how many levels the original game had, but Demon Turf: Neon Splash only has ten main levels and nine remix levels. There are reasons to replay the levels for the time trials and to pick up all of the collectibles. Still the game is pretty short. I think I beat all of the main levels in around 2 hours while finding all of the collectibles. The remix levels added another hour to an hour and a half. If I wanted to try to complete the time trials, that would add some more time. Ultimately you can beat the game within a couple hours. With the game only retailing for $5, you can’t complain too much about it being on the shorter side. I just wish it was longer, as I was still really enjoying the game when it ended.
As a fan of the original Demon Turf, I was curious what could come out of a sequel that came out only a few months after the original game. Demon Turf: Neon Splash in many ways does what a sequel should do. It focuses on what the original game did best, while also cutting out the elements that dragged it down. The platforming is as good as the original game. The level design is quite good as it jumps right in avoiding some of the slower levels at the beginning of the original game. The controls are quite good as well, even though you seem to move a little too fast without some tweaking of the settings. The combat has been cut out of the game completely as the sequel focuses on what it does best. The only real complaint I had with the game is that it is on the shorter side. Most players could probably beat the entire game within a few hours.
Ultimately my recommendation comes down to your feelings towards the original game or 3D platformers in general. If you didn’t really care for the original game’s platforming or 3D platformers in general, I don’t see the game being for you. Fans of the original game or 3D platformers should really enjoy Demon Turf: Neon Splash and should consider picking it up.
Demon Turf: Neon Splash
Release Date: April 14th, 2022 | Systems: Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: Fabraz | Publisher: Playtonic Friends | ESRB Rating: E10+ for comic mischief, fantasy violence
Genres: Indie, Platformer
Official Website: https://demonturf.com/
- Focuses on the elements of the original game that were most enjoyable, while cutting out the worst elements.
- A fun 3D platformer with good level design and controls.
- Quite short as you can beat the entire game within a couple hours.
- You may have to tweak some of the settings as otherwise you seem to move too quickly at times.
Recommendation: For fans of the original game or 3D platformers in general.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Fabraz and Playtonic Friends for the review copy of Demon Turf: Neon Splash used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.