The explosion in popularity of Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games has been nothing but good news for fans of the genre. Not only are more people playing these games than ever, but in the realm of video games, developers are doing their best to capture all the charm of tabletop gaming in a package that allows you to play online with your friends, no matter where they are.
Resolution Games, developers of Demeo, a VR-based tabletop RPG that perfectly married the advantages of virtual reality and social gaming with all the charm of the classic tabletop experience. Now, Resolution Games has produced a PC Edition, allowing those of us without access to VR equipment to dive in with friends. The great news is that both editions can be played together, so if you have friends with VR headsets, you can all play together.
A new spin on an old favorite
Perhaps the developer’s greatest move with Demeo is the understanding that it is possible to capture the tabletop’s charm without replicating some of the more grindy elements of those games. Demeo embraces the idea of a turn-based adventure but makes it incredibly easy to get started. If you have friends that have been curious about tabletop gaming but put off by thick rulebooks, and the thought of collecting miniatures, then this is the way to go.
Rather than incredibly long adventures, players go on short stints through randomly generated dungeons. Inside, you will find all manner of threats, from the monsters you fight to the environment you move through. You make your way through progressively more challenging rooms and take the enemies you face until eventually arriving at the boss. If you beat the boss, you have beaten the adventure and can dive into another one if you are in the mood.
The best way to play Demeo, be it the VR or PC Edition, is with a full party of four. The lovely music, animations, and visuals will create an excellent gameplay experience. This also leads to a broader range of tactics that you can utilize to take on the dungeon’s challenges by using different combinations of the available five classes. The overall gameplay loop is addictive and rewarding, and you shouldn’t be surprised if Demeo becomes a regular part of your game nights. Setting up a fantastic chain of well-thought-out moves with your friends does feel extremely rewarding.
While being reasonably standard for a fantasy setting, the classes offer unique opportunities for playstyle and tactics, so every player should have no issue finding something that they like. In between levels you also get to visit a shop where you can spend earned gold, purchases items like potions or bombs, and even more spells and abilities to give you even greater combat options.
Truthfully, games do not always translate well from VR to a more standard PC screen. Perspectives and controls can be off, interactions with the menu can be strange, and all the work required to make it all smooth and intuitive may not always be achieved. Thankfully, Resolution Games has done a wonderful job on the Demeo: PC Edition, and there are no issues with how the game feels. If you have had a bad experience picking up a VR conversion in the past, you will have no concerns on that front.
Demeo: PC Edition is currently in early access and contains three different adventures, with another two planned for future release. In my experience, the stability of the game has been solid, performance has been good, and any bugs I have encountered have been pretty minor. The game captures the charm and spirit of tabletop gaming while also bringing new twists to an established formula and ensuring the experience is respectful of the player’s time.
If you have been looking for a way to convince curious but inexperienced friends to venture onto the tabletop or a quick and easy method for more experienced friends to have fun, then Demeo is a superb option.