Demons Down Under
When you think of rabbits, the thoughts that run through your head probably include carrots, soft cotton tails, big floppy ears and cute widdle bunny wunnies! But as countless TV shows and movies have taught us, woodland creatures have their own secret lives unfolding when they're not scampering around foraging for food. In this case, it involves digging their way through caves and crypts down to hell to rescue their kidnapped bunny rabbit kin from a deranged sorceress. Developed by veteran casual game developer Elliot Pace, Demons Down Under plays like the now-classic roguelike The Binding of Issac, meaning that you'll spend your time exploring baddie-infested rooms in search of keys, potions, and sweet, shiny gold. The [arrow] keys or [WASD] moves your character and the [spacebar] is used to drink potions, while clicking the mouse will employ your weapon, be it a sword, dagger, blunderbuss, or magical laser of doom. What makes Demons Down Under so much fun is the wide variety of weapons and items you can use in each run—killing enemies grants experience and gold, which unlocks a plethora of fancy upgrades. This allows for a bit of replay value, making up for the game's comparatively mild difficulty. Combining this with a collection of unique enemies, a procedurally generated map, and a charming and delightful presentation means that Demons Down Under is a good bit of fun for casual audiences anywhere.
When we say that Demons Down Under plays like The Binding of Issac, we really mean it. From the control scheme to certain areas to the very concept of digging down towards hell, it is immediately obvious where developer Elliot Pace found his inspiration. However, finding inspiration in a modern indie classic is not unheard of, nor by any means a terrible thing. Demons Down Under adopts its own distinct tone. While The Binding of Isaac dealt with dark humour, nightmarish monsters and some serious parental issues, Demons Down Under is about adventure and bunny rabbits, making it immediately more accessible to casual gamers and younger players. Barring a bit of cartoony blood and violence, the game wears this distinction with pride, and its simple, forgiving gameplay reflects that. Though it leaves out the secret rooms, bosses, and strategy that made Issac so wonderfully complex, it is also far less alienating to new players as a result. Those new to roguelikes or simply seeking a casual experience may take their time beating the game, while veterans of the genre could power through it quickly, especially with the right upgrades. In either case, the experience is polished and the gameplay is addicting. The game's biggest flaw is that it can feel very imbalanced; items like the raven and the fully upgraded sword are notably overpowered, and the final boss is rather anti-climactic. Still, with so many secret items to unlock and a whole colony of rabbits to rescue, Demons Down Under is a wonderful experience that will appeal to just about anyone.