Mar 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Summary: It's an RPG-style game where you take on the role of a young (purposefully androgynous) child in a world where monsters and humans once lived together, but monsterkind was eventually driven underground. The protag dares to venture up to a mountain where nobody is said to return from: they fall into a hole and the journey begins from there.
Visuals: The aesthetics and overall feel of the game are heavily informed by Earthbound, Mother 3 and OFF, and it's readily apparent right out the gate if that's your sort of thing (including a very obvious OFF tribute in the demo). The sprites are actually quite charming and have a lot of personality despite their simplicity. It's one of those games where there's a lot of color splash on monochrome.
Gameplay: Ok, so the battle system doesn't completely re-invent the wheel, but it's interesting. When you encounter a foe you can either choose to engage it in a hostile way or you can interact with it in some kind of friendly, diplomatic way (and then selecting "Show Mercy"). Every monster type has its own "personality" and you'll have to figure out how to get it to be agreeable with you in order for it to back down. Roughly speaking, there's an "attack round" (you can engage hostile, friendly or escape) and a "defense round". In the defense round, you have a cursor that you have to move around to avoid projectiles, in the style of a bullet-hell. How much the enemy damages you depends on how many projectiles end up hitting you. Every enemy's projectiles move in different ways too.
Oh, and I guess it looks like it's setting up to have a lot of puzzles in it even though the puzzles in the demo are very simple and obviously there for demonstration purposes.
Story/Narrative: Is astoundingly good and shows a shocking amount of promise for what appears to be about a ten-minute demo. There are a -ton- of endings you can get, and it's a case where the programmer literally thought of everything.
I'm not sure how much I can say without spoiling the experience, but I will say that this aspect is the one that shines through and it pretty much grabbed me by the balls unlike any other game demo I've ever played through. If I'm to give a hint about what to do...
Play through the game multiple times: The game and the characters in it recognize that you've played through it before and remember what you've done and their dialog changes accordingly. Do pacifist or semi-pacifist runs to start. When you feel like you're done replaying the demo, shoot for the worst ending possible (kill everything and everyone -- yes, the "random encounters" aren't infinite). Then let what occurs after that sink in. Go to the start menu as if you were going to replay again. Leave your computer behind and go lay on the floor for a while in a fetal position.