Tabletop gaming has been gaining in mainstream popularity over the years, and the gold standard is undoubtedly Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).
Although it has been used as a foundation for many in the genre, there is just something different when you are running a campaign with other players using your creativity and miniatures.
That is essentially what Revolution Games is hoping to achieve with Demeo: PC Edition, and by and large, the video game tabletop crossover is an absolute blast.
Throughout the hours spent inside the virtual tabletop world, players will be able to enjoy the intensity that comes with every dice throw, the fear of the unknown that awaits, and the utter joy of flawless co-operation that comes with every dungeon-crawling romp.
With three main adventures to choose from - The Black Sarcophagus, The Realm of the Rat King, Roots of Evil - each brings a different flavour of adventure wrapped in a classic look that will instantly put tabletop veterans at ease, and pave the way for newcomers to discover a brand new passion.
What these adventures lack in an overarching narrative is the potential of player-driven stories and overall shorter time investment.
Compared to a traditional D&D campaign, Demeo: PC Edition is not meant to last a few days or even weeks, in fact, you can probably finish all the campaigns in half a day or so.
Whether you are enjoying the game on your own in Skirmish mode, or putting together a party for the authentic experience, players will take up various roles, taking turns to perform actions, and hopefully emerging victorious at the end of it all.
As the classes all differ when it comes to the gameplay mechanics of Demeo: PC Edition, it is essential to pick the right class for you, and more importantly, for the composition of a team.
The Hunter and Sorcerer are the go-to classes for ranged combat, while the Guardian is a tanky role that is suited for the front.
The crew is rounded off with the Bard and Assassin, classes that are good for both ranged and melee combat but are more fragile.
Starting with 10 hit points, it will be up to players to decide their next move, aided by various ability cards that determine what they can and cannot do.
Opening chests, filling a card gauge, or making shrewd purchases between levels will bolster your options, but that also comes with the caveat that you might not necessarily get the cards needed to survive the next round or beat the boss due to chance.
That said, the combat design in Demeo: PC Edition does not make it easier or more accessible.
Characters do not get stronger even if the difficulty between levels scales up, leaving players with an uphill battle when dealing with subsequent levels and bosses.
Obviously, having a well-rounded team would help, but just like in real life, it can require planning and strategising that goes beyond the quick play experience that one might be looking for.
The game also utilises the rolling of a die to determine success for many of the given actions during the campaign.
Rather than a D20, Demeo: PC Edition streamlines the process, with either a dagger, double daggers, or a skull to represent success or failure.
A singular dagger means an attack is successful, double daggers bring double damage, and a skull can cause your character to miss an attack, hit another target instead of your intended one, or hurt a teammate.
Unlike the VR version of the game, Demeo: PC Edition lets you toss the die using the mouse, and most of the time, it works as it should.
Unfortunately, there are occasions where the results are not reflected correctly, with misses instead of double damage perhaps most frustrating.
Moving player pieces can also be a problem sometimes, resulting in a wasted turn.
Nevertheless, it is awesome to be able to experience the magic of Demeo: PC Edition on a more widely used platform.
Instead of getting a tabletop experience like this behind equipment, time, and money investments, this is probably the easiest way one can get a taste of something that could easily become a lifelong passion.
For those seeking adventure with high stakes and tension, where teamwork is rewarded, and where a good time is always available, look no further than Demeo: PC Edition.
Demeo: PC Edition is available on Steam for $26.00.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.