Demon’s Tier+ review for PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on:  PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Cowcat
Developer: Cowcat
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I’ve got to hand it to Cowcat. Demon’s Tier+ is the fourth game from the French developer, and, as someone who’s suffered through each of the previous three games, it’s nice to see that they’re slowly but surely improving. They started out with an entirely forgettable adventure game, followed that with a hideously ugly platformer, and their last outing was a middling twin-stick shooter. Demon’s Tier+ is easily better than all of them.

Obviously, that’s not a high bar to clear, but I’m really not trying to damn the game with faint praise. It’s got a couple of minor hiccups here and there, but on the whole, it’s a fairly enjoyable twin-stick shooter.

What makes it work so much better than its predecessor — which, as I noted above, was also a twin-stick shooter — is that Demon’s Tier+ has things like a story and a personality. I mean, the story is your basic ?heroes save the world from monsters” kind of thing, but that’s a vast improvement over the last outing. Likewise, the game — which takes place mostly underground in a series of caves — looks kind of cool, as you scour each dimly-lit floor for monsters and treasure by floating candlelight. That means you can never quite see what lies beyond the edge of your vision, which is normally something that bugs me, but Demon’s Tier+ manages to make it work.

In this regard it helps, I suspect, that the gameplay is much more interesting. There’s RPG-style skill progression after you clear out each floor, which means you can decide how you want to build up your character. There are different objectives on each floor, which means you never know whether you’re going to have to clear out all the monsters, open all the treasure chests, or whatever other tasks the game sets for you. You have a variety of attacking styles at your disposal, which means you can vary it up if you want to.

I only really have one complaint: much like its predecessor, Demon’s Tier+ has an eyesore of a PlayStation Store icon that in no way reflects how the game actually looks. This may seem like a small thing, but given that the developer’s second game really was an eyesore, you can see why it might be cause for concern.

As problems go, however, that’s pretty minor, particularly when you contrast it with everything else here. Demon’s Tier+ is a solid twin-stick shooter, and even if I wouldn’t say that it’s elevated Cowcat to the point where you can say that they’re making essential games, at the very least they’re making good games.

Cowcat provided us with a Demon’s Tier+ PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B+