Exorcise The Demons Review
Developer/Publisher: Midnight Games EIRL
Release: 18th September 2019
After We Were Here Together, let’s talk about a game with a similar concept which actually released a few days before, Exorcise The Demons. Based around one player playing the game, tasked with defeating demons through a wave of rituals, the other player has a book which details how to actually perform those. Naturally, similar to Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, it’s not as good as either one of them.
So, what makes this take on a proven formula so much more unappealing? Mainly, two things that drag down the whole experience. For one, it’s never clear if you actually succeed at the ritual until you face the demon, who either kills you or gets killed. Since this results in quite a lot of confusion and takes away the chance to correct mistakes, since, well, no one knows if there were mistakes, the first rounds in particular are dominated by deaths no one really understands. The fact there’s no tutorial whatsovever doesn’t add to the experience either.
The other big part is the puzzle design itself, it’s just not very diverse nor good. For one, many feel the same inn that it’s necessary to convey some symbols, often not even funny or interesting ones, which the bookholder then has to use for a riddle or to figure out a certain order. Sometimes they even require you to write down or memorize quite nonsensical number combinations across multiple steps to figure out the solution. Especially during those more complex ones, one of the players is easily left behind without much to do. While I appreciate the more complex ideas, I constantly felt like doing similar riddles with similar symbols in every single ritual while my partner had not a lot to do.
Though even the base isn’t all that great, selecting a random puzzle of a quite tiny pool both players have to solve before moving onto the next one. There isn’t much in terms of unique environments, an underlying story or even a compelling variety, as previously mentioned. After a few failed attempts, puzzles will repeat and the lack of meaningful feedback when you fail one just elevates this sense of repetition and boredom.
Topped with a bland visual presentation, that depicts a really limited and empty part of hell without much variety per stage. There’s nothing for the player to do while waiting for the other one to finish reading and solving his part and the whole thing doesn’t even run that well, while constantly presenting you with the same cutscenes if you have to restart the game, which often aren’t skippable right out of the bat.
Exorcise the Demons is mediocre, to say the least. If you expect anything near Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes or We Were Here, you will be sorely disappointed as it’s just too tiny in scope and empty to truly impress. Combined with rather cryptic puzzles that never communicate mistakes, most of the time, it ends up being a confusing and frustrating endeavor.
[A Review Code was provided by Midnight Games EIRL]