Doinksoft’s passion for classic arcade shooters was clear and obvious for the moment I started playing Demon Throttle at PAX East. The game has a wholly retro look and feel; I would have believed it came out in the 90s if I didn’t already know better. Beyond the way it captures that old school feeling, my time with Demon Throttle left me with a lot to be excited about.
Demon Throttle follows the story of two unlikely allies on a quest for vengeance against a powerful demon for two very different reasons. While the vampiress is looking to take back her stolen chalices, the gunslinger is upset by the fact that the demon slept with his wife. The introduction to the characters and reveal of their motivations gave me a good laugh during my preview.
The laughs didn’t stop there, either. Demon Throttle is littered with funny moments that poke fun at the absurdity of the narrative in so many games of its kind. The light-heartedness will surely be a nice refresher from similar titles that can take themselves too seriously.
When you start a level in Demon Throttle, the map is constantly scrolling upwards, with players having to navigate evolving landscapes and take out incoming enemies. As enemies pop up, players must fire their respective weapons to quickly dispatch them. Both the gunslinger and the vampiress have unique weapons, and both can deploy bombs to deal wide area-of-effect damage.
There are also a slew of power-ups and healing items that players can nab while traversing a level. As a newbie, I was constantly in need of healing items and found myself dashing across the screen to grab hearts and stay alive. The developer I was playing with often communicated when there were power-ups on screen that I would make better use of, which is probably indicative of how co-op communication will work when fans get ahold of the game.
I also got to fight a couple of bosses during my time with Demon Throttle, giving me a taste of how brutal the game will be in terms of difficulty. Those combat scenarios quickly became a bullet hell with me and my ally jumping over and dodging projectiles. It was thoroughly challenging and felt like something that speedrunners are going to have a field day with once they get their hands on it.
Demon Throttle is shaping up to be an exciting romp through a silly and weird world. Luckily, it won’t be too long until we get to fully sink our teeth into the old school arcade shooter.
These impressions are based on an in-person demo played at PAX East. Demon Throttle will launch later this year as a physical-only game for Nintendo Switch.
Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Demon Throttle is a hilarious throwback to arcade shooters