Developers Psychic Software and DoomCube, along with publisher Digerati, present Demon Pit for review on the Nintendo Switch. Demon Pit is a condensed throwback to ’90s first-person shooters that takes place in a single transforming arena. What differentiates Demon Pit from its predecessors is a zipline system that allows the player to grapple to different parts of the arena. By learning the various shifts in the arena, dodging the different enemies, and collecting new weapons, the player may post a high score that can be competed against.
Demon Pit sentences the player to Hell which, helpful to the bloodthirsty soul, requires them to fight eternally. The battles are tracked with a point system that provides multiplier bonuses the longer you’re able to chain kills together. Baddies are a typical assortment of demonic skulls, robots with a light BDSM aesthetic, humanoid opponents, and more. The player may blast the baddies with the infinite ammo pistol or collect new weapons along with ammo refills as each wave comes and goes. Demon Pit‘s trick is in its grappling, which allows the player to zip to different sections of the arena at the press of the button, all while passable metal music churns away on the soundtrack.
I had two moments of surprise, one good and one bad, playing Demon Pit. The good one was when a wall of lasers suddenly shot out from the side of the arena and started doing damage to the baddies chasing me. Instead of worrying about any of them catching up to me with their slashing implements, I decided to zoom to the top of the arena with my grappling hook and take them down at my leisure. It reminded me of the sole good scene from the 2002 Resident Evil film. Much like the Resident Evil film though, that’s all either piece of art really has going for it.
The bad surprise was the first time I booted up Demon Pit. On boot it started to stutter and then crashed. Since I was already expecting a crash with later attempts they didn’t count as surprises anymore. But when the game software was crashing the Switch enough that it no longer counted as a surprise, I figured that I was going to be in for a rough time.
It wasn’t rough, but I felt extremely bored playing Demon Pit. The aesthetic of hellish towers and flaming skulls is nothing new. Ditto the standard array of weapons whose primary difference lay in how much you feel like pressing the shoot button. I’ve been there, shot that, rocked out to similar metal, and overall didn’t feel the spark that the best levels of its ’90s predecessors could inspire.
This is a familiar structure with a zipline. Imagine how fresh it might have been if the opening level wasn’t always exactly the same. If – upon installing and starting the game – it went straight into the action without nostalgia in the icons and title. This isn’t the Hell of eternal battle, just another cement playground that an arsonist torched a few times over. So I strafe, I shoot, I strafe, I shoot, and sometimes I use my grappling hook to give myself the fleeting hope that things would be different my next run.
They never were.
Game was played and reviewed using a provided review code of Demon Pit for the Nintendo Switch.
If you're extremely hard-up for a single other first-person shooter to play on the Switch then Demon Pit will do for about half an hour. Otherwise, some of the still excellent games that inspired it - like Doom - have already been ported to the Switch.
- The grappling hook offers some opportunities for amusement zipping around the arena
- Crashes are common
- Enemy and weapon options are not varied enough to change up the gameplay loop after twenty minutes
- Grappling hook means little in the long run when circle strafing, the oldest first-person shooter tactic, still dominates most of the play
Prognosis is Fair