Steam Game Review: Devil's Dare (2014)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Tuesday, December 30, 2014 0 comments

"Devil's Dare" is an retro inspired arcade styled beat 'em game for the PC.  This game starts off with two gaming journalists doing some work at a gaming convention but then right out of nowhere a zombie invasion takes place leaving them trapped up sh*t's creek without a paddle.  Lucky for them there are other people trapped in this now hellish place and by lucky I mean that these people are packed to the teeth with awesome weaponry and ready to kick butt.  The playable characters include: A guy with a sword and shield, a short person with an axe that knows how to wrestle, a God loving cheerleader that controls a powerful robot tank, and a young boy whom is a master of the art of ninjutsu.  These four heroes will bash, smash, and crash their way though the entire city to wipe out the zombies with the greatest of ease...  If only, this game isn't as easy as it seems as this game has a huge twist in it's system that will make you think to play through this game carefully.  What is this twist? Read the full review to find out the answer and more in this review of "Devil's Dare".  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

Story in this game is very minimalistic to the point where it doesn't matter one bit but I'm not saying it was terrible but this game wasn't intended to be story driven.  The theme of this game might seem like a boring old zombie horror theme if you are reading the game's description but the theme is a bit more flavorful than that as you'll fight a bit more than zombies in this game.  If this were a straight up zombie game then I would still be okay with that, they just didn't go with generic zombies as they picked a variety of different kind of zombies found in all of the awesome films and really gives this theme some life...  Ironic.

The gameplay in this game is very good as it plays just like a classic "Beat 'em Up" you'd find in an arcade just like "Golden Axe (1989)", "Final Fight (1989)", and with a little classic 2D one on one fighting game elements from "Marvel Super Heroes (1995)".  The controls are very smooth and easy to learn as it is friendly to players that uses keyboards and controllers.  You use the arrow keys to move around and you have two kinds of attacks including a "normal attack" that's just a simple punch, you also get a "special attack" that are all unique to each character and are all very effective.

This game does have multi-player for up to four players but sadly I wasn't able to test this feature.  One thing I do know about multi-player is that it's local only and you won't be able to play this mode online. That's a downside for me as I want to play this with my friends online and I also don't have enough USB ports to play this game locally, nor do I know anybody locally that's interested in playing games multi-player with me (those bastards*).

Difficulty in this game is very hard and that's even including the easiest setting.  I would best describe the difficulty as classic arcade difficulty to where this is a game designed to eat up your money...  If this were an actual arcade game and not a "micro-transaction" heavy smartphone game.  You only get one initial life to beat this game but you can earn extra lives by saving up money and buying them but be very careful as the price of a life increases with each one you buy.  Once you get game over in this game there's no continue unless you have bought a token from the store but when you die with no lives or tokens you'll have to start the game from the very beginning.  I know that might sound like a huge turn-off but it's not as bad as it seems as this game is very fun to play and you will find the fun element adding to the replay value of the game.

This game has a lot of replay value to it and a huge reason why is due to how non-liner this game is.  When you start a game you can pick one of four starting levels in a way to where it looks inspired by the classic game "Gunstar Heroes (1993)".  Once you have picked and beaten a level you will be taken back to the stage select screen where you can choose one of the stages you didn't pick before.  Now this is where this system gets interesting as if you played "Stage A" for the first stage on your first run and then on another run you pick "Stage B" for the first stage and then pick "Stage A" for the second level and think it'll be as easy as it was on your first run, you'd be wrong.  As for each level you beat you will see that the unpicked stages will get harder the further you'll get it.  They won't just get harder as they'll also get longer and also adds to the replay value as it'll make you wanna see all the different variations of all the stages.

Once you've gotten an enemy's health bar to the very end you can perform a special attack to gain a "fatality kill" on your enemy.  These kind of kills come in handy as you'll get extra items from them.  The more monsters you kill with a single special attack, the better the items will become as you'll get more cash and even health items.  This is a very good system but tricky to learn and forces you to learn how to kill strategically groups of baddies to get through the game.

If you want something to play other than the arcade mode, there's also a survival mode.  In survival mode you get to lay the smacketh down on endless waves of enimies in order to gain a high score for the scoreboard.  This mode was a lot better than what I'd thought it'd be as I did have fun slicing through hoards of chaos and they also add some nice perks to help this mode feel fresh and to help you get stronger the longer you survive.

Graphics in this game have an old-school arcade look to it with a faux 16-bit look and the reason why I added "faux" is just because that this game looks much to clean and high definition to be proper 16-bit game.  Color wise this game has a lot of brown and gray but instead of making this game look dull it instead adds atmosphere that'll keep you on your toes.  All of the character designs play off horror stereotypes like the cheerleader and the psycho with the knife and that's why I liked the designs and it works perfectly and adds some tongue and cheek to the game.  The soundtrack has a very atmospheric 16-bit vibe that goes really well with the game and will make you feel that danger is around every corner.

Overall this is a really well put together game and puts some fresh breath in a stale theme and is a game that should be played by both retro and modern gamers alike.  The retro gamers would enjoy this a lot more though as it'll take you back to the old arcade days and 16-bit console days.  Such a shame that there's no actual arcade release for this game as it would make for a kick-ass four player arcade cabinet (get started on that, Secret Base).  A modern day classic.

*Note: Kaiser loves his friends and family very much and doesn't mean anything by that comment..  Sadly because of that comment I am now grounded for a week even though I'm in my mid-twenties and my parents live at the other end of the state.  I'm so sad now.

Game: Devil's Dare
System: PC
Developer/Publisher: Secret Base
Genre: Beat 'em Up, Horror, Adventure, Action
Price: $12.99 (Steam)
Recommended: Yes


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