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Video Game / DemonCrawl

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DemonCrawl is a puzzle game that is a greatly expanded version of Minesweeper. In this version, the mines are replaced by various and sundry monsters (often with humorous randomly-generated names). The core mechanic of the game turns it into an RPG system, with XP, lives, mana and all sorts of powerups (or debuffs called omens) that you can use to aid or hinder your progress. The game uses a quest-based system where you progress through various stages. These fields will, depending on your difficulty, have modifiers (called stage mods) that may drop the difficulty to nil, make things impossible, or give you amazing amounts of treasure. To further help you along, you can also master different skills that will give you a special boost.

On top of that you can even craft your own adventures using ingredients (artifacts) you find during the normal course of the game, as well as paying an (in-game) fee of the in-game currency (Tokens). You earn the tokens by leveling up from the XP and completing quests.

The "classic" mode of Minesweeper also can be found in this game, without the RPG elements.

Available on Steam as well as Android Games in Free-to-Play format.

Tropes used for this game:

  • 100% Completion: Achievements require unlocking all items, blueprints, paints, and divine items.
  • Adjustable Censorship: The December 16th, 2020 patch added in a "Don't Scare Me" toggle in the Settings menu. This is described as removing "blood and spooky cutscenes" from gameplay, and also removes the October 8th, 1990 stage from the end of Adventure Mode, among other things.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Custom avatars may be unlocked through spending tokens or other methods. Paint can rarely be found in stages that changes the look of the avatar.
    • The August 16th, 2020 patch introduced the ability to earn the level themes from the various quests to use in Classic Mode. The reward is cosmetic, but for the game rather than the player, as you change the board's background and music to that of the theme you select.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The Pet Rock item has a chance to summon a horde of Pet Rocks when you enter a stage, all of which act as strong Familiars who stroll around the board killing monsters.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game's difficulty settings go from Casual to Beyond. On Casual mode, all boards are solvable without the need for guessing.
    • An auto-save is present in case you have to leave or stop your playthrough immediately.
  • Awesome, but Temporary:
    • You can—except for use of one item—hold only one legendary item at a time. Whenever you gain a new one, the old item is replaced.
    • Divine items, to an extent. Consumable divines may be used and another may be obtained without penalty of losing the previous effect.
  • Beef Gate: Later stages become larger and therefore more prone to become luck-based missions.
  • Bladder of Steel: Except for use of one item, timers can not be paused once you are in a stage. If there are "orbs" (Cankers, Pacified Cankers and Sawblades), they may still move even if you go outside the window. In addition, some stage (or boss) mods, as well as omens, may cause you to lose health for every minute of gameplay.
  • Bonus Stage:
    • Stages that don't involve playing Minesweeper are treated as "Special Stages", which generally give you a chance to get items or stat boosts. Special Stages include the Item Shop, Bazaar, and Smithy (which all sell items), the Guild (which lets you buy Strangers), the Starpond (which sells Emblems and Artifacts to use in Beyond mode), and the Lighthouse (which offers ways to reduce the difficulty of the next stage).
    • Mystic Statues are optional levels that may appear inside other stages. They contain more challenging stages within, but they offer more loot to collect and an additional reward if a player completes them.
  • Casual Video Game: You can have play sessions for minutes at a time, but it's possible to play for hours.
  • Discard and Draw: Unless you find a specific item which lets you carry more, you can only hold one Legendary item at a time. Finding a new one gives you a choice of tossing out the one you have to replace it, or holding onto the current one.
  • Endless Game: The Endless Multiverse, where your goal is to delay the inevitable destruction of your soul. This mode has you play through increasingly difficult stages with, as the name implies, no end.
  • Exploding Barrels: Barrels explode in a 5x5 area if clicked, damaging you and revealing the exploded cells. They can also provide more metaphorical explosions if you use a magic item on them, such as using Handbell on one to cause an "explosion" of Strangers.
  • Foreshadowing: Occasionally, a sign will appear in a stage that reads "[boss name] was here". This boss will be the one you encounter in the quest's final stage.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Codex has more than 600 unique items, 260 blueprints, and 64 divine items. The game also tracks different avatars, paint, and inventory styles.
  • Have a Nice Death: Sometimes with reference to said thing that killed you, including monsters, stage mods, floating orbs, and even items.
  • Heart Container: Souls are special hearts that add one to your total health upon collection. They're less common than normal hearts, but several items can make earning souls easier (such as Crystal Veins, which grants a soul every time a diamond is collected). They can also be earned from Mystic Statues upon completion, or received from Altars to incentivize the omens you have to take to get them.
  • Hearts Are Health: Your health is denoted with a heart icon in the HUD, and picking up hearts on the field allows you to restore health.
  • Holiday Mode: For Halloween and Christmas, the game reskins the title screen and adds new stages and items relevant to the holiday. NPCs are also altered (for Halloween, they wear masks and have their voices pitch-shifted, and for Christmas, they wear Santa hats), and you can give them things in exchange for Tokens. The shop is also changed to have a different appearance and play a unique song.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The Omen "Book of Maths" randomizes every number that appears in the game's tooltips.
    • Some effects "obscure" the numbers of cells, replacing them by question marks.
  • Just One More Level!: Because of the ease of restarting quests, the temptation is always there.
  • Luck-Based Mission: This is innate to Minesweeper, though it is possible on Casual mode to have 100% solvable stages. Some stage mods and powerups can dramatically lower or raise the amount of times this happens.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • Objects in levels with the Explosive stage mod have a chance to blow up for no particular reason.
    • Barrels, if you click them enough, explode in a 5x5 radius.
  • Play Every Day: Hero Trials are this, as daily missions.
  • Private Eye Monologue: The Detective Mastery has unique tooltips written in this style, and even has exclusive epitaphs.
    [getting intel from a Bagman] "I was out of options. I had to trust the Bagman."
    [activating their Tier 3 ability] "Case closed."
    [taking damage] "Wrong turn. Wound up in suckerville."
    [defeated] "'Struck down in the line of duty'... at least it's got a nice ring to it."
  • Roguelike: Of the Rogue-lite variety, as the stages are randomly-generated.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • The Valhallan stage mod spawns ample amounts of loot on 0-value (empty) cells, and gives them a nice yellow Sanctified aura. The catch is that when you leave, you take damage for the number of empty Sanctified cells. A non-savvy player will smash and grab all the loot and then complete the stage, only to instantly die from the accumulated damage the second they attempt to leave. Bury Bones in a Valhallan stage and you may end up taking more damage, since Bones create new Sanctified cells wherever they're placed.
    • Any object in an Explosive stage has a chance to explode and damage you when clicked.
    • Attempting to activate (click on) a stranger when there is the Disturbing stage mod. You will take 1 damage the moment you mouse over them.
  • Secret Level: There are a few level variants which have a 5% chance to replace a particular stage, such as Reef replacing Ocean. These levels have their own music and Artifacts which can be used to play the stage in Beyond mode.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Shopkeepers may say "Buy something, will ya" when you enter their store.
    • The Eye of the Tiger item happily quotes the Survivor song of the same name whenever it activates.
    • Similarly, the Zeal of Love and Zeal of Hate items will say either "What is love" or "Don't hurt me" if they're used at a point where you don't have to guess.
    • One of the items is the Happy Little Tree. Since there are no mistakes, only "happy accidents" (the lattermost part being quoted in the item's description), this item has a chance to avoid triggering things that activate on a mistake.
    • The description for the normal Bag of Tricks ends with "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
    • The Halloween stage's exclusive sign message reads "DON'T DEAD OPEN INSIDE".
    • One of the Paints for your avatar and menu is named "Digital Boy". It's a very distinct series of red colors.
    • A few of the avatars are references to Twitch streamers who have played the game.
  • Significant Reference Date: "October 8th, 1990". The final stage of Adventure Mode, as well as the playing field theme of that stage, are named after the date of the release of the original Minesweeper.
  • Spikes of Doom: Sawblades can kill virtually any object on the stage. On stages with the Serrated mod they will damage you.
  • Status Buff: Electrified cells double whatever is in them. Monsters deal double damage, chests give double results, items are duplicated, and coins, diamonds, tokens, and other loot are counted double.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • Explosions are present in this game through different items and objects, such as barrels and bombs, and will kill any monsters and reveal any tiles in the radius of the blast. Sometimes these can be caused by the player, such as with Sawblades or the Snowflake mastery, allowing for more control over where the detonation is.
    • The Explosive stage mod gives a chance of explosion for every object. It is also cumulative, so if you blow up an object near other objects, the other objects will blow up for 1 damage each, which can add up quickly.
  • Timed Mission: Some stage mods, as well as the Chronos boss fight, are examples.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • In certain parts of the game, stages are randomly generated. However, the game appears to have no logic to determine whether a given set of stage mods is practically impossible to win. (e.g. both Apocalyptic and Fickle)
    • Hero Trials do not only feature randomly generated stages but there are also rule sets and loadouts randomized for each game. As one example, it would be theoretically possible to get a Hero Trial that includes Fickle and Apocalyptic mods and/or rules.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Some combination of stage mods can mean a state is certain death. This is RNG-dependent for the most part, though a player can help this around with unwise deployment of certain items against some stage mods.
  • Video-Game Lives: Revives allow you to come back if you take too much damage and run out of health. By default, you don't have any, but several items can grant them, and they can also be earned from Mystic Statues and Altars. The Immortal Mastery focuses on making revives better by allowing you to double your health upon revival, and when upgraded, give yourself a free revive after completing a certain number of stages.
  • Zonk: Chests can contain omens, though it might end up in your favor if you have items that benefit from having omens, such as the Divine Jack-O-Lantern.