Demeo feels much like a classic, physical session of a tabletop RPG like Dungeons & Dragons—and it stars these four classes of heroes. You pick them up and move them around a board in VR, and the sensation is fantastic.
Have you ever liked something so much that it made you sad? It’s that weird moment when your emotional swingset goes over the handlebars, passing joy and turning into a strange version of regret. I’ve had this happen with movies I caught years too late, when finally getting a decent pair of headphones, or after learning that cool trick to instantly remove the stickers and plastic on a CD case. The sensation is something along the lines of, “I would’ve turned out differently as an adult if I’d had this sooner.”
That’s how I feel about the new virtual reality game Demeo. You can see it in the above gallery: This Dungeons & Dragons-styled video game recreates the franchise’s tactile, turn-based battles with friends. And it’s awesome.
I can move clunky, fantastical miniatures around a board, then watch them come to life to do battle while nearby friends scream in delight and/or agony when a dice roll changes everything at a moment’s notice? And all of that happens on-demand within a genius VR implementation? Yes, please. I love this stuff—a blend of tabletop and digital co-op gaming with a dash of real-life presence—and I wish I’d had it earlier. (Specifically, I wish I’d had it for the past 15 months.)
This recent VR game, available on SteamVR and Oculus Quest for $30 as of May 6, is absolutely not perfect. In fact. it’s arguably missing a critical “early access” tag. Getting through a session of this D&D facsimile without inventing a wish list of additional features may be a challenge, especially if you and your adventuring party have an established regimen of tabletop co-op adventure games.