Giving a whole new meaning to “devil music”

It’s official: Square Enix is totally in love with iOS and Android. Just recently we’ve seen info about games like Final Fantasy Dimensions and Qwirkle, and now the Demons’ Score beans have spilled. Part shooter and part rhythm, it’s a game that looks to play brilliantly to the strengths of a touch-screen interface.

In a style not unlike Rez, Demons’ Score is an on-rails shooter with a heavy emphasis on music. The better your timing in shooting enemies (an act that requires no more than a tap of the screen), the more your ears will be rewarded with aural bliss. Square Enix has brought on musicians to create music for the game, so there’s plenty of reason to be excited for the soundtrack. A taste of it can be found in the trailer, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t looping in my head ad nauseum.

One could argue that Demons’ Score isn’t the kind of game that requires a plot, but Square Enix isn’t the kind of company to ditch theatrics if they have the choice. The story revolves around a girl named Serenity, whose father goes missing for some unsaid reason. In her search to find him, she happens upon a program called “Demons’ Score” in his lab, which enables demons to possess her. So… Yeah.

Demons' Score

Going back to theatrics, Demons’ Score is one impressive-looking game. The fact that it was developed using Unreal Engine 3 helps quite a bit, but a strong artistic direction is another major factor. It provides a dreary atmosphere without having to resort to the oft-contested look of “brown” so many other games employ, and the enemies are the perfect combination of detailed and cheesy.

At E3 this week Gamezebo’s own Josh Wittenkeller had a chance to check out Demons’ Score hands-on, and here’s what he reported back from the front: “The game combines the great action/sci-fi/fantasy elements that you expect visually from Square Enix, but it has this really cool jazz rhythm feel. It’s extremely quirky, and it looks fantastic.”

Demons' Score

For seasoned rhythm game players looking for a comparison, Josh tells us that “it feels very similar to Elite Beat Agents, but actually has some elements that are a lot more complicated than EBA, because Demons’ Score can register multiple touches at the same time.”

The game will arrive in the already-crowded summer of this year, and I mean that in the kindest of ways. Too many games beats the heck out of not enough, and I have a feeling Demons’ Score will be one of the standouts of the season. There’s something about the combination of catchy music and demon-possessed people that really sings to us as a society, and it’s about time a game capitalized on that.