Italian developers Mnemosyne Games are looking to bring some ‘giallo‘ style horror into the gaming world with their kickstarter for Demoniaca. While this is another project that pays homage to the pixelated legacy of Castlevania: SotN, the devs are trying something new and adding elements of the fighting genre into the mix. Specifically they are using inspiration from the King of Fighters series to try and create the new gaming hybrid ‘kofvania’. And that’s not the only surprise Mnemosyne have up their bloody sleeves:

Is this possibly the dev team? No… not at all.

In the aftermath of the complete slaughter of a village, a woman has been left for dead. Her torso has been eviscerated and the demon blood of her would-be killers mixes in with her own. With new powers surging through her veins and a thirst for revenge, the unnamed survivor stitches up her gaping wounds and leaves the corpses of her friends and family behind. She heads towards the demon-constructed Tower of Babel ready to kill everything in her path.

As you can tell by the description above, Demoniaca is being made for a mature audience. The devs explain that ‘[the game has a] compelling story of revenge that mixes realistic emotional conflict with explicit violence and sexual content.’ Mnemosyne Games even want to create a censored and uncensored version of the game. It’s nice to see a developer who’s willing to go the extra mile to create a project their way and not just abide by Steam’s (or other digital platforms) rules of censorship.

So this is a censored look at the uncensored version?

However, there’s a lot that makes me wary of this newly created studio and their first project. The campaign page is seriously lacking in detail and includes only a handful of paragraphs that mostly discuss the story. The fighting mechanics are woefully unexplained and you only get a hint of how they’ll work from in game pics. The Kickstarter and gameplay trailers show the unnamed survivor in motion (and it’s quite slick) but both are lacking in how the ‘kofvania’ style is going to differ from normal metroidvania games.

I guess fighting game inputs are included…

But to their credit the devs have been listening to criticisms of their backers and potential backers. In the last three updates they’ve set up a Steam greenlight for the game, started a devblog, and created the pre-alpha gameplay trailer mentioned above. Mix that with the eye-catching art style and it’s hard to ignore this campaign. I’m curious to see how this Kickstarter evolves but I urge caution and patience before deciding to back this project.

Definitely KoF inspired gameplay here.

With 19 days left to go, Demoniaca has raised just over 25% of the €15,000 (about $17,000 USD) needed. Stretch goals mostly include access to new moves or monsters but the interesting ones are €75,000 (about $85,000 USD) for an additional sex scene and €100,000 (about $113,000 USD) for a multiple romance system. The different backer rewards have the digital version available for €10 (about $11 USD), the physical collector’s copy for €250 (about $280 USD), and ability to design a character for the game at €1000 (about $1100 USD). All rewards that include the game contain both copies of the censored and uncensored editions. If you want to try and make the term ‘kofvania’ enter the gaming lexicon, you have until April 18, 10:40am EDT to back Demoniaca.

Leif Conti-Groome
Leif Conti-Groome is a writer/playwright/video game journalist whose work has appeared on websites such as NextGen Player, Video Game Geek and DriveinTales. His poem Ritual won the 2015 Broadside Contest organized by the Bear Review. While he grew up playing titles such as Final Fantasy VI and Super Double Dragon, he doesn’t really have a preference for genre these days except for Country; that’s a game genre right? Leif’s attention has been more focused on the burgeoning communities of niche Japanese titles, eSports and speedruns. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada and makes a living as a copywriter.