New Game Invokes Sci-Fi Horror Classics ‘The Thing’ and ‘Alien’

At PAX East 2024, I was captivated by the unique gameplay of Demon Spore, a rogue-lite twin-stick shooter. The narrative unfolds in a world where scientists, in their quest to combat world hunger, have inadvertently spawned a malevolent entity known as the Demon Spore through their genetic experiments on livestock.

As you go through the compound, looking for an escape, you come across specialized rooms that will have either weapons or some form of ability that will help you maneuver around the space. All while trying to avoid the Demon Spore as it spreads to infest the whole compound. 

The primary objective in Demon Spore is not to vanquish the spore, although you must contain it to progress from each room. Your ultimate goal is to flee the facility with your life. The game exudes an unmistakable 80’s sci-fi horror vibe, reminiscent of The Thing or Alien. The unsettling sight of enemies emerging from the spores’ tendrils sends a shiver down my spine, and I’m sure it will do the same for you.

During my brief time with the game, I had two run-throughs. In my first one, I had too much hubris and ended up getting trapped in a room infested by the spore. As you clear rooms and move through the facility, the spore is also moving, trying to take everything over as it spreads itself across the map. When you leave a room, you can also see where it spreads, with each room having a different difficulty level and the closer it is to the spore. 

In my second playthrough, though, I planned my route ahead of time and used keys at my disposal to help lock the spore out of being able to spread to new rooms. This, along with having good weapon load-outs, made it so I got really lucky to make it off the first floor. It was when I went to the new floor that everything took a turn. I quickly ran out of ammo, got cornered, and, well, got spored. 

What I didn’t get to see was if anything carried overrun to run, but the fact that it is couch coop means I can see myself having tons of fun in this shlocky sci-fi horror twin-stick shooter. It’s very tense, the way the enemies move and slither about is unsettling, and the music is haunting. I can’t wait to hear more about Demon Spore.



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