Games Journo Sim: Always Sometimes Monsters Demo

For all the jokes about Doritos, the slider is actually the official snack of games journos.

“Brilliant but flawed” is how Ben described Always Sometimes Monsters, an RPG which sprawls and branches and reacts in squillions of ways depending on who and how you play. You’re a struggling writer making one desperate lunge at life, out of money, kicked out your apartment, and pining for a lost love. It’s perhaps a hard sell, so last week developers Vagabond Dog released a demo with an extra framing narrative to perfectly fit that horrible loser theme: you play a games journo who goes to the launch event, plays Always Sometimes Monsters, then writes a review.

You rock up to the event, get to wander around a horrible soulless room, engage in pointless discussion, eat miniature hamburgers, drink cocktails, get a dose of PR speak, and play a chunk of the demo. You can also walk right out, which is the correct decision to make should you ever end up at a press event. Having not played ASM myself, I couldn’t tell you which part of the game the ‘demo build’ is from, but it feels like the start.

I did not dig the demo. Leaving the event, I wrote a review rating the press event build low enough that, in a later scene, the devs grumbled about losing their Metacritic-dependent bonus.

The demo is up on Steam, where the game’s also on sale–half-price at £3.49.

[The definitive games journo simulator is, of course, RPS pal Brendy’s Games Journo Story.]


  1. Ravenine says:

    The demo is from nowhere in the game. Sounds vaguely similar to the opening scene, but only very vaguely. It’s almost a great game, if you don’t mind Mass Effect 3 quality endings.

    • toxic avenger says:

      Are there any games that BOTH are not Mass Effect 3 endings AND are not completely unsatisfying in any other way?

      • Epsz says:

        There is The Longest Journey and… I want to say Grim Fandango, but it is completely unsatisfying how hard it is to get it to run nowadays.

  2. strangeloup says:

    Apparently the demo is its own thing, same kind of idea as with The Stanley Parable. So it’s almost like a little bonus chapter.

    It’s a decent game, though admittedly part of my reason for buying it was to learn from, as I dabble with RPG Maker myself, and it’s always interesting to me when games like this do non-standard things with the engine.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Alice – did you play the *actual* Game Journo Sim? link to

  4. Sir_Eric says:

    For the people reading this…well, now: The sale ended half an hour ago btw.