Hack & Paper Cut: Book Of Demons Is A Diablo Tribute

Do you like coffee without cream? What about consumerism without guilt? Very well then, could I perhaps interest you in some nostalgia without disappointments, frustrations and huge time investments?

Because that’s the ambitious goal of Book of Demons, [official site] at once a parody and a tribute to the original Diablo, made in cute paper cut-out graphics. It’s the first of the “Return 2 Games” series, 7 titles that will each aim to capture the feeling of a classic from the 90s while modernizing their mechanics and making them accessible even to casual players. I don’t know if it’ll work; but I’m sure Slavoj Zizek would be all over the concept.

One of the ways Book of Demons plans to be more accessible is through its “Flexiscope” system. The game will study your performance over time and should be able to create levels that are as long or as short as you want your session to be, even if that is just 5 minutes.

The core of the game will revolve around dungeoneering as one of the usual 3 classes, warrior, rogue and Mr. T mage. Items, gear and special abilities are all replaced by a single card system: again, the aim is to do away with repetitive grind and make progress feel meaningful not by upping the numbers, but by giving players (and enemies) altogether different abilities, and let them craft their own deck. The hope is that enough replayability and the various difficulty levels will keep it interesting even for more demanding players.

The narrative promises lots of humour alongside a more serious side. “True to the origins of the hack & slash genre,” it wants to retell “the universal story of good vs evil, of a hero’s quest to save the world from the ultimate devilry.”

Here’s a rhyming trailer, because why not. There’s a red demon playing with a rubber ducky in it, because why not. Here’s a Slavoj Zizek dress-up game, because why not.

Book Of Demons will be out in the second half of 2016. Only Windows has been announced so far, but more platforms may be coming in the future.


  1. Zankman says:

    The visuals reminded me of Balrum.

    Write about that instead.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Interesting game, but I don’t see the immediate resemblance other than the perspective which isn’t particularly uncommon.

      Personally, Balrum reminds me more of Exile and the like.

  2. dsch says:

    And so on, my god.

    • dsch says:


      • Melody says:

        Pulls shirt, touches nose

        • ThingTrunk says:

          Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

          Nah, we totally went for Mr. T looks, you caught us red-handed ;-)

          • Butts says:

            Since you’re the developer and all, I assume you can answer this question…

            Will your following 6 games be using the same art style?

            I’ve always found Diablo-style games to be totally joyless experiences, but love how this looks, so I hope you keep the paper style for the rest of your series.

          • ThingTrunk says:


            Yes, totally. All games will be stylized as pop-up books. They will even share one launcher where you will be able to pick a book you want to play.
            Of course, there will be subtle differences to accommodate different themes. For instance, sci-fi themed game would have cooler colors, different artwork printed on paper and thinner paper in general with edges cut in straight lines.
            Book of Demons is a dark fantasy so it utilizes dark colors and thick paper with jagged edges to recapture the sense of ancient secrets and dark mystery. However, both games would be paper pop-up book themed with everything represented as paper objects. I hope that makes sense :D

            In fact, Matt is preparing a write-up on art style across the series. Not sure when it will be done (probably in a week), but if you are interested please consider subscribing to our newsletter or following us on twitter to get heads-up once he finishes.

            And as to the joyless experiences – I know. The fact that we were unable to re-experience what we had with the first Diablo motivated us to design R2G.

        • aeonofdiscord says:

          Kung-fu Hegel.