Demons Ate My Neighbors! is a co-op roguelike inspired by a 16-bit classic

I suppose I should have expected this, after the surprise return of Mega Drive/Genesis oddballs Toejam and Earl, but the B-Movie-horror-themed action game Zombies Ate My Neighbors! is making a comeback. Well, ish. The delightfully on-the-nose Demons Ate My Neighbors! is an "unofficial spiritual sequel" to LucasArts' 16-bit co-op game that once again pits one or two suburban kids against a neighbourhood filled with supernatural creeps.

It might be set in the early '90s, and your primary weapons might be water pistols, but there are few differences with the old game and its sequel Ghoul Patrol. Demons is a roguelite featuring procedurally generated levels, and boasts a modern twin-stick control scheme, so it should theoretically be easier to aim and shoot than on the 16-bit consoles. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! developer HumaNature is helping out with the game, while Sonic Mania composer Tee Lopes is providing its "dynamic" soundtrack, along with Varien, Nice Legs and Papoose.

I am rolling my eyes a little at Zombies being turned into roguelite, but I can see how the two things might go well together. Developer Tuned-Out Games is namechecking Binding of Isaac, but with its firearm focus I'm reminded more of Enter The Gungeon, particularly with the mention of boss tokens that can be spent to unlock "new permanent meta upgrades".

The team plan to release Demons Ate My Neighbors! for PC and Switch in Autumn 2021, while there's a Kickstarter planned for September 1 this year. You can glimpse an early version of the game in the trailer above.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.