Thoughts on Cassette Beasts (Steam Next Fest Demo)

It did not take much convincing from Cassette Beasts for me to be completely all-in on its synopsis. A turn-based RPG game where you explore a 2.5D world of monsters that you can collect and fuse? I’ve been wanting that in a mainline Pokémon title for years! All the better that the pixel artistry and promise of intense character customization drive home the uniquely expressive part of great RPG games.

Though I had no specific ranking for which game demos I was most excited for, this was one I was very intrigued by. Will it live up to the promise that its trailer showcased?

Game Synopsis

“Collect awesome monsters to use during turn-based battles in this open-world RPG. Combine any two monster forms using Cassette Beasts’ Fusion System to create unique and powerful new ones!”

Steam page

Review Portion

When something seems too much like a good thing, it probably is. Cassette Beasts doesn’t follow this wise, old saying.

To accentuate its strengths immediately, there is very little about the game’s opening portions that goes against what it advertises. Really professional-sounding and looking artwork, music, UI, and a simple, but effective introduction that goes through the basics. There’s a noteworthy sheen to the game that leads me to believe this had a bit of a budget, or at least a decent-sized team of developers who have definitely worked in game development before.

How expansive it is, too, with its options for inclusivity, accessibility, and creativity. I briefly mentioned Pokémon above, which this is obviously heavily inspired by, yet it easily overtakes its inspirator in flashiness with only a few minutes. It’s not absurd with its flexibility (at least in the demo), though there’s a good amount of options to accentuate your look and feel.

I am now a big sheep.

Gameplay-wise, it’s a lot what you would come to expect from the genre, only a little more in-depth. You battle strategically with attack moves and status-effecting moves, among others, and also implements a system where certain moves take a point system one needs to fill by waiting for turns to expire. Almost like incentive to wait out for more powerful moves. With the pacing the introductory sequence employs, one will be able to understand these systems fairly easily.

Finding a balance between excessive tutorials and leaving the player to fend for themselves can be sort of hard in worlds so removed from reality. Cassette Beasts manages to fulfill this balancing act admirably enough, because it allowed me to grind to my heart’s content, which is the key to any great RPG experience for me. My obsessiveness aside, the major aspects that were in need of explanation, such as transformations and recording monsters, were handled without hassle.

There’s just one issue. What is the most basic thing a game needs to do in order to build trust with the player? Work. It needs to function. In truth, I actually did not play much of this demo—only about 40 minutes worth of time. Why? Because the game didn’t always work for me.

It is what it is, indeed.

In under an hour, my game crashed twice, and it was the same thing both times. I was sifting through a menu of some sort when the game would freeze for a few moments, my laptop’s screen would blip to all black for half a second, and then the game’s screen would permanently showcase the menu I was in, despite the sound indicating that I was moving around in-game. One crash? Fine, it happens. It’s an indie game. Twice? Barely 15 minutes after the first time? Big red flag.

Such is what would ultimately have me advise players in waiting before giving this a shot. Of course, bugs aren’t an uncommon thing in games, but recurring ones are a nasty sort. Be aware that if this does cross your radar at some point that it may be at risk of technical short-circuiting.

That aside, it was pretty fun from the time I did spend battling and exploring the world on offer. Given the similarities to a game I’ve already mentioned twice before, it’s like jumping into an old car to drive in an unfamiliar location. You get the grasp of what the game wants to do without knowing all the specific nuances that it provides with its own settings. For what it’s worth, there’s much to look forward to if the (very) first impressions I collected hold any weight.

I am, in fact, this hideous in person.


Definitely one to watch and play approximately a week or so after its release! The timeframe of note is so that any and all (hopefully) bugs are ironed out after some wider-audience reports come in. Most things, from the groovy retro aesthetic to the invigorating battle system, make Cassette Beasts a surefire hit to be. I’m looking forward to playing it again and not encountering a game-breaking bug on average every 20 minutes.

Cassette Beasts has a demo you can play now on Steam. (Link under “Game Summary.”)

If reading this compelled you to give me a dollar, feel free to tip me on Ko-fi.

Thank you for your time. Have a great rest of your day.

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