Many Pokémon clones tend to feel like a game that wants you to think about how it compares to Pokémon. So, for example, Telefang has cell phones to summon monsters. You have a poor signal to prevent you summoning some of them, you get phone numbers instaed of capturing a monster, and so on. DemiKids is a series that feels a bit like a clone of a clone.
Much like Dragon Quest Monsters, it seems harder to catch a monster after the first capture. Much like the other Shin Megami Tensei games and Dragon Quest Monsters, you can combine monsters to create new ones. Monsters don’t level up (unlike Dragon Quest Monsters or Pokémon.) You do have a “special monster” with you. This is similar to the monster you pick at the start of Pokémon, but it is a lot closer to a basic multipurpose partner compared to a specific elemental attacker.
I can continue comparing how the game compares to other games, but I think that’s really not doing the game a good service. All in all, DemiKids feels like an addictive game, but one that has clunky elements. For example, your demon partners don’t level up. This is fustrating if you like a specific partner, since you’re forced to combine them to get them to be stronger. Plotwise, the game is a typical plot coupon style of exploration. You get directions to a location, and all other paths are blocked if you need to accomplish a plot element in an area.
This makes the start of the game rather fustrating, since people tend to block your path almost obsessively. If the open area is about four rooms, it’s really not necessary to lock the area off. Each plot point is accompanied by a sort of chime. So, for example, if you need to know that Judy is hiding and you talk to the person that mentions Judy, there will be a chime. After this, the “a human is hiding here” spot will reveal Judy.
The translation feels a little clunky. For example, you’re told a basic “the rebel base is to the west, I’m going there, and I’ll see you there.” This takes about four dialogue boxes, two more from your hero, and two more from the other person. While portable RPGs are never easy to translate, the dialogue does feel kind of overly wordy. Graphically, the areas are pretty decently designed, and easy to explore if a bit larger than they need to be. However, the “kiddish” art style of the demons does look a little silly.