A slice-of-life game about a demon punk rock band having a quarter-life crisis? Dead Pets Unleashed looks exactly like my cup of tea, or more like a bubbly concoction of Red Bull, battery acid, and pop candy. After launching a Kickstarter campaign, developers Triple Topping released a Dead Pets Unleashed demo, so players could get a taste of the highs and lows of life in the band and, after playing the demo myself , it is definitely worth checking out. You’ll want to turn up your speakers for this one.
You play as Gordy, a 30-something demon and bassist for the punk rock band Dead Pets. He is also someone who seriously needs to pull himself together. Living in a shitty apartment and barely able to pay rent, Gordy is determined to push for one last chance at musical success with Dead Pets before the band finally breaks up. The game is a mix of slice-of-life drama and group management sim as you try to help Gordy pull himself together while juggling his pushy parents, part-time job, romantic interests, and keeping members together. of the group together.
From the very first scene, where Gordy recovers from the world’s worst hangover, Dead Pets Unleashed has an incredible vibe. Void City is full of quirky demons and cool underground locations, where everything is super colorful and visually strong. You’ll bounce around different locations in the Demon Capital – seedy restaurants, indie record stores, greasy hot dog stands, and more. – trying to maintain balance in Gordy’s life.
Triple Topping loves their minigames, and their previous game Welcome To Elk was full of them (like the one where you have to defrost a corpse. I’m totally serious, it’s a thing you have to do) and Dead Pets Unleashed is the same . Some are as simple as watering your plant or working a shift at a restaurant to earn some quick cash, but others are totally wild, like boiling your hot dog with worms and maggots, or washing Gordy’s dildo in his bathroom sink. It’s very direct and incredibly chaotic.
I left every band practice feeling like someone went to town with a pair of drumsticks over their brain so for punk music that’s a plus
The best mini-game is the group training one. It’s a rhythm game where Gordy must beat his bass in time for oncoming projectiles that are story-related. The targets will sometimes be her landlord’s bills or the love hearts of some annoying dude she once went on a date with, and she has to smash each one with her bass. The music is, unsurprisingly, very punk rock and is actually quite good. Good enough that I let each band rehearse feeling like someone went to town with a pair of drumsticks over their brain, so for punk music that’s a plus.
Beneath all the attitude to the game lies a larger story about Gordy’s personal issues. At 30, she has to make tough decisions about her future, something we can all relate to. Gordy clings desperately to her punk rock lifestyle, but she slowly realizes that she probably needs some stability in her life and all the mundaneness that entails, like keeping a job and settling down in a relationship. I love that there’s a bit of heart behind all of Gordy’s lawless bravado.
The demo does a great job of showing what Dead Pets Unleashed has to offer, and I’m excited to play more. You can check out the free demo on the game’s Steam and itch.io page.